AutoClave, the series of conventions in the Detroit area, 1976 to 1978 and 1980 and 1981, was the first con aimed at fanzine fans (as distinguished from the very earliest conventions at which virtually all attendees were involved in fanzines to one or another extent).
Amid the explosion of cons in the 1970s, many fanzine fans tended to be shy and to keep to their print-oriented focus. Organizers felt that a con devoted to their interests might lure some of the hermit-like faneds and fanzine contributors to meet. Also, fandom at large was increasingly uninterested in written fanhistory or the arcane minutiae of repro and other details of pubbing one's ish that fanzine fans wanted to talk about at cons.
No one thought of passing the convention to other groups across the country, which meant that when the Detroit-area fanzine fans who put on AutoClave, tired, AutoClave ceased. The rotating fanzine cons Corflu, and then ditto, came later.
|AutoClave 1||May 28-31, 1976||Gene Wolfe, Donn Brazier||Mike Glicksohn||Gary Mattingly, Joe Wesson, Leah A. Zeldes|
|AutoClave 2||July 22-24, 1977||Donald C. Thompson, Don D'Ammassa||Jon Singer||Leah A. Zeldes|
|AutoClave 3||July 21-23, 1978||Terry Hughes, Derek Carter||Ben Zuhl||Leah A. Zeldes|
|AutoClave 4||Jeanne Gomoll, Dan Steffan||Ted White|
|AutoClave V||July 24-26, 1981||Howard DeVore||Brian Earl Brown|
Metro Detroit Science Fiction Society, Inc.
Sponsor of AutoClave was the Metro Detroit Science Fiction Society, Inc., a non-profit organization created to hold AutoClave. Incorporated March 5, 1976, and dissolved October 10, 1981, Gary Mattingly was President, and Leah A. Zeldes was Secretary. The Society's sole purpose was running AutoClave.
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