Progress Report 3
Potlatch 10, February 23-25, 2001
Ramada Plaza Hotel International
San Francisco, CA
Book of Honor: Thunder & Roses, by Theodore Sturgeon (North Atlantic Press)
Potlatch, c/o Mary Kay Kare, PO Box 3042, San Ramon, CA 94583 ($35, $10 sustaining). http://www.potlatch-sf.org/
The Con Committee is
Chairs - Janet Lafler (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Guy Thomas (email@example.com)
Auction - Cynthia Gonsalves (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bake Sale - Linda McAllister
Consuite - Ruth Lafler & Karen Schaffer email@example.com)
Dealers' Room Dave Clark (DaveClark42@cs.com)
Graphic Design - Freddie Baer
Hotel Liaison - Debbie Notkin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Native Guide - Aahz & Stef Maruch (email@example.com) & Sarah Goodman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Programming - Matt Austern & Tom Becker (email@example.com)
Publications - Lisa Hirsch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Registration & Treasury - Mary Kay Kare (email@example.com)
Toymeister - Allen Baum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Web Site & Publicity - Lenny Bailes (email@example.com)
Writers' Workshops - Zed Lopez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Comfy Chair's Welcome to PR 3
Welcome to 2001! And now for our obligatory Arthur C. Clarke reference: Here in the Bay Area, we have no monoliths. Bridges, palaces, mazes, mansions, and a couple of famous prisons, but no monoliths. (Guy: What about Coit Tower? Janet: Um, and towers. But no monoliths. Really.)
We do have a great con lined up, though. Here's a convenient timeline for things to do before, during, and after the con:
- Make your hotel reservations now!
- Oh, and buy a banquet ticket while you're at it. Check out the yummy main dish and dessert options.
- Read the book of honor, Theodore Sturgeon's Thunder & Roses.
- Donate something to the Clarion West Auction. What goes around comes around!
- Participate in programming. If you've got an idea you're burning to discuss, bring it to the con and initiate an Algonquin. Get ready to speak up during panels. Our programming duo will tell you more.
- Add to your Freddie Baer t-shirt collection. The supply is limited, so buy one early, while supplies last!
- Hang out in the Consuite. Our hospitality mavens are promising much that is fun, delectable, and congenial.
- Prepare to open your wallet in the dealers room. You know you want it!
- Play in our fabulous Toy Room.
- Collar someone who's involved in the writers' workshops even if you're not directly involved. Haven't you always wondered what goes on in those workshops?
- Enjoy afternoon tea, along with goodies courtesy of the Tiptree Bake Sale.
- Dance the night away.
- Buy something at the Clarion West Auction.
- Feel good about the fact that you're supporting our official charity: the science fiction collection at the San Francisco Public Library.
- Explore San Francisco.
See you soon!
Janet & Guy
Amazing Interactive Weekend Planner!
A detailed schedule will appear in the program book, but to help you to make your arrival, departure, lunch, and dinner plans, here is some basic schedule information for the weekend.
4:00 PM: Registration, the Consuite, the Dealers' Room, and the Toy Room open.
7:00 PM: Wine and cheese party begins in the Consuite.
8:30 - 10:00 PM: Opening Ceremonies (such as they are) and the Book of Honor Panel.
9:00 AM: Programming begins.
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Writers' Workshops.
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Lunch Break.
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM: Special afternoon session for tea, the Tiptree bake sale, Algonquins, and readings.
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Dinner Break.
8:00 PM: Evening programming begins.
9:00 PM: Chocolate fondue in the Consuite.
10:00 AM: Programming begins.
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Banquet.
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Clarion West Auction.
The Dead Dog Party will begin shortly thereafter.
We now have a full slate of panels for Potlatch 10! We'll have seven panels, a mixture of short items in one-hour time slots and longer items in ninety-minute time slots. Most of the programming will be on Saturday, but we'll have one panel on Sunday morning and one Friday night.
