TusCon History Index Page | TusCon List of Cons | TusCon Program Books| TusCon Pics | TusCon Pics 2

Newly updated August 18, 2012

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Hair©1997 Deb Dedon

TusCon's Illustrated History Pages:

The Detailed List of Cons

NOTE: It's possible that you arrived at this site via an outdated link. If that is the case. please check the URL above, or at the very bottom of this page (address, i.e. http://www.tusconfan.com/TusConHistory.htm) and if they don't match, you could be in someone else's frame. Please update your link to this site, assuming you wish to do so, of course... by clicking here:

The lengthy list of TusCons follows, but for those who may be neofen, the abbreviations and other fannish words used, are:
   con = convention
   concom = convention committee
   fandom = those who enjoy one or more of the various aspects of science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror and participate in clubs, cons, both, or whatever
   fen (plural of fan) = a group of fans
   neofan = someone new to fandom
   GoH = Guest of Honor (author or other fannish person being honored above all others)
   FGoH = Fan Guest of Honor
   TM = Toastmaster
   "Arglefark," or some other possibly unknown fannish term of which one has little, if any, knowledge. If you run across any of these terms of oddness - or others with which you have no acquaintance, please consult Dr. Gafia's Fan Terms or Weird Words for translations.

For those of you who would wish to check out what the TusCon Program Books and badges look like, the link to that page is here. Amazingly, I've been able to gather together all of the badges, as well as all of the available program books (to my knowledge). For those who would like to see pictures from TusCons past, click on the camera gif after the TusCon number [Note: So far, there are only pictures from TusCons: #2, #4, #7 - #9, #23, #27 - #32, and #34 through #37.] Or, you might perfer to go directly to the pictures themselves without all those tedious details (a.k.a., all the hard work) below. In that case, just click here, and voila, the magic of the World Wide Web will take you there. Of course, you'll miss those juicy details and gossip with which this page is replete, but hey, there's no accounting for taste. In addition, some of the pictures on the TusCon Photo page may also be found on the FANAC website.

newClicking on the camera GIF image next to a TusCon will take you to the pictures for that TusCon.new Wow! The magic of images comes to life.

TusCon I -- October 25-27, 1974 1
   (no guests)
   Programming: movies and parties
   What we did for an art show was to bring in some artwork we had purchased at other cons, a pitiful attempt, at best
   Committee: Jim Corrick & Carol De Priest
   Membership cost: $2.00
   Total number of memberships: 65
   Location: Tucson Inn

TusCon II -- April 4-6, 1975 1 Pictures
   GoH: Evangeline Walton (1907-1996) NOTE: Ms. Walton continued to attend many TusCons through the 1980s.
   Chairs: Jim Corrick & Carol De Priest
   At-the-door membership: $3.50
   Total number of memberships: 111 (How's that for almost a 100% im-provement over TusCon I?)
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon III -- Nov 7-10, 1975 2
   GoH: Gordon Eklund
   Special guests: Bobbie Armbruster & Ron Bounds
   Special programming: Super-membership dinner by chef extraordinaire Bill Patterson    New: First Program Book
   New: The first TusCon auction, with Ron Bounds as an extremely able auctioneer
   One-time only event: A four-day TusCon!
   Chairs: Jim Corrick & Carol De Priest
   At-the-door membership: $5.00
   Location: Tucson Inn

TusCon IV -- Nov 5-7, 1976 3 Pictures
   GoH: Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985)
   FGoH & MC: Don C. Thompson (1927-1990)
   Special guests: Thea Alexander, Dr. Bradford Smith, Carolyn Henson of the L5 Society, advocating "The Ecological Colonization of Space"
   Other attendees of note: Samuel Edward Konkin, III (1947-2004), David J. Schow, Nancy Mairs, Mike Cassutt, Patrick Hayden (a.k.a. Nielsen Hayden), Theresa Nielsen (a.k.a. Neilsen Hayden, see Patrick), Willie Siros, Leif & Gloria Andersson
   Special programming: Super-membership dinners (yes, actually, TWO!) by Bill Patterson, again. We had to fill up all that empty programming which had been left unfilled by those who had forgotten to show up.
   Chairs: Jim Corrick & Carol De Priest
   At-the-door membership: $5.00 (just as at TusCon III, the super-memberships, with dinner, had already sold out at $15.00)
   Total number of memberships: 120
   Location: Sands Motel

TusCon V -- "NonCon" (there was no TusCon V)

