NESFA Members' Reviews


edited by Mike Resnick

WC Books, no ISBN, 1996, 262pp, US$15

A book review by Evelyn C. Leeper

Copyright 1996 Evelyn C. Leeper

This omnibus book contains both ALTERNATE WORLDCONS (with seventeen stories) and AGAIN, ALTERNATE WORLDCONS (with eleven stories). ALTERNATE WORLDCONS was conceived at ConFrancisco in 1993 and appeared at ConAdian in 19994; AGAIN, ALTERNATE WORLDCONS is new this year. (A third volume is a possibility. Quel surprise.)

As a fan of alternate histories and an attendee of Worldcons (so far, twenty-one of them), this would seem to be right up my alley. But these are not, on the whole, serious alternate histories. They are very "fannish," often dealing with people or events not known to most readers. Strangely enough, Mike Resnick is a character in many of these. There are a few that stand out, though. "ApocalypseCon" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a poem rather than a story and could hold its own in a "regular" anthology. While it's true that its subject matter is a bit specialized, I hope it does make a more visible appearance somewhere. The other notable serious work is "Letters in the Wall" by Barry N. Malzberg and Batya Swift Yasgur. (Malzberg appears frequently in alternate history anthologies, and usually blows away the rest of the stories. For some reason I don't see him in magazines as much, but for the life of me can't figure out why.) The third story of note is "The Men Who Corflued Mohammed" by Mike Glyer, a well-done fannish homage to Alfred Bester's "Men Who Murdered Mohammed."

But most of the stories require some knowledge of fannish personalities, Worldcon business meeting minutiae, and so on. Of course, the book will probably be found only at conventions or in very specialized stores, so it is targeted at its audience. If you have all the prerequisites, you may find this volume of interest. If so, and you can't find it locally, you can order it from Old Earth Books, P. O. Box 19951, Baltimore MD 21211-0951, or Blue Moon Books, Ltd., 360 West First Avenue, Eugene OR 97401,, or

%B      Alternate Worldcons
%T      Lewis, Anthony R., "In the Beginning" (1939)
%T      Aronson, Mark, "Gemutlichkon" (1943)
%T      Spelman, Dick, "The Forgotten Worldcon of '45" (1945)
%T      McGarry, Terry, "The Best Little Worldcon in ..." (1964)
%T      DeWeese, Gene and Coulson, Robert, "Queen of the Times" (1966)
%T      Robinson, Frank M., "Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll" (1969)
%T      Haldeman, Jack C., II, "The Case of the Stuffed Simian" (1974)
%T      Lewis, Anthony R., "Keep Watching the Skies" (1976)
%T      Thompsen, Brian M., "Iguanacon, Too" (1978)
%T      Gilliam, Richard, "Jeremiah Phipps" (1983)
%T      Rowder, Louise, "CruiseCon" (1988)
%T      Glyer, Mike, "The Man Who Corflued Mohammed" (1992)
%T      Rusch, Kristine Atherine, "ApocalypseCon" (1993)
%T      Katze, Rick, "Worldcon Blue" (1994)
%T      Resnick, Mike, "How Jerry Phipps Won His Hugo" (1999)
%T      Zeldes, Leah A., "A Proud and Lonely Things" (2082)
%T      Schimel, Lawrence, "Forward the Nomination" (2107)
%B      Again, Alternate Worldcons
%T      Zeldes, Leah A., "Yesterday's Stormy Fable" (1939)
%T      Delaplace, Barbara, "ApeCon" (1945)
%T      Pelz, Bruce, "Cold Service" (1964)
%T      Malzberg, Barry and Yasgur, Batya Swift, "Letters in the Wall"
%T      Sim, Roger, "An Old-Fashioned Worldcon" (1982)
%T      Levine, David D., "The Worldcon That Wasn't" (1992)
%T      Standlee, Kevin, "The Bridge at Wakiki" (1993)
%T      Veal, Tom, "Moskva 1995: Igor's Campaign" (1994)
%T      Spelman, Dick, "The Worldcon of 2001" (2001)
%T      Fesselmeyer, Bill, "The Grinch Who Stole Worldcon" (????)
%E      Mike Resnick
%C      Baltimore, Maryland, and Eugene, Oregon
%D      August 1996
%I      WC Books
%O      trade paperback, US$15
%G      no ISBN
%P      262pp

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