This page is part of an archive and is available for historical reference only; for information on recent and upcoming Minicons, please visit

Information on these pages may not reflect current Minicon and Minn-StF policies, functions, contact info, etc.

For information about the Minnesota Science Fiction Society, the organization that has been putting on Minicon since 1968, please visit

Minicon 31 Progress Report 1

This preliminary form of PR1 was prepared by David Dyer-Bennet from the text as supplied by Nancy McClure. A more elegant version is likely to appear in a week or two. In the meantime, this version has all the information in it, and it's up on the web promptly.


Join us in Minneapolis April 5 - 7, 1996

Don't miss these deadlines!


The proverbial snowball is gathering momentum down the proverbial mountain -- you hold progress report one for Minicon 1996. That's right, the 31st rendition of the Minnesota Science Fiction Society's biggest convention is now on the horizon. Maybe only a speck, but present nonetheless.

This report tells you about deadlines, current situations and the like. As a part of this, let us discuss some of the issues surrounding Minicon and the larger picture. I have been in a position to hear quite a bit of "what's wrong with Minicon" over the past few years and while I hope to be part of the solution, I've discovered the problems are slippery and prone to change. For example, how do you find those of like mind at the behemoth affair Minicon has become? Unfortunately a majority of the solutions offered involve trimming the membership -- usually some "undesirable" segment. Short of draconian action, Minicon will likely continue to grow, for better or for worse. It is better to adapt to and plan for the problems than to impose arbitrary limits that inevitably breed exceptions.

Almost as common is the lament about Minicon having lost its "focus" -- usually defined as "science fiction." This begs the question just what IS science fiction anyway? Whole treatises and tracks of programming at countless conventions have wrestled with this issue. In practical terms the best any large convention can do is provide a pleasing spectrum of those activities which fandom, new and old, are known to enjoy and participate in. Another frequent refrain is "Minicon should provide this" or "Minicon should sponsor that." The suggested events or services are expected to engage or provide for 40 or 50 people. This is OK -- many of Minicon's present functions cater to that many people -- but our resources are quite limited. The Radisson isn't quite so large once one divies up the function space. So what can we do about all this? The answer is concealed in the question -- we the membership can do much more than just the organizing committee can. You, a member of Minicon, can make a difference which, when added to other individual efforts, will snowball and make our convention something that will transcend the pieces.

I don't mean you necessarily have to be a con volunteer. We do need volunteers (see below). However, simply picking up after yourself, always remembering your badge, or maintaining courtesy in crowded conditions helps more than most people realize. Put yourself in other's shoes and remember you're not the only one at Minicon. Make your volunteer effort a matter of making the con more pleasant to the people standing next to you.

-- Thomas Juntunen

Some Cool Folks'll Be Dropping By

We are very excited to welcome Suzette Haden Elgin as Guest of Honor for Minicon 31. Suzette is known not only for her fiction, including the Ozark trilogy, but her nonfiction work as well, including the bestselling The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense.

Suzette will be joined by David Ossman from the Firesign Theater, who is our audio guest. General good times will also be shared by our fan guests of honor, Edie Stern and Joe Siclari. We're bringing together a diverse group of people who reflect some of the many facets of the fan community.

Artist Guest of Honor is Ed Emshwiller. Ed Emsh is known for his sf book and magazine covers of the 50's and 60's, and the films and multimedia projects he produced until his death in 1990. Our memorial tribute to the art of Ed Emsh will be on display at Minicon.

Timebinders Save Fandom's History

Come join us in our mission to preserve fan history! Minicon and Tropicon (January 12 - 14, 1996) will each host a Timebinders Gathering. Individuals who are interested in promoting the preservation, cataloging and dissemination of fanzines and other materials from fandom's past are invited to either or both of these meetings.

Minicon plans to interview Bob Tucker and schedule other programming about the history of Midwestern/MinnStf/Minicon history.

The Society for the Preservation of the History of Science Fiction Fandom (The Timebinders) is dedicated to the physical preservation of endangered fannish materials, to providing the maximum access to endangered fannish materials and to the continuity of "information availability." The Timebinders provide assistance to preservation and access-providing groups and institutions (where possible), disseminate information, and encourage individuals to make arrangements to preserve significant items. They're also working with optical scanning and other technologies for preservation. A Timebinders APA is being started, called the Fan History Amateur Press Association (FHAPA). FHAPA aims to be: (1) an arena for the commission of fannish historical acts, publish your favorite anecdotes, historical data you've gathered or are assembling, frank thru your favorite fannish writing (observing copyright, of course), and anything else of historical interest, (2) a forum for discussion of the preservation of fan history. Contact Lindsay Crawford or Faye Manning-Crawford via email at:

Visit the Timebinders worldwide web site at To join the very active Timebinders Mailing List contact: Refer general questions to Laurie Mann (, or Timebinders, PO Box 11794, Pittsburgh, PA 15228.