[A note of explanation is called for here: There was no TusCon held in 1977 or 1978 due to the intrusion of the 36th World Science Fiction Convention, Iguanacon, held in Phoenix over Labor Day Weekend, 1978. Both Jim and I had already committed to working on "Iggy" back in the Winter of 1975-76 -- he as head of the Hugo Awards department and programming, and I as head of memberships and registration. Assuming, that is, that Phoenix actually somehow won the bid against the opposition, Los Angeles. You see, oddly enough, Los Angeles was running unopposed for the privelege of holding the World Science Fiction Convention in 1978, and we didn't think it right that LA should win without at least some token resistance (every other American city had for many years had some other city running against it, why not LA?) - so we gave them an opponent - of sorts - to run against. Phoenix fans, and a bit of Tucson (Jim and myself), got our bid together and, at the last minute, joined the fray. LA sniggered. What was that desert outpost with no experience in running cons of any size doing running against LA, which had, after all, just hosted a WorldCon in 1972 with a membership of 2000? Wow, I guess. But we were expecting a lot more. Why? Because almost half that many people had fought out the bid (i.e. voted) in 1976, and Phoenix, to everyone's surprise, won. So after two years of blood, sweat and tears Phoenix had itself a WorldCon, where over 5,000 people showed up, but no one thought to keep a record showing the exact attendance rather than total memberships, which came to 5,856. After that experience we gafiated. See Weird Words or Dr. Gafia's Fan Terms for the definition of "to gafiate". Sharon Maples, before chairing the two following TusCons (1979 & 1980), was to get her feet wet as treasurer of Iggy(!) and thus hadn't burned out quite yet. But we do have Sharon to thank for the above membership numbers. As a "footnote," Jim reminded me that giving the non-existing 'TusCon V' a number was a running joke for some years thereafter - anyone reading this who is a fan totally understands. (grin) ]

TusCon VI -- Nov 16-18, 1979
   GoH: Ed Bryant & Suzy McKee Charnas
   ProFane GoH & TM: Bob Vardeman
   Chair: Sharon Maples
   At-the-door membership: $10.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon VII -- Nov 7-9, 1980 Pictures
   GoH: George R.R. Martin
   FGoH: Bobbie Armbruster & Ron Bounds
   TM: Jim Corrick NOTE: Jim's only TusCon "no-show" was TusCon 19 in 1992.
   New programming: Masquerade
   At-the-door membership: $10.00
   Special award: The Rubber Dinosaur Award 4
   Chair: Sharon Maples
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon VIII -- Nov 13-15, 1981 Pictures
   GoH: Elizabeth A. Lynn
   FGoH: Curt Stubbs & Mahala Steiner NOTE: Curt Stubbs has attended most TusCons from Number One up to the present.
   TM: Jim Corrick
   Chairs: Sue Thing, Deb Dedon, & Cristi Simila
   At-the-door membership: $12.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon IX -- Nov 12-14, 1982 Pictures
   GoH: Robert Bloch (1917-1994)
   ProFane Guest: David J. Schow 4 NOTE: Dave Schow has claimed to have attended all the TusCons from #II through #IX.
   TM: Jim Corrick
   Chair: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $15.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon X -- Nov 18-20, 1983
   GoH: Starring the Biker Doctor Karl Edward Wagner (1945-1994) and, unofficially, Barbara Mott Wagner
   FGoH: Marty Massoglia
   TM: Jim Corrick
   Other Attendees of Note: Kim Poor, Bruce Dane (1950-2008), GiGi Dane, Don Markstein (1947-2012), Samuel Edward Konkin, III (1947-2004), Jennifer Roberson, Liz Danforth
   Chair: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $15.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XI -- Nov 9-11, 1984
   GoH: John Varley
   FGoH: Bruce Farr & Kim Farr
   TM: Jim Corrick
   Other Attendees of Note: David J. Schow, Vernor Vinge, Alicia Austin, Paul Clinco, G. Harry Stine (1928-1997)
   Chair: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $20.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XII -- Nov 8-10, 1985
   GoH: Vernor Vinge
   FGoH: Bruce D. (BD) Arthurs & M.R. (Hilde) Hildebrandt NOTE: Hilde and Bruce are two more Phoenix fans who've been coming to TusCons almost from the beginning.
   TM: Jim Corrick
   Other guests: Alicia Austin and Jinx Beers, G. Harry Stine (1928-1997), Annita Harlan
   Chair: Cristi Simila
   At-the-door membership: $20.00
   Total number of memberships: 244
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XIII -- Oct 3-5, 1986
   GoH: Terry Carr (1937-1987)
   FGoH: Robert Bloch (1917-1994)
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other Attendees of Note: Alan Gutierrez, Jennifer Roberson, Somtow Sucharitkul, David J. Schow, Bruce Dane (1950-2008)
   Chairs: Cristi Simila & Sue Thing
   Total number of memberships: 286
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XIV -- Oct 2-4, 1987
   GoH: Tim Powers
   FGoH: Somtow Sucharitkul (aka S.P. Somtow)
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: G. Harry Stine, Alicia Austin, Paul Clinco, David J. Schow
   Chairs: Cristi Simila & Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $20.00
   Total number of memberships: 215
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XV -- Oct 7-9, 1988
   GoH: Stephen R. Donaldson
   FGoH: Jim & Doreen Webbert (This link works very poorly unless you use M$ Explorer) NOTE: Jim and Doreen, from Phoenix, are another two perennials at TusCons.
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Special event: Marriage of Deb Dedon & Earl Billick
   Chairs: Cristi Simila & Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $20.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XVI ("Sweet Sixteen") Oct 6-8, 1989
   GoH: Jack Williamson (1908-2006)
   FGoH: Sam Stubbs & Eric Hanson
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Chairs: Cristi Simila & Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $20.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XVII -- Nov 16-18, 1990
   GoH: G. Harry Stine (aka Lee Correy) (1928-1997) NOTE: Harry was a great TusCon fan and guest who attended many of our gatherings before his untimely death.
   Fantasy GoH: Jennifer Roberson
   FGoH: Mike Stackpole & Liz Danforth NOTE: Liz has been coming to TusCons since the early 1980s.
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guest: Forrest J. Ackerman (1916-2008)
   Chairs: Cristi Simila & Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $25.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XVIII (Fan Gathering 1) Nov 15-17, 1991
   (no guests)
   (no programming)
   At-the-door membership: $10.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XIX (Fan Gathering 2) Nov 13-15, 1992 6
   Featured: Local author Simon Hawke, since moved.
   Chair: Cristi Simila
   At-the-door membership: $10.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XX -- Nov 12-14, 1993
   GoH: Simon Hawke
   FGoH: Kate Daniel
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: John Vornholt, Mike Stackpole, Peter L. Manly (1945-2007)
   Chairs: Cristi Simila & Bruce Wiley
   At-the-door membership: $25.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXI -- Nov 11-13, 1994
   GoH: Judith Tarr
   FGoH: John Theisen
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Chair: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $25.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXII -- Nov 3-5, 1995
   GoH: Ed Bryant
   FGoH: Wolf Forrest NOTE: Uncle Wolfie has been showing up and usually working virtually all TusCons from the late 70s to the present. But unless you go to the Video Room, where he's hiding in the dark, you may never actually see him.
   TM: Simon Hawke
   Other guests: Joanna Russ, Jennifer Roberson, Judith Tarr, Dennis McKiernan
   Chair: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $25.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXIII -- Nov 15-17, 1996 Pictures
   GoH: Dennis L. McKiernan
   FGoH: Barry Bard NOTE: Barry is another faithful TusCon fan, making the drive from Phoenix with his many posters and other movie paraphernalia almost every year since the late 70s. Alas, he passed away, far too young, in 2005.
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Special Guest: Dr. "Buzz" Aldrin, the astronaut.
   New programming: Midnight Masquerade, for "adults" only, in addition to the regular masquerade
   Chairbeing: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $30.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXIV -- Nov 7-9, 1997
John Vornholt
   Fantasy GoH: Melanie Rawn
   Artist GoH: Alan Gutierrez
   FGoH: David (Gannd) Foster
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other Guests: Martha (1929-2002)7 & Hank Beck; also Hayford Peirce, Judith Tarr, Pete Manly (1945-2007), and Thomas & Annita Harlan.
   Chair Creature: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $30.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXV ("Silver Anniversary") Nov 6-8, 1998 Pictures Also celebrating the 100th Anniversary of War of the Worlds, to which the pictures attest.
   GoH: Fred Saberhagen (1930-2007)
   Artist GoH: Ellisa Mitchell
   FGoH: Julie Hamann
   TM: Mike Stackpole (who replaced Ed Bryant due to Ed's illness)
   Other guests: Bruce Arthurs, Dennis McKiernan, Larry Vela, Catherine Wells, Paul Carter, Liz Danforth
   Chair Entity: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $35.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXVI -- Oct 22-24, 1999
   GoH: Laurell K. Hamilton
   Artist GoH: Lee Seed
   FGoH: Bobbie Seaman
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: Ken St. Andre, Pete Manly, Patrick Conners
   Chair-Shifter: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $35.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXVII -- Nov 10-12, 2000 Pictures Note: All photographs of TusCon 27 are courtesy of Yvonne Navarro, © Yvonne Navarro 2000, 2003. Thanks, Yvonne.
   GoH: Catherine Wells
   Artist GoH: Liz Danforth
   FGoH: Stephanie Bannon & Graig Dyer
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: Yvonne Navarro and Weston Ochse; also Kate Daniel, Mark Siegel, Dennis McKiernan, Bruce Arthurs, John Brownlee, Thomas & Annita Harlan, and more.
   Chair-Alien: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $35.00
   Location: Executive Inn

