In 1948, Walter J. “Doc” Daugherty of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society proposed that an annual West Coast convention be started for West Coast fans who couldn’t afford to travel east each year. The first Westercon was held in September, 1948. It was a one-day event with an attendance of 77. It wasn’t until 1951 that the Westercon became a weekend-long event, settled into the July 4th holiday and began traveling to different cities. Note that according to Fancyclopedia 3, E. Everett Evans was the member of LASFS who introduced the motion to create Westercon and who chaired the first Westercon, with Daugherty chairing the second.
|#||DATE & ATTENDANCE||CITY & NAME||HOTEL||GUESTS(S) OF HONOR||CHAIR & ORGANIZATION|
|1||9/05/48||Los Angeles||Park View Manor||E. Everett Evans, LASFS|
|2||10/02/49||Los Angeles||Knights of Pythias Hall||Walter J. Daugherty, LASFS|
|3||06/18/50||Los Angeles||Knights of Pythias Hall||Dr. Robert S. Richardson||Freddie Hershey, Outlanders|
|4||6/29-7/01/51||San Francisco||California Hall (etc)||George Pal||Little Men, Tom Quinn|
|5||6/28-6/29/52||San Diego [SouthwesterCon]||U.S. Grant Hotel||Ray Bradbury, William Nolan||Roger Nelson|
|6||5/30-5/31/53||Los Angeles||Hotel Commodore||Gerald Heard||E. Everett Evans, LASFS|
|7||9/03-9/04/54||San Francisco [SF Con]||Sir Francis Drake Hotel||Jack Williamson||J. Ben Stark|
|8||7/03-7/04/55||Los Angeles||Hotel Commodore||Mel Hunter||Lew Kovner, Chesley Donovan Foundation|
|9||6/30-7/01/56||Oakland||Hotel Leamington||Richard Matheson||Marilyn Tulley|
|10||7/04-7/07/57||Hollywood||Hotel Knickerbocker||Mark Clifton||Lew Kovner, LASFS, CD Foundation|
|11||9/01/58||Los Angeles [SolaCon]||Alexandria Hotel||Richard Matheson||Anna S. Moffatt Outlanders|
|12||7/03-7/05/59||Seattle||Moore House||Alan E. Nourse||F.M. Busby, Nameless Ones|
|13||7/02-7/04/60||Boise [BoyCon]||Owyhee Hotel||Rog Phillips||Guy and Diane Terwilliger|
|14||7/01-7/02/61||Oakland [Baycon]||Hotel Leamington||Fritz Leiber [Pro], Jack Speer [Fan]||Honey Woods, GGFS|
|15||6/30-7/01/62||Los Angeles||Hotel Alexandria||Jack Vance [Pro], Alva Rogers [Fan]||Albert J. Lewis, LASFS|
|16||7/04-7/07/63||Burlingame||Hyatt House Hotel||Kris Neville [Pro]; F.M. & Elinor Busby [Fan]||Al haLevy, Little Men|
|17||9/04/64||Oakland [PacifiCon II]||Leamington Hotel||Edmond Hamilton & Leigh Brackett [Pro]; Forrest J. Ackerman [Fan]||Al haLevy & J. Ben Stark|
|18||7/03-7/05/65||Long Beach||Edgewater Inn||Frank Herbert [Pro]; Anthony Boucher [Fan]||Steve Tolliver, John Trimble|
