NYCon -- The First Worldcon

The First Worldcon, held over the 4th of July 1939 at Caravan Hall in New York. GoH: Frank R. Paul, Chairman: Sam Moskowitz.

The 1939 Worldcon did not have a name, but simply called itself "World Science Fiction Convention". It has subsequently been called "Nycon I" and "The 1939 Worldcon".

The convention was controlled by a so-called 'Ruling Triumvirate' whose other members were William S. Sykora and James V. Taurasi. The Exclusion Act at NYCon attempted to keep some members of the Futurians from attending after Dave Kyle had anonymously distributed A WARNING!, a somewhat incendiary pamphlet.

Noreascon Three printed a number of reminiscences of NYCon in its PB:

Interestingly, NYCon did not select a site for the next Worldcon — it had not occurred to the NYCon committee that it could possibly be an annual event. But fandom loved it and a few months later at Philcon 1939 the fans present voted to hold another Worldcon in 1940 in Chicago. See 1940 Site Selection results.

It is difficult these days when there are fans of all ages to appreciate how young fandom was in 1939. Here is a table of ages of major figures during the First Worldcon:

Sam Moskowitz (the chairman!) 19
Donald A. Wollheim 25
John W. Campbell, Jr. 29
Robert A. Heinlein 32
James V. Taurasi 22
Bob Tucker 25
Jack Speer 19
Dave Kyle 20
Fred Pohl 20
Isaac Asimov 19
E. E. Smith (the old man!) 49

Nycon had a list of members, but it was neither accurate nor complete. Not accurate, because many people signed up with pseudonyms — in some cases more than one. Not complete in that an estimated fifty people didn't sign in at all! But here is the Nycon membership list.

http://fanac.org/fanzines/NYcon/NYcon1pb-00.html? (IA) Program book at Fanac

http://efanzines.com/1939Nycon (IA) Website

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebzRkm6HyQA (IA) Video of Magicon panelists reminiscing

See also New York Worldcons and Early Conventions.

from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
The First World Science-Fiction Convention in New York in 1939; called originally by its enemies who denied that it was a "world" convention, the name was generally adopted after the Chicon. The enemies of WSFC committee also called it the World's Fair Science-Fiction Convention, 1939 being the first year of the NY Worlds fair.

»»Chicon I