This page is part of an archive and is available for historical reference only; for information on recent and upcoming Minicons, please visit www.mnstf.org/minicon/
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 www.mnstf.org.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Timebinders worldwide web site at http://worcester.lm.com/lmann/timebinders/tbstart.html. To join the very active Timebinders Mailing List contact: email@example.com. Refer general questions to Laurie Mann (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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!
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).
Remember, "If you don't like what's on TV, make it your own!"
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!
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 email@example.com, or Linda Paul at (612) 777-6351.
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:
To communicate effectively with us, follow these three easy steps:
Electronic Age Information
If you want, you can also contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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
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.
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.
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.
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. . . . . . . . . . . TBAAn 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/nightIf 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
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!
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!
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.
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
If you wish to send email, either (a) see individual department reports in this PR, or (b) send to the general email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (c) see elsewhere in this web site for specialized addresses for Minicon departments.