|19||7/01-7/04/66||San Diego||Stardust Motor Hotel & Country Club||Harlan Ellison [Pro]; John & Bjo Trimble [Fan?]||Dennis N. Smith|
|20||7/01-7/04/67||Los Angeles||Sheraton-West Hotel||Marion Z. Bradley [Pro]; Lon Atkins [Fan]||Brandon Lamont|
|21||9/01/68||Berkeley [BAYCON]||Hotel Claremont||Philip Jose Farmer [Pro]; Walter J. Daugherty [Fan]||Bill Donaho, Alva Rogers, J. Ben Stark|
|22||7/03-7/06/69||Santa Monica [FUNCon II]||Miramar Hotel||Randall Garrett [Pro]; Roy Tackett [Fan]||Chuck Crayne, Bruce Pelz|
|23||7/02-7/05/70||Santa Barbara||Francisco Torres||Jack Williamson [Pro]; Rick Sneary [Fan]||John & Bjo Trimble|
|24||7/01-7/05/71||San Francisco [SFCon ’71]||Hilton Inn||Avram Davidson [Pro]; Don Simpson [Fan]||Jerry Jacks|
|25||6/30-7/04/72||Long Beach||Edgewater Hyatt House||Lloyd Biggle Jr. [Pro]; Len Moffatt [Fan]||Dave Hulan|
|26||6/30-7/04/73||San Francisco [SFCon ’73]||St. Francis Hotel||Larry Niven [Pro], George Barr [Fan]; James Nelson Coleman [Special]||Jerry Jacks|
|27||7/03-7/07/74||Santa Barbara||Francisco Torres||Philip K. Dick [Pro] Charles Burbee [Fan]||Fred Patten|
|28||7/03-7/06/75||Oakland [OakLaCon]||Leamington Hotel||David Gerrold [Pro]; Charlie & Dena Brown [Fan]; Ian & Betty Ballantine [Special]||Lois Newman, Craig Miller|
|29||7/02-7/05/76||Los Angeles||Hyatt House Hotel||Horace L. Gold [Pro]; Gregg Calkins [Fan]||Bruce Pelz|
|30||7/01-7/04/77||Vancouver, BC||Totem Park Residence||Damon Knight [Pro]; Frank Denton [Fan]; Kate Wilhelm [Special]||Fran Skene|
|31||6/30-7/04/78||Los Angeles [Westercone]||L.A. Marriott Hotel||Poul Anderson [Pro]; Don C. Tompson [Fan]||Ed Finkelstein, Mike Glyer|
|32||7/04-7/08/79||San Francisco||Sheraton Palace Hotel||Richard Lupoff [Pro]; Bruce Pelz [Fan]; Sherry Gottlieb [Special]||Jerry Jacks|
|33||7/03-7/06/80||Los Angeles||Hyatt House Hotel||Roger Zelazny [Pro]; Bob Vardeman [Fan]||Milt Stevens|
|34||7/02-7/05/81||Sacramento||Red Lion Inn||C.J. Cherryh [Pro]; Grant Canfield [Fan]||Michael Garrels|
|35||7/02-7/05/82||Phoenix||The Phoenix Hilton||Gordon R. Dickson [Pro]; Fran Skene [Fan]; Robert Asprin [Special]||Randy Rau, CASFS|
|36||7/01-7/04/83||San Jose [Westerchron]||Red Lion Inn||Phil Klass [Writer]; Alicia Austin [Artist]; Tom Whitmore [Fan]||Lee Forgue|
|Harlan Ellison [Pro]; F.M. & Elinor Busby [Fan];
Alex Schomberg [Artist]
|Steve Berry, Pam Davis, Bryce Walden,
OSFCI (Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.)