Thunder and Roses
Debbie Notkin, ringleader
Our Book of Honor is a collection of stories by one of the greats, Theodore Sturgeon. We'll focus specifically on the stories in Thunder and Roses, but we'll probably take detours along the way into appreciation of other Sturgeon masterpieces and stories of the man himself. Likely stories to concentrate on include the title story, "Maturity," "Tiny and the Monster," "Hurricane Trio," and, of course, your favorite.
Economics of Iniquity: Behind Every Great Fortune Lies a Great Crime
Lyn Paleo and Rich Dutcher, ringleaders
Why do bad people make good money? Science fiction invents new and often more nasty varieties of the old iniquities: drugs, prostitution, slavery. Some books even posit altogether new iniquities: organlegging, genetic piracy, virtual vice. What are the economics of iniquity in science fiction? Why (and how) are such things profitable? What are the special twists science fiction gives to these economics? How (and why) do authors write about iniquity, and what level of consciousness do they bring to the task?
Diversity in Science Fiction
Mary Anne Mohanraj, ringleader
Diversity is often taken to mean having characters of both sexes and many races. Is that the right way to think about it, or, for science fiction, do we need to think of it some other way? What is diversity, and how does it change the genre? What does diversity make possible that wasn't possible before? Which ideas and themes does diversity promote? Which does it discourage?
Science Fiction and Science Myth: The Science Panel for the Rest of Us
James Killus, ringleader
The relationship between science fiction and real science is complex. What are some of the false ideas that people hold about science, and how does science fiction reinforce (or undermine) those beliefs? Why is it that some developments in science find their way into SF, and others don't? What are we missing? And what does science fiction have to do with science, anyway?
The Cutting Edge and the Rusty Spoon
Eileen Gunn, ringleader
Some SF from the '40s and '50s has survived long past its sell-by date, while some of the stories we thought were so exciting a decade or two ago seem frozen in yesterday's tomorrow. Is this risk inherent in science fiction? Are ephemeral stories that capture the zeitgeist less worthy than stories that address the general human condition? Do those who live by the cutting edge die by the rusty spoon?
The SF Quiz Show, Live
David Levine, ringleader
Need we say more?
The Maturation of "Maturity": When a Master Rewrites
Zed Lopez, ringleader
Our book of honor, Thunder and Roses, gives us a look at the writing process by reprinting both the original magazine version of "Maturity," and a version with a different ending that Sturgeon wrote for book publication. How do these differ, and why? Our panel of Writers' Workshop participants will lead a critique of both versions and discuss what motivated Sturgeon's changes.
We're excited about the slate of panels that we're putting together, and we hope you will be too! We still need people for all of the panels, so if you're interested in a specific program item, or if you're just interested in participating, please let us know.
And please also remember that the formal panels are only part of Potlatch programming: the other part is the Algonquins. Algonquins can be author's readings, or discussions, or - well, anything, really. They can take place during the slot we've scheduled for them on Saturday, or any other time. They can happen over meals, or in people's rooms, or even outside. Some of the Algonquins that people are planning are "How to Start a Speculative Fiction Magazine: Pleasures and Pitfalls," "Can we talk about the book now, please?," "The Our Lady of Darkness Tour," and "Applied probability theory and the redistribution of wealth." Bring your own ideas, the more the better!
Matt Austern & Tom Becker
Hotel & Banquet
IMPORTANT: The room guarantee expires on February 1, 2001. If you make a reservation after that date, the hotel will give you the Potlatch rate on any available rooms, but they will not hold rooms for us. So make your reservations now!
The historic and beautiful Ramada Plaza Hotel (which was once San Francisco's temporary city hall) is located at:
1231 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(directly outside the Civic Center BART station)
To call the hotel directly, phone (415) 626-8000.
For toll-free reservations, call (800) 227-4747 or (888) 298-2054 .
More information about the hotel can be found at www.ramadaplazasf.com.
The room rate for Potlatch is $105. Be sure to mention Potlatch when reserving your room to be sure to get the rate, which is extremely low for San Francisco.
Detailed directions to the hotel can be found elsewhere in this progress report. And, see Matchmaker, Matchmaker! if you need a roommate for the convention.
