From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Star Trek Convention
Name: SeKWester*Con
Dates: 1976, 1977
Frequency: yearly
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Type: Trek relaxacon
Focus: fans
Founder: Paula Smith and Sharon Ferraro
Founding Date: April 9-11, 1976
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

SeKWester*Con (April 9-11, 1976) and SeKWester*Con, Too (May 28-29, 1977) were part of a series of seminal Star Trek media cons that eventually became MediaWest*Con.

Note: in the previous year's program report, Paula Smith mentions that this con was initially titled: "InKWest*Con."

By 1976, Star Trek cons were getting bigger and more expensive; more guests, more stars... In reaction, Paula Smith and Sharon Ferraro planned SeKWester*Con (pronounced "sequester con") as the first media con by fans and for fans, with no celebrity guests -- designed for fans who complain that at the big cons, they never get the time to see the other fans.

Cons in the Series

Its Birth

flyer proposing the first con, click to read
Lotsa fans have been griping that at the big cons they never get time to see other fans, and for me anyway, that's half the reason I go to cons. Well, Paula Smith and I have come up with a solution -- over the weekend of April 9-11 we plan to hold SeKWester*Con here in Kalamzoo at the new convention center. Programming will be entirely fan-discussions of Trek, of fandom, of anything people want to discuss. A small art show, a swap session, a costume banquet, and anything else that comes up. A thoroughly fan con. Cost will be kept as low as possible... Registration is $3.00 through October 1sy, $4.00 afterwards and at the door. There will be a strict limit on attendance, we can accept no more than 200 registrations... we'd prefer 150. [1]
Back in the early 1970s, Devra's New York con was the one to go to. Before Devra shut down in 1975, there were a couple of big professional conventions with all the stars from the show. But those were expensive—$20 to attend! Sharon and I looked at each other and said we should do a Star Trek con the way we did our science fiction cons. Since we're hiding it away from the big guys, let's call it 'SeKWester*Con.' No stars at all—that would be the big difference. So we held it in 1976 in Kalamazoo because the Midwest was where the active fans we knew were. And we thought, let's do a 'fan quality' award. We'll call it a FanQ to thank all the people who were writing good stuff. One for art and one for writing. It was just for Trek. There wasn't anything else... One hundred people came, which was pretty good for what we wanted. We had a bunch of panels, we had an art show, and we had a dealer's room. We took the same template from the small science fiction cons. We held it at a little motor lodge and posted notices in the zines. We also sent letters to people we knew would be interested. A lot of people came from all over the country. In 1977, for the second one, 200 people—even from as far away as Australia! It was called SeKWester*Con Too. Lori Chapek had gone to SeKWester*Con One and she thought, 'That was fun. I can do that too.' So she organized a little con at Michigan State in 1978 while she was still a student there. She asked to do the third one and called it T'Con. Gordon [who would be Lori's husband] was writing around then and he had these characters, the T'Khutians. It was an alien race that was related to the Vulcans, but because he was a humorist, they were all crazy clowns. Lori and Gordon did T'Con and the next year, 1979, they did 2'Con. The mascot was a toucan bird doing a Vulcan salute. And then Devra said she'd like to hold the next one in New York and organized Mos' Easley in 1980 because Star Wars was out then. The Star Wars fans started to come at T'con, and so it began to morph into a multiple-fandom [con], though at that point, it was still just Trek and Star Wars. In 1981, Lori and Gordon took what was now the big yearly con back to the Midwest, and called it MidWest*Con. The second MidWest*Con [2] was in 1982 and throughout the 1980s, we began seeing fans from Starsky and Hutch, Doctor Who, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.—fans of all kinds of movies and TV shows. Lori and Gordon decided to change the name to MediaWest*Con because it was for media fandom, to distinguish it from science fiction fandom, which concentrated more on science fiction in books. And of course, MediaWest is still running. [3]

Connection to MediaWest*Con

After two years, Sharon Ferraro dropped out, and Lori Chapek-Carleton and Paula Smith changed the name to T'Con, to take place on Memorial Day weekend of the next year, 1978. That convention gave out the second Fan Q Awards. The next year, they held 2'Con, and again, gave out Fan Q Awards.

