Mad 3 Party Goes Digital

The first 26 issues of The Mad 3 Party are now available online here. Published from 1984-1990, it promoted the Boston in ’89 bid by creating a focal point for strategic discussions of Worldcon running. It won the Hugo in 1990. 

Laurie Mann edited the first issue, Pat Vandenberg was editor from early 1984 until early 1986, and Leslie Turek from 1986-1990.

Contributions to Mad 3 were always high quality and innovative, if more technical than literary. These issues constantly remind a reader how ideas that once were just a twinkle in somebody’s eye became traditional features of Worldcons.

The Boston bid won and Mad 3 continued appearing during the run up to Noreascon 3 and for a short while after. A major shakeup in the availability of N3′s planned facilities forced the committee to become very creative in organizing and staging the con. These ideas often got their first public airing and discussion in Mad 3 in these pre-internet days.  

Not that fans related all that differently before the internet. As Leslie Turek wrote in “My Life As A Faned”

During this period, I did get to practice one skill that I had started to learn as chair of N2 [Noreascon 2, 1980]: explaining policy decisions to people who didn’t know all the background facts, and writing calm and rational responses to angry letters.

Scanned by Tim Szczesuil, the available issues run from 1983 through mid-1988.

2 thoughts on “Mad 3 Party Goes Digital

  1. I’m curious what major shakeup required such creativity, in your memory? The N3 hotel tried to back out after the Boskone from Hell, but was roped back in (IIRC after 5 figures of legal fees); N\4/ went through several alternatives during ca. 9 years of bidding, but ran in the final facilities it was bid for — almost the same space as N3 used.

  2. When Noreascon 3 was refused the use of the Sheraton after the 1987 Boskone the committee (according to Mad 3 Party) discussed a lot of ideas for decentralizing the con in outlying hotels. Nobody was happy with that prospect, and soon they developed far superior ideas for fully centralizing it in the Hynes.

    One of the most important of these was a new way to deploy a lot of topic tables and exhibits in an area eventually named The Concourse. As it says in Fancy 3 —

    The Concourse (also known as the “mixing area”) was created by Noreascon Three to turn Hall C of the Hynes Auditorium into a 30,000 sq ft fan lounge. This served the multiple purpose of providing a comfortable place for fans to connect with each other, providing a location for the very extensive exhibits at Noreascon Three, and, in the aftermath of the Boskone from Hell, reassuring the management of the Sheraton-Boston Hotel that the hotel would not be unduly crowded.

    That likely was worked out in Apa:89 first (which I never saw). The first public discussion I can point to is Mad Three Party 20.

    The Concourse was such a good idea it only made sense to keep it even after the Sheraton’s space became available again.

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