Progress Report 1
Potlatch 10, February 23-25, 2001. Ramada Plaza Hotel International
San Francisco, CA.http://www.potlatch-sf.org
Potlatchc/o Mary Kay Kare PO Box 3042 San Ramon, CA 94583 ($30 until 9/30/00, then $35. $10 sustaining)
Greetings from the
Potlatch doesn’t have a formula, but it does have a set of essential ingredients. These include:
- A single track of high-quality panels, each with a ringleader
- Small impromptu program items
- Taste of Clarion writers’ workshops
- A comfortable, inviting consuite that is the social center of the convention
- A hotel in an interesting urban neighborhood
- An inclusive atmosphere
Every year a different committee mixes these ingredients together in different proportions and with different emphases. And when the mix is right, things begin to fizz.
That’s what’s happening now!
We have a Book of Honor that will act as a springboard—but not a limiting factor—for programming. We have a wonderful hotel in the heart of San Francisco. And we’ve got a tradition. This is the tenth Potlatch, and over the years the convention has developed a history and some ideas about what works and what doesn’t. Within the tradition, there’s still plenty of room to try new things.
We’ve also got a great committee. They’ll tell you more about what they’re doing with those essential ingredients.
In order to keep things fizzing, we need you! We need you to join the convention, if you haven’t already, and we need you to get involved. At press time, there are still some important committee jobs to be filled: Dealer’s Room Coordinator, Coordinator for the Toy Room (because we loved the one at Potlatch 9!), and Native Guide. If you’re not into planning or committees, there are lots of ways you can help out during the con.
Last but not least, we need program and workshop participants, especially those who have never done such a thing before.
So, we hope that each of you will join Potlatch in some way, and add yourself to the exciting, fizzing mix!
- Janet Lafler and Guy Thomas
The Con Committee
Matt Austern – Programming
Freddie Baer – Graphic Design
Lenny Bailes – Web Site & Publicity
Tom Becker – Programming
Cynthia Gonsalves – Clarion West Auction
Lisa Hirsch – Publications
Julie Humphries – Tiptree Bake Sale
Mary Kay Kare – Registration & Treasury
Janet Lafler – Co-Chair
Ruth Lafler – Consuite
Zed Lopez – Writers’ Workshops
Brad Lyau – Publicity
Debbie Notkin – Hotel Liason
Karen Schaffer – Consuite
Guy Thomas – Co-Chair
To be announced - – Native Guide
Dave Clark – Dealer’s Room
Your Name Here – Toy Room Coordinator
Book of Honor: THUNDER AND ROSES
by Theodore Sturgeon, edited by Paul Williams
North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, $16.95
Picking a Book of Honor for Potlatch sometimes feels like trying to pick the finest rose in the garden: there are so many choices, and they all have powerful attractions.
"Let’s think about one of the Sturgeon collections," I said blithely at an early meeting, and everyone greeted this with the response it deserves: "Good, you pick one for us to think about."
For anyone who doesn’t know, Theodore Sturgeon (1918-85) was an extraordinary short-story writer, with a knack for characterization, empathy, and evocation of the dailiness of people’s lives (amidst magical and scientific wonders galore) rarely surpassed in any field. (Me? Biased? Never!)
After some prowling among the new chronological omnibus collections, I settled on proposing Thunder and Roses, for several reasons. Probably it boils down to the fact that Sturgeon’s work got better as he matured, and this is the last of the collections to have been released in paperback, Most of the stories are excellent, and the collection includes the affecting and effective antiwar title story, "Wham Bop!," a jazz story told in its own idiom, "Hurricane Trio," an exploration of the smaller, less dramatic implications of alien abduction, long predating Whitley Strieber, and a handful of fun—and/or scary—pulp stories.
And "Maturity"—a canonical story for bright young folk to identify with ... but it doesn’t go where you think it’s going to go. And to make this an ideal book for a readers and writers gathering, the volume features Sturgeon’s alternate ending to "Maturity," a rare opportunity to examine a master writer’s road not taken.
Virtually any Sturgeon collection has extraordinary stories, and the Sturgeon aficionados can always think of favorites that aren't in the book at hand. Thus, no one is promising not to at least mention other Sturgeon tour-de-force stories, if the wind should happen to blow that way as the conversation sails along.
See you at the Book of Honor panel!
- Debbie Notkin
Potlatch programming wants you! Potlatch is an intimate convention, a place where readers and writers meet on common ground. Unlike most conventions, there will be a single track of programming, so everyone can be there, and so the connections and conversations can develop from one panel to the next. Potlatch has a tradition of excellent programming, and we want each panel to be special. We are now actively soliciting ideas for panels.
The book of honor at Potlatch provides a common thread of awareness throughout the programming. There will be a book of honor panel, but the other panels don't need to have a direct connection to the book; we want them to connect with each other and the book of honor in interesting and surprising ways. This year's book of honor, Thunder and Roses, by Theodore Sturgeon, has a rich variety of themes and perspectives. We hope to honor it with a program that delights in diversity.
Potlatch programming works by something like the feudal system: each panel has a ringleader, who has much of the responsibility for choosing program participants and for developing the panel description. If you know someone who might make a great ringleader, or if you might like to be one yourself, please let us know! We won't ask anyone to be on more than one panel.
Potlatch programming also includes Algonquins, which are small, informal discussions organized on an impromptu basis by con participants.
Potlatch 10 will be a rare opportunity to enjoy a science fiction convention in the heart of San Francisco. We are interested in ideas for literary and fannish tours in the area, for just before or after the convention.
In September we will start talking to potential ringleaders, and begin turning the raw list of ideas into a coherent program. For now, please send us your ideas. You may include them with your registration form when you join Potlatch (please use a separate piece of paper), send them to the convention P.O. box, or e-mail them to email@example.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
- Matt Austern and Tom Becker
From the Hotel Liaison
The Ramada Plaza Hotel, in San Francisco’s Civic Center neighborhood, is probably the most elegant hotel ever to host a Potlatch: we’ll be quite the sight among their marble columns, tapestried wallpaper and 20-foot ceilings in the lobby and main programming room. The hotel is more beautiful than its pictures, which you can find on the Web, buried deep in the bowels of www.ramada.com. We can guarantee that fans will have no trouble making ourselves comfortable in the sumptuous Governor’s Suite, which we have reserved as the con suite for Potlatch 10.
The hotel entrance is about twenty steps from a BART station, in a mixed neighborhood where fast food joints and Chinese steam-table havens rub elbows with City Hall, the Opera House, and some of the city’s most elegant restaurants. Like most mixed neighborhoods in San Francisco, Civic Center is finding itself home to more and more dot-coms. Thus, the neighborhood could gentrify significantly in the months between now and Potlatch. (San Francisco operates on Internet time.)
The room rate is $105.00, an astonishing bargain for San Francisco. The programming space has its own private mezzanine. The dealers’ room and Algonquin spaces open onto the mezzanine, for a free flow of traffic among convention activities.
More details about the hotel and the neighborhood will be forthcoming in future PRs. Meanwhile, reserve your room now; we’d hate to fill our room block and have to send you to the unprepossessing Holiday Inn around the corner.
- Debbie Notkin
Potlatch 10 will host a Clarion-style writer's workshop. This is an outstanding opportunity to learn more about writing by critiquing others' manuscripts, and having yours critiqued both by the other participants, and by sf professionals such as Karen Joy Fowler, Eileen Gunn, Howard Hendrix, and Debbie Notkin.
The workshop is for stories of up to 5000 words in length. To participate, send five copies of your story in standard manuscript format (see http://www.sfwa.org/writing/ for articles on manuscript preparation) and a check for $5 made out to Potlatch 10 to this address, by 12/31/2000:
Potlatch 10 Writer's Workshop
c/o Zed Lopez
PO Box 12546
Berkeley, CA, 94712-3546
The stories you'll be critiquing will be mailed to you prior to the con, along with details as to the structure of the workshop, and notes on critiquing.
For more information, please send email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Zed Lopez
Current Potlatch 10 Members:
Matthew Austern Lenny Bailes Allen Baum
Tom Becker Alan Bostick Scott Custis
Lise Eisenberg Doug Faunt Jeanne Gomoll
Cynthia Gonsalves Glenn Hackney Ian Hagemann
Rachel Holmen Jordin Kare Mary Kay Kare
Janet Lafler Ruth Lafler Hope Leibowitz
David Levine Ruth Liebig John Lorentz
Marci Malinowycz Linda McAllister Rich McAllister
Cheryl Morgan Deb Notkin Lyn Paleo
D. Potter Neil Rest Ruth Sachter
Kate Schaefer Karen Schaffer Kevin Standlee
Ian Stockdale Guy Thomas Anna Vargo
Guest of Vargo Mike Ward Donya Hazard White
Tom Whitmore Art Widner Kate Yule
Memberships to Potlatch 10, to be held in San Francisco (February 23-25, 2001), are $30 until September 30, when they go up to $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 email@example.com
C/O Mary Kay Kare
P. O. Box 3042
San Ramon, CA 94583