In 1981, Lori Chapek-Carleton, Gordon Carleton and Paula Smith put on MediaWestCon (actually called "MidWest*Con" the first two years), held on May 22-25 in Lansing, Michigan. It turned out to be the fanzine convention of the year, and has been held every year since. They still give out Fan Q Awards, though the categories have changed many times over the years.

The First Star Trek Fan Fund

Gerry Downes was the first recipient of the Star Trek Fan Fund, sponsored by the letterzine The Halkan Council which raised money to pay for transportation and hotel fees to allow fans to attend conventions. She chose to go to SeKWester*Con.

For more about this fan fund, see: Star Trek Fan Fund.

The Pornography Controversy!, aka "Rise of the Age Statements"

Main articles: The SekWester*Con Porn Debate, Open Letter by Mary Lou Regarding Explicit Fanworks

The major difference between SeKWester*Con and SeKWester*Con, Too was the new inclusion of explicit art (nudes) in the art show, discussion of K/S stories and pornography in two of the panels, and nomination of explicit stories (including Leslie Fish's notorious Shelter) for Fan Q Awards. R&R, the first zine series after Grup to label itself adult, brought out its first three issues between 'SeKWester*Con and SeKWester*Con, Too. Some fans had never seen this sort of material in Trek fandom, and they had very strong reactions.

The strongest reaction came from Mary Louise Dodge -- an excerpt:

Since I came back from SeKWester*Con, I can't seem to get myself back to work.... All the joyous memories of meeting old and new friends, or of the delight in the charming Saturday night sketches—everything is being smothered by a flood of resentment.... I do not enjoy being invited to a Star Trek convention, only to find instead it is a pornography con; I do not relish having pornography shoved down my throat! ...For the first time, last weekend, I was ashamed of being in fandom.... I don't know how this sea of sludge can be stemmed...better to outlaw the zines completely than to see them destroy Star Trek, for I couldn't even watch it this week, I find it depressing, after seeing what fandom has brought it to. That's it—I'm mad, and I'm getting madder every day...and I'm not the only one. There were a lot of tight-lipped people at the Con. Somebody owes somebody a big apology to real Star Trek fans." [4]
the Wicked Wanda cover of "Spectrum" #35 by M.J. Fisher. It was in this issue that much conversation about Sekwester Con and "porn" took place

Paula Smith, one of the con organizers, responded -- an excerpt:

I agree that ST pornography is a lousy thing—it is so badly written.... But when a reader takes up a story on an adult theme, she expects an adult treatment, or ought to. A simpering, or brutal treatment of sex is evil in the most fundamental sense, because such trivializes and degrades our greatest humanity—love. But sex, and sexuality, per se, are not dirty and disgusting."[5]

A few month later, Spectrum #35 covered the controversy over sexually explicit material -- an excerpt:

Last summer a feud broke out in STrekdom.... The feud was over the issue of pornography and indecency in fanfic. To some people the whole controversy seemed absurd since most people in fandom feel that fans tend to be more open-minded and liberal than the rest of the mundane world.... The height of the debates occurred last summer and early in the fall of 1977. The reason that the pressure died down is due in part... to pressure from STW The Star Trek Welcommittee to keep everyone away from everyone else's throats.

For more on this topic, see The SekWester*Con Porn Debate.

The debate spurred decisions throughout Trek fandom to label any fanzine with explicit sexual material as such, and not to knowingly sell such material to minors by requiring an age statement for purchase. By a decade later, when the Surak awards debuted, zines nominated were divided into two categories: "general" (which became gen) and "age statement required".

SeKWester*Con (1976)

The first con was held April 9-11, 1976.

It had a had a cap of 200 attendees and was wildly successful.

There were 110 attendees. Most were zine editors, writers and artists, along with some zine readers.

Twelve pages of the program book are printed in The New York and Chicago Strektaculars!.

The program book also contains a filk called "Star Drek Strektacular!"

All attending and supporting members got a copy of Sharon Ferraro's perzine, Turnabout.

