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2nd World Science Fiction Convention - Wikipedia

Chicon I, the 2nd World Science Fiction ConventionGenreScience fictionDates1-2 September 1940VenueHotel ChicagoanLocation(s)Chicago, IllinoisCountryUnited StatesAttendance128

The 2nd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as Chicon I, was held September 1-2, 1940, at the Hotel Chicagoan in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The event had 128 participants.[1]

The guest of honor at the second Worldcon was E. E. "Doc" Smith. Also attending were Jack Williamson, and Forrest J Ackerman. The event was chaired by Mark Reinsberg with Erle Korshak (secretary) and Bob Tucker (treasurer) as equal partners.[2] It was organized by fans Russ Hodgkins, T. Bruce Yerke, and Walt Daugherty.[3] This was the first Worldcon to include a masquerade.[4]


Chicon featured two masquerades, an unofficial event held in Myrtle R. Douglas' hotel room and an official masquerade as part of the program.[5][6] The official event, called the "Science Fiction Masquerade Party", was held in the evening of the first day, with Jack Speer and Milton A. Rothman as the co-masters of ceremonies.[7] This was the first Worldcon to include an official masquerade.[4]

The winner of the Masquerade Party was David Kyle wearing a Ming the Merciless costume, for which he won an Amazing Stories original cover painting.[5][8][9] The Ming costume was created by Leslie Perri, originally for Donald A. Wollheim. However, he considered it too undignified but brought it with him to the convention and Kyle wore it instead.[8] In second place was Robert A. W. Lowndes wearing a Bar Senestro costume (from the novel The Blind Spot by Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint).[5]

Other costumed attendees included guest of honor E. E. "Doc" Smith as Northwest Smith (from C. L. Moore's series of short stories), Smith's daughter Honey as Clarissa MacDougal (from Smith's own Lensman series), George Tullis as Johnny Black (from L. Sprague de Camp's series of short stories), Cyril M. Kornbluth as The Invisible Man (from H. G. Wells' novella of the same name, wrapped in bandages as in the 1933 film version), three versions of Buck Rogers (Jack Speer, plus convention organizers Erle Korshak and Mark Reinsberg), and both Forrest J Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas wearing the "futuristicostumes" they had previously worn to the first Worldcon.[5][10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Long List of World Science Fiction Conventions". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "1940 - Chicon I". Notes on the Long List of Worldcons. World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Frederik Pohl autobiography The Way the Future Was.
  4. ^ a b Raymond, Adam K. (July 24, 2014). "75 Years Of Capes and Face Paint: A History of Cosplay". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Rich, Mark (2009). C.M. Kornbluth: The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary. McFarland. p. 69. ISBN 9780786457113.
  6. ^ Resnick, Mike (2015). "Worldcon Masquerades". Always a Fan. Wildside Press. pp. 106-110. ISBN 9781434448149.
  7. ^ "Chicon program book" (PDF). 1940.
  8. ^ a b Kyle, David (June 2002). "Chicon Ho!". Mimosa. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  9. ^ Kyle, David (1962). "Dave Kyle's Chicon 3 Reminiscence". Fancyclopedia 3. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  10. ^ Painter, Deborah (2010). Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman. McFarland. pp. 37-39. ISBN 9780786448845.
  11. ^ "Americanews". Futurian War Digest. 1 (2): 2. November 1940.

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