Potlatch 15: Progress Report 2

February 24-26, 2006
Best Western Executive Inn, Seattle, WA
Membership $45/more at the door

Edited by Stu Shiffman

Potlatch n. (1) A ceremonial feast among certain Native American 
peoples of the northwest Pacific coast . . . at which the host 
distributes gifts requiring reciprocation [Chinook<Nootka patshatl, 
to make a potlatch gift]. (2) A gathering of the writers and readers 
of literary science fiction and fantasy at which participants 
exchange ideas.

     Ulrika O'Brien
Lawsy, time sure flies when you're putting on a convention. Already 
it's December, and Potlatch is only a couple of months away. We've 
got a lot to look forward to this February. For Potlatch 15, we're 
mixing things up a bit. We're kicking off Friday by expanding into 
bigger quarters - opening ceremonies and program will be in the 
Seafair ballroom starting Friday, culminating in a rowdy and eclectic 
rock dance. And we're bringing a bit of SF potlatch to Potlatch - 
come to opening ceremonies with wealth to share. Bring a mathom* to 
give away, and you may take a different mathom home with you. 
Saturday night we'll be auctioneering our fool heads off, hard on the 
heels of the SF Trivia Bowl. After you're done dodging CMD**, be 
prepared for raucous fun bidding on major cool stuff in support of 
Clarion West. We'll provide a no host bar so y'all can get likkered 
up and spend even more money in a good cause. Yeah! And the evening 
party in Hospitality will be hosted by Foolscap - the Seattle comics, 
art, and SFF literature convention - stop by and say hello. On Sunday 
after our signature Northwest brunch (buy your tickets now!), we'll 
proudly present an original play by Andy Hooper, based on our Book of 
Honor. We're prepared a weekend of serious frivolity, fresh 
conversation, and convivial relaxation with our friends, old, new, 
and the ones we haven't met yet. Won't you come out and play?

*What is a mathom? According to J.R.R. Tolkien: "Anything that 
Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, 
they called a mathom. Their dwellings were apt to become rather 
crowded with mathoms, and many of the presents that passed from hand 
to hand were of that sort." Use your imagination, look about you - 
what precious treasures are you lumbered with that deserve to be 
passed on to someone else? Potlatch is about sharing our collective 
wealth, after all.

**Chocolates of Minimal Destruction

Due to circumstances entirely within our control the original batch 
of Potlatch 15 flyers had the wrong address on them for the 
convention.  Our
correct address is:
Potlatch 15
C/O S. Tompkins
PO Box 25075
Seattle, WA 98165


     Suzanne Tompkins

For Potlatch 15, we are back at the Best Western Executive Inn, 
located near Seattle Center, the Space Needle, and the Experience 
Music Project (think SF Museum!), just north of downtown on Lower 
Queen Anne Hill.

have done so as of December 14th.  Our Room Block will drop on 
January 24th, so please get ahead of, or plunge right through, the 
Holiday Busy Season and make those reservations now!

200 Taylor Avenue North
Seattle, Washington 98109
Phone: 206-448-9444
Fax: 206-441-7929
Toll Free Reservations: 800-351-9444

New at the hotel:
The Executive Inn now has free Wi-Fi, with adapters available.

The hotel is now the downtown Seattle stop for the Quick Shuttle, 
which runs from downtown Vancouver, BC to SeaTac Airport. 

There's also a free shuttle that picks up and delivers hotel guests 
anywhere within a grid that goes south as far as the sports 
stadiums/train station, east as far as Broadway (Capitol Hill), and 
west-ish to Queen Anne area. It can pick up and deliver 
arriving/departing train and bus passengers, and take and/or pick up 
dinner parties, shoppers, etc.  There is only one shuttle so it may 
not always be available right away, but it's a good perk. Shuttle is 
available between 7 AM - 11 PM.


There are two big changes at the Hotel over which we have no control 
that you need to be aware of:

In PR #1 we mentioned that the Executive Inn had gone to all 
non-smoking sleeping rooms, but we had arranged for a few smoking 
rooms at a nearby hotel with the same owners, the Best Western Loyal 
Inn, and that the Hotel Bar/Lounge would be available for use as 
usual to accommodate smokers all through our con.

This has completely changed because of the November election just 
past: a law was enacted that bans smoking in all public places 
including restaurants, bars, and most hotel spaces. The owners of the 
BWEI and BWLI have made all of the sleeping rooms in both hotels 
non-smoking, so using the Loyal Inn is now pointless.

