The 10th World Science Fiction Convention was held on Labor Day weekend from August 30 - September 1, 1952 at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. Unlike most Worldcons before or since, it never had an official name other than "10th World Science Fiction Convention," as both the convention's issued membership card and program book clearly stated. Of all Worldcons to date, only the 11th in Philadelphia, 1953, shared this same lack of a formal convention title. The phrases "Tenth Anniversary World Science Fiction Convention" (TAWSFiC) and "Tenth Anniversary Science Fiction Convention" (TASFiC, likely a simple linotype error, as "World" is missing) were each used in some of this Worldcon's pre-convention materials; but the phrase's acronyms "TAWSFiC" and "TASFiC" were never used officially by Chicago at that time. However, the 10th Worldcon was frequently referred to by many of its members as Chicon II, so dubbed for the previous Chicago Worldcon, Chicon, held in 1940; this nickname proved so popular that the convention became known by that unofficial name in science fiction fandom's lore and written histories.
The convention chair was Julian C. May (later also known as Judy Dikty). Hugo Gernsback was the convention's official guest of honor. The program included the performance of an original science fiction ballet.
For many years this Worldcon held the record for the largest attendance at any science fiction convention, with 870 registered attendees, a figure which was not surpassed by another Worldcon until 1967 for Nycon 3 in New York. By way of comparison, the previous year's Worldcon, Nolacon in New Orleans, had an attendance of 190.
It was at this Worldcon that the idea for the Hugo science fiction awards was first proposed and adopted. These awards, the highest and oldest honor in science fiction, were first awarded at the 1953 Worldcon in Philadelphia.
The convention is said to have been the place where Sturgeon's Law was first formulated (although other origin stories claim Sturgeon first articulated the concept in 1951, a year earlier). During a panel discussion on science fiction, one of the panelists observed that about 90% of science fiction was crud. Theodore Sturgeon, also on the panel, replied that 90% of everything was crud.
Famous quotes containing the words convention, fiction, world and/or science:
“No convention gets to be a convention at all except by grace of a lot of clever and powerful people first inventing it, and then imposing it on others. You can be pretty sure, if you are strictly conventional, that you are following geniusa long way off. And unless you are a genius yourself, that is a good thing to do.”
—Katharine Fullerton Gerould (18791944)
“It seems that the fiction writer has a revolting attachment to the poor, for even when he writes about the rich, he is more concerned with what they lack than with what they have.”
—Flannery OConnor (19251964)
“The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves.... Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralising. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.”
—Oscar Wilde (18541900)
“If science ever gets to the bottom of Voodoo in Haiti and Africa, it will be found that some important medical secrets, still unknown to medical science, give it its power, rather than the gestures of ceremony.”
—Zora Neale Hurston (18911960)