SeKWester*Con : Program Book Covers

Programming: SeKWester*Con (1976)


  • 9:00 -- The Image of the Trekkie and Why (Virginia Walker, Shirley Maiewski, Phil Foglio (M))
  • 10:00 -- The History of the Federation (Stephen O'Neil, Jeff Johnston, Sharon Ferraro (M), Rich Tucholka)
  • 11:00 -- Kraith (Debbie Goldstein (M), Carol Lynn, Joyce Yasner, intro by Paula Smith)
  • 12:00 -- Lunch Break
  • 1:00 -- Cons at Present -- The State of the Event Now (Joyce Yasner, Devra Langsam, Sharon Ferraro (M))
  • 1:30 -- Cons of the Future -- Evolution (Mary Manchester, Sandy Yingling, Shirley Huang, SRF (M))
  • 2:00 -- Fanzines, What Makes a Good One? (Devra Langsam, Debbie Goldsmith, Connie Faddis)
  • 3:00 -- The Blueprints and Tech Manual -- How Useful Are They? (Mike Short, Jeff Johnston, Paula Smith (M))
  • 4:00 -- Panel for Beginning Writers (Joyce Yasner, Connie Faddis, Shirley Maiewski, Paula Smith)
  • 5:00 -- The Star Trek film and Revival -- What Will it Mean to the Hard-Core Fan?
  • 6:00 -- Banquet preperation
  • 7:00 -- pre-banquet parade ("introduce your persona, watch out for Shirley's camera!")
  • 7:30 -- Banquet
  • 8:30 -- Special Surprise by Gordon Carleton ("Non-banquet attendees may come in for this.")
  • 9:30 or so -- break up for the evening -- Special suggested discussion topic -- Star Trek Lives and The New Voyages -- what are they, what have they done?"


  • 2:00 -- art and charity auction (STFF)
  • 3:30 -- What are we all doing here? Final wrap up. Group discussion, all members
  • Alternative Program Room -- "The program for the alternate room (smaller and set up for projecting) will be posted outside the room. Topics and subjects likely to be scheduled in this room are"
    • "I Am Not Spock" (book discussion?)
    • Uses and Misuses of ESP in Trek Lit
    • Slide Shows of "Amok Time," "City on the Edge of Forever," "Mirror, Mirror," and "Journey to Babel"
    • Devra Langsam's Slide Shows
    • "Operation: Annihilate" -- episode film
    • Graphic Aids for the Zine Editor by Jeff Johnston and Phil Foglio
    • Types of ST Fiction - Mary Sue stories, "get stories," etc...
    • What is David Gerrold and Why?
    • Proper Adoration Techniques for Celebrities (sub classification for short writers)
    • Humor in Trek Lit
    • Care and Feeding of Film Clips and Rubberized T-Shirts

Some of these panels were excerpted and transcribed in the 1977 program book (the following year). See below.

Dealer's Room & Art Room for SeKWester*Con (1976)

From the program guide:

Dealer's room/art show will be open from 2PM to 6PM on Saturday and from 12 noon to 4 PM on Sunday. Art will be displayed with bid tags or "Not for sale" slips. The Art auction will be at 2PM Sunday and the con will take 10% commission on all art sold thru auction. Art may be sold directly at the discretion of the artist or the artist's agent.

CHARITY AUCTION--This auction will be of all sorts of odd Trek related things. We have some bubble gum cards, one of Dickie' Horowitz nifty disruptors , a little art, old fanzines including a couple out of print Menageries . Old Star Bornes , and anything YOU contribute. We may even have another Dunsel Box and are there ever goodies in there! MMFC buttons will be available as well as other special buttons.""

SeKWester*Con's (1976) Required Reading!

From The Halkan Council #10: "... required reading list will include World of ST, STLives and Trouble with Tribbles with a recommended reading list spanning even more Kraith, major fiction, and articles like Grup's Vulcan anatomy, etc. This is almost going to be a work con. We hope to produce an after-the-con book with transcripts of the best panels. Each attending or supporting member will have first dibs (cost about $2) and any extras will be sold on a first come-first served basis."

progress report #2

The official reading list from the progress report:

Other recommended reading:

  • The Star Trek Log Books by Alan Dean Foster
  • Star Trek books by James Blish
  • In Search of Wonder Woman by Damon Knight
  • The Issue at Hand by William Atheling, Jr.
  • More Issues at Hand by William Atheling, Jr.

