Monday 30th August

TED WHITE (in FOCAL POINT):

The big question of the con was the consite bidding, and Dave Kyle had been handing out "Fair Play For Syracuse" pins to all who'd accept them, while Cleveland-Tricon threw a lavish party and handed out something like fifty cowboy hats with a campaign slogan attached. I tried one on; it was too big.

General consensus was that it would be only fair to let Syracuse bid, but that Tricon should get the con. When I arrived in the hall 10.00 am Monday morning for the business session, there were about seven people there. Ella Parker spent over half an hour looking for her purse, a move I considered a clever delaying tactic; it turned out she really had misplaced it. Finally, almost an hour later, when about fifty people had shown up, we started. Ella conducted the session as informally as she could, and I joined Ben Jason and Dick Eney on one side of the stage, while Ron Ellik and Dave Kyle flanked Ella on the opposite side.


Ted White, Ben Jason, Dick Eney, a Tricon cowboy hat, Ella Parker, unknown (pm)

(The rules of the business meeting can be found here.)

The first order of business was to be the vote on whether to allow Syracuse to bid. Dave Kyle rose and delivered himself of a passioned plea for fair play. He made one very valid point: a vote to allow Syracuse bid would not be a vote for Syracuse as a consite, but if Syracuse were not allowed to bid, Cleveland would be automatically awarded the bid. However, Dave continued along the lines of "why won't Cleveland allow us to be heard?" delivered in a plaintive voice.

RON BENNETT:

Dave Kyle, the principal speaker on behalf of the Syracuse bid for the 1966 Worldcon, asked the audience to give Syracuse its chance. Was the TriCon (the United three mid-west cities) afraid of competition? he asked. He asked for fair play and a ballot returned on fair competition and not on default. This proposal, for Syracuse to be able to put in a bid, had to be made under the strict terms of the Convention siting's Rotation Plan which otherwise would automatically award the 1966 siting to Tricon, Syracuse bidding, as it were, out of turn.


Dave Kyle, Gary Kleupfel (ns)

TED WHITE (in FOCAL POINT):

Ben Jason and I had discussed the general feelings of the con membership, and we'd agreed that no good could come of opposing the Syracuse entry into the final voting sweepstakes. So Ben rose, and said, "Dave, I have a surprise for you. We have no objection to Syracuse bidding." He sat down to a stunned silence and then applause.

We then moved to the main election. Tricon's name was drawn from a hat, so we presented our side first. Ben had told me beforehand, "I'm no speaker, and I've observed that in the past Dave has talked for ten, twenty minutes and lost his audience. I'm going to be brief." He was. Dick Eney seconded him in verse, and I gave the wrapup second by suggesting that if Dave is in favour of competition that Tricon be given the con this year, allowing Dave to bid for Syracuse again next year in competition with New York, Baltimore, and Boston.

Kyle then gave an excellent, detailed presentation which was just this side of too long (I'm really not impressed by Letters From The Mayor), and Ron Ellik seconded him briefly. The vote followed. Ella called for a show of hands, and Dave requested secret ballot ("That's the way we've always done it."). When the ballots were in, it was Syracuse 49, Tricon 60, and a few odd protest votes (Virgin Islands 1 vote, Vienna 1 vote, No Vote 1 vote). Later, when I talked with Tricon supporters and friends, they'd said that Dave's presentation was much more convincing than Ben's, and that this probably accounted for Syracuse's strong showing.


George Scithers, Peter Weston (ts)

RON BENNETT:

The Meeting was then handed over to Parliamentarian George Scithers who, for some two hours, chaired the discussion on suggestions to be made to the Hugo Awards Committee.

Dave Kyle spoke on the First Fandom organisation and paid tribute to founder member Don Ford, who died earlier this year.

"The Man on a White Horse" was the title of the Monday afternoon panel which was moderated by Charles E. Smith and which featured Rolf Gindorf, John W. Campbell Jr., Mike Moorcock, Joe Patrizio and John Brunner.