About the Banquet:The Potlatch banquet will be held on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. We have been successful in reducing the banquet price from $22.00 per person to $20.00 per person. (If you have already paid the original price, we'll refund the overpayment at the convention.)
You must reserve your banquet place now, so please send in the banquet form with your choice of entrée right away, whether or not you have already paid for the banquet. Alternatively, send email to email@example.com with your choice.
You can choose between:
- Half a roasted chicken with herb-cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and chef's choice of vegetables
- Platter of roasted summer squash, zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant, with basil (vegan)
Both choices include a spinach salad with mandarin oranges slices and toasted almonds.
You can choose your dessert at the banquet: we'll have a chocolate mousse and an apple-cranberry tart. We're sorry; the only vegan dessert choice is fresh fruit.
Need a roommate for Potlatch 10? Send your roommate requirements and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-732-8894. Since rooms are not guaranteed after February 1, please contact us by January 28 and we'll do our best.
Getting to Potlatch
The Potlatch 10 ConCom is very pleased that we succeeded in finding a hotel that met one of our most important criteria: access to public transportation and proximity to restaurants and other amenities. The hotel is directly served by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI). It is situated on Market Street just steps from the Civic Center BART station and a short walk from the SF Public Library, numerous restaurants, Davies Symphony Hall, and the theater district.
We suggest that you leave your cars home when you attend Potlatch 10. The hotel's web site concurs: "We strongly recommend utilizing taxis and public transport around town. It is more economical and less frustrating than searching for parking. San Francisco is a great walking town famous for its compact size." Parking at the hotel is limited, restricted to registered guests, and expensive ($18/day). There are parking lots in the area, with various daily, weekend, and night prices, but we hope the public transit information that follows will demonstrate that a carless weekend is the best option. (Phone numbers and URLs for more information on are at the end of the public transit section.)
From Oakland Airport: By BART: Exit the terminal, catch the shuttle to the Coliseum BART station, and take BART to Civic Center station. The shuttle fare is $2.00; BART is $2.75. By bus: The AC Transit A bus line runs from the airport to the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco (see below). You can then take Muni to the hotel. The fares are $2.50 for AC Transit and $1.00 for Muni.
From San Francisco Airport: By bus: exit the terminal and catch the SamTrans KX line, which stops at 8th and Mission, just one block south of the hotel. You can also ride the bus all the way to the Transbay Terminal (see below). The fares are $3.00 for SamTrans and $1.00 for Muni. Alternatively, take SamTrans route BX from the airport to the Colma BART station, then take BART to Civic Center station.
From both airports: There are numerous van services that provide door-to-door transportation from the airports. From Oakland, fares are about $23 per passenger; from San Francisco, about $13. It is preferable to have reservations. Some shuttle services give discounts for multiple passengers to the same address, so inquire before making a reservation.
By Amtrak: There is no direct Amtrak service into San Francisco, so the easiest way to arrive by Amtrak is to take the train to Richmond, CA, where there is a joint Amtrak/BART station. You can then take BART directly to the Civic Center station.
By Greyhound: Greyhound uses the Transbay Terminal (see below).
From the Transbay Terminal: The Transbay Terminal is located at Mission and First Streets, one block south of Market Street. From ramp outside the Transbay Terminal, the 6 Parnassus will take you to 8th and Market. Alternatively, you can walk one block north on First Street to Market Street and catch the F streetcar or the 2, 7, 9, 21, or 71 buses. The Muni fare is $1.00.
BART: The hotel is just steps from the Civic Center BART station. Follow the direction signs within the station to the 8th and Market exit. The intra-San Francisco Muni Metro also stops at this station.
From the East Bay: Did you notice the part about the hotel being right on top of the Civic Center BART Station? In addition, ACTransit runs bus service from all parts of the East Bay to the Transbay Terminal (see above).
From the Peninsula and South Bay: From the Caltrain terminal, the Muni Metro N line takes you to the Civic Center Metro station (see BART, above). (This is also a really nice ride past the new PacBell Park and through the bustling, trendy South Beach district.) The fare is $1.00. SamTrans also runs many buses from parts of the Peninsula into downtown San Francisco. The stop at 8th and Mission is only one block south of the hotel's location at 8th and Market. A third option would be to drive to the Colma or Daly City BART stations.
