Pacificon II

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The 22nd Worldcon and second in the Bay Area, Pacificon II / Westercon 17 was held September 4–7, 1964, at the Hotel Leamington, Oakland, CA (not the same city — L.A. — where Pacificon I was held in 1946). GoHs: Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton. FGoH: Forrest J Ackerman. Anthony Boucher was Toastmaster. Chaired by J. Ben Stark and Al Halevy.

Worldcon was combined with the West Coast Science Fantasy Conference (Westercon 17), sharing Guests of Honor and chairmen. September 4th was designated to be Westercon's day.

San Francisco in '64 won over the Los Angeles in '64 bid at the 1964 Worldcon Site Selection held at Chicon III in 1963. Pacificon II hosted the 1965 Worldcon Site Selection: London in '65, Virgincon in '65, and Syracuse in '65 presented bids, and London was selected to run the 1966 Worldcon.

Pacificon had a $1300 profit (substantial for those days) and distributed it:

They decided not to do a Proceedings "because we didn't want to set a precedent." Proceedings had been done by the two previous Worldcons, Discon I and Chicon III, and Pacificon felt that doing it a third time in a row would make it a Tradition.


The Breendoggle, a huge controversy over the concom’s action to ban a pederast, became the cause celebre of the convention.

Hugo Controversy[edit]

At the business meeting, Harlan Ellison tried to get Hugo Awards nominations taken away from WSFS members and turned over to an elite committee. According to George Scithers:

Harlan Ellison rose to tell a tale of woe:

According to Ellison, some-or-other pro author was expecting to win a Hugo, and, having won a Hugo, to get a profitable c*o*n*t*r*a*c*t for the work. Instead, some other writer was elected by the clod faaaans -- and Ellison's protagonist was left both Hugo-less and contract-less. Now this, explained Ellison, meant M*O*N*E*Y, lots of it, and he didn't for a minute intend to leave maters in the hands of mere fans and convention committees. He wanted another committee formed -- right away -- whose function would be to receive suggestions from anyone who might be interested, to read all the suggested works (or, one assumes, look at them, in the case of artists) and to come up with a nomination slate. Another motion, to appoint a Study Committee to investigate the whole Hugo system and make a preliminary recommendation at the '66 convention, was passed. Harlan was not to be put off -- he still demanded his committee be formed without waiting for the Study Committee. Amazingly, the Ellison committee motion passed. In theory the next couple of cons should, therefore, have their slate of nominees for the final vote prepared by a committee.

The upshot of this, as you might guess, was still another crack in the continuity of conventions. The Loncon simply scrapped the whole notion of a nominating committee without discussion, at least pending the report of the Study Committee which Dick Lupoff is chairing. Despite a spectacular explosion of dramatics from one of those concerned ["if he doesn't get a Hugo maybe they'll consider him for an Oscar", as an unimpressed witness commented] this summary move seems, if not to have killed the idea outright, at least put it in the freezer until the next convention.


Discon I Worldcon - Bidding - Hugos Loncon II
SFCon Bay Area Worldcons Baycon
Westercon 16 Westercon - Bidding Westercon 1
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