(This panel, the final programme item of the convention, is one of those for which an online audio recording can be found here. The recording ends abruptly around the 1.20 mark, from which point a recording of the session mentioned above devoted to suggestions to be made to the Hugo Awards Committee can be heard.)

MIKE MOORCOCK:

One of the few moments from that convention was that John W. Campbell made me cry...


Michael Moorcock (ns)

I was on a panel with him. The previous night we'd drunkenly done a spoof version of the event, with me taking the role of Campbell and making various fascistic utterances. When I actually got on the panel I was horribly hungover -- and my supposedly exaggerated spoof of Campbell turned out to be not even close to the actuality. He suggested, for instance, that black people naturally wanted to be slaves ('the worker bee, denied the chance to work, dies' -- first time I heard the bell jar theory, too) and the best thing which could happen to them (the Watts riots had just taken place in LA) was for them to be re-enslaved. I managed four words in the whole panel -- 'Science Fiction -- Jesus Christ...' (well, more than four words if you count 'boo hoo hoo') and collapsed into speechlessness. Campbell leaned forward solicitously to ask the chairman if I was feeling all right...

Campbell was used to US sf conventions and apparently had never been queried before. This was at a London convention with a sophisticated audience, not by any means just drawn from sf fandom. There were many questions from the floor and Campbell simply couldn't field them. He wound up, rather as one of the generals in Dr Strangelove, calling on God as his witness! He also talked of his family ancestors as having been Highland barbarians (and therefore wholesome stock) apparently unaware that most of his audience knew the Campbells as 'the traitor Campbells' and certainly didn't identify them as vital barbarians. An extraordinary exhibition. In one sense Campbell was the old bull and John Brunner, who was also on the panel with me, was able to keep his cool and counter every argument JWC raised. The audience did the rest. I don't think the poor old bugger enjoyed himself very much. I remember him saying something about political regimes not lasting more than a few score years and Bill Butler asking him if he didn't think of the Vatican City as a rather successful regime.

RON BENNETT:

Project Art Show provided a treat of all types of modern sf and fantasy artwork, the worst items on show being extremely good. Judges Don Wollheim, John Brunner, Ted Forsyth and Tom Schluck awarded the prizes as listed here. Below is Arthur Thomson's Best Cartoon winner "Ixprl's Acme Repairs":

Convention Snippets: Con membership was c. 650, attendance c. 350 (reported on BBC as 400) ::: Saturday's auction realized £28.17s, Sunday's £51. 17s. 1d ::: Auctioneers were Ted Forsyth, Phil Rogers, Lang Jones, Charles Smith ::: Room parties were the swingingest ever and were often sponsored by groups or given for groups, First Fandom (the Rosenblums), TAFF, St Fantony amongst them. For their party TriCon bought £60's worth of beer. Brag parties were thrown by Dick Eney and Phil Rogers. At one party I saw Joni Stopa drink a whole bottle of whisky in one draught ::: Ted White's talk began 6 minutes early ::: Actor Christopher Lee was present and how near the Rolling Stones group came to attending we shall probably never know ::: Press coverage was appalling, the Sunday Times naming Miss Fay Parker as Chairman ::: Names from Fandoms Past abounded, amongst them Doug Webster, Julian Parr, James Parkhill Rathbone, Laurence Sandfield, Chuck Harris, Tony Glynn, Tony Klein and Bill Harry ::: This issue is dedicated to the dedicated people, namely the convention committee of Ella Parker, Ethel Lindsay, Jim Groves, Peter Mabey, Keith Otter and George Scithers who were responsible for such a fabulous weekend. Many, many thanks.


Forry Ackerman, unknown, Christopher Lee (ts)

ETHEL LINDSAY:

A feature of this Worldcon was the interest engendered outside fandom which came from newspapers, the BBC, and the publishers. No less than four firms gave receptions for the authors who were present and really did our guests proud. Gollancz, Dobsons, and Mayflower all hired a room at the hotel to do this, but Penguin topped the lot by hiring the Planetarium. This affair took place on the Monday night after the con was all over. Apart from the authors and their wives, the committee was invited. Our committee had all been looking forward to this as we felt that by Monday we could relax and enjoy ourselves. It would be nice to be entertained by something for which we had not the slightest responsibility.