However, they did acquire another hotel in the same general vicinity 
which they are in the process of renovating, and it will have a few 
smoking rooms available.  The room comes with a super "deluxe" 
continental breakfast and a parking pass for the Executive Inn.

If you need a smoking room, contact me and I will arrange for your reservation.

Unfortunately, this also means that the lounge at the Exec. Inn is no 
longer available as it, too, is now a non-smoking area. We apologize 
for the inconvenience, but the voters have taken this out of our 

How to Reserve Rooms

We have great room rates for downtown Seattle, where most rack rates 
are above $100 even for fairly low-end accommodations. Potlatch rates 
are: $79.00/single or double occupancy; $99.00/triple or quad plus 

There is one caveat to having these convention rates:

Please call in your reservation directly to the hotel (they have 
their own "800 #," see above) or email them directly (numbers and 
email address listed above).

You may want to check out information about the hotel on their web 
site, but please use the hotel's toll free number to reserve your 
room, and remember to say that you are with Potlatch. Doing so will 
assure that we make our room block and do not have to pay more for 
function space.

The final PR will have info on getting to the hotels via all 
transportation modes and other last minute details.  Our web site 
should also have this info up well before Potlatch 15.

If you have questions about the hotels or need help with a 
travel-related problem, please email Suzanne Tompkins at 


(It was with great excitement that I  discovered that Potlatch 15 had 
selected this fine collection by one of my favorite authors in the 
field! A marvelous choice, and one that is sure to illuminate the 
work of this master. - Stu Shiffman)

The Avram Davidson Treasury
     Jerry Kaufman

By selecting The Avram Davidson Treasury (Tor 0-312-86729-8, Oct 
'98), edited by Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis, as our Book of 
Honor, we're paying special attention not just to a book but a 
career. The Treasury includes Davidson's best known stories from each 
decade of his writing life as well as lesser-known but equally 
evocative tales.

There's "The Golem," "Help! I Am Dr. Morris Goldpepper," "Or All the 
Seas with Oysters," "The Sources of the Nile," "Manatee Gal Won't You 
Come Out Tonight" - to name the best known and most obvious.

There's also the sweet and paranoid nostalgia of "Take Wooden 
Indians"; the strange Dr. Eszterhazy adventure of "Polly Charms, the 
Sleeping Woman"; or the appreciation and parody of ethnic tradition 
and rivalry of "The Slovo Stove."

What do we like about Davidson's work? Among his virtues we find his 
way of telling a story from within the viewpoint of his characters, 
drawn from many levels of society; his subtle and slantwise approach 
to the point of his tales, often leaving the revelation just beyond 
the last sentence; his love of historical and suggestive detail; his 
accuracy and precision in capturing the rhythms of speech; his way of 
using standard genre materials to his own unique ends; even his 
distrust of modernity and nostalgia for earlier eras that, for him, 
maintained the truth of individual accomplishment.

You can find some of the stories in other collections or, if you're a 
collector, in their original appearances. But that won't get you the 
gestalt of this gathering or the wealth of forewords and afterwords 
that Silverberg and Davis wrote themselves or garnered from other 
writers. If you want to buy the book itself, try the usual on-line 
suspects. You can also learn more about Avram Davidson himself at 
Henry Wessels' website, www.avramdavidson.org.

    Blunt Jackson

(1) Call for Panelists.

We're looking for folks who are interested in and believe they have something
to add to our programming (listed below). At Potlatch, panels are generally
considered a dialog among equals: we usually expect that there will be people
in the "audience" who will be as knowledgeable as (or more so than) the people
on the "panel" -- but it is still our desire to find the most passionate and
experienced people to guide the discussion. So if you think this means you,
let us know: send a brief message with your interest in the topic, and any
relevant background, to Blunt Jackson (bluejack@bluejack.com).

(2) Potlatch Programming, 2006

** Note: This is not a full calendar of events, only panels.

[Fri: 7:30 PM]   "Entry Points & Points of Contact"

What was the first work of science fiction or fantasy you read?
What made you a fan? Discuss and list your earliest favorites then,
what kinds of books bring new readers now, and we all honor Andre
Norton. (Note: This is more of a discussion-in-the-round and less
of a "panel".)

[SAT 10:00-11:00]  "Are Science Fiction and Fantasy the Same Thing?"

Are science fiction and fantasy bundled together for marketing
purposes -- a strange frankenstein hybrid concocted in the backroom
labs of the New York publishers -- or is there some essential
connection between the two?

We analyze the history of these two genres, their inter-
connections, what sets them apart, and what similarities draw
them together, and reserve the right to consider other related forms
such as alternate history, historical fantasy, magical realism, and so

[SAT 11:15-12:15] "Apocalypse Now: Welcome to the Dystopia They Used 
to Imagine"

Political deterioration, environmental collapse, the end of oil,
fascism and democracy converging on a corporate totalitarianism,
the rise of the omnipotent corporations... is this the beginning of
the end?

We look at science fiction as political tool, and political prophecy.

*** LUNCH : 12:15 - 1:30 ***

[SAT 1:30 - 2:30] "The Avram Davidson Treasury"

Come prepared to discuss, analyze, and learn more about the life
and works of Avram Davidson.

[SAT 2:45 - 3:45] "Evolution of Short Fiction"

Once upon a time, short fiction was the premier vehicle for the
genre. Magazines thrived, and produced riches of brilliant and bold
ideas, while only a few books came out each year. Now, the top-tier
magazines are in a slow decline, while SciFiction -- the top paying
market for science fiction writers -- has shut down completely.
Subscription numbers are negligible, and barely holding on. Yet: more
new writers are producing more innovative new short fiction every
year. Gardner Dozois has declared this the golden age of the short
story. How is the nature and the role of short fiction changing?

[SAT 4:00 - 5:00] "The Bleeding Edge"

Science Fiction has always been about new ideas. What are
the new ideas in science fiction now? New writers are bringing
new life to the genre: who are today's "new" writers, and what
are they doing that is different from last year's sci-fi? What
established writers are pushing the boundaries of the genre?
In a world where most cutting edge science requires years of
study to even comprehend, what is the role of science in science

Come prepared to share your thoughts on the brightest, the best,
the boldest... the bleeding edge.


(Andy Hooper, playwright, director and producer - the Orson Welles of 
North American fandom - has been in seclusion working on his latest 
epic. Rumors have been circulating of variously a Broadway-style fan 
musical adaptation of The Man Who Would be King, a blank verse 
Neuromancer and the long-awaited Kabuki version of The Walt Willis 
Story.  Now, all can be revealed! - Stu Shiffman)

Avramania!: A Reader's Theater Production for Potlatch

Avram Davidson's short stories have a powerful effect on their 
readers, but can they affect the nature of reality as well? When a 
group of fans spends a whole year reading the same anthology, they 
notice disturbing parallels in "real life" - self-replicating 
bicycles, alien dentists and clairvoyant beans are just the 
beginning. Didn't Borges have something to say about this? A reader's 
play in one act by Andy Hooper.

     Anita Rowland
The hospitality area (aka con suite) at Potlatch is the crossroads, 
the heart of the con. If you want to find a con member, this is a 
good place. If you don't know many con members, volunteering here 
will get you acquainted with folks quickly! This year at the 
Executive Inn, it will be close to the main programming area (right 
across the hall), so very convenient. We'll be holding special food 
events at various times because the hotel likes it like that.

I plan to make it cozy and flexible, with refreshments and tasty 
beverages. Toys, too!

The whole hotel has Wi-Fi, so bring your laptops.

     Suzanne Tompkins

Our Brunch Banquet is on Sunday starting at 11:00 AM. Tickets are 
$22.00 and can be purchased via PayPal or by mailing us the 
membership form along with payment. You can find the form and the 
PayPal link on our web site.

If you need a special diet meal (vegan, Kosher, etc.), please contact 
me by Feb. 10th at: hotel@potlatch-sf.org.  We will do our best to 
accommodate you.

Note another change this year: Instead of the usual mix of breakfast 
and lunch items, we are offering a fabulous Pacific NW Buffet:

      * Local Baby Greens with raspberry-hazelnut dressing
      * Oregon Shrimp Louis salad
      * Braised Lentil-3 Bean salad
      * Yakima Red & Golden Delicious Apple Salad
      * Alder Smoked & Grilled Pacific Salmon
	  * Mediterranean Pasta (fresh veggies, plum tomato sauce, Kalamata 
         olives, feta)
      * Garden Vegetables
      * Scalloped Potatoes Gratinee
      * Focaccia bread
      * Washington Berry cobbler
      * Coffee/Tea

Sound good!?! Please order your banquet tickets now.  We'll need to 
know our head count as early as possible.

Questions? Special Meal?  Contact me at hotel@potlatch-sf.org.