TusCon XXVIII -- Nov 9-11, 2001 Pictures
   GoH: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
   Artist GoH: Newton Ewell
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: Suzy McKee Charnas, Elizabeth Miller, Mike Stackpole
   Chair-Thing: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXIX -- Nov 15-17, 2002 Pictures
   GoH: Timothy Zahn
   Artist GoH: Vicki Visconti Tilley
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Special musical guests: Tri-Destiny
   Other guests: Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, Paul Edwards, James Reade
   ChairCreature and Walking Target: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXX -- Nov 14-16, 2003 Pictures
   GoH: Yvonne Navarro
   Musical GoHs: Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff & Jeff Bohnhoff
   Artist GoH: Leslie D'Allesandro Hawes
   FGoH: Cristi Simila
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: Weston Ochse, Adam Niswander, who died at the premature age of 65 in the summer of 2012, John Vornholt, Kate Daniel, Janni Lee Simner
   One-time-only event: Syndicated radio talk show The Dragon Page aired a show on TusCon XXX.
   Events not held: Masquerade and Midnight Masquerade
   Expanded event: Gaming    Chair: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXXI -- Nov 5-7, 2004 Pictures
   Fantasy GoH: Barbara Hambly
   SF & Science author/artist GoH: William K. Hartmann
   FGoH: Carol De Priest (yeah, that's me!)
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: Adam Niswander, Doreen & Jim Webbert, Bruce Farr
   Boss Lady: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXXII -- Nov 18-20, 2005 Pictures
   GoH: David Brin
   Artist GoH: Theresa Mather
   Fan/Gaming GoH: Bill Winski, of Scorpion's Nest Tactical Gaming
   TM: Ed Bryant. Note: Due to a glitch in last year's Program Book, there was no bio, nor even mention of me there as the Fan Guest of Honor. The issue was more than corrected in this year's Program Book by the person who took over the job, and included a very flattering bio by Ed. My grateful thanks go to all responsible - I think you know who you are.
   Other guests: Catherine Wells, Gloria McMillan, Jeff Mariotte, and many more.
   Chair: Sue "Dinsdale Piranha" Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXXIII -- Nov 10-12, 2006 [Sadly, my photos for TusCon XXXIII were lost. If anyone has some they wouldn't mind sharing, please email me at depriest3.nospam@cox.net (without the ".nospam") and I'd love to include them, with many thanks and credit going to the photographer - of course! Thanks much.]
   Co-GoH: Emma Bull and Will Shetterly
   FGoH: Bruce and Peggy Wiley
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests: Gary W. Babb, James C. Glass, John Vornholt, Stephen Dedman, and lots more.
   Chairbeing & Designated Target: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Total number of memberships: 311
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXXIV -- Nov 09-11, 2007 Pictures The camera, and my knowledge of its use, could have been better.
   Author GoH: John Ringo
   TM: Ed Bryant - Note: Ed was unable to come due to illness. Substituting for him was the stalwart Weston Ochse.
   Other guests: Emma Bull and Will Shetterly, and others too numerous to mention.
   Eternal Chair-Shade: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Total number of memberships: 326
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXXV -- Nov 07-09, 2008 Pictures
   Pro GoH: Diana Gabaldon
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Other guests & panelists: Dr. Alan Binder, Tucson's Lunar Research Institute's founder & president, Melissa Lamberton, spokesperson for Univ. of Arizona's Phoenix lunar lander, Paul Clinco, Keith Henson, and many others.
   ChairBeing and Con Goddess: Sue Thing
   At-the-door membership: $45.00
   Total number of memberships: 292, thanks to the economy
   Location: InnSuites Hotel

