History

Rev. 17-Jul-2008

In 1948, Walter J. “Doc” Dougherty 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.

DATE CITY & NAME HOTEL GUESTS(S) OF HONOR CHAIR/SUPPORTING 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[1]
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[7] 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[2] 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[2] 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[3]
21 9/01/68[2] 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[4] 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][5] 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
37 6/29-7/03/84 Portland Portland
Marriott Hotel
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 WARM BODY MEMBERS
42 6/30-7/04/89 Anaheim [Conosaurus] Anaheim Marriott Hotel John Varley [Pro]; Arthur Hlavaty [Fan] Lex Nakashima, Patrice Cook?, SCIFI
[6]
2500
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,
OSFCI
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] 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]
Richard Wright
47 7/01-7/04/94 Los Angeles [Conozoic] Los Angeles Hilton George R.R. Martin [Pro]; William Rotsler [Fan]; Real Musgrave [Artist] Noel Wolfman, SCIFI 1444
48 6/30-7/03/95 Portland Jantzen Beach/Columbia River Red Lion Hotels Vernor Vinge [Pro]; Elayne Pelz [Fan];
John R. Foster [Artist];
Ray Villard [Science]
John Lorentz, OSFCI 1827
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) ???
51 7/02-7/05/98 San Diego [Concept 1998] Mission Valley Marriott Katherine Kurtz, Scott MacMillian, Sue Dawe [Fantasy Artist]; David W. Clark [Fan] Dianna Hildreth, CAASM 1173
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 ???
53 7/01-7/4-00 Honolulu [Conolulu] Sheraton Waikiki Dan Simmons [Author]; Ctein [Artist]; John Lorentz [Fan] Kathryn Daugherty, SFSFC 244
54 7/05-7/08/01 Portland Jantzen Beach & Columbia River Doubletree Hotels Tim Powers [Author]; Mike Glyer [Fan];
Frank Lurz [Artist]
Dean Koenig, OSFCI 1293
55 7/04-7/07/02 Los Angeles [Conagerie] LA Airport Radisson Hotel Harry Turtledove [Author]; Robert Lichtman [Fan]; Beth Meacham [Editor]; Ross Chamberlain [Artist] Bruce Pelz, SCIFI 1000
56 7/03-7/06/03 SeaTac SeaTac Doubletree Bruce Sterling [Author]; Lisa Snellings [Artist];
Connie Willis [Toastmaster]; Saul Jaffe [Fan];
Claire Eddy [Editor]
William Sadorus, SWOC 1400
57 7/02-7/05/04 Litchfield Park AZ [ConKopelli] Wigwam Resort C.J. Cherryh [Author][5]; David
Cherry
[Artist];
Heather Alexander [Music]; John Hertz [Fan];
Diana Gabaldon [Local Author];
Virginia Hey [Media]
Craig Dyer, WesternSFA 850
58 7/01-7/04/05 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] 450
59 7/01-7/04/06 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] 599
60 6/30-7/03/07
[8]
San Mateo[8]
[Gnomeward Bound]
San Mateo Marriott
[8]
Tad Williams [Writer];
Theresa Mather [Artist];
Christian McGuire [Fan];
Jay Lake [Toastmaster]
Michael Siladi, SPFII [Society for Promotion of Fannish Interests, Inc] 825
61 7/03-7/06/08 Las Vegas JW Marriott Resort Kage Baker [Writer];
Lubov [Artist];
Milt Stevens [Fan]
James Stanley Daugherty, Conventional Wisdom 313
62 7/02-7/05/09 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. 603
63 07/01-07/04/10[9] Pasadena CA [Confirmation] Hilton Pasadena Rudy Rucker [Pro];
John D. Berry [Fan];
Marc “Schirm” Schirmeister [Artist]
Christian B. McGuire, ISL [Institute for Specialized Literature] 655
64 07/01-07/04/11 San Jose CA Fairmont Hotel Patricia McKillip [Pro];
Phil & Kaja Foglio [Artist];
Mike Willmoth [Fan]
Glenn Glazer, SFSFC [San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.] 693
65 07/05-07/08/12 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]
66 07/04-07/2013 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.] 785
67 07/03-06/2014 [10] 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];
Howard Tayler [Artist];
Dan Wells [Author]
Dave Doering, CONduit SF & F 636[11]
68 07/02-05/2015 [12] San Diego CA Town & Country Hotel Spider Robinson [Author];
John Picacio [Artist];
Seanan McGuire [Fan];
William F. Nolan [Special]
Ron Oakes, San Diego Speculative Fiction Society, Inc.
69 07/01-04/2016 Portland OR Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center John Scalzi [Writer];
David Levine [Fan];
Charlie Stross [Special]
Lea Rush, Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.

Feetnotes

(Well, there are more than one of them)

  1. Replaced Steward Metchette as Chairman.
  2. 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.
  3. Replaced Ted Johnstone as Chairman
  4. Mythcon combined with Westercon that year.
  5. Did not attend.
  6. Lex Nakashima became sole chair during run-up to con.
  7. 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.
  8. Hotel moved from San Jose Doubletree to San Mateo Marriott, date moved from July 6-9, 2007
  9. Combined with ConChord 23
  10. Combined with CONduit 24.
  11. Figures from registrar Jordan Brown: 636 warm bodies and 98 no-shows, with 535 pre-registered and 199 at-the-door. It is unclear how Supporting members fit into this report. 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.)
  12. Combined with Conjecture 13 (Guest of Honor Steven Brust) and Conchord 27 (Guests of Honor Vixy & Tony, Interfilk Guests Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard).

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.