Mail questions specific to the Minicon Timebinders gathering to Joyce Scrivner at the Minicon PO Box, or email to

Help Us Bring M31 to a Galaxy Near You!

Star; n.
  1. Any heavenly body.
  2. (a) In astrology, a heavenly body regarded as influencing human fate or destiny. (b) [often plural] fate; destiny; fortune.
  3. A person who excels or performs brilliantly in a given activity.
  4. To play a leading role.
M31 is composed of thousands of bodies, but none are so heavenly, shining so much brighter above the rest, than the celestial host of volunteers that bring Minicon to life.

Bring your energy, your light, to M31 in the form of volunteering -- whether pulsar, quasar, nova, dwarf or even gas giant -- whether as a Tech or Ops volunteer (as described at right and below), or in any number of other jobs (some of which will be described in Progress Report 2).

Lights! Camera! Tech Support!

The Tech support team will be providing the lights, sound, and cameras again this year, pretty much like last year. This means the same great TV pictures throughout the Radisson of Opening Ceremonies, the Masquerade, and other Minicon events. It also means Tech support for many of the panels you will be attending. It means great programming on Network 73, Minicon's own TV channel. It also means a new and improved text channel for your video program guide, with party announcements and emergency notices (as necessary). We need a lot of wonderful tech-type fans to help out. Could this be you? We would like help in pre-Con taping and editing of commercials and programs for Minicon. We also need some fine folk to help operate Network 73 during the convention. Plus, the "Network Execs" are seeking good (or at least interesting) shows to help fill 34 glorious hours of Minicon Television. Send us your stuff!

Remember, "If you don't like what's on TV, make it your own!"

Operations: Not Just a Job, It's an Adventure

In Operations, we're looking for the Brave and Crazy: Fans Brave enough to volunteer, and Crazy enough to enjoy working with other people for the marvelous thing that is Minicon.

Operations is responsible for providing the following: a communications network to facilitate the traffic of critical information between Convention Committee Departments, information services for disbursing necessary information to the Convention Attendees, and coordination of emergency and security resources for the Convention.

As Minicon's attendance increases, implementing Operations responsibilities requires greater coordination of resources. The one resource that is crucial to Operations success is Volunteers. Please consider volunteering!

Volunteers Needed

Enjoy moving around the convention, doing something useful and want to learn what's going on in Operations? Excellent starting position for the inexperienced, or for those who want to do a little and help a lot.

Like to feel needed, and be in two places at one time? Responsible persons to hold the keys of power, and use them for those who ask. Keys provided. Good for those who want to know their way around the Radisson.

Info Officer
Like to tell people where to go, or how to find something? Able to wow people with your vast knowledge of Minicon, the Radisson, the Local Area? Don't know but like the idea anyway? We need you. Excellent opportunity to learn on the job.

Enjoy roaming the convention and having people look to you for help and information? Seeking primarily experienced persons with knowledge of Minicon and the Radisson layout. Willing to train inexperienced people who desire to help others and have a friendly attitude. Training will be provided and must be attended.

Get a rush being in the eye of an electronic storm? Doing several useful things at once? Need multitasking individuals to handle critical communications. Familiarity with radios, telephones and other electronic gadgets useful. Training will be provided.

Comm officer
Want to be in the know? Sit in the nerve center of Operations handling critical information for Operations and the convention! PC literate a must. Training will be provided, but always seeking experienced people.

Operations is working to improve and expand the training we provide our volunteers. Therefore we need volunteers willing to commit to Operations, in some cases prior to the convention.

Mail contact should be through the Minicon PO Box. If you need immediate contact with Operations, contact either Loren Botner at (612) 869-9388 or via email at, or Linda Paul at (612) 777-6351.

Suite Ghods

The Suite Ghods exist in order to see that you get what you want (or a reasonable facsimile thereofx), if you need more than a basic hotel room. It is especially important to work through the Suite Ghods if you want to host an open party.

Suite Ghods control the reservations for all the parlors, suites, poolside cabana rooms, and limited mobility accessible rooms in the Radisson. We assign them using the following priorities:

  1. Minicon's guest and departmental needs
  2. Limited mobility accessible room needs
  3. Open Parties or other events (Worldcon Bids and other parties with clear connections to science fiction and/or fandom get special attention)
  4. Room blocks (for clubs, organizations, etc.)
  5. General Public
Most requests fall into priority 5, so give us as much information as you think we'll need to prioritize your request.

