IguanaCon II

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Iguanacon (aka Iggy), the 36th Worldcon, was held August 30 to September 4, 1978, at the Hyatt Regency, Adams House and Phoenix Convention Center & Symphony Hall in Phoenix, AZ. The GoH was Harlan Ellison, and the FGoH was Bill Bowers. F. M. Busby was Toastmaster and the chairman was Tim Kyger.

This was the first IguanaCon, but was called “IguanaCon II” because of a previous hoax. (Kyger's preferred name for Iguanacon II was 110 Degrees in the Shade Con. For some reason he wasn't allowed to use it....)

Greg Brown was the initial Chairman. In April–May 1978, there was a move to replace him which was temporarily resolved by putting him on probation for a period. He resigned a few days later and was replaced by Tim Kyger. (See the references below for details.)

Much of the youthful senior staff lived together in The Garrett, a small, unairconditioned, top-floor apartment.

Bill Bowers was never invited and was croggled to find out he was Fan GoH after the bid won at MidAmeriCon. Terrified of public speaking, he spent the next two years preparing by giving “practice speeches” friends set up for him at regional conventions.

Josef Nesvadba was announced as the European GoH for IguanaCon. Why he did not attend is a bit of a mystery. It was reported that he could not get travel papers and it was also reported that an illness of his wife prevented it. In any event, even more oddly, he was not listed as a guest by Iguanacon's later publications and is not generally considered to have been a Worldcon GoH.

GoH Harlan Ellison was upset over the failure of the Arizona state government to pass the ERA and threatened to boycott the convention, publishing a lengthy personal statement in Locus. He was ultimately persuaded to attend and live in a camper outside the hotel. See Karass #36 (March 1978) (and other references, below) for a discussion of this as it was happening. It was quite a circus.

The con's staff included: Jim Corrick, head of the Hugo Awards department; Carol De Priest, head of memberships and registration; Sharon Maples, treasurer. The committee apa was IGAPA.

The convention was one of the less-well-organized, and its mostly self-inflicted travails were responsible for much gossip and hand-wringing in fandom both before and after. It was especially noted for the number of people who resigned or were fired beforehand and the number of people who later remember having rescued it.

This was the first convention center-based Worldcon. Even so, there was concern that the space allotted for the Hugo Awards would have insufficient seating, leading to the concom’s unfortunate decision to issue tickets for that event. Long lines resulted.

All in all, Iguanacon was one of the most fraught Worldcons ever.

The Phoenix in '78 bid beat an LA in '78 bid in the 1978 Worldcon Site Selection at MidAmeriCon.

Iguanacon hosted the race to select the 1980 Worldcon between Boston in 1980 (winner, Noreascon Two), Baltimore in '80, and Flushing in '80. See 1980 Worldcon Site Selection.

The Anvil of God[edit]

The plaza between convention buildings for IguanaCon II. With outdoor temperatures reaching past 110 degrees ("but it's a dry heat!"), the block-long concrete plaza it was necessary to cross to reach the Hucksters' Room, Art Show, and other events in the convention center was soon dubbed The Anvil of God and attendees learned the foolhardiness of attempting to go barefoot. Several mild heat strokes and faintings were treated, including one prominent writer, but nothing worse resulted. (One person did walk through a plate-glass window without serious injury.)


SunCon Worldcon - Bidding - Hugos Seacon '79
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