FunCon

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Science Fiction Convention
Name: FunCon (or Future Unbounded Science Fiction Show and Convention)
Dates: July 4, 1968
Frequency:
Location: Statler Hotel, Los Angeles
Type:
Focus:
Organization:
Founder: Chuck Crayne and Bruce Pelz
Founding Date:
URL:
FunCon logo, image courtesy The Moffats and the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Links to galleries below
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FunCon (or Future Unbounded Science Fiction Show and Convention) was a general science fiction convention held in Los Angeles over the 4th of July weekend in 1968. It featured science fiction book writers, publishers, editors and artists and included a masquerade and some Star Trek programming.

From one of its show runners, Chuck Crayne's obituary:
When a Bay Area bid won the rights to host the 1968 Worldcon and promptly merged it with the Westercon they’d already been voted, vacating the July 4th weekend, Chuck Crayne came up with the idea for a substitute LA-area event to fill the date – FUNCon – and a group to run it, Future Unbounded, which included himself and Bruce Pelz, Dian and others. As Rich Lynch explains, the site, the Statler Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, had a level of luxury that fans were not used to in convention hotels, and Crayne wrote in the program book that “The F-UNcon is an attempt to show that — when properly planned — the larger a convention, the better the convention. [1]

In the Planning

From February 1968:
Bjo Trimble sends information on the F-UN CON (FUTURE UNBOUNDED), which will be held July 4-7 at the Statler Hilton in Los Angeles, This regional con will have a masquerade ball, fashion show, art show, auctions, science films, and a banquet with speeches by several noted SP writers including Robert Bloch, Harry Harrison vill be guest of honor. Advance memberships in the con are available now (full membership $3, supporting $1) from Charles A, Crayne [address redacted]. Bjo would like to know, since the F-UN CON is being held right there in ST country — "if we arranged for a special luncheon (about $5.50) with guest stars, and fashion show of the costumes from ST, and displays, and so on—a sort of ST Symposium for one day, at least, of the Funcon, how many people would attend?" If you'd be interested in this, drop Bjo a postcard telling her so and giving info on the number of people in your party, etc., and what you'd like to have at such a gathering.[2]

Convention Reports

The Statler Hilton, downtown L.A. hosted Chuck Crayne's FunCon and was surely a hallmark in Star Trek history. Not only did the bloopers finally get shown in their entirety before a completely fannish audience, but Roddenberry brought an amazing assortment of props and costumes from the show. He was also giving away packets of film clips. To top if off, a surprise guest was William ("I just want to thank Mr. Roddenberry for hiring me") Shatner. Another plus at the con was a performance of "H.M.S. Trek-A-Star" a clever Trek-oriented play with Jerry Jacks, Poul, Karen and Astrid Anderson. [3]

FUNcon was held at the Statler-Hilton, Los Angeles. July 4-7, and attended by about 350 fans. ST activities included a Star Trek display (Nomad, Balok, gorn, the saltsucker from "Man Trap", costumes); the showing of "Menagerie"; an ST panel discussion; the ST luncheon; an auction at which Spock ears and other items were sold; and ST "blooper" films.

Guests at the luncheon included Robert Justman, D. C. Pontana, James and Anita Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Rick Carter. Through some good thinking on the part of the committee making arrangements, the guests were seated at various tables instead of grouped at a head table, to the delight of all the people who got to talk to them.

The panel discussion was moderated by Bjo Trimble, and panel members were Robert Justman, D. C. Fontana, Walter Koenig and a representative of a research firm which checks facts for ST and other shows. Questions were brought up, like, "Why can all those aliens speak English?" (Mr. Justman's answer—the use of a translator would involve adding it to the equipment carried and the explanations made every time it was used.)

Walter Koenig attended the costume ball; George Takei was MC at a meeting of the newly organized Fantasy Arts Society and introduced speakers on

"Fantasy in its Different Media"; and Gene Roddenberry attended part of the con, wearing a piece of Vulcan jewelry called an idic. (He had made the idic himself, and it will be worn by Spock in one of the shows. It may also be available from STE later on if interest is shown.) [4]

Galleries

References

  1. Chuck Crayne Dies Suddenly dated February 18th, 2009 ; WebCite.
  2. from Plak-Tow #4
  3. Alan White's 1968 - Fandom Is Where You Find It, accessed August 26, 2012; WebCite.
  4. from Plak-Tow #9
  5. WebCite for Moffat Photos From FunCon I<].
  6. WebCite for Photos from the Collection of Dik Daniels.