History of Loscon
Loscon History Notes — (adapted from an article on the original LASFS website by Lee Gold)
A while ago, after Barry and Lee Gold started taking care of the LASFS website, they took a look at the Loscon website. Lee admired its history of Loscon and decided that the LASFS website should have a backup of that history, so she copied it. It didn’t occur to her to double-check any of the Loscon website’s data.
Some years later, the Loscon website had a bad crash and lost all its data, and she had the pleasure of telling Loscon that she’d saved their convention history and where they could find it.
In May, 2020, one item of that Loscon convention history was questioned: the statement that “LA 2000,” held the first weekend of December, 1975, (which would later be considered the very first Loscon), didn’t have a program. A couple of old-time LASFS members told her that they absolutely remembered that it had had a program.
Lee decided that the very best evidence would be to reread the APA-Ls of December, 1975. She didn’t find an LA 2000 program book, but did find good evidence that LA 2000 had had a program.
December 4, 1975 — APA-L #551
Table of Contents by Official Collator
LA 2000 Schedule
Friday: 8 PM – Registration & Cocktail Party
Saturday: 10 AM – Noon – Program
1 PM – 6 PM – Program
8 PM + Movies, Party in Con Suite.
Sunday: 11 AM – Noon – Program
1 PM – 5 PM – Program
December 11, 1975 — APA-L #552
Bill Warren wrote in GHOST IN A CONTOUR SHEET 298; “All things considered, I think that LA2000 came off reasonably well. One thing that seemed to go over very well was the idea of the small discussion groups (this was, I think, Milt Stevens’ idea). As each group began, the person (and thanks to all of those who had agreed to be the group leader) seemed dismayed that no one was there, but within ten minutes they each had about as many as they could handle. Several groups went well over their time limit.”
Dan Deckert wrote in Entropy11: “LA 2000 was great. I thoroughly enjoyed myself all the way through the con. It was well programmed, smooth running, and a credit to the con committee. I hope that the LASFS Con II works as well and truly establishes a continuing tradition.”
Allan Rothstein wrote in One Toe Free 26: “The programs Sat were good., I attended all, missing only part of George Clayton Johnson’s presentation (the slides of the LOGAN’S RUN sets) while I grabbed lunch. I stayed all the way through, finishing with Bruce’s slide show (and learning from it that he and Elayne were married by my former rabbi!).
Sunday I slept late and missed some discussions I had wanted to see. But I attended my first dead dog party and stayed till the bitter end of that.
Thank you, ConCom; and congratulations, LASFS!”
In December, 1975 the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society prepared LA 2000, a special convention to celebrate the club’s 2,000th meeting. This was more of a relaxicon than a standard convention since it did not have guests of honor.
LA 2000 was so enjoyable that the event was repeated in 1976, but in October, to honor the club’s anniversary and, for the first time, it was called LOSCON.
Loscon was held twice in 1977, the second that year being the first Loscon with an official guest of honor, Dr. Jerry Pournelle.
In 1978, Loscon was held in November and stayed in that month thereafter.
LOSCON 7 in 1980 was the first to have over a thousand members and attendance did not drop below a thousand again until LOSCON 42 in 2015.
Starting with LOSCON 9 in 1982, Loscon was held over the Thanksgiving weekend and that became the traditional date.
LOSCON was held in Pasadena from 1983 through 1989, in Burbank from 1993 through 2003, and in 2004 it returned to Los Angeles, in an LAX area hotel.
The old LASFS website had begun an archive of material about past Loscons, (which we hope to continue with this newest version of the website).
The following is a guide to the history of the Los Angeles Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention (Loscon) The numbers in parentheses indicate total members followed by actual attending members. Convention themes are also named for those conventions that had themes.