by Luke McGuff
Potlatch is the West Coast's answer to Wiscon or Readercon: a gathering of science fiction readers and writers to talk about the literature that brought us together, using science fiction and fantasy as a basis for free-ranging discussions and speculations. There have been six Potlatches so far, in Seattle, the Bay Area, and Portland. Each has had a different feel that still contributes to a Potlatch continuum that makes our convention worth attending and, more important, participating in.
We strive to make this convention as participatory as possible. Programs are suggested by attendees, and developed by the programming committee in close contact with people inspired by the ideas, not just looking for free membership. At Potlatch, writers and readers of science fiction meet as equals. Some topics we'll discuss at Potlatch 6 are "Body Image in Science Fiction," "Electronic Publishing: Primordial Mammal or Giant Death Star?", "Victorian Utopias," and "The Giant Rat of Sumatra."
And if all else fails, there's the dealer's room packed with -- unbelievable, but true -- actual BOOKS. Not to mention a superb consuite (the actual center of the convention) and a Saturday night dance hosted by DJ Hooper. Potlatch 6 is happening Feb. 28 through March 2, at the University Plaza Hotel in Seattle's lovely University District, high atop scenic Interstate 5. You can call the hotel at 1-800-343-7040. The room rates are very reasonable, 1993 prices: $65 single or double; $70/triple, $75/quad. We'll have a roommate board if you need or want to share space. There will also be a banquet Sunday afternoon, followed by the Clarion West Scholarship Fund Auction.
The Scholarship Fund Auction could be Potlatch's main gift to the larger sf community. All proceeds go directly to Clarion West. The auction is fun, the action is fast and silly, and some of the donated materials are astounding. There are rare collectibles, such as an original manuscript to "Alien Sex" (winner of the World Fantasy Award), or German editions of work by Vonda N. McIntyre or William Gibson, proofs of F&SF cover art from the 60s, signed firsts from Joe Haldeman and others, and much more. There are also trinkets, hand made goodies, and curios. And if that doesn't entice the money out of your wallet, we threat -- er, promise that special "challenge grants" will.
If you want further information about Potlatch, visit our web site at http://www.alexicom.net/potlatch, email me, the chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or write me at 4121 Interlake Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103. You'll be glad you did.
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