     David Levine
Aspiring writers are reminded that, once again, Potlatch will be
holding short story workshops.  In addition to the traditional Taste
of Clarion workshop, this year for the first time we are experimenting
with a Journeyman workshop for more advanced writers.  If you would
like to participate in either workshop, send your manuscript (maximum
7500 words) along with a cover letter and a check or money order for
$10 (payable to David D. Levine) to:

     Potlatch 15 Writers' Workshop
     c/o David D. Levine
     1905 SE 43rd Ave.
     Portland, OR 97215

-->All submissions must be RECEIVED by January 15, 2006.<--

Please check the Potlatch 15 website
for more information. If you have any questions, email me at


The heart of Potlatch is sharing - an exchange of our wealth ... 
wealth of ideas, of experience, of tastes and knowledge. Fun things 
happen when people who love speculative fiction get together and 
share the stuff that they get excited about -- talk about SF, talk 
about technology, sample scotch, or share an interesting meal. To 
help that fun happen, we have "nanoprogramming." Nanoprogramming is 
an excuse to get together, swap book lists, break bread, go on an 
expedition. Here's how it works: fill out a sign-up sheet in the 
Hospitality suite. Provide a time, a meeting place, and a catchy 
title, as well as a brief description of your event, at the head of 
the sheet. Sign yourself up for the event. Post your nanoprogram item 
on the bulletin board we provide, and then at the designated time and 
place, meet up with your group, and go to it! Or, sign up for 
somebody else's nanoprogram. Or do it all! What sort of event makes 
good nanoprogramming? Whatever you think Potlatch people will want to 
do or talk about. Something that sounds really cool to you is usually 
a good place to start. Past nanoprograms have included a Saturday 
mystery discussion breakfast, a visit to a robotic wine bar, a scotch 
tasting, expeditions to local museums, bookshops, and dinner outings 
for fans who hang out in the same online spaces. This year we'll be 
trying out a Writing Date - an hour for writers to sit together in a 
room and write, 'cause sometimes what you really need is peer 
pressure to make you do it. Call it PoFiWriHo*, if you like. So, what 
should be in the Nanoprogram? You decide. The only limits are your 
imagination and your stamina. And Washington State, and local 
ordinances, of course...

*Potlatch Fiction Writing Hour

     Anita Rowland
If you are an RSS user, we now have an RSS feed so you can be 
notified of website updates: http://www.potlatch-sf.org/rss.xml
To spare our bandwidth, set your aggregator to look for updates once 
a day or so.

Also on the site, you can purchase memberships, banquet tickets, and 
now, T-SHIRTS! via PayPal. Buy your membership early; the first 150 
members get a nifty cloth totebag and other goodies.

	Jerry Kaufman

As always, we're pleased that we can present Potlatch attendees with 
a Dealer Room stuffed with the finest book dealers in the Pacific 
Northwest. You'll be able to find bargain used books, current mass 
market and trade releases, imported and collectible editions, and the 
complete catalogs of several leading small presses.

Here's the lineup:

Aqueduct Press, www.aqueductpress.com
A Sense of Wonder Books
B. Barrett Books/Wysiwyg Books
Book Universe (AmyCat)
Fairwood Press/Talebones Magazine
Lady Jayne's Comics and Books
Tom Whitmore
Wrigley-Cross Books (Debbie Cross & Paul Wrigley),
Elise Mathiessen, Jewelry and Adornment 

     Kate Schaefer

This year's auction will be a whooping, hollering, chocolate-eating 
orgy of intemperate purchasing and swooping down on bargains in 
support of deserving students of writing.

To stage this extravaganza, we need cool stuff to sell. Donations 
we've already received include rare old books, advance reading copies 
of new books, vintage Freddie Baer T-shirts, jewelry, art-to-wear 
clothing, beaded sea creatures (as seen in Science News online). 
Got something nifty to donate? Send me email at kate@clarionwest.org 
to make shipping arrangements.

As in the past, the auction will have two parts: silent and loud. The 
silent auction will take place during programming on Saturday. Items 
with multiple bids, intrinsic interest, or great amusement value will 
go to the loud voice auction on Saturday evening, after the trivia 

Cash, checks, and credit card will all be accepted. All proceeds will 
go to the Clarion West Scholarship Fund to help aspiring SF writers 
attend the Clarion West Writers Workshop. The Potlatch auction has 
been the largest single source of scholarship funds for Clarion West 
students since the first Potlatch in 1992.

More information on Clarion West is available at the Web site. 
Clarion West is a qualified 501(c)3 organization, and all 
donations to it, whether items to auction or monetary, 
are tax-deductible.

