WisCon — 40×40

Chris Wallish
SF3 Communications Committee

It was a dark and stormy February.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.

WisCon.

Well, maybe it wasn’t “dark and stormy” — the official WisCon record says that February of 1977 was “bitterly cold.”  I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t say.  I was, in fact, not quite five years old and living in Pennsylvania.  I didn’t even know what a Wisconsin was let alone a WisCon.

But I did know who Wonder Woman was, would shortly know what “Battlestar Galactica” was, certainly knew what “Star Trek” was.  And I know that when I (finally) discovered fandom in my 20s and learned about WisCon thanks to a friend who’d already attended once, I knew with complete clarity that WisCon was what I needed.  I wasn’t wrong — when I attended WisCon 29 it was everything I could have hoped for, everything a ‘70s kid who loved Wonder Woman and “Star Trek” could have wanted.

Now, WisCon is turning 40.  Four decades of being a home for those of us who’ve needed both science fiction and feminism!

To mark this monumental anniversary, we are kicking off a blog series — “WisCon: 40×40.”  Every week we’ll focus on a WisCon (or two), celebrating and reminiscing about this space that’s gone from being known as “PervertCon” to an institution that’s inspired so many people and has spawned a whole host of other organizations over the years.

Later today you’ll see the first post in this series, written by none other than Jeanne Gomoll, who was at WisCon 1 and has graciously written an incredible recollection of that first convention.

We are especially excited to hear memories from the WisCon community.  Please join us in comments on the blog posts in the coming months!  Think of this as a crowd-sourced history project.

Would you like to write one of the posts for a particular WisCon?  Please contact me directly at comms_chair@sf3.org.

Was WisCon a shot that rang out across ’70s fandom?  Has it been a home for you, an annual reunion of sorts?  How has WisCon and its community been inspiring for you?  Which guests of honor have particularly moved you?  What were your favorite Con Suite conversations?  Let’s count down the past 39 years together as we anticipate WisCon 40’s opening on May 27, 2016.

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