L.A.con II

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The 42nd Worldcon and fourth in L.A., L.A.con II, was held August 30 to September 3, 1984, at the Anaheim Hilton and Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. GoH: Gordon R. Dickson, FGoH: Dick Eney.

The Toastmaster and MC positions were essentially equivalent, with Robert Bloch (Toastmaster) officiating at the Hugo Ceremony and Jerry Pournelle (Master of Ceremonies) at the GoH Speeches and Other Awards Ceremony. It was co-chaired by Craig Miller and Milt Stevens.

LACon II was huge, the largest Worldcon to date, having had almost 8,400 attending members.

In a touching moment at the 1984 Hugos Ceremony, Robert Silverberg and Harlan Ellison together spoke of Larry Shaw's long service to SF and presented him with a Special Committee Award. And in a bit of comic relief, Larry Niven presented Jerry Pournelle with a chocolate Hugo rocket. Jerry had been known to note that "Money will get you through a time of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you through a time of no money." Niven said, "Jerry, this is the Hugo that will get you through times of no money..."

The con was formed from the LA in 1984 bid and hosted the 1986 Worldcon Site Selection.

One of the ironies of the convention was Registration. The convention had advertised, "You won't have to stand in line unless you really want to." But on the day, LAcon's registration was famously bad with lines which were not exceeded until ConFrancisco, a decade later.

At the Business Meeting, Ben Yalow angered Midwest Fandom with his “Wimpy Zone” remarks.

The concom arranged for a discounted day at Disneyland. Enough of Big Fandom attended to be remarked upon by mundane observers.


L.A.Con II made an exceptionally large profit (around $200,000 at a time when Worldcon budgets were typically around $500,000), in part due to an over-reaction to the Constellation bankruptcy. Treasurer Bruce Pelz later said that the convention was in the black before it began and that he'd been over-zealous in keeping expenses down. The huge profit was controversial, especially since senior members of the committee were judged by some fans to be gloating about it.

Some of the profits resulted from a Star Wars moviethon marketed to mundanes, many of whom did not otherwise participate, artificially upping attendance figures.

When it was learned that $10,000 of the profit had been spent to air condition the LASFS clubhouse, All Fandom Was Plunged Into War. (The contribution to LASFS was not actually especially unusual or especially large -- a Worldcon in town usually has a significant negative impact on the local club, and the Worldcon usually makes use of club facilities. It's only fair to provide some recompense if the convention makes a profit. But -- again -- many fans felt that senior committee members had responded to questions about the transfer with scorn and, so, All Fandom, etc.) One consequence of this brouhaha was an amendment to the WSFS Constitution requiring all Worldcon committees to report their finances annually until their profit had been spent.


The daily newsletter was Thought Police Gazette, edited by Mike Glyer. There were eight 2-page issues. The name is a nod to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The committee letterzine was Rattail File edited by Glyer, mainly for the committee, but open to anyone. (Apparently the other potential name for the zine was The Squeak of the Cheeser, a play on the Noreascon II zine The Voice of the Lobster -- L.A.con II's mascot was a rat...)

Convention reports, other writing, external sources:[edit]

ConStellation Worldcon - Bidding - Hugos Aussiecon II
L.A.con I LA Worldcons L.A.con III
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