Chicago fandom has remained as disorganized and nearly as quiet as it was when the Fancyclopedia 2 entry, below, was written. Chifen aren’t as feud happy as New York fandom, but they aren’t overly social, either.
There are two major clubs in Chicagoland: ISFiC and Phandemonium, but they mostly exist to run cons. ISFiC runs Picnicon, an annual picnic, as well as Windycon. Besides Capricon, Phandemonium runs a monthly book club, dining group, and euchre club. Other groups arrange for fans to get together for book discussions, pizza or games, but they are all small, decentralized and often short-lived. Most Chicagoland conventions and 'tween-convention gatherings are held in the suburbs.
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|Despite its two conventions the Windy City has always been fairly quiet as far as fan activity goes. Of old the Windy City Wampires existed there, but this was an informal group; the ChiCon I was put on by a special con-promoting organization. Later a Chicago SFS came into existence; Earl Kemp was its most famous member. It produced the gigantic ChiCon II.|
From the 1960s through '80s, George Price hosted regular fan meetings at his home.
Uncle Dick's from Dick Smith in the 1980s and the subsequent three-time Hugo Award-nominated STET from Dick and Leah Zeldes Smith were among the few fanzines to come out of Chicagoland since Earl Kemp stopped publishing in 1965. Steven Silver’s Argentus, also a Hugo nominee, was published annually from 2001 to 2014. Hugo- and FAAn Award-winning fanartist delphyne joan woods also gave the city its limited fanzine credits, as did Helen Montgomery, one of the large, widely distributed team behind Hugo-winning Journey Planet, and New Zealand immigrant Nigel Rowe.
The city of Chicago is officially divided into 77 named community areas and many more less official named neighborhoods. Two of fannish significance are Rogers Park, on the North Side, which was home to many fen, and Hyde Park, on the South Side, location of the University of Chicago.
The metropolitan area, including the city of Chicago, the rest of Cook County, eight nearby Illinois counties (Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee), and two Indiana counties (Lake and Porter), is often referred to as Chicagoland. The nearest parts of Wisconsin sometimes get lumped in, too.
A northern suburb, in Lake County, the usual site of Picnicon.
Just north of the Illinois/Wisconsin border, this resort community was home to Gary Gygax and the birthplace of Dungeons & Dragons and TSR, which held the gaming convention Gen Con there for many years. The Geneva Steam convention was launched there.
A well-to-do western suburb of Chicago located in DuPage County, the location of Windycon from 2023. The former Hyatt Oak Brook (currently known known as the Oak Brook Hilton) hosted Capricon 18 in 1998. A couple of DucKons were there, as well. Oak Brook is otherwise notable as the site of the polo grounds where Prince Charles of England (now King Charles III) played on a visit to Chicago in 1986.
Rosemont is a near western suburb of Chicago whose most notable features are a large convention center and proximity to O'Hare Airport. The convention center has made it the Chicago home of the Wizard World gate show. The airport and a plethora of hotels have caused it to host, among others, Smofcon 21 and 34, Midwest Construction, Capricon 18, DucKon VII and VIII, WindyCon 31–34, 2BeContinued 3, G-Fest, Chicago TARDIS, Anime Central, Midwest Furfest, and other conventions, including planning meetings for Renovation, Chicon 7, and MidAmeriCon II.
This northwest suburb is home to Woodfield Mall, one of the nation’s largest shopping centers. The Hyatt Regency Woodfield there was the site of Windycon from 1984–2003, as well as some World Fantasy Conventions and DucKons.
See also: Wilmot, WI.
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