|38||7/03-7/07/85||Sacramento||Red Lion Inn||James Hogan [Pro]; Paula Christ [Fan]||Michael Garrells|
|39||7/03-7/06/86||San Diego||Town & Country Hotel||David Brin [Pro]; Karen Turner [Pro]||Gail Hanrahan, Mitchell Walker, Curtis White|
|40||7/02-7/05/87||Oakland [Episode XXXX]||Oakland Hyatt Regency & Convention Center||Gregory Benford [Writer]; Aubrey MacDermott [Fan]; Lela Dowling/Ken Macklin [Artist]; Leslie Fish [Filk]||Lisa Deutsch Harrigan|
|41||7/01-7/04/88||Phoenix||Hyatt Regency Phoenix Sheraton Phoenix||Robert Silverberg [Pro]; Craig Miller [Fan]; Real Musgrave [Artist]||Terry Gish|
|Anaheim [Conosaurus]||Anaheim Marriott Hotel||John Varley [Pro]; Arthur Hlavaty [Fan]||Lex Nakashima, Patrice Cook?, SCIFI
|43||7/05-7/08/90||Portland||Jantzen Beach/Columbia River Red Lion Hotels||Ursula K. LeGuin, Vonda McIntyre, Kate Wilhelm [Pros]; Art Widner [Fan];
Steve Perry [Toastmaster]
|Patty Wells, John Lorentz,
|44||7/02-7/06/91||Vancouver, BC||Gage Residence Hall,
University of British Columbia
|William Gibson [Pro]; C.J. Cherryh [Pro]; Jerry Kaufman [Fan]; Suzanne Tompkins [Fan]; Steve Jackson [Gaming]; Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden [Editor]; Warren Oddsson [Artist]; Verna Terrestriel [Lensman]||Terry Fowler|
|45||7/02-7/05/92||Phoenix [Westercolt]||Phoenix Omni Adams San Carlos Hotel; Phoenix Symphony Hall||Jennifer Roberson [Pro]; Pat Mueller [Fan]; Rick Sternbach [Artist], Wilson “Bob” Tucker [Toastmaster]||Bruce Farr|
|46||7/02-7/05/93||Seattle||Bellevue Red Lion||Greg Bear [Author]; F.M. & Elinor Busby [Fan]; Wally Weber [Fan],
Wally Gonser [Fan]; George Alec Effinger [Toastmaster]
|Los Angeles [Conozoic]||Los Angeles Hilton||George R.R. Martin [Pro]; William Rotsler [Fan]; Real Musgrave [Artist]||Noel Wolfman, SCIFI|
|Portland||Jantzen Beach/Columbia River Red Lion Hotels||Vernor Vinge [Pro]; Elayne Pelz [Fan];
John R. Foster [Artist];
Ray Villard [Science]
|John Lorentz, OSFCI|
|49||7/04-7/07/96||El Paso||Camino Real Paso Del Norte & The El Paso Convention Center||James P. Blaylock [Author]; Howard Waldrop [Author]; Brad W. Foster [Artist];
Arnie & Joyce Katz [Fan]; Pat Cadigan [Toastmaster]
|Richard Brandt, Fred Duarte, El Paso Science Fiction & Fantasy Alliance, FACT|
|50||7/03-7/06/97||Seattle||Seattle Sheraton||Dr. Martin M. Greenberg [Writer Past]; J. Michael Straczynski [Writer Present]; Amy Thomson [Writer Future]; Victoria Lisi [Artist]; Jack Cohen [Science]; Walter J. Daugherty [Fan]; Spider & Jeanne Robinson [Music]||Sally Woehrle, SWOC (Seattle Westercon Organizing Committee)|
|San Diego [Concept 1998]||Mission Valley Marriott||Katherine Kurtz, Scott MacMillian, Sue Dawe [Fantasy Artist]; David W. Clark [Fan]||Dianna Hildreth, CAASM|
|52||7/02-7/05/99||Spokane [Empirecon]||Doubletree Inn||C.J. Cherryh [Author]; Barbara Hambly [Author]; Kristine Kathryn Rusch [Author]; Alicia Austin [Artist]; Wendy Pini [Artist]; Ellen Datlow [Editor]; Larry Baker [Fan]; Betty Bigelow [Toastmaster]||Bob Ladd, Team Maroon|
|Honolulu [Conolulu]||Sheraton Waikiki||Dan Simmons [Author]; Ctein [Artist]; John Lorentz [Fan]||Kathryn Daugherty, SFSFC|
|Portland||Jantzen Beach & Columbia River Doubletree Hotels||Tim Powers [Author]; Mike Glyer [Fan];
Frank Lurz [Artist]
|Dean Koenig, OSFCI|
|Los Angeles [Conagerie]||LA Airport Radisson Hotel||Harry Turtledove [Author]; Robert Lichtman [Fan]; Beth Meacham [Editor]; Ross Chamberlain [Artist]||Bruce Pelz, SCIFI|
