59th World Science Fiction Convention

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The Millennium Philcon, the 59th World Science Fiction Convention
Tee shirt from the Millennium Philcon World Science Fiction Convention, 2001.jpg
Genre Science fiction
Venue Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia Marriott Hotel
Location(s) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Country United States
Inaugurated August 30-September 3, 2001
Filing status Non-profit
Website
2001.worldcon.org

The Millennium Philcon was the 59th World Science Fiction Convention, held from August 30 to September 3, 2001 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center & Philadelphia Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Most commentators mentioned the titanic size of the convention center. Darrell Schweitzer said of it, "Imagine a convention held in a zeppelin hangar -- designed for multiple zeppelins -- and you will begin to get the idea ... [There was] enough airspace to fly a small plane indoors."[1]

Guests of Honor[edit]

Other program participants[edit]

Attendance[edit]

Total memberships of all types were 6,288. Of those, 933 were supporting memberships and 6 were kids-in-tow. Actual on-site attendance was 4,592.

About the convention[edit]

The pocket program for the 2001 World Science Fiction Convention

Many commentators spoke of the outsize the Philadelphia Convention Center. Despite the convention being sizable, "attendees seemed to rattle around the oversize room."[2] 115 individual dealers sold goods at 258 tables in the dealers' room. Dealers reported good sales, but there was some confusion about tax laws and last-minute license charges which upset some dealers.[3]

Programming[edit]

440 people participated in 530 panel discussions, dialogues, slide shows, autograph session, and readings. The panel on "The State of Science Fiction Publishing Today" took a troubling look at the publishing industry as a whole. There was much concern about mass market paperbacks, the catastrophic reduction in the number of book distributors from about 300 to three, and the high percentage of books returned unsold. On the panel "The Science Fiction Short Story Today" it was noted that even famous short story magazines are seeing declining circulation.[4]

Guests of honor[edit]

Greg Bear talked about how common many of the tropes of science fiction have become, and how this is an encouraging sign of the mainstream acceptance of science fiction. He also spoke of his father-in-law, the late Poul Anderson.

Gardner Dozois said the science fiction field had endured many boom and bust cycles before, and pointed out that historically, science fiction of today was freed from many of the unfortunate prejudices and restraints that it has had in the past.[5]

Art show[edit]

The art show had a great variety of science fiction and fantasy oriented art. Free docent tours were led by professional artists. The Art Show Award for Best in Show was awarded to Bob Eggleton's "Quimeartha's Dream 1 & 2".

Masquerade[edit]

The Masquerade was held Saturday evening. There were 31 competitors. Several very large dragons impressed the audience. The winning entry for Best In Show was "Fridays at Ten," a skit of several Twilight Zone episodes done in black, white, and grey costumes. "The H-Mercs" won Best Workmanship for their spectacular mechanical dragon. Intermission entertainment was supplied by Harmonytryx, a female a cappella group.

Naturally, there were many "hall costumes" as well worn throughout the con, including Centauri, Klingons, and a young Princess Ozma.

Fan memorabilia[edit]

A large exhibit of historical Worldcon artifacts was spread across the exhibit hall. There were photographs and clippings from Nycon I, held in New York in 1939, as well as Hugo Awards, mugs, medallions, program books, t-shirts and the like from more recent conventions.

Weirdness, fun and otherwise[edit]

A nearby Christian convention, "For His Glory", was held simultaneously. Several attendees of that convention were disturbed by fans dressed up as demons and the like. They disrupted several panels and convention registration by singing hymns until Security was called to escort them away.[6]

Philadelphia's Chinatown is immediately outside the convention center, and many a budget-conscious attendee ate delicious Chinese food and dim sum rather than expensive hotel fare that weekend.[7]

On Saturday "The Junkyard Wars" were held in some of the spare space in the exhibit hall. Ten teams of six people tried to build mechanisms from whatever they could find to propel a raw egg over a barrier as far as they could without it breaking. The winning team received "a rosette and a trophy made from junk found in the hotel basement that morning."[6]

Awards[edit]

Hugo Awards[edit]

The Hugo Awards, named after Hugo Gernsback, are given every year for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. Results are based on the ballots submitted by members of the World Science Fiction Society.[8]

Other awards[edit]

1951 Retro Hugo Awards[edit]

Site selection[edit]

Boston won the bid for the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention to be held in 2004.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Science Fiction Chronicle, Issue 219, December 2001, p. 58
  2. ^ Charles N. Brown, Locus, Issue 490, November 2001, p. 10
  3. ^ 'Charles N. Brown, Locus, Issue 490, November 2001, p. 40
  4. ^ Jennifer A. Hall, Locus, Issue 490, November 2001, pp. 52, 80
  5. ^ Mark R. Kelly, Locus, Issue 490, November 2001, p. 48
  6. ^ a b Charles N. Brown, Locus, Issue 490, November 2001, p. 41
  7. ^ Edward Bryant, Locus, Issue 490, November 2001, p. 47
  8. ^ a b "2001 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ Fox, Margalit (November 14, 2006). "Jack Williamson, 98, an Author Revered in Science Fiction Field, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2010. His 2001 novella “The Ultimate Earth” won a Hugo, given by the World Science Fiction Society, and a Nebula Award, given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. 
Preceded by
58th World Science Fiction Convention
Chicon 2000 in Chicago, United States (2000)
List of Worldcons
59th World Science Fiction Convention
Millennium Philcon in Philadelphia, United States (2001)
Succeeded by
60th World Science Fiction Convention
ConJosé in San José, United States (2002)