When we arrived at the Planetarium we discovered that Penguin had laid out tables all around the main hall with eats; and that there was a bar flowing freely. We were first met by a Dalek which rolled up to us. Ella let out a crow of delight and said,"Oh do turn round". The.Dalek began to speak and I leaned forward to hear a masculine voice say to me -"Why don't we twist again as we did last summer?". This Dalek was a huge success - there was something so funny in hearing all sorts of weird statements coming out of this fantastic contraption. It was a bit of a shock too, having been used to hearing from the Dalek (on TV) a metallic voice mainly saying "Exterminate!".


The former London Planetarium building in 2011. Falling attendances led to the closure of the Planetarium in 2006.
The building now houses various of Madame Tussauds' attractions. Photo by Rob Hansen.

After a while we were all called into the Planetarium proper, to see the first showing of an experimental sf show. We filed into our seats, the lights were dimmed, and we were off. The story was of a civilisation that was very advanced; enough so that they could discover their sun was about to nova. So a spaceship was built - a huge one - and in this as many of the race as possible went with their animals and enough to keep them going for generations till they could find another world to start again. We roamed over galaxies but never n sign of any planet that could be used, a planet with exactly the right atmosphere upon which this race could live. At last, after many galaxies they came to one. The speaker described it (and his audience was mentally tallying off the planets) how this one was no good, how they proceeded to the next and it was hopeless too until - are you with me? - they reached the planet which was exactly as their home planet and success had crowned their flight, Only --- it was not the third planet from the sun!

The commentator went on to tell us that it wasn't really a success because by this time the race was dying out; only the last survivers could make it and they would leave no descendants. Their only hope was the animals - they were still breeding. They had high hopes that one of their animals might eventually evolve into something rather like themselves. The show ended on this high note of hope and we all straggled out arguing fiercely, Had the writers made a mistake in not choosing the third planet from the sun? Impossible--not at the Planetarium! Then what was the point in avoiding such an ending? Don Wollheim came up with what I thought was the best explanation. The idea was that this show would eventually be presented to the public. Don felt that perhaps the writers had chickened out at the notion of giving the general public a story which strongly implied that we were mere descendants of the domestic animals of another race. I never did find out!

After that we amused ourselves with the many gambling machines that were scattered around the hall; and I soon ran out of pennies. The best at the game,that I could see, was Judy Blish, she certainly could win the money! I went looking for the Dalek and found, behind a pair of swing doors two females helping a man to get out of the Dalek., so I had a good look inside. It was a hollow sphere that divided in half. The lower half had a seat strung across on which you sat whilst the upper part was lowered over you. I had cherished ambitions to get inside myself, but then I discovered that the locomotion was obtained by walking! Hard work - the occupant assured me. The gliding motion which masked the fact that someone was walking inside was obtained by rollers all around, this also gave a smooth turning movement. This walking business did not deter many however; quite a few of the authors could be detected rolling around squeaking -"Exterminate!" The funniest sight was Harry Harrison who managed to be inside with an arm stuck out demanding "Whisky".

When Ella and I got back to the hotel we got the idea that it was high time that we invited somebody up to our suite. We had a very magnificent suite which, up till now, had only been seen by Ella's brother Fred. It had been a real haven to us all weekend. The only trouble was that we seemed to take turns in sleeping! On the first night I had tossed and turned all night, too excited to sleep; whilst Ella slept soundly in the neighbouring bed. The second night I slept like a log; whilst she never managed to close an eye... and so it went! This being the last night we knew we did not have to get up early and so decided to invite all that we could find. Unfortunately by that time all the folks that were in sight were the survivors from the Planetarium bash. Quite a few begged off and went to bed, but we gathered up the Harry Harrisons, the Brian Aldisses, the Poul Andersons, the Bob Silverbergs, the Terry Carrs, Judith Merril, Dick Eney and Danny Placha...the last two being the only fans we could find.


Ethel Lindsay, Dick Eney (pm)

So, at last we had time to sit down and talk to some of these people and the hours flew by. What I remember most clearly was Judith's interrogation of Poul Anderson. "What would you do if you had all the money you'd want?" she asked. Poul had asserted he'd never write again if he didn't need the money. To Judith's question he promptly replied -"Try to win the America Cup". "Right'!, said Judith.."now you've got all the money you could want and you've won the America Cup..now what would you do?". Poul thought that one over a bit longer. Translate a long saga from the Danish was his next ambition. This, he told her firmly, would take him a long, long time. Judith persevered ... he had done that, got all this money and won the America Cup ("twice" said Judith, equally firmly,) Now what would he do? "Oh" said Karen,"own up, You know you would write," "Yes"' said Poul with a sigh, "I'd write".


Judith Merril Ella Parker (pm)

Poul Anderson (pm)

It was a nice party, I retain some good memories of it. Poul, I noted had very graceful hands and he just could not talk without using them. Karen and Carol Carr were two of the most fascinating women I've met and I'd love to know them better. There is a final memory, which has me chortling. When they had all gone I was still wide awake and full of perfidy..so I took out my camera and got a magnificent shot of Ella sound asleep on the sofa with her head on Danny's shoulder.

Postscript

Quite a few visiting foreigners stayed around for a while after the convention and were entertained at various local gatherings, including this one:

TERRY CARR:

After the con, according to plan, Carol and I and Ted White went to Northern Ireland with Walt, where we stayed with him and Madeleine (who hadn't been at the con) for several days and were joined in due course by Pete Graham, who went by himself to Belfast and bicycled around a bit before he joined us at Walt and Madeleine's house in Donaghadee on the second day.

PETE GRAHAM:

One of the best parts of the convention was its sequel at the Willises' in Donaghadee. Walter and Madeleine played host to the Carrs, Ted White and me; the Shaws and the James Whites aided the Willises in admirable fashion. I think it was Carol who determined that Irish fandom has an essentially Jewish quality: I'm sure we were served at various homes at least sixteen different cakes, twelve varieties of meat pastries, and more liquor than we could handle.


'Strathclyde', the Willis home in Donaghadee (avc)

The Willis home is about a hundred yards from a seashore and faces Scotland. Warren Road runs down toward the right into town and along a waterfront which juts out to become a lighthouse. Strathclyde is a three-story high Gothic-looking mansion with a vast lawn and drive in front and a series of gardens on the side and in back. I know this very well because it served me to make one of the grandest entrances I've ever made anywhere.

The Carrs and Ted White had arrived the day before I did, and James White was visiting there when I called Walter to let him know I was not far away and was riding in. After finding Donaghadee I rode slowly along Warren Road, looking for Strathclyde. I topped a small rise and before me was the Irish Sea and the Donaghadee lighthouse, and to my right a little ahead was a great gray mansion with a number of people standing on the sward before it. Walter was a few paces ahead of the rest, and all faced me and gave me a greeting as I came down the hill and up the drive. I was so impressed, not to say nonplussed, that I just coasted graciously by them all and laid the bike against the side of the garage. I suppose it was a fine moment for Walter, too -- this is the way to introduce someone to Strathclyde, by god -- but from my end I don't think I'll make an entrance good for some time.


The view from the front garden of the Willis house (avc)

TERRY CARR:

We were all gathered on the Willis's front lawn (which Carol had dubbed The Gloating Sward because of its splendid view of the Irish Sea) when Pete rode up to us and Carol, who picks up accents quickly and subconsciously, said, 'Hi Pete!' he viewed her with jaundiced eye and said, 'Oh, come off it.'