|SeaTac||SeaTac Doubletree||Bruce Sterling [Author]; Lisa Snellings [Artist];
Connie Willis [Toastmaster]; Saul Jaffe [Fan];
Claire Eddy [Editor]
|William Sadorus, SWOC|
|Litchfield Park AZ [ConKopelli]||Wigwam Resort||C.J. Cherryh [Author]; David
Heather Alexander [Music]; John Hertz [Fan];
Diana Gabaldon [Local Author];
Virginia Hey [Media]
|Craig Dyer, WesternSFA|
|Calgary Alberta [Due North]||Westin Calgary||S.M. Stirling [Author]; Dave Duncan [Canadian Author]; Mark Ferrari [Artist];
Tom Doherty [Publisher], David Hartwell [Editor], Dr. Phil Currie [Science], Cliff Samuels & Eileen Capes [Fan]
|John Mansfield, Randy McCharles, CWSFA [Canada West Science Fiction Association]|
|San Diego [Conzilla]||Mission Valley Marriott||Walter Jon Williams;
Bob Eggleton [Artist];
Bobbi Armbruster [Fan];
Kevin J. Anderson [Toastmaster]
|James M. Briggs, SDSFC [San Diego Science Fiction Conventions]|
|San Mateo Marriott
|Tad Williams [Writer];
Theresa Mather [Artist];
Christian McGuire [Fan];
Jay Lake [Toastmaster]
|Michael Siladi, SPFII [Society for Promotion of Fannish Interests, Inc]|
|Las Vegas||JW Marriott Resort||Kage Baker [Writer];
Milt Stevens [Fan]
|James Stanley Daugherty, Conventional Wisdom|
|Tempe AZ [FiestaCon]||Tempe Mission Palms||Todd Lockwood [Artist];
Alan Dean Foster [Writer];
Stanley Schmidt [Editor];
Jim & Doreen Webber [Fan];
Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden [Toastmasters]
|Mike Willmoth, Leprecon Inc.|
|Pasadena CA [Confirmation]||Hilton Pasadena||Rudy Rucker [Pro];
John D. Berry [Fan];
Marc “Schirm” Schirmeister [Artist]
|Christian B. McGuire, ISL [Institute for Specialized Literature]|
|San Jose CA||Fairmont Hotel||Patricia McKillip [Pro];
Phil & Kaja Foglio [Artist];
Mike Willmoth [Fan]
|Glenn Glazer, SFSFC [San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.]|
|Seattle WA||Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport||Robin Hobb [Pro];
Frank & Brianna Spacekat Wu [Artist];
Chaz Boston Baden [Fan];
Art Bozlee [Science];
Vixy & Tony [Filk]
|Bobbie DuFault, SWOC [Seattle Westercon Organizing Committee]|
|Sacramento CA||Hilton Arden Fair||Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge [Writers];
Eric Shanower [Artist];
David Maxine [Small Press]
Warren Frey, Steven Schapansky, Chris Burgess [Fan];
David Gerrold [Toastmaster];
John and Bjo Trimble [Costumers]
|Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley, SFSFC [San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.]|
|Salt Lake City UT||Marriott Hotel Downtown at City Creek||Cory Doctorow [Author]
Chris Garcia [Fan]
David Maxine [Small Press]
Mary Robinette Kowal [Author]
Brandon Sanderson [Author]
William Stout, [Artist]
Howard Tayler [Cartoonist]
Dan Wells [Author]
|Dave Doering, CONduit SF & F|
|San Diego CA||Town & Country Hotel||Spider Robinson [Author]
Mira Grant [Additional]
John Picacio [Artist]
Seanan McGuire [Fan]
William F. Nolan [Special]
|Ron Oakes, San Diego Speculative Fiction Society, Inc.|
|Portland OR||Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center||John Scalzi [Writer]
Theresa Mather [Artist]
Bobak Ferdowsi [Science]
David Levine [Fan]
Charlie Stross [Special]
|Lea Rush, Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.|
|Tempe AZ [ConAlope]||Tempe Mission Palms||Tom Deadstuff [Local Artist]
Julie Dillon [Artist]
Larry Elmore [Special Artist]
Tim Griffin [Filk]
Gini Koch [Local Author]
Connie Willis [Author]
Val & Ron Ontell [Fan]
Bjo and John Trimble [Media]
