1st World Science Fiction Convention

The First World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) was held in the Caravan Hall in New York[2] from July 2 to July 4, 1939, in conjunction with the New York World's Fair, which was themed as "The World of Tomorrow". The convention was later named "Nycon I"[3] by Forrest J Ackerman.[4] The event had 200 participants.[1][5]

Nycon I, the 1st World Science Fiction Convention
GenreScience fiction
VenueCaravan Hall
Location(s)New York City
CountryUnited States
InauguratedJuly 2–4, 1939


The Guest of Honor at the first Worldcon was Frank R. Paul and the event was chaired by Sam Moskowitz.[6] Along with Moskowitz, other organizers were James V. Taurasi and Will Sykora. Notable people attending included John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp, Ray Bradbury, Hannes Bok, Milton A. Rothman, John D. Clark, Jack Williamson, and Harry Harrison.

In addition to its groundbreaking role as the first of its kind, the convention was noteworthy for the exclusion of a number of politicized Futurians by convention chair Sam Moskowitz; those excluded were Donald A. Wollheim, Frederick Pohl, John Michel, Robert A. W. Lowndes, and Jack Gillespie, an event known to fannish historians as "The Great Exclusion Act."[7]

According to Pohl, in his autobiography The Way the Future Was, the Futurians held their own counter-convention which was attended by several who went to the regular convention. He also downplayed the aspect that politics played, himself believing that it was a personality conflict between the convention organizers and the Futurians and said "We pretty nearly had it coming," continuing with "What we Futurians made very clear to the rest of New York fandom was that we thought we were better than they were. For some reason that annoyed them."[8]

Ackerman and his girlfriend and fellow fanzine editor Myrtle R. Douglas ("Morojo") attended the convention in costumes designed and sewn by Douglas: this is considered a forerunner to modern fan costuming (which is known as "cosplay").[4][9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Press: Amazing! Astounding!". Time. July 10, 1939. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Fancyclopedia 3: Caravan Hall
  3. ^ "1939 - Nycon I". Notes on the Long List of Worldcons. World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Kyle, David (December 2002). "Caravan to the Stars". Mimosa (29). Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  5. ^ "The Long List of World Science Fiction Conventions". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Henniker-Heaton, Peter J. (July 6, 1963). "From the Bookshelf". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved March 8, 2011. Sam Moskowitz has written science fiction, taught it, been an editor and literary agent in the field, and in 1939 organized the first of the still continuing World Science Fiction Conventions.
  7. ^ Kyle, David (December 1997). "SaM - Fan Forever (Moskowitz, the Futurians, and the Great Exclusion Act of 1939)". Mimosa (21). Archived from the original on 1 April 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  8. ^ Frederik Pohl, The Way The Future Was, Ballantine/Del Rey Books, 1978, p.94
  9. ^ Raymond, Adam K. (July 24, 2014). "75 Years Of Capes and Face Paint: A History of Cosplay". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 2, 2014.


External links

Preceded by
List of Worldcons
1st World Science Fiction Convention
Nycon I in New York, United States (1939)
Succeeded by
2nd World Science Fiction Convention
Chicon I in Chicago, United States (1940)


was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1939th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 939th year of the 2nd millennium, the 39th year of the 20th century, and the 10th and last year of the 1930s decade. This year also marks the start of the Second World War, the largest and deadliest conflict in human history.

1939 New York World's Fair

The 1939–40 New York World's Fair, which covered the 1,216 acres (492 ha) of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park (also the location of the 1964–1965 New York World's Fair), was the second most expensive American world's fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis's Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people attended its exhibits in two seasons. It was the first exposition to be based on the future, with an opening slogan of "Dawn of a New Day", and it allowed all visitors to take a look at "the world of tomorrow". According to the official pamphlet:

The eyes of the Fair are on the future—not in the sense of peering toward the unknown nor attempting to foretell the events of tomorrow and the shape of things to come, but in the sense of presenting a new and clearer view of today in preparation for tomorrow; a view of the forces and ideas that prevail as well as the machines.

To its visitors the Fair will say: "Here are the materials, ideas, and forces at work in our world. These are the tools with which the World of Tomorrow must be made. They are all interesting and much effort has been expended to lay them before you in an interesting way. Familiarity with today is the best preparation for the future.