From the North Bay: Golden Gate Transit provides bus service into downtown San Francisco, and ferry service that connects to the Muni F streetcar line at the Ferry Building, which is located at the foot of Market Street.
For more transit information:
SamTrans/CalTrain: 1-800-660-4287; www.samtrans.com
Golden Gate Transit: 415-455-2000 (Marin County); 707-541-2000 (Sonoma County); www.transitinfo.org/GGT/
Bay Area TravInfo: 817-1717 (can supply info on all transit systems from any local area code)
Oakland airport ground transportation: www.flyoakland.com/shuttles.html (comprehensive list, with phone numbers, of shuttle services, most of which also serve SFO).
SFO ground transportation: www.sfoairport.com (click Ground Transportation at the top of the main page)
For attendees who choose to drive: From the East or South: Take 101 or 80 into downtown San Francisco. Take the 9th Street/Civic Center exit. Follow the signs to Civic Center and turn onto 9th Street (a northbound one-way street). Continue on 9th Street to Market Street. Make a right turn (Eastward) on Market Street. The Ramada Plaza Hotel International is between 9th and 8th Street on the right side (South side).
More detailed directions, and directions from the Golden Gate Bridge, are on the Hotel's web site: www.ramadaplazasf.com/2.htm
Become Part of The Telling
It's been said by many science fiction critics that the cumulative body of work published in the field comprises an ongoing dialog between the writers and readers. For the past several years, Potlatch has attempted to stimulate this dialog by taking notes on the programmed discussions that occur at the convention. Currently, you can find notes and summaries for Potlatches 7 through 9 on the World Wide Web at http://www.potlatch-sf.org/links.htm
We're looking for volunteers to continue this tradition at Potlatch 10. All you have to do is listen to a panel discussion and jot down salient points made by speakers and audience.
Word-by-word stenography is not required. If you think you'd like to participate in preserving the written and oral history of the Potlatch community, please contact me (Lenny Bailes email@example.com).
Clarion west Auction
It's still not too late to find those treasures you'd like to donate to the Clarion West auction. Start the new year off by letting me know what you've got to contribute at firstname.lastname@example.org. And of course, it's never too early to find the perfect gift for the people of taste and discernment in your life, including the person you see in the mirror every day! Plan to join the fun on Sunday afternoon.
The Toymeister would like to talk to anyone who has a cool toy or game and is good at sharing with others (or who just likes to show them off in general). Please contact Allen Baum at email@example.com.
The Native Guide would like to hear from you about anything that might fit well into the Native Guide. We are particularly interested in reviews of restaurants within ½ mile of the hotel, but we'd also appreciate information on events occurring within a week of Potlatch, as well as more distant restaurants or sights that you consider worth the trip. Please include the location, cost, and wheelchair accessibility of anything you write up for us. Send your blurbs by February 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Aahz & Stef Maruch & Sarah Goodman
Jae Leslie Adams
Mary Kay Kare
Nancy Wirsig McClure
Paul E Moslander
G. David Nordley
Guest of Vargo
Donya Hazard White
Memberships to Potlatch 10, to be held in San Francisco (February 23-25, 2001), are $35. You can also buy a supporting membership, entitling you to all publications, for $10.
City______________________ State/Prov _______________ Postal Code________
Email address (optional)_______________________________________________
Phone number:_______________________ Interested in: ___________________
Type of member ship____________________ Amount_____________
Use additional sheet of paper for more names. Make checks payable to Potlatch and send c/o Mary Kay Kare PO Box 3042 San Ramon, CA 94583. The registrar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Banquet order form
Price: $20 per person
Attendee Name(s): ________________________________________________________________
Choice of Entrée: ___Roasted Chicken ___Vegan Roasted Vegetable Platter
Please mail this back and let us know your choice of entrée as soon as possible. You can also email your choice to email@example.com.
c/o Mary Kay Kare
P. O. Box 3042
San Ramon, CA 94583