"Fannishly Available" recommended reading:

Some Tidbits from the Progress Report for SeKWester*Con (1976)

  • TAPING: "Feel free to bring along your tape recorder. We will try to synchronize all starts of taping to avoid the 'clack, crack' in the middle that gets on everyone else's tape. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you bring C-60 cassettes (60 minutes total, 30 minutes on a side). We will plan a short 'flip-over break' at the 30 minutes point on all the panels."
  • ART SHOW: "Apparently the art show will include an auction. Each artist is in charge of her own display -- buy half a table for $1."
  • BANQUET: "The banquet will be a costume banquet. Please feel free to wear the costume of your favorite persona. Remember though, that you have to be able to eat, which precludes such ideas such as the Horta -- unless you want to eat off the floor... The cost for the meal is $7. Because the Holiday Inn has instituted a new policy, we must have a catered meal each day in order to get our function rooms free... [So], we will have a $4 Sunday brunch, and only 30 of your clowns need to attend, more is okay, of course! Since this is the exact same meal at the exact same price you'd get downstairs in the restaurant, you can see it's a deal to have the same thing upstairs, served privately for con members (and not frightening the mundanes)."

Con Reports for SeKWester*Con (1976)

Joan Verba writes about the first SeKWester*Con in Boldly Writing:
This was a marvelous convention. The Crosstown Holiday Inn was a two-story motel designed so that all the doors to all the rooms faced the parking lots (on either side of the motel). In order to find a room party, or a fan to talk to, one had only to walk up and down the parking lot to an open door. There was a pool, but the hotel never filled it with water during the convention. No one minded. Jacqueline Lichtenberg spent so much time greeting friends she lost her voice the first night (this often happened to Jacqueline at conventions). Through the mail, I arranged to share a room with Connie Faddis, whom I had never met. When Connie arrived at the hotel lobby, she took one look at me and said, 'It's just like looking at a mirror.' When Shirley Huang of Halkan Council asked if she could take a picture of Connie and me together, Connie would not do so until she had hand-lettered and held up a sign in front of her hat read, "I am not Joan Verba. [this photo, among others, was published in Halkan Council] ... At one point, Mary Manchester—with the assistance of Connie Faddis— spent quite a while explaining the development of K/S to me. (In spite of the number of fanzines I read, I was unaware of this trend in fan fiction until that time.) About 90% of the attendees were women over the age of 21. The men listed in the program book as attending were Steve Clarke (now Steve Dourson) of STW, Gordon Carleton of the MSUSTC, Jeff Johnston of Spectrum, Randy Ash of The Sehlat's Roar, technology expert Steve O'Neil, plus Joe Fleming, Rich Kolker, Dick Preston, and Mike Short.
Another fan in Probe #8 offers this up:
Sing-a-longs -- 'Glory, Glory, Roddenberry' -- well into the night. Every getting to see 'old friends' they'd previously only known by letter and phone. A Langsam slide show, Phil Foglio's drawings. Well-run and interesting fan panels: Examples: 'Kraith,' 'Cons: Present and Future,' 'The Revival and What it Means.' A surprise showing of City on the Edge of Whatever [another slideshow]. Excellent food, excellent company. Three marvelous days... one sleepness night. Reading a Jean Lorrah novel, The Night of the Twin Moons. An intimate convention of 105 people... Only regret is that it didn't continue to go on for several more days, for now I'm convinced that this is where cons are going; small is not just a craze.
A fan writes in Menagerie #10:
...the after-dinner entertainment was was a satire of "City on the Edge of Forever"...Sharon, Paula and friends read the script by Gordon Carleton, who also did the artwork for the slides...Sunday brunch had its entertainment too: a dramatic reading by Paula and Sharon of Paula's "The Secret of Star Hallow", a Star Trek Gothic...The Star Trek Fan Fund auction was marked by the sale of Star Trek bubblegum cards. Each card, besides having a ridiculous photo plus caption, also had a little story to go on the back...Not even Freddy Freiberger in his heyday could have made up such wonderfully *awful* stories. I have one called "Mindless Man" featuring a picture of our dear Captain. I will share the text for a fee.
From a report in A Piece of the Action #42:
SeKWester*Con was either an old-style fan con or a new-style fan con and there are (pardon the expression) logical reasons for either description. In one way, it represented a return to the genuine fan con, back when cons were just gatherings of fellow freaks for conversation, discussion, and lack of sleep. From the other point of view, it may also represent the con of the future. One of the discussion topics was "cons of the future," and the general concensus of opinion seemed to be that the super-con bubble has grown about as much as it can and is on the point of bursting. We shall see. The programming consisted entirely of fan panels on topics of fannish interest. Just about everything was covered. Some topics formally scheduled included "The image of the 'trekkie'," "Federation History," "Kraith" (of course!), "Fanzines - what makes a good one," "Beginning writers' panel," "Feminism in Treklit," and a lively debate—that nearly drew blood—on "The Vulcan/Human Hybrid." Informally scheduled topics included "Uses and Misuses of ESP in Treklit," several slide shows, "Types of ST fic -'Mary Sue', 'Get so-and-so stories'," "Care and Feeding of Filmclips and Rubberized T-shirts," and "The Proper Adoration Techniques for Celebrities," Out of about a hundred registered attendees, more than thirty participated in panels or discussions—in other words, this was definitely a participation con. At the costume banquet, a special entertainment was presented by Gordon Carleton with the assistance of the MSUSTC contingent plus miscellaneous other assistants of his slide show with accompanying script "City on the Edge of....Whatever" to a very appreciative audience. In fact, the audience all but rolled in the aisles. The art show was small, but extremely high quality, and a mini-dealers-room was open for mini-dealing a couple of hours each day. The final wrap up was the art and charity auctions which included not only the art that had been on display, but such goodies as old bubblegum cards and Star-Bornes. The con was run by Sharon Ferraro and Paula Smith. This was a very different and special con, and I certainly hope to see more like it.
From Randy Ash in Sehlat's Roar #2:

It's been nearly 2 1/2 months since I attended SeKWester*Con and I still savor the memories.

We were unsure as to [whether] or not we would be going until the last day, when we (John Broadbent, Theresa Holmes & I) all piled into John's brother's T-Bird and we were off, to what we weren't quite sure... We got there around 7:00 pm and after settling into our rooms we headed for the hospitality suite.

There were about ten people in the suite when we first arrived, but by the time I left over six times that number had wandered in and out (mostly in).

I met three delightful young ladies there, Ingrid Cross (who should write to me!), Debby Chapman, and Vivian Sheffield, and at about out nine we went with one of there friends, whose name I was never told, out to find a red light-for to turn right [6], then out to Burger King for dinner. I finally hit the sack around 1:30 am. I woke the next morning thoroughly refreshed after having attained a fanominal four hours sleep. Then, John and I went down to the coffee shop for breakfast (we ate for under 50 cents!). There we met Jackie Bielowicz, Darlene Fouquet, Frances Zawacky & Joyce Yasner, sold them almost all the Berengaria sixes and specials that we were vending for Vicki, and made some more friends.

The day was full of things to do. .. There were several interesting discussions set up on everything from; Fanzines; what makes a good one? to Kraith. Although I missed the later discussion, I did hear the tape of it, and it got pretty heated before it was over. There were also several slide shows, the episode-'Operation - Annihilate', and just chatting with penpals and new found friends.

Before the banquet/costume ball, that evening, there was a preview of the costumes, and the adjoining picture, by Phil Foglio, is of our own beloved Theresa in her costume. Really, not a bad likeness. At the banquet the food was good, especially after nothing but Whoppers. Afterwards we were entertained by the slide show, City on the Edge of Whatever by Gordon Carleton. It was complete with narration and hilariously funny.

After that, it was back to the hospitality suite. That night I met several people, and had a chance to talk to my new found friends some more. I was up 'til 3:00 am singing filksongs with Leslie Fish, a real talent.

