New Fanhistory Videos from Fanac.Org

The YouTube Fanhistory Channel has added a selection of videos from Worldcons of the 1970s and 1980s.

Ms Marian’s Bedtime Story

11 minute video. MidAmeriCon, the 34th World SF Convention, was held in Kansas City in 1976. This entertaining video, framed as a children’s story, is full of references to the fannish lifestyle and how fans live Fandom as a Way of Life. It was created in the summer of ’76 to be used as filler on the convention’s closed circuit channel. The material is part of the Video Archeology project coordinated by Geri Sullivan.


Constellation (1983) Worldcon: Masquerade

1 hour, 48 minute video. This video of the masquerade shows the wide variety of costumes and skill levels that were shown. At around 1:42, there is information on how the masquerade was judged and the winners are announced and shown again at the end.


Panel: Women in SF: Their Right and Proper Place

1 hour video. MidAmeriCon (1976) Worldcon Panel: Women in SF: Their Right and Proper Place. This video of the panel “Women in SF” features Susan Wood, Kate Wilhelm, Marta Randall, Amanda Bankier and Suzy McKee Charnas. Includes an interesting description by Suzy McKee Charnas of her evolutionary networking of female SF writers. This video will give you good insight on where the discussion regarding women writers in SF was in the mid 70s as well as a few choice editor anecdotes. Note: there are a few sound problems. Part of the Video Archeology project coordinated by Geri Sullivan, with technical work by David Dyer-Bennet.


MidAmeriCon (1976) Worldcon – George Barr and Robert Heinlein, Guests of Honor

One hour 15 minute video. MidAmeriCon (1976) Worldcon – Speech by George Barr (Fan Guest of Honor) plus tributes to Robert Heinlein (Pro Guest of Honor) along with his response. This video of the Guest of Honor Banquet includes tributes to Robert A. Heinlein from Wilson “Bob” Tucker, Alfred Bester, Frederik Pohl, George Scithers, Jerry Pournelle, L. Sprague de Camp, Larry Niven and others. There’s a lot of respect and love evident in these tributes, and not a little humor. Part of the Video Archeology project coordinated by Geri Sullivan, with technical work by David Dyer-Bennet.


[Thanks To Andrew Porter for the story.]

8 thoughts on “New Fanhistory Videos from Fanac.Org

  1. This! I love this! I hope some of these can be shown on various con channels all over.

    My most vivid memory of the 1983 Masquerade was the guys who came out in generic barbarian gear as SMURF HUNTERS. They got a rousing ovation. They had the little blue bastids on their spears, heads tied onto their belts, etc. That’s how I remember it anyway — I’ll have to watch the video.

    My best memory of that con was meeting Jim Henson. He signed autographs in Kermit green ink.

  2. Further credit is due to the late Scott Imes, Minneapolis fan, videographer, and long-time manager of Uncle Hugo’s book store, who organized and directed the documentary video crews at these long-ago conventions. After his untimely death in 2001, I accepted stewardship of his many boxes of old videos in obsolete formats, keeping them safe while I created a spreadsheet index of the collection. Geri drove to Minneapolis personally to pick up the tapes and take them back east for the next phase of the project. Altogether, including the local videos that we kept in Minneapolis, there were about 460 reels and cartridges.

    Scott did his best to edit the tapes over the years and created a few VHS mix tapes that were shown around fandom. It wasn’t until digital editing became widely available that proper retrieval and editing of these tapes was possible. Scott wanted them to be preserved in an institutional collection, but was turned down in the late 1990s when he offered them to several universities. Placing them on YouTube is an excellent way to accomplish Scott’s wish to have the videos available, yet protected from piracy.

  3. Does anyone know if there are plans to make transcripts? I tried watching the Women in SF panel, but the audio quality was poorer than I can bear right now. (I’ll probably give it another try later.)

  4. The Women in SF panel is worth the effort. I helped with cleaning up the sound for a version that was presented at MidAmericon 2, so I’ve listened to it several times. It definitely is possible to make out almost all of what they said. It helps to use headphones or good speakers, and to watch the video full screen. I remember Geri Sullivan saying she would like to have the video captioned. I don’t think there has been time for it yet. It would be good if it could be. It was an excellent panel, really one of the best ever. It deserves a wide audience.

  5. I love it as I watch the work-in-progress evolving. Now that a good bit of the digitizing from the original tapes is done, a number of talented, enthusiastic volunteers are working on editing and enhancing the footage. It’s a serious work in progress. I’m amazed at the image quality the digitizing technicians are retrieving off these 40-year-old reel-to-reel video tapes. I viewed Scott’s 3rd-generation VHS dub of the Women in SF panel about 12 years ago and decided not to show it to anyone because of the sound quality. I did do a rough digitization of that VHS and sent the DVD with David Emerson down to Wiscon, but I considered that DVD more of a proof-of-concept preview than something useful or watchable. Creating a transcript and then using the transcript to add captioning would be an excellent addition to this seminal panel.

  6. Tom Becker: It’s germinal, Jeff!

    Is that the correct gender-parallel term? Big credit to you for knowing it!

  7. seminal: Highly influential in an original way; constituting or providing a basis for further development: a seminal idea in the creation of a new theory.

    the way I heard it, this panel and the unrecorded breakout discussion immediately afterwards marked the beginning of Wiscon. Of course, Wiscon doesn’t quite appear to qualify as being a theory, so, then, what do I know…

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