Constellation '83
Con report by Evelyn C. Leeper
Copyright 1983 Evelyn C. Leeper

In answer to the question, "How was the convention?" my answer must be: Of the nine Worldcons I've been to this was the worst. Of the nine Worldcons and twelve Boskones this is still probably the worst.

What was wrong? Well, the main problem was that the Con Committee had no idea what was going on most of the time. I went to the information table at least a dozen times with questions (like "What room is such-and-such a presentation in?" or "Which version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are you showing?") and was never, repeat, never, able to get an answer. (The response to the Jekyll & Hyde question was "I don't know; how many versions are there?") There were tickets available (apparently at some out-of-the-way table) for a preview of Brainstorm, but there were no signs or even items in the newsletter. By the time the studio slide show on Brainstorm was presented, all the tickets were gone. It's normal for events to start somewhat late, but the masquerade was supposed to start at 8PM and we didn't see the first costume until 9:05PM and the first run-through lasted until after 11:30; most people didn't stay to see who won the awards.

The art show was not up to previous Worldcons. As far as the film program went, they concentrated on the Hugo nominees and a double feature of Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back, with very little else. The best film they had was Devil's Bride, an excellent and extremely rare film. 1) It was opposite the Hugos, and 2) they started it early!

The good points were the hucksters' room, which had a fair selection of books, and the science/space programming. Chuck Yeager (who flew the X-1) and Gordon Cooper (one of the original Mercury astronauts) were there to help Warner Brothers promote the film The Right Stuff (about the early space program), and they were both very interesting. (By the way, I recommend the book The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe.) There were also several other noted scientists and even a congressman to talk about the space program, etc. (We hope to get a fuller report on the science/space programming from our science correspondent.) The banquet (a crab-feast) was quite good also.

There were several presentations on upcoming films. The presentation on Dune is described elsewhere in this notice. The presentation on Brainstorm (mentioned earlier) was dull, with very slow-talking people describing in great detail the building of the models. Rick Baker, known for his ape make-up in many films, was there to talk about Greystoke, the "definitive" Tarzan movie from Warner Brothers. Gary Kurtz presented a very interesting show on his next film, Return to Oz (which will be based on Ozma of Oz), in which he showed several excerpts from some of the early (silent) Oz films. This is being done in conjunction with Walt Disney Studios. Jim Henson did a presentation a the new Muppet movie (The Muppets Take Manhattan). There was apparently a presentation on Nemo in Slumberland. (If anyone saw either the Muppets presentation or the Nemo one, could you send me a description please?) The Lucasfilm presentation on the making of Return of the Jedi was reportedly very dull, mostly film clips, etc., that had been shown many times before, and their show on the new Indiana Jones movie (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) consisted of about a half dozen slides. The Lucasfilm fan presentation was obviously designed for members of the Star Wars fan club.

Melbourne won the bid for the 1985 Worldcon (they were the only ones running!), and Austin won the bid for the NASFIC (North American Science Fiction Interim Convention) of that year. (Los Angeles has it next year.) The Hugos are listed elsewhere in this notice. One comment on the Hugos: The "Media in 1982" panel unanimously agreed that "it was obvious" that E.T. would win the dramatic presentation Hugo. So much for experts!

Evelyn C. Leeper

Evelyn C. Leeper (evelynleeper@geocities.comm)

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