Sunday morning I went to the brunch, and was entertained again, this time by Paula Smith, as she interpreted to us her story The Legend of Star Hallow. I thought Connie Faddis was going to split her sides laughing -- in fact, I thought we all were!

The rest of the day was a carbon copy of its predecessor except for the art auction, which ended the con.

SeKWester*Con, Too (1977)

It was held May 28 & 29, 1977.

The con program lists 183 attending members, and 17 supporting members.

The con looked much like today's relaxacons. But there were two major and a few minor fanwritten productions performed live during the banquets. Also, many people were interested in how to make their own fanzines, so Jeff, the editor of the zine Spectrum volunteered to create the zine, The Cage at the con so that those attending the convention could see a mimeographed fanzine being put together before their very eyes. It took all four days of the con. ("The result was 41 pages, printed on Jeff's machine. There were a variety of contributions—stories, articles, satires written under pseudonyms (one of which was "Su Do Nims"), plus an honest-to-goodness Mary Sue story.")[7]

One evening's activities was Gordon Carleton's slideshow City on the Edge of Whatever Slide Show.

The program book is largely made up of photos and transcripts from last year's con.

As a reaction to the failed effort to get Trek fan writers and editors on the Hugo ballot, Paula and Sharon sponsored the first Fan Q awards.

SeKWester*Con, Too: Program Book

The program book contains 15 pages.

  • programming
  • a list of attending member's names
  • five recaps of panel discussions from last year, each one includes photos of the panelists
    • recap transcribed via an audio tape of a panel from last year's con (panelists were Sharon Ferraro, Shirley Maiewski, and Beth Robertson) called "Trek Novels" (about the quality of fanfic Trek novels, plus writing hints)
    • recap transcribed via an audio tape of a panel from last year's con (panelists were Joyce Yasner, Connie Faddis, Shirley Maiewski, and Paula Smith) called "Beginning Writers" (about the quality of Trek writing)
    • recap transcribed via an audio tape of a panel from last year's con (panelists were Sharon Ferraro, Jean Lorrah) called Feminism in Treklit
    • recap transcribed via an audio tape of a panel from last year's con (panelists were Devra Langsam, Debbie Goldstein, Connie Faddis) called Fanzine Reproduction
    • recap transcribed via an audio tape of a panel from last year's con (panelists were Joan Verba, Paula Smith, Mike Amsden) called The Vulcan Human Hybrid

SeKWester*Con, Too: Skits

The con skits were "Stour Trek: A Musical in Search of a Key" by Paula Smith and "Where No Man Has Gone Lately" by Winston Howlett. The first skit's transcript was printed in Eel-Bird Banders' Bulletin #2. Another skit was an epilogue to a story in Delta Triad #4: "The Sword At the Gate," a sequel to "The Paradise Syndrome. It was performed with Gerry Downes reading the lines aloud while the story was done in Indian Sign Language.[8]

Programming for SeKWester*Con, Too (1977)

Friday: "Con Suite open ? to ?, Penthisilean Pool Party; Drinks, munchies, gab; CAGE typing, plays rehearsal. Filksinging, crowding, creative drowning."


  • A "Created Worlds" panel track, featuring the creators of some popular fan universes:
  • 12:00 -- "Lunch -- go forage"
  • 1:00 -- Trek Tech, part two (Mike Short, Jeff Stonston)
  • 2:00 -- The Music of ST (Amy Falkowitz, Leslie Fish, Steve Reubart)
  • 3:00 -- Zine Reviewing (Lori Chapek, Roberta Rogow, Jackie Bielowicz, Dixie Owen)

Dealers'/Art Room was open from 12-4. Alternate Programming room was open from 10-5 for zine production of the CAGE.

  • 7:30 -- Dinner, come in costume
  • 8:15 -- Culture-time: Skits
    • Stour Trek: A Musical In Search of a Key by Paula Smith
    • Where No Man Has Gone Lately by Winston Howlett
    • City on the Edge of Whatever by Gordon Carleton
  • 9:30 or so: Films, etc. "Also, the Starsky and Hutch CateGorical Appreciation Society will bug out at 9: to watch the reruns."


