Seattle in 1981

Seattle in 1981 was an unsuccessful Worldcon bid launched in late 1976 by the newly formed Northwest Science Fiction Society. Bidcomm members included Greg Bennett, Becky Bennett, Richard Wright, Steve Bard, David Bray, William Warren, Elizabeth Warren, Jane Hawkins and Cliff Wind. The bid was notable for William Warren's artwork, which cleverly worked the Space Needle and an occasional bigfoot into scenes from classic SF movies, and for the Nuts and Berries Hoax.

It is unclear if they actually had an adequate facility, as their own facility brochure said that it was "capable of hosting up to 1200 people."

Though consisting mostly of neofen, the bidcomm mounted a strong campaign. The first Norwescon (March 1978), founded to publicize Seattle fandom and give the bidders con running experience, was a striking success, drawing over 400 attendees and expanding to over 700 in 1979. Several well-known fen from elsewhere, such as Ross Pavlac and Larry Smith, endorsed the bid.

In the end, however, the enthusiastic young Seattlites lost to a better known Denver in '81 committee, which went on to host Denvention Two. The vote was Denver in '81 453, Seattle 320, LA in '81 (a weak bid that stemmed from an L.A. fan feud) 130, No Preference 17. (There were also Tillamook in 1981 and Hawaii in 1981 hoax bids.) The voting was at Seacon '79 in Brighton. About 20 Seattle ballots that were supposed to be hand carried went astray. If they had arrived, the ballot would have gone to a second round of counting. See 1981 Site Selection results for more details.

While Seattle did not win the 1981 Worldcon, the upshot of its effort was two enduring organizations, Norwescon and the Northwest Science Fiction Society, as well as a local fandom that has remained active for over 30 years.