Walt and Madeleine, the Shaws and the James Whites took us around the local sites of interest, including the hill Bob and Walt had in mind when they wrote The Enchanted Duplicator, a ruined castle or two (we have nostalgic photos of Walt and varied others among the tumbled stones), and a small forest part that was by U.S. standards, little more than a stand of trees. I remember hanging back with Ted and Peggy White while the others went on ahead; when we caught up with them we found Carol standing in the middle of a circle of the rest, all of whom looked puzzled. Knowing Carol, I said, 'Am I right in assuming that Carol has just told a joke?' They said this was so. 'Which one?' Carol told me, and I asked, 'Did she mention that the bishop was left-handed?' Immediately everybody got the joke, and there was much laughter. (Carol is great on punchlines, but sometimes forgets the details that lead up to them.)


Madeleine Willis, Wally Weber, Sadie Shaw (cc)

Pete Graham, George Charters (cc)

Much more happened in North Ireland, including a tea with the Shaws at which Sadie Shaw had us in stitches, and riding in the back of James and Peggy's car while we all sang Gilbert & Sullivan songs (Peggy did this better than the rest of us; she was then appearing in an amateur production of one of the G&S operettas), and me taking the opportunity one afternoon to sit down at Walt's typewriter, in a room overlooking the wild Irish Sea (I suddenly understood one reason Walt hadn't managed to complete many fan-pieces lately) to write the first couple of pages of a Carl Brandon satire on Ballard's The Drowned World -- I never finished this, which in view of Walt's gafiation seemed appropriate. but eventually we had to leave and return to the States: Carol and I and Ted took the train to Dublin -- Pete had already left, having other plans -- and Ian McAulay met us in Dublin and gave us a quick tour by car around the city before depositing us at Shannon Airport at which we ignored the duty-free shops and boarded a plane for New York City. On the plane, while I was sitting with Ted, I ordered a martini, which caused Ted to accuse me of selling out to the establishment since I'd gone to work at Ace Books; he ordered a beer. I spent much of the flight trying to explain to him the virtues of having money enough to partake of sophisticated drinks, but he'd have none of it. Ten years later, when Ted was editing Heavy Metal, he told me of his many perqs there, and I told him he had sold out.

But the truth, of course, is that despite times in both our lives when we had some extra money, both Ted and I have remained simple fans unsullied by big-money blandishments, twilltone-true forever. Until we get a better offer, of course.

Carol and I returned to New York and took up our regular lives almost as if nothing like TAFF had happened to us. We seldom regaled our friends with tales of Paris, London, and Ireland. The next year, 1966, brought Tom Schlück to the U.S. as TAFF representative; he stayed with me and Carol in NYC and we introduced him to Americans at the Cleveland Worldcon and fanhistory went onward as it always does. All this happened years ago, in a time few people remember and even those of us who took part in it find nearly mythic and recall it through a pint, stoutly.


SOURCE NOTES & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks are due to Robert Lichtman for the copy of NULL-F, and Ted White for permission to use his report therein. Also to Ned Brooks for copies of the Frank Dietz report from Taurasi's SCIENCE FICTION TIMES #421, (and the brief bits on the con from Bruce Pelz's RATATOSK) and to Andy Sawyer for the copy of Charlie Winstone's report. Below is a listing of those original and unedited reports and, where there are online versions available, links to these:

My thanks also to Peter Weston for sourcing most of the photos used herein and to those whose collections these originally came from.

.....Rob Hansen

NOTES:

1. For those who wish to read it, a transcript of John Brunner's speech was published first in NIEKAS #15 (December 1965) ed. Ed Meskys & Felice Rolfe, and republished in the somewhat more easily findable THE BOOK OF JOHN BRUNNER (DAW 1976).

2. When December rolled around the Hugo trophies had still not been finished, as reported in RATATOSK #24 (Dec' 1965) ed. Bruce Pelz:

THE 1965 HUGO TROPHIES have still not been sent to their winners, reports Al Halevy. Al says Ben Jason is still having trouble making the rockets, but after they are done they will be shipped to Al who will put them on the bases (already acquired) and attach the plates (which Scithers had engraved in Europe). Al says he hopes they will be received by the winners before Christmas. Al also suggests either casting the rockets in epoxy resin from a silicon rubber mold, or using a tracer lathe for production of further Hugoes.
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