Minicon 21

Minicon 21 was held 28–30 March 1986 at the Radisson Hotel South (Bloomington). Guests of honor were Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm (pro), Denny Lien (fan), Ken Fletcher (artist), and Anne Passovoy (musician). Diane Duane was toastmaster. Phyllis Eisenstein, Terri Windling, John M. Ford, and P. C. Hodgell were honored guests. The executive committee was Joel Halpern, Scott Imes, Virginia Nelson, Mark Richards, and Martin Schafer.


Minicon 21 had a total of 1533, give or take 10, members, 1475 of whom were present at the con. 1109 of these pre-registered. This is per a handwritten sheet found in the archives titled "Minicon 21 Wrap Up: Sun., Apr. 13, 1986".

Up until 2017, we previously listed the membership as "about 1600". This was perhaps based on a handwritten sheet titled "Minicon 21 - early stats (all guesses except hotel pickup). Notes 4-2-86" which says "per John Robey: 1600 ± 50 registered for Minicon 21".

Program Book

small Minicon 21 program book cover

The Minicon 21 program book was given out in Mutant boxes. (Mutant was a game being developed by Adventure Games that never made it to stores, but they got as far as printing really a lot of boxes before ditching the project. Dave Arneson donated all the boxes to Minicon.) Also in each box was one of a set of miniature lead and tin figurines (sculpted by Ken Fletcher; shown below), as well as a cut-out diagram of a 23-sided die.

Here is it is in PDF (28 MB), or the same, but lower quality and a smaller download (2.5 MB) or the same, but using raw scans (784 MB) — probably only useful if you are researching the grain of paper used in this era.

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Most of the Minicon 21 program book is in the public domain due to having been published between 1978 and March 1989 without a copyright notice nor subsequent copyright registration.

Creative Commons License Art by Laramie Sasseville and Rich Larson in the The Minicon 21 Program Book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Fronts of Minicon 21 pewter figures Sides of Minicon 21 pewter figures Backs of Minicon 21 pewter figures Other sides of most of the Minicon 21 pewter figures


Here's the t-shirt, front and back respectively. Laramie Sasseville did the art for the back:

Thumbnail image of Minicon 21 tshirt front: Slug fan eating and reading Playogre with slogan 'Now we're just immoral and fattening' Thumbnail image of Minicon 21 tshirt back: A spaceship flying through a piece of pie with filling made of planets with slogan 'Now we're just immoral and fattening' above and 'Fattening: anything eaten more for FUN than for nutrituion' below


Here's a video including images of some of the button badges used in this Minicon era.