BayCon (series of California cons)

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You may be looking for the Worldcons called "Baycon" (1968 and 1993).

Name: BayCon
Dates: Annually in May
Frequency: Annual
Location: Santa Clara, California, USA
Type: Multi-genre
Focus: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Organization: Artistic Solutions, Inc.
Founder: John McLaughlin & Randall Cooper
Founding Date: 1982
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BayCon is a science fiction & fantasy convention in the San Francisco Bay area. Held for the first time in 1982, BayCon is traditionally held over Memorial Day weekend and features programming tracks and special guests from across the science fiction and fantasy genres.

In 1993, it was held at the Red Lion Inn in San Jose, CA. It billed itself as a relax-a-con and an alternative to Worldcon, which was held in San Fransisco that year.

a flyer for 1993






1986: Con Reports

BAYCON was the next con I attended. Since this is not a media con, as such, there is a little something for everyone. I spent most of the con behind the registration desk. That was great in a way, because it meant that there were a lot of memberships sold at the door. On the other hand it meant that I saw very little of the convention. This didn't surprise me much because the same thing happened last year. If any thing I had more off time this year.

The dealers' room was OK, but it was a major disappointment if you were looking for zines. That was probably just as well. I do need money for the rest of the summer and I tend to lose all sense of proportion when I see a zine table. (Bet you all know about that madness.)

There was a very good Japanes Animaiton Festival, which I did catch part of. It was pretty intriguing to see all those kids absolutely spellbound by something in a language they didn't understand a word of and didn't seem to need translation. It was probably a good thing that some of them were not translated. Those are pretty adult animation films.


There was an official Star Trek presentation. A fan representative from Paramount gave it. (A fan representative is someone who does not actually be long to the studio, but is a real fan who is brought in as a sort of consultant. Some job, huh! And how do we get one?) The presentation mostly consisted of slides^from the first three films, (what didn't get in or was behind^the scenes). He told you little tidbits such as it was L. Nimoy's voice used for the elevator that talked to Mr. Scott in SFS. He said that the Star Trek sets were the only permanent sets at Paramount and that it costs them over $25,000 a month to do that because they could be renting the space to new productions. He also said that someone, believed to be a dis gruntled employee and not a fan, had gotten onto the sets and taken a hammer or something and smashed everything in sight. There has been slow but steady restoration going on and fortunately none of it was needed for the new movie. Part of the permanent set is the Enterprise which is interesting since there isn't supposed to be anymore Enterprise. He was very careful not to give away too much about the new film. Everything he told us had been "officially" released. But -- just in case there is something someone hasn't heard, I'll repeat the highlights here.

[movie plot info snipped]

He, his name was Richard, said that the studio had asked him to read the first draft of the script and he felt this is the best of the three. He said he cried at the end, not because it was sad, but because it was a wonderful ending. He made a standing bet, that its preview audience would give it a standing ovation, "at least the fans will, the others will just drop their popcorn."

By now, you all probably know that the new movie was shot all over California. There was only one day of studio shooting. Some of us were lucky enough to spend an afternoon watching them shoot on San Francisco's Marina Green. We tried to contact others of our clan, (e.g. Alta and Ruth), but we couldn't get them. Only the Captain, the First Officer, and the oceanographer (Catherine Hicks) were in the scene we saw.

There were no ropes or barriers. We were close enough to touch numerous times. Boy -- did we contemplate some wild scenarios. Alas! Sanity prevailed and we hehaved ourselves. Besides -- we were chicken. It was windy, cold and it started to rain but you couldn't have pried us away from there with an Arctic blizzard.

William Shatner stayed in his trailer if he wasn't actually before the cameras. (He has to be the all time champion gum chewer. The green was littered with the pieces he-threw away each time he had to say his lines. Another piece would go in immediately. I started to wonder if he was using the old singer's trick of chewing gum to keep moisture in his/ mouth.) Alfred, the husband of one of our group and the only male we had with us, said to him as he passed at the end of the day "Mr. Shatner, you still have the magic". That earned him a grin that was pure Kirk.

Leonard Nimoy was visible all the time. Even if he rested it was in a station wagon that was parked there rather than in the trailer. Pictures were allowed as long as they were not shooting because camera mikes could pick up the click of the shutter. Nimoy directs like he seems to do everything -- quietly, gently, and with great good humor. The crew seems to love him, and there appears to be genuine affection be tween him and William Shatner. It was nice to watch. Be lieve me I floated on the effects of that afternoon for at least three weeks. [1]
Went to Baycon in San Jose and was mostly bored. 80 hours of Japanese animation has very limited appeal to a zine fan. And there were desperately few zines in the dealers room. Leslie Fish's zine was being sold at a filk tape table. Star Klique was selling Bellerophon, and Melody Rondeau was selling her zines. Boy, did I get spoiled for zines at Idicon. The art show was okay, a little small and not spectacular. There were very few costumes, apparently there was a costumers' con the same weekend. [2]







