The 21st Worldcon and first in the Baltimore/Washington area, Discon was held August 31–September 2, 1963, at the Statler-Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC. The GoH was Murray Leinster. Isaac Asimov was Toastmaster and it was chaired by George Scithers.
The Hugo rules were changed at the Discon Business Meeting so that series became ineligible for Hugos: only individual works were henceforth eligible.
DC in 1963 was unopposed in the 1964 Worldcon Site Selection. The 1964 Worldcon Site Selection and 1963 Hugos were held.
Chairman George Scithers wrote an extensive report on the convention, telling the whole story. It's a wonderful example of what running a Worldcon was like in simpler days — when the entire program fit on two pages of the program book. Opening Ceremonies included a sword fight between Fritz Leiber and L. Sprague de Camp.
The committee was tiny, just eight people, and their titles were...amusing:
- Crafty Chairman: George Scithers
- Tachylegic Treasurer: Bill Evans
- Despotic Diplomat: Bob Pavlat
- Extemporanizing Editor: Dick Eney
- Flamboyant Foliator: Chick Derry
- Recrudescent Relic: Joe Sarno
- Memorialist of Misdeeds: Bob Madle
- Tartarean Tabulist: Bill Osten
- Publicistean Photographist: Tom Haughey
- Discon I publications and photos on fanac.org.
- Dave Kyle's Discon I Reminiscence.
- Discon 1 Report.
- An Open Letter to Lee Hoffman by Dick Eney.
- Conreport by Louis Russell Chauvenet.
- 9:00am Registration
- 12:30pm Opening of the DisCon
- 12:45 Jim Blish:
AN ANSWER OF SORTS
- 1:30 Bob Silverberg & Ed Emsh:
RING AROUND AN ILLUSTRATION
Problems in writing a story around an illo; or, pleasing editor’s whimsy for fun and profit.
- 2:00 Ted Cogswell & Cohorts:
HIPPOCRENE AND HYPERSPACE
Cogswell struggles with the Muses, best two falls out of three.
- 2:30 Introduction of notables, auction, and break.
- 3:15 Larry Ivie & Dick Lupoff:
SF ILLUSTRATION & ART IN THE COMIC BOOKS
(Me to Your Leader Take)
All in color for a dime: the rise and fall of the comic book.
- 4:30 Willy Ley:
MYSTERIES OF ASTRONOMY
A spring day on Pluto, and such.
- 7:30 The Convention Members:
THE COSTUME BALL [Admission by badge]
Scenes to numb the senses and appall the mind, with music by Ira Sabin and his Orch.
- 11:00am Burroughs Bibliophiles:
Tarzan Rides Again.
- 11:00 Fantasy Amateur Press Association:
Annual THROW THE RASCALS OUT meeting.
- 12:30pm Fumio Suzuki via Dick Lupoff:
A Japanese s-f cartoon film in English.
- 1:00 Hyborian Legion:
de Camp and his cohorts on Conan.
- 2:00 The Convention Members:
Guest of Honor: Will F. Jenkins [Murray Leinster] Toastmaster: Isaac Asimov. Hugos.
- 5:30pm L. Sprague de Camp, Isaac Asimov, Willy Ley, Ed Emsh, and Fritz Leiber
WHAT SHOULD A BEM LOOK LIKE?
- 6:30 Seabury Quinn:
SCIENCE FICTION VERSUS FANTASY
The difference in treatment of a theme.
- 7:00 Auction and intermission.
- 7:30 The Convention Members:
THE ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
Presentation of special awards. Reports of Committees. Choice of site for the 1964 Convention.
- 8:00 Don Wollheim, Dick Lupoff, Sam Moskowitz:
SWORDS AGAINST EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
Alan Howard will moderate this affair.
- 9:00 Juanita Coulson, Ted White, D & M Thompson
DE STIJL MIT DE STYLUS
The art of putting art on stencil and other aspects of good mimeography.
- 11:30am Auction
- 12:00 John Campbell, Don Wollheim, A. J. Budrys, Cele Goldsmith:
THE EDITORS SPEAK
Fred Pohl moderates this discussion of the problems of the editor.
- 1:00pm Barbara Silverberg, Elsie Wollheim, Carol Pohl, and others:
LIFE WITH A STF WRITER
Ted Cogswell has induced the wives to tell their side of the story.
- 1:30 Intermission
- 1:45 Hal Clement & P. Schuyler Miller:
IS THE SF STORY A MENTAL EXERCISE?
Hal says it is, like a detective story.
- 2:15 Judy Merril and Fritz Leiber, with aid:
They've whipped up something, but won't tell us.
- 2:45 George Scithers, Ben Stark, Earl Kemp:
THE FOURTH CONVENTION
[You thought there were only three, didn't you?]
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