TusCon XXXVI -- Nov 13-15, 2009
   Pro GoH:
Weston Ochse, Stoker Award winning author.
   FGoH: Liz Hanson
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Special Guest: Dr. Paul A. Carter
   Other guests: Ghost Hunters International's Paul Bradford, David Lee Summers, Emma Bull & Will Shetterly, Mike Stackpole, Janni Lee Simner, and many more.
   New programming: Return of the Masquerade (now as CosPlay - see pictures here!)
   She Who Must Be Obeyed: Sue Thing
   After Sept. 1st & at-the-door memberships: $45.00
   Total number of memberships: 249. Possibly the lowest since the 1970's. Appeal to all -- Help! Please come support TusCon in 2010!!
   Location: Hotel Tucson City Center, a.k.a. InnSuites St. Mary's, just like last year, but room rates are much lower!

TusCon XXXVII -- Nov 12-14, 2010
   Co-Pro GoH: Jim Butcher and Shannon K. Butcher
   Co-FGoH: Bjo & John Trimble
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Special Guest: Noel Neill, the Original Lois Lane in TV's Superman. Read "Meeting Noel Neill" on the website above.[NOTE: Due to illness, Ms. Neill could not attend.]
   Con Chair & Chief Flying Monkey Wrangler: Sue Thing
   Memberships: $35 through March 31; $40 through June 30; $45 through November 1; $50 thereafter & at-the-door.
   Total number of memberships: 425!! Our appeal helped! **Our largest attendance ever!!**
   Location: Hotel Tucson City Center (same room rates as last year - tell them you're with TusCon to get them while they're still hot!).

TusCon XXXVIII -- Nov 11-13, 2011. Pictures will soon be up.
   Pro GoH: Patricia Briggs
   Fan GoH: Dr. David A. Williams
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Guests of note:
   Con Chair & Dirigible Fleet Commodore: Sue Thing
   Memberships: $45 through November 1; $50 thereafter & at-the-door.
   Location: Hotel Tucson City Center

TusCon XXXIX -- Nov 09-11, 2012
   Pro GoH: S. M. Stirling
   Fan GoH: David Lee Summers
   TM: Ed Bryant
   Memberships: $45 through November 1; $50 thereafter & at-the-door. Children 3-12 are half the adult rate; daily rates available.
   Location: Hotel Tucson City Center
   For recent updates to TusCon's official site, please click HERE.