To communicate effectively with us, follow these three easy steps:

  1. Reserve a room at the Radisson -- if you haven't done this by now, you are probably out of luck, but persevere. Get a reservation number.
  2. Fill out a Room Request Form (in this PR -- roll it up until the form appears above this panel) and mail it to us. NOTE: you still need to fill out this form even if you filled out a reservation request at Minicon 30!
  3. Wait for a letter from the Suite Ghods. We'll send a letter whether or not you get what you wanted.
You MUST send requests in writing. Send them to: Minicon 31 Hotel Department, PO Box 58-3184, Minneapolis MN 55458-3184.

Electronic Age Information

If you want, you can also contact us at: We'll be making the attempt to update information regularly to the Usenet newsgroups rec.arts.sf.written and alt.fandom.cons, but questions are best sent via email to

Parties & Con Suite

News Services/Bloomington, MN -- Sources inside Minicon have indicated that parties will occur at the convention. Rumors to the contrary were quickly dismissed by the convention spokesperson. "The ConSuite will have a variety of beverages and other goodies for convention goers' enjoyment. We will endeavor to relay more information to fandom as the opportunity arises."

Elvis Sightings Confirmed

After his 36th "Alien Abduction" (an espresso drink served at the DarkStar Cafe), one patron swore on a stack of Robert Heinlein novels that he had met Elvis in a restroom on the 22nd Floor during the last Minicon. "He was wearing white and sang 'Love Me Tender.' He also asked for a jelly donut." If you have had this type of experience, or if you have not and might like to, please join us at the DarkStar Cafe. DarkStar is a smoke-free environment where you can enjoy all the music, coffee and espresso your body will absorb. We're heading back downstairs, poolside. We figured the trip south would bring us closer to Graceland, home of DarkStar's patron saint. The King would want it that way.

To get the coffee and music brewing, come help with set-up on Thursday and Friday morning of the convention or teardown on Sunday afternoon; we need espresso jerks to create fine beverages for all and beanies to provide backup in the coffee brewing trenches. Musicians are also needed to entertain the throngs. Please contact Jody Wurl at 458 Warwick Street, St. Paul MN 55105, or at (612) 690-9699.

Minneapolis in '73: Not Your Ordinary Worldcon Bid

We're fresh out of 25-year-old hotel brochures and copies of the old convention center layout. We pay you to become a supporting member. (OK, we don't pay you much: the 1973 penny you get with your membership card isn't worth as much now as it was then.) And time travel isn't yet within our grasp.

So what's the Minneapolis in '73 suite at Minicon all about? It's been said that, "Minicon is where we go to see thousands of our closest, most intimate friends, some of whom we haven't met yet." At Minneapolis in '73 you can connect with a few of them. It's an intimate hospitality area, smaller than the consuite, tucked away somewhere in the hotel.

Hear about fannish legends or have a hand in creating some. Ninja Easter Vermin. Oobleck. General silliness. At Minneapolis in '73, something unusual is usually happening as suite hosts change every 2 to 4 hours. Some fans promote a specific theme while hosting; others don't. But, it's always a Minneapolis in '73 party, and you're welcome to stop by. If you've got an idea for a Minneapolis in '73-style event you'd like to host in the suite at Minicon 31, please contact zeppelin co-captains Karen Johnson and Geri Sullivan via the Minicon PO Box by January 31, 1996.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

We've been too successful preparing for Minicon 31; the Radisson South Hotel is FULL. Full, full, full. Really, We Mean It. The Radisson will begin mailing out confirmations shortly to those people who either made a reservation request at last year's Minicon or shortly thereafter. [Web note: as of 5-Oct-95 confirmations have been out at least a month. If you don't have yours yet, panic now.] If you have not already made a reservation at the Radisson, we encourage you to consider staying at the Hotel Sofitel.

Radisson South

The latest change to the Radisson is that they have completely remodeled the poolside area. The lighting has been changed. They've added carpeting, a fence around the entire perimeter, and a wall separating the pool and jacuzzi from the rest of the Garden Court. Toss in planters and greenery, and the entire area is very different. We're still thinking about how to best utilize the new space.

And, to repeat from last year, there are NO QUIET FLOORS in the Radisson. Minicon's policy with regard to noise complaints in the Radisson is to move the complainer (if possible) and not the noise. If you really need quiet, please consider staying at one of the other convention hotels. This policy, however, does not mean that there is no limit to the amount of noise you can make if you are staying in the Radisson.