  • 10:30 -- Breakfast, Postprandial Greek Choris
  • 12:00 -- Publication (Sharon Short, Joan Winston, Joyce Yasner, Devra Langsam)
  • 1:00 -- Artists [with a panel representing the Art Royalty of the day] (Connie Faddis, Gayle F, Signe Landon, Gordon Carleton, Joni Wagner)
  • 2:00 -- Porno and Sex in ST (Sharon Short, Melinda Shreve, Jean Lorrah, Jackie Bielowicz)
  • 3:00 -- How We Do It, Throwing a Small Con (Sharon Short, Paula Smith)
  • 4:00 Art Auction till 6:00, "until we get tired, or sell out."
  • Break for Dinner
  • Films for anyone still around, or last of Charity Auction, or "sump'n"

Stephen Clarke will show slides of the NASA Space Program in the Alternative Programming room from 12:00.

Monday ("If anyone's still around")

  • swim in the pool
  • Lay in the sun
  • help Paula pack

SeKWester*Con, Too: The First "Slash" Panel

The first public discussion of K/S may have taken place at SeKWester*Con, Too in the form of a panel called Kirk and Spock: Do They or Don't They?. [9]

It was, by all accounts, the most well attended event at the convention and quite boisterous. On the panel were Leslie Fish, Gerry Downes, and Gayle F.

Carol Frisbie, editor of Thrust, informed the audience that Gene Roddenberry knew about K/S and had told them that, "as long as it stays underground, and away from the mothers of America," he had no problem with it. [10]

Parts of the panel went unintentionally public when a problem with the hotel sound system inadvertently projected the voice of Connie Faddis reading aloud from an explicit story into the hallway.

And while the panel was controversial and generated loud objections (see the LOCs in issues #12 and #14 of Menagerie), the convention organizers pointed out afterwards in Menagerie that when the panel was announced in the convention progress report: "Ten people volunteered to be 'pro' the K/S relationship; no one volunteered to be 'con.' We had to draft the opposition." (Panelist Theresa H. revealed that she and other "anti"-K/S fans had felt intimidated by the "pro" side and that many of the fans she spoke to had been afraid to be "emotionally involved.")

Also see: The SekWester*Con Porn Debate and The Sound and the Fury: The First Panel Discussion About K/S.

For a broader discussion of these issues see: Slash Controversies and History of K/S Fandom.

SeKWester*Con, Too: Con Reports

General reviews of the con appeared in more than one zine, but most of them appeared in Menagerie #12, which deadlined soon after the convention. Most of them were highly favorable. Dixie G. Owen wrote a con report all in verse.[11]


  1. From The Halkan Council #9 (August 1975)
  2. In an email from May 2012, K.S. Langley corrects Smith's "second MidWest*Con": "It states that MediaWest*Con was called "MidWest*Con" the first two years. It was not. Paula Smith, ghu love her, simply misremembered this. When I brought it to her attention (after her interview for Transformative Works and Cultures) she then remembered that the name of "MidWest*Con" had been used in the pre-planning stages. Beyond that, however, it was never anything but MediaWest*Con from the first con to the current one."
  3. In 2010, Paula Smith talked about these cons in A Conversation with Paula Smith, a 2010 interview with Paula Smith by Transformative Works and Cultures.
  4. from Menagerie #12
  5. from Menagerie #12
  6. reference to a new traffic law
  7. Verba, Joan. Boldly Writing. F T L Pubns, March 26, 2003, pg 37
  8. from a review of Stardate Unknown #4 in Delta Triad #4
  9. Other fans point to the August Party in 1976 where Leslie Fish almost caused a riot when she defended K/S. However, the August Parties were not formal conventions, even though they were quite influential in disseminating information throughout fandom.
  10. Over the course of time, Roddenberry apparently tailored his response to K/S fanworks, depending upon his audience, telling some people he was against it and telling people --usually in his "public persona"--that he was okay with it. -- MPH's recollection of a 2003 conversation on a private mailing list.
  11. Dixie's SeKWesterCon, Too report