1. A retrospective history of the first four TusCons was written later and included in three Program Books. The first installment below was printed for TusCon X (1983). The articles are reproduced here with permission. TusCons I and II:

The Unhistory of TusCons I and II,
Being a Blatantly Biased and Unobjective Account
of Things as We Wished They Had Been
by James A. Corrick (© 1983)

     You might say we were impetuous. And it's true, since our decision to put on TusCon I had all the forethought and planning of spontaneous combustion. In late August of 1974, Carol De Priest and I said, "Let's put on a convention!" And we did - two months later on the weekend of October 25-27, 1974.
     Reckless, you say? Not really. Our aims were modest, almost as modest as our finances. We merely wished to set a place at fandom's movable feast. Did we succeed? Well, judge for yourself as you attend TusCon X.
     TusCon X. Nine years and nine actual conventions. Such an event justifies some unrestrained wallowing in history and memory - a very little history and a great deal of memory.
     But back in the fall of 1974, Carol and I had no inkling of this TusConian future. We weren't thinking much about the future at all. Instead, we leapt into the breach with all the enthusiasm and excitement reserved for the uninitiate.
     So, budgeting accordingly, we cut out all nonessentials - a guest of honor and a program. This decision brought us an additional benefit. No need for a program book (such as this one in which this fine, informed piece of scholarship is appearing). Nor did we have to worry about sensitive writers ultraprotective of even the most minute syllable.
     We also found an appropriate motel. The Tucson Inn. Its lure was undeniable. Its meeting rooms were free.
     You do get what you pay for. And the only expensive thing at the Tucson Inn was an occasional drug deal. Not that the place lacked attractions. Well, one attraction, anyway. Mounted in a permanent strafing run over the pool was a WWII fighter. [Note: For the interminably curious among you, I did some heavy-duty research regarding that aircraft (i.e. I prodded the amazing brain of Trini Ruiz): the plane was a Navy Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair, more recently most likely moved and on display at the Pima Air and Space Museum. (ed.)] Not surprisingly, the only things floating in that pool were a few mesquite leaves and a bean pod or two.
     And what did we offer the attendees for their $2.00? (You read it right, bunky, $2.00.) Well, a bathtub full of beer and soft drinks. Plenty of places to sit and talk. Two tables of books supplied by a now defunct bookstore. Movies such as Metropolis [the 100 minute version, with a special soundtrack courtesy of Phoenix fan Terry Ballard (ed.)], Curse of the Demon, Duck Soup, and Animal Farm. [And an art show consisting of a dozen pieces of art owned by Jim Corrick and Carol De Priest, none of them for sale. (ed.)] And all-night parties.
     For all this, 65 people - ten from Phoenix [including Curt Stubbs (under the name of Gumfoord C. Fhardquaht) and Tim Kyger (ed.)] - willingly forked over two bucks. Of that original 65, four have been to every successive TusCon [through 1983 (ed.)]. This survivors club - if survivors isn't too kind a word - consists of Carol De Priest, Trini Ruiz, Curt Stubbs, and of course, myself.
     How did we fare with TusCon I? Well, we made a grave mistake. We made money. That meant we had to put on another convention, since I am a firm believer that SF conventions are not meant for personal profit. Rather, I prefer to see such conventions - at least the smaller ones - as parties thrown for friends and acquaintances. And I like to think that, if TusCon has any one tradition, it is an adherence to that view.
     With TusCon II, we decided to go for it. We would have a guest of honor and a program. Not wanting to be too revolutionary - and not having made that much money - we decided to find our GoH in Tucson. That turned out to be a fortunate decision since we had a natural choice in Tucson's own Evangeline Walton.
     Further, to enlarge the committee, we recruited heavily from the then Tucson Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (TSSFA). Our most notable recruits were Trini Ruiz, who took charge of the film program that he still runs to this day, and Audie Kranz, proprietor of the House of No Return.
     This growth, however, did not inflame our egos (we were perfectly capable of doing so ourselves, thank you very much). So we still did not do anything truly rash - or expensive - such as a program book.
     With TusCon II, we moved down the street to the Executive Inn, as fine and cooperative an establishment then as now. And we - or to be more honest, I - learned how easy it was to get on radio talk shows to vamp the convention. Whether it was the allure of free publicity or my growing fondness for live microphones, I searched out such shows as far away as Phoenix.
     So on April 4, 1975, we opened our doors on TusCon II. For our new, improved convention, we charged a staggering $3.50 at the door. Whether it was the GoH and program or the extra $.50, we nearly doubled our attendance over TusCon I. We regaled our patrons with talks on Kirlian photography and quasars and with films such as Nosferatu (the original), Flash Gordon's Rocket Ship, The Haunted Palace, and shorts such as "The Lottery" and "1985". Our dealers' room bulged - aided greatly by the four tables bought by Clint Hiser and his three associates from Las Cruces, New Mexico - and stocked with books and magazines. And naturally there were parties.
     Of course, with a regularity unequalled even by Halley's Comet, we made a profit. Right? Like hell we did. Actually we overspent. But not by much. Indeed, our overrun was far less than it had cost me to attend the first LepreCon [in Phoenix, March 1975 (ed.)]. And we were having fun.
     So TusCon III was inevitable. Like winos at a blood bank.

