A Fan-Operated Science Fiction and Fantasy Literary and Filk Convention in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area
FenCon and the Dallas Future Society
A Brief History of FenCon
The FenCon Story
The FenCon story begins in 1999 when fans Tim Miller and Ed Dravecky agreed that what the Metroplex needed was to bring back the fannish science fiction convention. Dallas has a proud history of such gatherings stretching back to the very first SF convention in Texas back in 1958. But by 1999, Conniption was a fading memory, Stellar Occasion had shut down, and all that was left were toy shows and actor-centric autograph festivals.
So Tim and Ed did months of research, visited hotels, and made discreet inquiries around local fandom. They found the perfect location, the perfect weekend, and after more than a year's work they had it ready to present to the fan club to which they both belonged. There was just one tiny problem: their perfect location was the North Dallas/Richardson sector of U.S. 75, their perfect date was mid-February, and the big news was that another group had just announced they would launch a literary fannish sf/f convention in Richardson in mid-February 2002: ConDFW.
Back to the drawing boards: So with their date now occupied by another event, Tim and Ed shelved their plans and decided to just enjoy ConDFW. It wasn't exactly what they'd had in mind but it was fun and area fans enjoyed it. However, a strange thing happened afterwards. Local SF club ORAC began talking about organizing their own convention so in 2002 the plans came back off the shelf. A separate group, what we now call the Dallas Future Society, was organized to allow the convention to grow independently and planning began in earnest.
And so it begins: The first public FenCon activity was a room party at ConDFW 2 in 2003. At that point, FenCon had no guests signed, no hotel contract, and only a general idea of when the first convention would be held: late-September 2004. That didn't stop a few people who had faith in our group and saw the need for a second convention in the Metroplex from buying buttons and buying memberships. The very first "Friend of the Fen" membership sold went to Joe Abbott and we were well on our way.
Now that we had members, we needed guests so a "dream list" was drawn up of all the authors we hoped to someday bring to Dallas. At the very top of this list, the handful of authors who had won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for the same novel. And at the top of this elite group was the name Larry Niven.
More to come.
Text and images Copyright 2003-2014 by Dallas Future Society, Dallas, Texas.