Henry Vanderbilt [Science]
Weston Ochse [Toastmaster]
|Dee Astell, Leprecon Inc.|
|Denver CO||Hyatt Regency Tech Center||Nancy Kress [Literary]
Rebecca Moesta [Editor]
Jeff Sturgeon [Artist]
Margaret Davis & Kristoph Klover [Music/Filk]
|Nikki Ebright, Shiny Garden|
|Layton UT [SpikeCon]||Davis Conference Center and Hilton Garden Inn & Suites||Jim Butcher [Author]
Vincent Villafranca [Artist]
Kitty Krell [Cosplay]
Kevin Standlee, Lisa Hayes, and Kuma Bear [Fan]
Tom Smith [Filk]
Eric Flint [Special]
Dewey L. Douglas [Special]
|Kate Hatcher, Utah Fandom Organization|
No Westercon was held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Westercons 73 and 74 were originally scheduled for July 2-5, 2020 and July 2-5, 2021 respectively, but postponed their conventions one year because of the restrictions on large group gatherings imposed by the pandemic conditions.
Los Angeles CA
|DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport
Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel
|David Brin [Author]
Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley [Fan]
Ethan Siegel [Science]
|Sally Wohrle, Gene Armstrong, SWOC
Scott Beckstead, LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society)
|Tonopah NV||Tonopah Convention Center, Mizpah/Belvada Hotels||Kevin Andrew Murphy,
|Kevin Standlee, SFSFC (San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.)|
|75||06/30-07/03/2023||Anaheim CA||Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort||Gail Carriger [Fantasy Writer]||Arlene Busby|
|76||07/04-07/2024||Salt Lake City UT||Doubletree by Hilton SLC Airport||Charles R. Galway|
Feetnotes (Well, there are more than one of them)
- Replaced Steward Metchette as Chairman.
- Combined with the World Science Fiction Convention, sharing names, Guests of Honor and Chairs. One day was usually designated as Westercon (Chair and Guest of Honor) day.
- Replaced Ted Johnstone as Chairman
- Mythcon combined with Westercon that year.
- Did not attend.
- Lex Nakashima became sole chair during run-up to con.
- The 1954 Worldcon was combined with the Westercon that year, with John W. Campbell as Worldcon GoH and Jack Williamson as Westercon GoH. The Worldcon “Executive Committee” consisted of Lester Cole and Gary J. Nelson; the Westercon Chairman was J. Ben Stark. Robert Bloch was MC at the combined Convention Banquet.
- Hotel moved from San Jose Doubletree to San Mateo Marriott, date moved from July 6-9, 2007.
- Combined with ConChord 23.
- Combined with CONduit 24.
- In addition, approximately 220 attendees of FantasyCon, an independent event held simultaneously across the street from the site of Westercon, attended Westercon under a joint-admission policy between the two events. (An exact count was not possible because of the joint admission; 220 is the count of those FantasyCon attendees who registered their joint attendance with the Westercon registration desk.)
- Combined with Conjecture 13 (Guest of Honor Steven Brust) and Conchord 27 (Guests of Honor Vixy & Tony, Interfilk Guests Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard).
- Spider Robinson was unable to attend due to health issues. After Robinson announced that he was not going to be able to attend, Mira Grant was announced as an Additional Guest of Honor.
- Combined with GearCon.
- This appears to be total membership, not warm-body count.
- Combined with LepreCon 43. Guest of Honor titles are consistent with traditional LepreCon practice.
