Friday, January 28, 2011

Maplecon 4 & 5 SF Conventions

Maplecon was a science fiction & comic book convention held in Ottawa during my teenage years. A friend of mine who attended 1981's Maplecon 4 first told me about it. Although I didn't attend Maplecon 4 I did save a clipping from our local newspaper.

Two years later Maplecon 5 was held. I believe this was the first convention I attended, at the tender age of 14.

The following pictures are from the Maplecon 5 program.

Here are some of my plans for the con.

Maplecade was a fanzine associated with the convention that was given out as part of the welcome package.

I had three authors sign books for me at the con:

Hal Clement signed Needle

Local author Charles R. Saunders signed Imaro

And C.J. Cherryh signed her Hugo-award-winning Downbelow Station

My experience is summed up in my diary entry of 17 July 1983: "Today was the last day of Maplecon 5 convention but I didn't attend. I did, however enjoy both Friday and Saturday. I went to panels and the costume ball and, of course, the dealers room where I bought many items including: August '83 issue of Starlog magazine, the Spring '79 issue of Asimov's SF Adventure zine which completes my collection, 2 autographed books -- Hugo-award winner Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh and Imaro by Charles Saunders (I also got Hal Clement to sign a copy of Needle which I already had), packages of Star Trek -- The Motion Picture bubble gum cards, a Spock button from STTMP, a Maplecon 5 button and the complete set (18 volumes) of Star Trek comic books which appeared after STTMP came out. I've read 7 of these and they are all right though not astoundingly superb. I also obtained issue no. 41 of the original Gold Key comic series, the particular issue being November 1976. The sf authors I saw at the convention were C.J. Cherryh, Jack Chalker, Hal Clement, Charles Saunders, and Donald Kingsbury."

Again the local paper had some coverage of the con.

Videodrome publicity still

Here's a super-sweet black and white publicity still of Deborah Harry in Videodrome. I believe I purchased this at a convention in the mid-80s.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SF Shops

Much of my SF book collection was purchased from a handful of used book stores across Ontario. New books were usually purchased from retailers like W.H. Smith and Coles. However, on occasion I did drop by specialized SF shops.

Our Grade 12 geography class journeyed to the Big Apple for a few days back in 1985. I'm sure we learned a few "educational" things while we were there, but what I most remember was a late night jaunt to Dangerfield's comedy club, the deportation of two of my roommates mid-trip back to Ottawa, and my solo visit to the The Science Fiction Shop, from which I'd previously ordered several books via mail order.

I also dropped into Bakka bookstore in Toronto one time with my Uncle, and there found a treasure trove of books and old SF pulps.

Back in Ottawa we also had a few shops selling books, comics, and trading cards and showing genre films which I patronized:

Mego Neptunian

It's a little hard-to-believe now, but I didn't join eBay until December 2009. My second eBay acquisition was this wonderful original Mego Neptunian from the mid 1970s which I won on 21 February 2010.

Monday, January 24, 2011

80s Newspaper Ads

During the late 1970s I saved clippings of various genre ads from the newspaper and magazines. After a hiatus of several years I resumed the practice during the early 1980s. There was quite an explosion of sf and fantasy films during this time period, some good, some bad, but all undeniably awesome.