Minicon 20

Minicon 20 was held 5–7 April 1985 at the Radisson Hotel South (Bloomington). Guests of honor were James P. Hogan (pro), The Permanent Floating Riot Club (fan group), The White Women (musicians: Bob Berlien, Kathy Routliffe, Sandy Andina & Joe Jones), and Stu Shiffman (artist). Jerry Stearns and Kara Dalkey were toastmasters. The executive committee was Caryl Dixon, Joel Halpern, Scott Imes, Mark Richards, and Martin Schafer.

Somtow Sucharitkul was going to pay $500 to be the Sucker GoH. He was billed as the Sucker-It-Kul GoH. But then he couldn't make it.


We have a neatly handwritten sheet which gives:

We also have a ledger of memberships by date, which shows that of the 41 child memberships, 22 are pre-reg and 18 at-the-door (the last one isn't accounted for). The ledger also shows 865 full pre-regs, which is close to 855. And I get 86 supports, which is close to 88. It looks like three converted well ahead of the con. Finally, I get 361 full at-the-doors, which is not entirely unlike 344.

The first sheet summarizes this to 1378 attending (i.e. warm bodies), 1434 total. The list sums to 1372, so that's confusing. You could try assuming that the no-shows are additional to the main numbers in the list, except for supporting members, which adds to exactly 1434, but is in conflict with my sums of the ledger, which come to 1352. With comps added, the ledger gives 1396. That's a difference of only 38, which isn't too distressing, I suppose.

Now, we also have a traceable pre-reg number: 1072. This comes from printed report (on fan-fold green bar) found in the archives in 2017. It is an exact count, or nearly so, of the pre-reg as of 3/30/1985. From the ledger, we can see that after that, we took 215 more adult pre-reg, 37 more supports, and 9 more child pre-reg. But this seems to add up to too much, so maybe the pre-reg list was updated before the financials were. Also not adding up is how the ledger gives 865+86+22 = 973, and if all the comps were pre-reg, 1015, which is 57 short of 1072. We could perhaps go through the full list to understand the discrepancy… But clearly if registration knew about 1072 people, at least that many were pre-reged. If the 1072 entries from the full pre-reg list is added to the list's 344 [adult] at-the-door and the ledger's 18 child at-the-door, we get exactly 1434. So… that's a way to make it all fit.

Now between at least the Minicon 38 program book and 2018, our history table said that the membership of Minicon 20 was 1525, but we don't know where that number came from. Given the above, the archivist's judgement is that 1434 is a more reliable number, so let it be known that Minicon 20 had 1434 total members.

Program Book

small Minicon 20 program book cover

Here is it is in PDF (9 MB), or the same, but lower quality and a smaller download (1.7 MB).

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Most of the Minicon 20 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 text by Kara Dalkey in the The Minicon 20 Program Book are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Laramie Sasseville did the artwork for one of the t-shirts. Here it is, front and back, respectively:

Thumbnail of art for front of Minicon 20 t-shirt: 'Why Don't You and I...' Thumbnail of art for back of Minicon 20 t-shirt: 'Get Normal for a Change'

And here are photos of the shirts themselves, front and back, respectively:

Thumbnail of photo of front of Minicon 20 t-shirt: 'Why Don't You and I...' Thumbnail of photo of back of Minicon 20 t-shirt: 'Get Normal for a Change'

And there was another shirt, artist unknown at the moment:

Thumbnail of photo of front of the other Minicon 20 t-shirt Thumbnail of photo of back of the other Minicon 20 t-shirt: definition of normal


small Minicon 20 flyerA one-sided flyer.