Chair - Ulrika O'Brien - chair@potlatch-sf.org
Auction - Kate Schaefer -auction@potlatch-sf.org
Con Suite - Anita Rowland - consuite@potlatch-sf.org
Dealers Room - Jerry Kaufman - dealers@potlatch-sf.org
Goodies & Free Stuff - Marci Malinowycz - freebie@potlatch-sf.org
Hotel & Banquet - Suzanne Tompkins -- hotel@potlatch-sf.org
Programming - Blunt Jackson - programming@potlatch-sf.org
Publications - Stu Shiffman (content) and Jane Hawkins (mailing)
Registration & Treasurer - Denys Howard - registration@potlatch-sf.org  or
Website - Anita Rowland - website@potlatch-sf.org
Writers Workship - David Levine - workshop@potlatch-sf.org
Or write to info@potlatch-sf.org

     Andi Shechter

The Tiptree Bake Sale returns!

This year at Potlatch, we'll be hosting a Tiptree Bake Sale on 
Saturday afternoon.  The proceeds from these events support the James 
Tiptree, Jr. Award - "an annual literary prize for science fiction or 
fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender" (see 
http://www.tiptree.org/ for information.)

If you're interested in baking for the sale, please let me know by 
emailing me at roscoe@drizzle.com.   Tell me what you'll donate, it's 
that simple. We'll accept anything from candy and cookies to cakes, 
cheesecakes, savory nibbles (cheese straws anyone?)  Gingerbread? 
Fudge?  Baklava? Cupcakes (very trendy, you know). Above all, Things 
with Chocolate (chocolate things?)  I'll ask for an ingredient list 
to go with your item to assist folks with food allergies or 

If you're interested in helping but not baking, we could probably use 
either set-up help or stuff like serving utensils, paper plates and a 
few loans of display copies of the Tiptree cookbooks (some of us have 
food-stained versions and would love to display a pristine copy.) 
Email me and we'll talk.

The sale will take place Saturay afternoon in the hospitality area 
(aka Con Suite)   The items will be very reasonably priced and all 
the money goes directly to the Tiptree Literary Award Council.
Plan to come by and buy. While you're there, pick up a Tiptree Award 
Consideration Form (we'll print off some of the on-line forms for you 
to take away). Get a tattoo that shows you're a member in good 
sitting of the Secret Feminist Cabal! (non-permanent, available at 
the bake sale!)

And remember, any baked goods or sweets that are consumed in a good 
cause contain no calories.  It's one of the unwritten rules. Oh, 
wait, I just wrote it. That's okay, you can still believe it.  Would 
I lie to you about something so important?

- - -
LIST OF CURRENT MEMBERS as of December 16, 2005
Aahz  (B)
Matt Austern
Freddie Baer
Bryan Barrett - B.Barrett Books
Allen Baum
Tom Becker
Jack Bell )B, T)
Alan Bostick (B)
Berni Phillips Bratman (B)
David Bratman (B)
David Bray - A Sense of Wonder
Linda Bray - A Sense of Wonder
Llynn Burton (B)
AmyCat - Book Universe
Ian Carruthers (B, W)
Paul Caspell
Lyman Caswell
Debbie Cross - Wrigley-Cross Books
Scott Custis (B)
Jules Dickinson (B)
L. Timmel Duchamp - Aqueduct Press
Lise Eisenberg
Entwife Judy (B)
Doug Faunt (B, T)
Jack Foy B
Don Glover
Jeanne Gomoll (B)
Cynthia Gonsalves  (T)
Glenn Hackney
Mary Hart (B)
Jane Hawkins
Liz Henry (B, T)
Denys Howard
Bill Humphries  (T)
Julie Humphries
Blunt Jackson
Jordin Kare
Mary Kay Kare (B, T)
Jerry Kaufman (B)
Janet Lafler
Jane Larsen - Lady Jayne's Books
Ruth Leibig (B)
Marci Malinowycz (B)
Stef Maruch (B)
Luke McGuff
Vonda N. McIntyre
Fred Moulton (B)
Janice Murray
Gerald Nordley
Debbie Notkin (B)
Ulrika O'Brien
Lyn Paleo
Spike Parsons
K. Dawn Plaskon (B)
D. Potter (B)
Cat Rambo
Neil Rest
Alan Rosenthal
Anita Rowland (B, T)
Anita Rowland (B)
Ruth Sachter
Peggy Rae Sapienza (B)
Kate Schaefer
Karen Schaffer
Stu Shiffman (B)
Allegra Sloman
Ian Stockdale (B)
Cathy Sullivan
Suzle Tompkins (B)
Thom Walls - WYSIWYG Books
Mike Ward
Donya White
Tom Whitmore - Bookseller
Gayle Wiesner
Sarah Withee (B. W)
Paul Wrigley - Wrigley-Cross Books
Keith York (B)

B = Banquet ticket
T = T-shirt
W = Writers' Workshop participant

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