1992: Con Reports

The show was much larger than in the past. Lots of lovely art with Artists GOH displaying and selling. Don Maits, Janny Wurts, Ian McCaig, etc. Other pros: LelaDowling, Patricia Davis, Stu Shepherd, Mark Ferrari, Armand Cabrera, etc. A large print shop. Unfortunately, attendance was down... only 1,500 members (Usually up to twice that). Bidding was sluggish. Still, some 70-80 pieces made it to the auction on 5 bids. Lela Dowling's paintings (which in the past have gone for $800 to $1,000) went for $350 this year. My sales and Joyce's were OK - but nearly 1/2 of last year. Despite the lack of any mailings of artist information and other signs of disorganization before the con started,

the show seemed to run well during the con. The pick-up for buyers was slow, as usual. Overall, this stil was a good show with good sales, but feeling the effects of the recession perhaps. Next Year, it will be more of a relaxacon (if that's possible out here) due to ConFrancisco being held in the Bay Area.[3]


1993: Con Reports

The right honourable Shawn Blanchette presiding... This year they tried something a little different with the panel set ups and created 'bays' at regular intervals. This was great for people like me who look at everything, but it seemed to 'trap' some folks and they would miss seeing the stuff hung behind or beyond the bays. The jury's still out as to whether this was a total success. The artists hung in the bays seemed to like it.


Baycon also boasts a very organized art show staff under Shawn's direction. They are helpful and veterans of many a past artshow. Shawn's husband, the ever resourceful Captain David, had a computer set up going that alowed them to print out receipts and also to provide an auction list tmd winning bid list, wliich were then posted on tlie door prior to the auction on Monday. The wiming bid list gave the title, artist and number of the bidder, while the auction list gave title, artist and approximate order they would be brought to the block. This seemed to help make things move far more smoothly. As with Baycons in the past several years, there's been very little bidding until the last hour of the show, (me thinks the buyers are wishing up-a dangerous trend-grin) Most pieces went for minimum or slightly above. Sales were slow due to a combination of localy depressed economy and the old say for "I'm saving my money for Worldcon." Heather Bruton stole the show with roughly $700 in sales (we hates her, my precious: we hates her forever!) Approximately 150 pieces were sold, and the highest written bid on one item prior to the auction was $250. The average going price for pieces was $20-$25.

Melody showed 17 and sold 15 (most at minimum). Teirie sent 16, and sold 6 (one to the auction). Diana sent 12 and sold 12. Heather showed 15 and sold 12 for Lots 'O Money Susan showed 19 and sold 18.[4]
Baycon was smaller than usual this year, due to scaling back in preparation for ConFrancisco. Membership hovered around the one-thousand mark. The art show was smaller than in previous years also, with fewer pros - but it was still a very nice show, with a print shop. Paperwork previous to the show was as bad as last year; no bid sheets or control sheets sent out, and artists had to contact Shawn Blanchette, the director, personally. But the show ran smoothly enough otherwise. Bidding was very, very slow, but the auction went well. Three bids went to auction, and some 50 or so pieces made it to the voice auction. Although the show made much less money than in previous years, individual artists still managed to do very well.[5]



May 26-29

1995: Con Reports

This con art show could have and would have been a disaster If not for the valiant efforts of the art show second-in-command Wilma Meier. My hats off to her!! She took control and kept things running smoothly and managed to keep her temper (no mean feat). The con had fired the previous art show director 2-3 weeks before the show and drafted artists Linda Pohl into the position. Linda did an admirable job given the slow set up and the snafus with the lights and everyone's temper's fraying. Roughly at 1 PM Friday the art room was finally set up (the panels did not arrive until shortly before noon). The lighting was abysmal and the globe lights brought in to help illuminate the show seemed to have very little effect. Due to the luck of the draw - I was once again In the 'black hole of Calcutta', but diligent buyers were able to find me anyway (It's been unofficial BayCon policy that my panel will be in the darkest corner possible. I stopped taking is personally after the 5th year in a row). Heathers art was put in the smaller, adjoining room, which turned out to have the best lighting In the place. She sold all but one piece & several went to auction.


I hung 21 and sold 19. A couple went to auction. Money was decent for me, largely due in part to the generosity of Don Kerphart who bought my centaur and mermaid material (bless him!). BayCon was completely sold out in the art show and had no waiting list available at the show due to the large volume of already waiting artists. The show was much smaller than years past but the overall quality of the art was far higher over all. Of special interest was Linda Pohl's papercut fantasy art. Layers of paper cut and meticulously

glued to make wonderful effects. I wish I'd bought one of them. These delightful pieces were largely overlooked, which was a real shame. The lady is a wizard of the scissors.[6]





1999: Con Reports


  1. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #20
  2. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #20
  3. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #3
  4. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #11
  5. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #12
  6. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #29