The 55th World Science Fiction Convention, LoneStarCon 2, is just over a week away! It will take place in San Antonio, Texas, from August 28-September 1, 1997. The Worldcon is the annual gathering of science fiction writers, artists, publishers and readers.
LoneStarCon 2 will attract over 4,500 attendees from around the world and feature programming, an art show, dealers room, masquerade and the annual Hugo Awards.
The guests of honor for the 1997 Worldcon are authors Algis Budrys and Michael Moorcock, artist Don Maitz, fan Roy Tackett, and toastmaster, Neal Barrett, Jr. The guests will be giving speeches, signing autographs and participating on program items.
Opening Ceremonies and Meet the VIPs - Thursday, August 28, Marriott RiverCenter
While the Worldcon opens its exhibits, programming and dealers room at noon on Thursday, August 28 in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, the official Opening Ceremonies will take place at 7p.m.
in the Grand Ballroom, Marriott RiverCenter Hotel. Opening Ceremonies will kick off the convention Texas-style with a quick draw artist, a trick roper and whip specialist, and a local cowboy singer.
Immediately following the Opening Ceremonies is the gala Meet-the-VIPs party. Convention members will have the chance to meet or renew acquaintances with fans, writers and artists. A frequently-updated list of program participants is online at
Chesley Awards - Friday, August 29, Convention Center
Voted on by members of the Association of Science Fiction Artists, the Chesleys are given in recognition of excellent in the field of science fiction illustration. The Chesley Award Ceremonies will take place at 8p.m. in Centro, in the Convention Center and be hosted by renowned artists David A. Cherry and Janny Wurts.
Following the Chesley Awards, there will be an art show reception from 9p.m.-11p.m. The reception offers invited guests the chance to tour the art show with artists and art buyers.
Science Education Symposium, Led by Greg Benford and David Brin - Saturday, August 30, Convention Center
Science fiction authors Greg Benford and David Brin will conduct a symposium on using science fiction to teach science. The symposium will be held at the Convention Center and will be open to educators and librarians at no charge. The symposium runs from 9a.m. until noon.
Creator of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski to Speak - Saturday, August 30, Marriott RiverCenter
J. Michael Straczynski, a winner of the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation for his ground-breaking syndicated series Babylon 5, will give a presentation in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott RiverCenter Hotel on Saturday, August 30 at noon.
In addition to discussing the series, Straczynski will show some never-before-seen-footage from Babylon 5.
1997 Hugo Award Ceremony - Saturday, August 30, Marriott RiverCenter
The 1997 Hugo Award Ceremony, hosted by Neal Barrett, Jr., will take place on Saturday, August 30 at 8p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott RiverCenter. The Hugos are awarded each year by Worldcon members to recognize the best in science fiction.
Masquerade - Sunday, August 31, Marriott RiverCenter
LoneStarCon 2's Masquerade, hosted by Susan de Guardiola and Tom Whitmore, will take place on Sunday, August 31 at 8p.m. in the Grand Ballroom, Marriott RiverCenter. The costumes will be judged by a panel of VIPs. During the judging, singer Heather Alexander will perform.
Closing Ceremonies - Monday, September 1, Convention Center
Worldcon closes with a look back at the events of this convention and with a look ahead to next year's Worldcon in Baltimore.
Closing Ceremonies will run in the Centro beginning at 2p.m.
Programming - Convention Center
All daytime programming will take place in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center beginning Thursday, August 28 at noon and running through Monday, September 1. Hundreds of hours of programming on a huge array of topics are being planned. Some of these topics "Cyberculture," "An Agent is to a Publisher as a Knife is to the Throat," and "Nanotechnology Update." Programming will feature children's events, literary teas, autograph sessions, discussions with the authors of the current "Best Novel" Hugo nominees and various workshops for writers and artists. Special programming geared towards people who have never attended a science fiction convention before will be featured in the Fan Lounge.
Previews of some unreleased films will be shown, including Starship Troopers, Sphere, The Postman, Alien Resurection, Wes Craven's Wishmaster, Lost in Space, The Avengers, and Superman.
Benefit Auctions - Convention Center
There will be several benefit auctions at the Worldcon, all of them taking place in the Convention Center:
Brad Foster has solicited coffeepots and art about coffeepots for a unique display at LoneStarCon 2. Proceeds from the sale of the coffeepots will be used to create the Real Musgrave Art Scholarship at Texas Tech University. Musgrave will be donating money and a painting to help launch the fund. The scholarship auction will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, August 30 in Patio B.
The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) and the Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF) will be holding a joint auction on the afternoon of Saturday, August 30 in Patio A. Fan funds raise money to pay for fans to attend conventions in other parts of the world. Fanzines, autographed books, art and memorabilia will be on sale.
The SFWA Medical Fund Auction, hosted by Peter Heck, will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, August 31 in Fiesta A. The SWFA Medical Fund
helps to pay the medical expenses of science fiction writers. Items up for auction include signed books from Jean Auel and Terry Brooks, signed galleys from Nicola Griffith, Gene Wolfe, Michael Swanwick, and James Morrow, many interesting other books, and a collection of correspondence between Analog book reviewer Tom Easton and dozens of writers (including Asimov, Card, King and Wolheim).
AIDS Project Auction, hosted by David Gerrold, will take place in the morning of Sunday, August 31 in River B.
An auction to benefit Pediatric AIDS, organized by the Fractures in Rhyme Organization, will take place on the afternoon of Friday, August 29 in room 210. This auction will feature original art.
The Ursa Major Brown Bag Book auction, to benefit a local science fiction club, will run in the afternoon of Saturday, August 30 in room 205.
Bags are filled with random books, and people bid on them, not knowing if the bag contains a signed, first edition Robert Silverberg
or a copy of Seeds of Change.
Short Story Contest Winners
LoneStarCon 2 held a contest for unpublished short stories by authors who
did not have more than one professional publication. The winner is "On the Dangers of Heeding the Tarot" by Jay Lake of Austin, TX.
Jay will read his story on Friday at noon. The second place story is "Spirit Dwelling" by Lu Ann Curlee of Woodbury, TN. The contest judges were Bill Fawcett, Jody Lynn Nye, William R. Forstchen, and Brian Thomsen.
Two Fan Lounges - Convention Center and Marriott RiverCenter
LoneStarCon 2 will feature two fan lounges, a daytime one in the Convention Center, and a nighttime one in the Marriott RiverCenter.
Programming, happy hours and other small events will take place in the lounges. Stop by to learn about science fiction fandom now and its 60 year history.
Exhibits - Convention Center
A wide array of exhibits, including an exhibit of Hugo Awards, an interactive exhibit of the best science fiction Web sites, photos from conventions past and many other items will be displayed at the Convention Center beginning at noon on Thursday, August 28.
Several book publishers and the Sci Fi Channel will have booths in the exhibit area.
Information - Convention Center
Another feature of our exhibit hall is the Information Booth. The booth will have all the up-to-the-minute information about the convention, events and San Antonio. You'll be able to buy a ticket for a late-night cruise down the river, sign up for a coffee with your favorite writers, or just pick up a more-than-daily newsletter.
Dealers Room - Convention Center
The Dealers Room will have about 200 book, game, video, jewelry, and clothing dealers from all over North America. Prices range from $1.00 for the latest button to several hundred dollars for a rare book.
Art Show - Convention Center
The Art Show features hundreds of paintings, sculptures, pieces of jewelry - an abundance of fantastic art in all media!
Much of the art in the show, which will feature a retrospective of guest artist Don Maitz's work, will be available for sale.
The Art Show auction will take place at 1p.m., Sunday, August 31 in Centro.
Riverwalk Barge Tours - Nightly, 10p.m.
LoneStarCon has chartered barges for trips down the Riverwalk each night (Thursday, August 28-Sunday, August 31) from 10p.m.-11p.m. These charters depart from the Marriott Riverwalk Hotel. Buy your tickets for these charters at the LoneStarCon 2 Information booth in the Convention Center. The cost is just $2.00 per person.
Commemorative Books and T-shirts
Three books will be published for the convention: a collection of Algis Budrys' writings called Entertainment (NESFA Press), a book of Michael Moorcock's writings, Tales from the Texas Woods (Mojo Press), and The Least Horrible of Roy Tackett (Richard Brandt, editor).
LoneStarCon 2 guest artist Don Maitz has designed a commemorative T-shirt which will be for sale at the LoneStarCon 2 dealer's table.
An informal chili cookoff will take place in the Hospitality Suite, giving attendees samples of various inventive chilis on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Volunteers Needed! - Conference Room 8, Marriott RiverCenter Hotel
The Worldcon is one of the largest annual events in America to run almost exclusively on volunteer labor. Worldcons ALWAYS need more volunteers. To help run LoneStarCon 2, come to Conference Room 8 on the third floor of the Marriott RiverCenter Hotel beginning at noon on Sunday, August 24 and throughout the convention.
Registration - Convention Center
Full convention and day rates will be available when the convention opens its doors at 9a.m. on Thursday, August 28. Registration will run in the Gallery. A membership for the entire convention will cost $150. Daily rates at the door will be $30 per person for Thursday or Monday and $50 per person for Friday, Saturday or Sunday. VISA, Discover, American Express and MasterCard will be accepted in addition to checks (picture ID required) and cash.
Registration will be open for the following hours: Thu/Fri 9a.m.-9p.m., Sat/Sun 9a.m.-5 p.m., Mon 9a.m.-Noon.
Please note that while teachers and librarians may attend Saturday morning's science education symposium at no cost, they will be charged the daily membership fee if they choose to attend the rest of the convention.
The Press Office will run in room 108 of the Convention Center.
It will be open the following hours: Thu 11a.m.-6p.m., Fri-Sun 10a.m.-6p.m., Mon 10a.m.-3p.m.
There will be press representatives at all Events in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott RiverCenter Hotel to answer any questions you might have.
A press conference with Algis Budrys has been scheduled for Thursday, August 28 at 1p.m. in room 109 of the Convention Center.
During the week of the convention, the Press Office phone number, available, 10a.m. - 10p.m., is 210-601-5343.
Press credentials will be extended to professional journalists and photographers who have been assigned to cover LoneStarCon 2 for professional newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations and new media outlets. Due to the large number of free-lance writers, semi-pro writers, fan writers, photographers, and Web developers in fandom, free press Worldcon memberships cannot be extended to individuals with ties to fandom. However, individuals who write for any publication, broadcast program or Internet site who would like press releases, press kits and assistance from the Press Relations staff are welcome to use the Press office.
Copyright © 1997 by Laurie D. T. Mann
Laurie D. T. Mann is a long-time fan and conference organizer.
She is the creator of
and the current curator of
Dead People Server.