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10th World Science Fiction Convention

The 10th World Science Fiction Convention was held on Labor Day weekend from August 30 to September 1, 1952, at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. This Worldcon never chose an official name other than the title "10th World Science Fiction Convention," as both the convention's issued membership card and program book clearly stated. Only the first Worldcon in New York City (1939) and the 11th in Philadelphia, 1953, shared this lack of a formal convention name. The phrases "Tenth Anniversary World Science Fiction Convention" (TAWSFiC) and "Tenth Anniversary Science Fiction Convention" (TASFiC, likely a simple linotype error, as "World" is missing) were each used in some of this Worldcon's pre-convention materials; the phrase's acronyms "TAWSFiC" and "TASFiC" were never officially used in print or otherwise by the Chicago committee at that time.[1] However, the 10th Worldcon was frequently referred to by its members by the unofficial name Chicon II, so dubbed after the previous Chicago Worldcon (Chicon) in 1940; this name proved so popular that the convention became known as Chicon II in science fiction fandom's lore and written histories.

The 10th World Science Fiction Convention
Julian May Worldcon '52.jpg
Julian May chairing the 1952 World Science Fiction Convention
GenreScience fiction
VenueMorrison Hotel
Location(s)Chicago, Illinois
CountryUnited States
InauguratedAugust 30 – September 1, 1952
Attendance870
Filing statusnon-profit

The convention chair was Julian C. May (later also known as Judy Dikty). Hugo Gernsback was the convention's official guest of honor. The program included the performance of an original science fiction ballet.

For years this Worldcon held the record for the largest attendance at any early science fiction convention, with 870 registered attendees, a figure which was not surpassed by another Worldcon until 1967 for Nycon 3 in New York City. By way of comparison, the previous year's Worldcon, the Nolacon in New Orleans, had an attendance of 190.

It was at this Worldcon that the idea for the Hugo science fiction awards was first proposed and adopted. These awards, the highest and oldest honor in science fiction, were first awarded at the 1953 Worldcon in Philadelphia.

The convention is said to have been the place where Sturgeon's Law was first formulated (although other origin stories claim Sturgeon first articulated the concept in 1951, a year earlier). During a panel discussion on science fiction, one of the panelists observed that about 90% of science fiction was crud. Theodore Sturgeon, also on the panel, replied that 90% of everything was crud.

John W. Campbell and Anthony Boucher at the 1952 World Science Fiction Convention
Katherine MacLean and Fritz Leiber at the 1952 World Science Fiction Convention

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ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1952 - TASFiC". Notes on the Long List of Worldcons. World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved March 7, 2011.

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Preceded by
9th World Science Fiction Convention
Nolacon I in New Orleans, United States (1951)
List of Worldcons
10th World Science Fiction Convention
Chicon II in Chicago, United States (1952)
Succeeded by
11th World Science Fiction Convention
Philcon II in Philadelphia, United States (1953)