Within six months of the Fair's opening, World War II began, a war that lasted six years and resulted in the deaths of 50-85 million people.

1939 in the United States

Events from the year 1939 in the United States.

2nd World Science Fiction Convention

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

72nd World Science Fiction Convention

The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as Loncon 3, was held 14–18 August 2014 at ExCeL London in London, England. The convention committee was co-chaired by Alice Lawson and Steve Cooper and organized as London 2014 Limited. Loncon 3 sold the most memberships (10,833) and had the second largest in-person attendance (7,951) of any Worldcon to date.


Cosplay (コスプレ, kosupure), a portmanteau of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture, and a broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. Any entity that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject and it is not unusual to see genders switched. Favorite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, live-action films, television series, and video games.

The rapid growth in the number of people cosplaying as a hobby since 1990s has made the phenomenon a significant aspect of popular culture in Japan and some other parts of Asia and in the Western world. Cosplay events are common features of fan conventions and there are also dedicated conventions and local and international competitions, as well as social networks, websites and other forms of media centered on cosplay activities.

The term "cosplay" was coined in Japan in 1984. It was inspired by and grew out of the practice of fan costuming at science fiction conventions, beginning with Morojo's "futuristicostumes" created for the 1st World Science Fiction Convention in New York City in 1939.

Forrest J Ackerman

Forrest James Ackerman (November 24, 1916 – December 4, 2008) was an American magazine editor, science fiction writer and literary agent, a founder of science fiction fandom, a leading expert on science fiction, horror, and fantasy films, and acknowledged as the world's most avid collector of genre books and movie memorabilia. He was based in Los Angeles, California.

During his career as a literary agent, Ackerman represented such science fiction authors as Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, A.E. Van Vogt, Curt Siodmak, and L. Ron Hubbard. For more than seven decades, he was one of science fiction's staunchest spokesmen and promoters.

Ackerman was the editor and principal writer of the American magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, as well as an actor, from the 1950s into the 21st century. He appears in several documentaries related to this period in popular culture, like Famous Monster: Forrest J Ackerman (directed by Michael R. MacDonald and written by Ian Johnston), which premiered at the Egyptian Theatre in March 2009, during the Forrest J Ackerman tribute; The Ackermonster Chronicles! (a 2012 documentary about Ackerman by writer and filmmaker Jason V Brock); and Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone's Magic Man, about the late author Charles Beaumont, a former client of The Ackerman Agency.Also called "Forry", "Uncle Forry", "The Ackermonster", "Dr. Acula", "Forjak", "4e" and "4SJ", Ackerman was central to the formation, organization and spread of science fiction fandom and a key figure in the wider cultural perception of science fiction as a literary, art, and film genre. Famous for his word play and neologisms, he coined the genre nickname "sci-fi". In 1953, he was voted "#1 Fan Personality" by the members of the World Science Fiction Society, a unique Hugo Award never granted to anyone else.He was also among the first and most outspoken advocates of Esperanto in the science fiction community.


The Futurians were a group of science fiction (SF) fans, many of whom became editors and writers as well. The Futurians were based in New York City and were a major force in the development of science fiction writing and science fiction fandom in the years 1937–1945.

List of world expositions

List of world expositions is an annotated list of every world exposition sanctioned by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), including those recognised retrospectively as they took place (long) before BIE came into existence.

The designation "World Exposition" or "Expo" refers to a class of the largest, general scope exhibitions of 3 to 6 months' duration.

This list does not include BIE recognized International Horticultural Exhibitions. For other major international exhibitions, in addition to those endorsed by the BIE, see the comprehensive list of world's fairs.


Myrtle Rebecca Douglas Smith Gray Nolan (June 20, 1904 – November 30, 1964), known to science fiction history as Morojo or sometimes Myrtle R. Douglas, was a science fiction fan, fanzine publisher, and cosplay pioneer from Los Angeles, California.

Science fiction fandom

Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or fandom of people interested in science fiction in contact with one another based upon that interest. SF fandom has a life of its own, but not much in the way of formal organization (although clubs such as the Futurians (1937–1945) are a recognized example of organized fandom).

Most often called simply "fandom" within the community, it can be viewed as a distinct subculture, with its own literature and jargon; marriages and other relationships among fans are common, as are multi-generational fan families.

Timeline of New York City

This article is a timeline of the history of New York City in the state of New York, US.

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