Hotel Sofitel

The Sofitel is right across the street from the Radisson and is an even nicer place -- a four star hotel. It is also a quiet hotel. Once again, the rates are higher, but the amenities offered are so much nicer than the Radisson that you'll probably want to come back year after year. A sound undisturbed sleep can do that.

The rooms at the Sofitel have two phone lines and a modem port, as well as voice mail. (As of this year, so does the Radisson, I am given to understand.) The Sunday Brunch is wonderful, as are the three restaurants at the Sofitel.

Other Hotels

We are currently negotiating with the third and fourth hotels; when we have more news, we'll be posting it in all the appropriate places. Check Progress Report 2 for more information.


Please mention Minicon when making or confirming your reservation.

Radisson Hotel South, 7800 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis MN 55439-3145 Phone (612) 835-7800; Fax (612) 893-8419

Single, double, triple, quad. . . $61.00/night
1BR cabana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TBA
2BR cabana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TBA
1BR parlor suite. . . . . . . . . . . TBA
2BR parlor suite. . . . . . . . . . . TBA
An additional $20 phone and room charge deposit will be required if you do not reserve your room with a credit card.

The Hotel Sofitel, 5601 West 78th Street, Minneapolis MN 55439 Phone (612) 835-1900; Fax (612) 835-2696

Single, double . . . $69.00/night
Triple, quad. . . . . $79.00/night
If you want a suite in the Sofitel (for lodging, not for parties!), please get a reservation at that hotel and then contact Victor Raymond through the Minicon PO Box to get the convention room rate.

That Which Proves We Are Much More Than Just a Great Party

Come talk of computers, books, movies, music, games, or lifestyles. We seek individuals and ideas with which to expand our minds, explore our universes, or perhaps just get silly. Discuss choices, sciences, fantasies, fiction and freedoms. Attend readings, talk about arts topics, childish things and so much more.

If you have ideas for programming, or would like to be in on some, please contact Michelle Clark before January 1, 1996 either through the Minicon PO Box or the Hotline. If your ideas have special technical requirements, please try to get this information in by November 15, 1995. Thank you!

Minicon Un-Masqued?

Due to efforts by many Minicon volunteers and those who just like to play dress-up, the Masquerade is on the agenda again this year. The same high quality entertainment provided by the efforts of our costuming fans, stage production crew and masquerade volunteers, many of whom are returning from last year's glorious success, will be back for a repeat performance. This year we will also be providing tapes of last year's masquerade for sale. Heading the Masquerade crew this year is Cat Pepmiller, experienced costumer and stage production manager. For more information on the Masquerade, please write to the Department in care of the Minicon PO box.

Games People Play

Gaming: A place to play games of any legal type, including role-playing, wargaming, tradeable card games and pickup sticks.

Space will be provided again at Minicon 31 for gamers to unite, play, and pass the time. Plans this year include greater control of the gaming space, so that a variety of games can continue to be played throughout the convention. Volunteers are needed to assist with even distribution of gaming types to tables, maintain decorum and general cleanliness and to monitor usage and return of supplied gaming materials.

Questions regarding gaming at Minicon 31, or proposals for programmed gaming events, can be directed to Mike Heinsohn at 722 361/2 Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418, or at (612)789-8698 after 2 pm on weekdays.

Minicon Cancellation (U.S. Post Office, that is...)

As at Minicon 30, we intend to arrange a U.S. Post Office branch and special cancellation for Minicon 31. If you missed having your mail sent from Minicon last year, or if you did and enjoyed it, stop by and post your snailmail from our Mini city!

Art Show

Information regarding the Minicon 31 Art Show will be mailed out shortly to all those currently on the Art Show mailing list. If you are not currently on this mailing list or want other information, please write to the Art Show at the Minicon PO Box.

Dealers' Room

Inquiries for information and applications for the Dealers' Room can be directed via postcard to:

Minicon 31 Dealers' Room c/o Kelly O'Donoghue, 4156 27th Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55406

How to Contact Minicon 31

By Mail

Minicon 31, PO Box 8297, Lake Street Station, Minneapolis MN 55408, USA

By Phone

You may leave a message on the Minicon hotline, (612) 333-7533. This hotline does not include announcements of news and changes. When you call, please specify the department to send your message to, and allow a lot of time for us to get back to you!

By Telecommunications

You are looking at Minicon's Internet web page (at Late-breaking news appears here first!

If you wish to send email, either (a) see individual department reports in this PR, or (b) send to the general email address:, or (c) see elsewhere in this web site for specialized addresses for Minicon departments.

David Dyer-Bennet <>
[Minn-StF] [Minicon 31] [an error occurred while processing this directive] Last modified Tuesday, 18-Jul-2006 20:02:55 PDT.
This page has been accessed times.