KlingCon

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Star Trek Convention
Name: KlingCon
Dates: Thanksgiving weekend, 1978
Frequency: perhaps once, perhaps not at all
Location: Greenville, SC at the downtown Sheraton Motor Inn
Type: fan run fan con with no celebrity guests
Focus: Star Trek: TOS
Organization:
Founder: Sharon Emily, Rebecca Hoffman, M.A. Carson
Founding Date:
URL:
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KlingCon was to be a fan-run Star Trek: TOS convention held over Thanksgiving weekend in 1978. It was planned by Sharon Emily and some members of the Greenville Association of Star Trek Fans.

A Proposal

It will be a small fan-orientated convention, much on the order of SekWester*Con. Hosted by Sharon Emily, editor of Star Trek Showcase, and president of the Mark Lenard fan club --the con will be sponsored by the Greenville Association of Star Trek Fans. Attendance will be limited to 300. There will be no guest stars, no movies (unless we can find a way to get them free, though the Blooper Reel will probably be shown). There will be a dealer's room, an art show, and possibly an art auction. Since this con will take place over a holiday weekend you are encouraged to make this a family vacation -- there will be a babysitting service. There are many activities in the surrounding area for spouses of con attendees. Plans are still tentative and we need to know who is interested. If you think this con is fun and you might like to attend, please send an SASE. [1]

Reactions and Reviews

At least one fan, [C W], considered this convention a complete disaster, and it caused her to write a personal statement:

Be it know that the following persona dissolve ALL associations for personal and profession reasons/obligations/grievances with [R H] and [M.A.C.], late of the Southern Star: [C W], [L H], [P W], and [T B]. Let it also be know that the fanzines known respectively as Fanfare, and Jedi are in no way subsidiaries of [R H's] 'Southern Star'; nor is the SF/ST organization known a The Alternative Factor, a chapter of [R H's] club, The Greenville Association of Star Trek fans. I wish to apologize openly to the following persons in the aftermath of what was known as KlingCon convention handled by [R H] and [M.A.C.]. To Sharon and [M E]: apologies for driving such a long distance for that affair. Meeting the two of you and taking you to dinner was the highlight of the con for me and the persons mentioned above. Through everything, you both handled yourselves with dignity and decorum, impressing those of us who were boiling mad... To [J L] and [C H], new fan artists, my sincere apologies. You both were great artists with gorgeous work, and I only hope this convention and the way it was/wasn't handled does not hinder or disillusion either of you. To everyone who came expecting a crowd of 300, you are not alone. Some of the staff did the same double take when they realized that only 20 or so persons had registered, if that many. To everyone who suffered through [M.A.C.'s] slide show, and this includes family groups, and women, children, and favorite aunts -- please realize that not all fen are of the same calibre. [2]

Another fan writes that most of the promised events did not take place:

There were no parties, there were no workshops, there was no chess tournament. There was no panel on the 'professional Star Trek and Star Wars 'junk' available in stores.' There was not banquet. There was no con suite. These last two were not quite as surprising a some of the staff knew that as of a month before the convention only some forty out of an expected 300 had registered and, therefore, there were not enough guests to warrant the hotel's cooperation... Heard any good jokes lately? KlingCon. [3]

Another fan writes:

... There were none of the activities promised. Instead of films, we were treated to the ever-present blooper reel and to a very offensive slideshow with captions provided by M.A. Carson (it was the captions that were offensive, not the slides)... The entire con was riddled with mismanagement and discourtesy... During one particularly dull stretch, I paid a visit to the lounge. As I exited, feeling rather euphoric after two vodka martinis, I was told by Carson that in five minutes I was to be one of the speakers at the Fan Art panel. I didn't even know there was going to be a fan art panel. I have already mentioned the slide show. I may be old-fashioned, but an audience of children and family groups and women is not the place for smut. [4]

However, there were fans who had issues with these printed opinions:

This open letter is directed to those who were grousing about KlingCon in 'Scuttlebutt' #11. Who gave YOU the authority to issue apologies for that convention? Granted, in terms of selling a lot of merchandise to huge crowds of fans, the convention may have been 'a waste of time.' Otherwise Myra and I enjoyed ourselves, and we met a lot of nice, well-mannered people. If we felt we needed an apology (we don't), we're perfectly capable of writing PRIVATE letters to the CONVENTION COMMITTEE asking for one. We especially do not appreciate you use of our names in unsolicited 'apologies' that were parts of letters which were such obvious attacks upon another individual." [5]

The fan, [C W], who wrote the first letter apologizes:

To Whom It May Concern: Eating crow is not my favorite pastime. Yet I must, so wish me luck. Here goes. For some reason unbeknownst to myself OR Rebecca Hoffman, a trusted and mutual friend fed me a lotof lines, regarding KlingCon andthose in charge of it. Due to my lack of experience, my naivete, or what have you, I fell hook, line, and sinker without checking out this information. Never at any point, was I asked to get up on a white horse and apologize. I did that (in my last letter) of my own volition. The names mentioned in said letter were used by this person/friend in regards to several matters which, it appears didn't exist, or matter. As I said before, I had no reason to disbelieve the person or what I was told. When I wrote last, I was angry over what appeared to be people using others in a fannish setting and context. I'm not angry now; but the reason is still there -- this time for real. People, including myself, were used. (I laid me on the line, plus others.) The purpose of causing dissension in fandom is unclear to me, and I apologize for directly and indirectly adding to that because of misinformation, half-truths, and lies. [6]

References

  1. from Scuttlebutt #2
  2. from Scuttlebutt #11
  3. from Scuttlebutt #11
  4. from Scuttlebutt #11
  5. from Sharon Emily in Scuttlebutt #12
  6. from Scuttlebutt #12