2. TusCon III, from TusCon XI's Program Book:

An Extravagant and Highly Colored Account of
the Singular Events That Happened At
and Around TusCon III:
Being a Reminiscence of Extraordinary Veracity
by One Who Was There
(James A. Corrick) (© 1984)

     LeGuin was going to be in England for the next year. Sturgeon didn't answer. Carr couldn't make it. Leiber was only attending one convention that year, and he had already been to that one. Finally, Gordon Eklund said "TusCon? GoH? Well, why the hell not?"
     And here you thought all the convention chair had to do was pick up the phone and say, "Bradbury? Have we got an offer for you!" Not damned likely. No, not with so many other conventions - several hundred a year - all grabbing from the same small pool of writers. These writers, you must realize, do have things to do with their time other than attending conventions - things such as writing and life.
     But we didn't care about that any longer. We had our Guest of Honor for TusCon III. Our troubles were over.
     Then Sturgeon answered.
     A mere six weeks after our urgent telegram asking for a response he tells us he would be delighted to be our GoH. Dilemma. The first of many. Solution: Invite him to be TusCon IV's GoH. Perfect. Now our troubles were over.
     That is until Carol De Priest and I realized that we were going to have to hold TusCon III at the Tucson Inn. That's right, we were returning to the dismal site of TusCon I.
     Why? Well, we could claim we'd been mesmerized by too many reruns of "Lost in Space." Or that we had been stunned into temporary insanity by the sight of seemingly endless Perry Rodan books. Or merely that we must have been drunk.
     No. The simple truth was we needed a suite with a kitchen, and the Tucson Inn had one we could afford. We had been snared by the elegance of LepreCon's super-membership dinner idea and had decided to adopt it for TusCon. [LepreCon is Phoenix's answer to TusCon - founded by Tim Kyger, Curt Stubbs and Greg Brown a mere five months after the first TusCon. N.B.: I've been informed that LepreCon was already in the planning stages before Phoenix fandom had ever heard of TusCon, but I prefer my version. *grin* (ed.)]A supermember paid an extra ten dollars, for which he was entitled, along with a dozen others, to a gourmet meal - prepared by Phoenix fan and experienced chef Bill Patterson - with the Guest of Honor. This was an idea whose time came and went years ago, but not quite quickly enough for TusCons III and IV to avoid it.
     So we were stuck with the Tucson Inn, still graced by its poolside WWII fighter plane and its ex-Marine owner, whose interests in life began and ended with the Corps and the almighty dollar. He would have shamed a barracuda.
     But let us pass beyond this unpleasantness. Instead, we now move to Oakland and the 1975 WesterCon. Here we threw the first TusCon party -- a sort of living advertisement for the convention and Tucson fandom. For almost eight hours our hotel room was packed with partygoers, overflowing out into the corridor, in which, among others, several well-known fans and pros spent much of the night drunkenly singing filk songs and old union ballads. According to Curt Stubbs that party was the epitome of convention parties. And Curt should know. He and I walked to a nearby drugstore - the only store open in downtown Oakland - about one in the morning. We bought out their entire stock of beer and staggered back to the hotel to be greeted by a scandalous verse about the personal life of John L. Lewis.
     And even four months later this spirit continued at TusCon itself. And why not? We had our first program book with a cover by artist Bonnie Dalzell. We had 107 - this time not only from Phoenix but also Los Angeles and Seattle. We had panels on writing, art, Black Holes and Pulsars. We had duck and alligator jokes. We had Ron Bounds and three incredibly successful general auctions (alone they came close to paying for the con). We had more duck and alligator jokes. We had a genuine art show. We had an end, finally, of duck and alligator jokes. We had Trini's film program with Things to Come, Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, and Burn, Witch, Burn!. And, of course, we had parties.
     And we had two hundred Laser books.
     Right, two hundred, all copies of Thomas Monteleone's Seeds of Change. Laser was sending boxes of this particular book to conventions as promotion for their new line. Nor was TusCon spared.
     So there we were at the beginning of registration with almost enough copies of Seeds of Change to give two to every member. Two? Hell, we couldn't give even one to many of our members. And before the con was over two dozen people gave their copies back to us!
     But none of this could mar the convention. Nothing major went wrong. The Tucson Inn proved no worse than before, and even the super-membership dinner was successful - enough so we felt bound to try it once more at TusCon IV.
     And the Laser books? Well, Henry Hasse found a use for a hundred of them. But that's another story and another convention. TusCon IV.

3. TusCon IV, from TusCon XII's Program Book:

A Recount of TusCon IV and Other Peculiarly Insignificant Events:
A Memoir of Indifferent Honesty
by James A. Corrick (© 1985)

     November 1976. Custer had been dead a century. The Bicentennial Celebration was four months in the past. Ford was in the White House for another two months. And TusCon IV opened.
     From the beginning TusCon IV possessed a certain ominous inevitability. Our GoH, Theodore Sturgeon, was already set six months before TusCon III. And we had to do something with the leftover box of 100 Laser books - all copies of Thomas Monteleone's Seeds of Change. (For details, see the last installment of this history - you did keep the TusCon XI PB for reference, didn't you?)
     You might well ask, with a Guest of Honor such as the late Ted Sturgeon, what was there left to do but sit back in idle satisfaction until November 1976? And believe me, Carol De Priest and I were tempted to do just that.
     However, recognizing our duty, we set out to do all those things con committees traditionally do to occupy their time. We met. We drank some beer. We met some more. We drank a little more beer. We met. We drank even more beer. We met. Then the convention rolled around and we toasted it - with, you guessed it, beer.
     Somewhere in that period we threw a party at LepreCon. It was a memorable party. Around midnight of Saturday night the LepreCon committee cleared all the beer out of their ConSuite and gave it to us since, seemingly, the entire convention was at the TusCon party.
     And what were these potential TusCon IV attendees doing besides getting drunk on a great deal of beer? Making paper airplanes. What else? Of the two hundred flyers we brought with us, a hundred and fifty became paper airplanes (thus truly earning their name 'flyers') to the immense amusement and satisfaction of the party (yes, I am afraid it was as silly as it all sounds).
     Not that everything at TusCon went as smoothly as this party. Two days before the convention, the manager of the Sands Motor Hotel, where we were to hold TusCon IV, told us that, despite our contract, we could not have their one suite with a kitchen. Why not? Because he was now living in it. He saw no reason why their other suite, sans kitchen, would not suffice. However, since we'd already decided in a fit of total insanity to have another set of supermembership dinners - a gourmet meal with Sturgeon [the man, not the fish (ed.)] - we had a problem.
     Our solution was to go next door to the Sheraton Pueblo Inn and rent one of their kitchen-suites. True, to reach the ConSuite from there was a bit of a trek. Still, it was no more than a quarter of a mile away, and we were all young and healthy - well, young, anyway. And I assure you that, no matter what you may have heard, no one fell into the ditch.
     And then there was Sturgeon.
     In 1976 he was spending most of his time on the road and was often difficult to contact. Three weeks before the convention, he wrote to us saying that he had made some changes in his schedule. If we wished to find out his new arrival time and arrange for someone to pick him up at the airport, we should call him at the New York apartment of Roy Torgeson, who was then connected with Alternate World recordings and later to edit the Chrysalis anthology series.
     We called. Roy answered. Ted? No, he wasn't there; hadn't been for a couple of months. Did Roy know where he was? Somewhere between the east and the west coasts. Thanks, Roy, talk to you some other time. Maybe.
     And so it goes in the convention business.
     As it always does, the opening finally came. [And Ted Sturgeon managed to make it on time. (ed.)] Surrounded once more by the predictably bizarre and the tediously outre, TusCon's 121 attendees swarmed into the Sands and the Sheraton to hear Sturgeon and Thea Alexander talk about the SF writer and utopia; Dr. Bradford Smith, from the University of Arizona, speculate about extraterrestrial life; Carolyn Henson of the L-5 Society speak about space habitats, still a new idea to most in the SF community in 1976; and Don C. Thompson hold forth on fanzines. They saw Trini Ruiz' film program, which included such classics as Them, The Raven, and Robinson Crusoe on Mars. They spent their money in the dealers' room and at the auctions. [In spite of the major problems mentioned above, TusCon IV was a big hit and by far the most well-rounded TusCon to date. (ed.)]
     We saw some new faces, among them Willy Siros' El Paso delegation, including Gay Miller, who would soon be moving to Tucson [and who would soon marry Jim Corrick as well. (ed.)]. Also we had a new committee member, Sharon Maples, who became so carried away with enthusiasm she later chaired TusCons VI and VII.
     This was to be my last time as TusCon's head, as well as marking the beginning of a two year hiatus for TusCon. The reason? IguanaCon, the 1978 World Science Fiction Convention. A combined Phoenix-Tucson bid had won the dubious honor of hosting this monstrosity, and it was not only to occupy all my (and Carol's) spare time for the next two years, but also to end all further desire on my part to work on convention committees.
     And so this chapter in TusCon's history comes to an end. But wait, you say, Haven't you forgotten something? What about that box of one hundred Laser books?
     Oh, yes. Well, with calculated deceit, refusing to tell anyone what was in the box, we auctioned it off at one of the general auctions. Henry Hasse, a one-time SF writer and subsequent dealer, bought it.
     Whatever for, we wondered when he confessed to us he knew the box's contents. On the last morning of TusCon IV, we discovered his reason when we awoke to find a copy of Seeds of Change propped against each and every door in the Sands Motel.
     Historical footnote: Be it known that the sole responsibility for TusCon V, held on December 31, 1978, in the lower men's room of the Knoxville, Tennessee Hyatt-Regency, belongs to Trini Ruiz [who even made a button for this non-event, pictured below (ed.)]. Reportedly, it was lightly attended, but I paid appropriate homage to its memory several times during the 1983 DeepSouthCon held in the same hotel.

TusCon V Button
Button for TusCon V. new



The TusCon Rubber Dinosaur Award
--- Dave Schow (© 1981, 2003 by DJS;
from the TusCon VIII Program Book)

     It is with a heavily gleeful heart (and the benediction of absolutely no one) that we announce the presentation of the Second Annual TusCon Rubber Dinosaur Award. Rather like those unfortunate happenstances that insurance companies cacklingly call Acts of God, the presentation will take place during the Guest of Honor speeches, to provide a little relief from what the ConCommittee cacklingly calls the Banquet. This year's unsuspecting victim will get what's coming to her (or him) at that time from last year's winner and other luminaries. Winners are chosen by an elite clique of anonymous judges. Did we mention that the TusCon Rubber Dinosaur Award is given "for service above and beyond the call of masochism to the Institution of TusCon"? Would you believe it anyway? [Ed. note: The First Rubber Dinosaur Award, a surprise and therefore not announced beforehand, went to Jim Corrick in 1980. The Second RDA was gleefully accepted by Trini Ruiz in 1981, and the Third by, if I'm not mistaken, Sue Thing in 1982. I was informed by Cristi Simila at the Tucson Festival of Books, March 2010, that there were actually *four* Rubber Dinosaur Awards, and that she, Cristi, was the final awardee. There are pictures of the Award and the first two recipients on the Pics page. Alas, no picture exists, to our knowledge, of the third awardee with her award. *sniff* And I have been told by Cristi that she is currently searching for hers - either a picture or the award itself will do!!]

5. David Schow actually started coming to TusCons back in the Dark Ages of 1974 (number II). Although his bio may not mention it, he lived in Tucson prior to seeking the bright lights of Hollywood in the 1980s. Jim says that David attended all the TusCons from 1975 through 1987, and for several of them he contributed articles and artwork for program books, and designed several badges. [However, an e-mail from David himself corrects those dates: he was at all the TusCons from 1974 through 1988 (TusCon XV). (ed.)] Since during all those TusCons he'd mysteriously avoided having his picture taken, he offered this self-portrait, taken in the environs of Denvention II (1981) in the company of Deb Dedon. The spy camera and tripod used (per Dave) add the appropriate "sinister" atmosphere.

David J. Schow & Deb DedonPicture of David J. Schow & Deb Dedon.(© 1981, 2003 by DJS)


6. The only TusCon missed by the esteemed Dr. James A. Corrick, III.

7. Martha Beck's obit from Locus, © May 2002, by permission:    Midwest fan MARTHA E. BECK, 72, died of respiratory failure March 13, 2002, in Payson, Arizona. Born Martha Koutromanos, October 1, 1929, in Padukah, Kentucky, she and husband Henry Cabot Beck, Sr., whom she married in 1949, were fixtures of Midwest fandom from the 1950s and stalwarts of the Chicago fan group. Martha was Fan GoH at several conventions, a member of N3F and first fandom, and a committee member for ChiCon III. In 1992 she and Henry retired to Payson (near Phoenix, where they first met after World War II). The SFWA Emergency Fund, the ASFA Emergency Fund, and the First Fandom Emergency Fund would all be worthy of contributions in her memory. - Earl Kemp/Henry Cabot Beck, Jr. Son of Footnote 7: In the October 2002 issue of Locus is the news that Martha was awarded the Posthumous First Fandom Hall of Fame Award at the Hugo Awards Ceremony September 1, 2002, at ConJose, the 60th World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, CA. The award was accepted for Martha's family by Pat and Roger Sims. Grandson of footnote 7: Martha's husband Hank, a BNF in his own right, died within a few years of Martha, leaving a son Hank, Jr., and a daughter, Irene Beck Komp.

Martha Beck
Martha Beck relaxing at her home in Payson, 1996. Photo taken by Carol De Priest, © 1996, 2008.


Finally, a few thoughts of my own. Lest the reader think I'm trying to "toot my own horn," let there be no misunderstanding. Am I proud of my part in the start of what has become a real tradition? You bet. Did I think it would last this long? Actually, it never occurred to me to think that far down the road, but if I'd been asked in 1976 if TusCon would still be alive and kicking in 2002 I think I would have laughed with incredulity. And TusCon would have died long ago without the work and dedication of many in Tucson and elsewhere - some of whom who have been mentioned above, and many who have not. There are several times TusCon almost kicked the bucket. The first, obviously, was after TusCon IV in 1976. It's not that I didn't want to have anything to do with subsequent TusCons, indeed, for several more years, starting in 1979, I worked with memberships and registration, but the "zeal", if you will, had gone. The second time TusCon almost died, that I'm aware of, was after TusCon XVII in 1990 when the Chairs from 1981 until 1990, Sue Thing and/or Cristi Simila, had their own versions of burnout. What was amazing was that even then they couldn't just drop the ball. Instead, they, and others, put together two successive "fan gatherings" for the diehards, with a minimum of programming and other headaches, and a maximum of relaxing with friends. And after that they and the rest of the crew came back with another ten full-fledged conventions. I'm sure there are times of which I'm unaware when Sue would storm back and forth saying, "Never again!" Or Cristi shake her head and mutter, "Oh, let it die." But somehow TusCon has endured and, indeed, thrived, thanks in large part to the stubbornness dedication of Sue, Cristi, Daniel Arthur, Brian & Frances Gross, Deb & Earl, Gannd, Wolf, Bruce & Peggy Wiley, and many others I could mention, but then those I'd forgotten to mention might take it amiss. Everyone who has ever worked on the TusCon ConCommittee, and others who were just there, deserve a high five. I am humbled by you guys. Thanks for carrying on. Aw shucks - now I'm gonna cry.

For further information on the current TusCon, please go to the TusCon Home Page, or e-mail the TusCon Committee at basfa@earthlink.net.
If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments concerning this web page, please e-mail me (without the “nospam”). And also feel free to check out my other website at Honest Intellectual Inquiry.


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Latest update August 18, 2012
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Many thanks to Deb Dedon for permission to use her drawing as my logo at the top of this page; © 1997 Deb Dedon.