James Bacon: Free Books at C2E2

By James Bacon: Readers of File 770 will know that last year we (Chris Garcia, Helen Montgomery, Spike, Leane Verhulst, and many Bay Area fans) went to Wondercon and gave away nearly 6,000 science fiction books, thanks to the help of many people in San Francisco and many organizations across the World.*

We found the book readers, and gave them books, and book marks and all number of pieces of information, but most importantly, we engaged, chatted, smiled and talked about something we have a passion for, books and conventions.

This year, we intend to promote Worldcons and local cons at C2E2, Chicago’s Pop Culture event, and some tens of thousands of fans are expected.

It’s occurring at McCormick Place, Chicago from April 13-15. Again, we will be creating bookmarks to insert in every book, and we are now gathering books.


We need secondhand and new books. You might know a dealer who has old stock, or a shop that has boxes they don’t expect to sell. Many fans have contemplated a clear out, and now is an occasion to take that action. Your books won’t just be recycled, they will be the outreach to new fans.

We have found that Media Mail is a tremendously effective and economical way to get books to us from around the U.S.; we get about 70 for $20, and this is a great commodity to us.  Obviously if paying for shipping is part of your donation, we are most appreciative, but if need be we have some funds set aside to help pay for shipping. We have an address to receive books in Chicago:

Chicon 7
Attn:  Science Fiction Outreach Project
P.O. Box 13
Skokie, IL  60076

Publishers who read this are welcome to contact us, we will happily distribute promotional material, or book marks, for organizations who help us – all we need are books.

We will need volunteers to staff our booth for half-day shifts, age is irrelevant, we just need people who are enthusiastic and want to talk about books and our activities, who will engage and be friendly. We are not sales people, but we are well-read and enthusiastic about the genre and our community.

You can email us at [email protected]

More information can be found on our Facebook page.

Many thanks,


 *Renovation,  Chicon 7,  CanSmof, individual private donations, SFSFC , London in 2014, NESFA,  MCFI, LASFS, and SCIFI all contributed to our endeavours at Wondercon, for which we are terribly grateful.