- Total memberships of all types including supporting: 1673
- Combined with Myths and Legends Con 6.
- Originally announced for the Westin in Westminster CO. Relocated as part of the transfer of the convention from Stories for Students to Shiny Garden (See Note 21).
- Peter J Wacks was originally announced as co-chair but stepped down shortly after the convention was seated in July 2016.
- Originally under the sponsorship of Stories for Students. On May 31, 2017, the convention announced that Stories for Students had dissolved, turning over the organization of Westercon 71 to Shiny Garden, corporate parent of Myths and Legends.
- According to information from Alex von Thorn received 26 January 2018, described as “information about Westercon 65 given by the convention chair at the registration desk”: 920 attending, 30 supporting, total registered 950, 865 warm bodies on site.
- Combined with 2019 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC), MantiCon 2019, and 1632 Minicon. Guests listed are those specific to Westercon; the combined event had additional guests of honor.
- According to information from Billy van Ark received 29 November 2018: 808 attending, 27 supporting, and “approximately 60 badges not picked up.” This 750 warm-body-count is an estimate from the convention management.
- Tom Smith was unable to attend.
- Sally Wohrle, the originally-announced Chair, stepped down due to health reasons according to an announcement posted by the convention to its Facebook page on January 23, 2021.
- After initially being postponed for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention announced on its Facebook page and web site on January 23, 2021 that it would be held entirely online/virtually and that there would be no in-person element to the convention. On April 11, 2021, the convention announced on its Facebook page and web site that the committee would not be able to hold the convention and that LASFS, owners of the Westercon service mark, would take over the official functions of Westercon and combine them with Loscon 47, November 26-28, 2021, at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel, under the provisions of the Westercon Bylaws.
- These were the announced guests of Westercon 73 as originally planned in Seattle prior to the cancellation of the Seattle event. While the official functions of Westercon (Business Meeting and Site Selection) were assumed by Loscon 47, the guests of honor were not.
- According to email from Registrar Jordan Brown dated 22 December 2021, “890 warm bodies, 245 no-shows.”
- According to information from Registrar Linda Deneroff as of July 4, 2022 (updated July 23, 2022): 338 total members, 278 attending memberships sold, 1 child, 59 supporting, and 159 badges picked up.
- No bids filed to host Westercon 75, and thus no qualified bid was selected through the ordingary site selection process at Westercon 73. The Westercon 73 Business Meeting awarded Westercon 75 to a committee consisting of Kevin Standlee and Lisa Hayes with the understanding that they would search for a different committee to actually operate the convention. On June 30, 2022 Standlee and Hayes announced that they had transferred Westercon 75 to a committee led by Arlene Busby and Michelle Weisblatt-Dane to hold the convention in Anaheim CA. On September 13, 2022, Weisblatt-Dane announced on Facebook that she was stepping down from co-chairing the convention for health reasons.
- No bids filed with Westercon 73 by the April 15, 2022 deadline to appear on the 2024 Westercon site selection ballot. A write-in bid for Utah in 2024 filed with Westercon 73, but while the bid included a valid committee and site, it did not include a requisite non-profit organization. While 55 of the 60 votes cast (58 with preference) in the 2024 site selection election were for the Utah bid, it was not eligible to win the election and the decision was referred to the Business Meeting. Bids selected by the Business Meeting do not have to meet the conditions required to file bids for the normal site selection process. The Westercon 74 Business Meeting selected the Utah in 2024 bid committe to host Westercon 76, but strongly encouraged the committee to obtain non-profit status as the earliest opportunity.
People who worked on or contributed to this document:
Chaz Boston Baden, Stephanie Bannon, James M. Briggs, Marty Cantor, Bobbie DuFault, Glenn Glazer, Don Glover, John Lorentz, Craig Miller, Dick O’Shea, Jo Rhett, Kevin Standlee, Andy Trembley, Billy van Ark, Alex von Thorn.
3 thoughts on “History”