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The Windy City Countdown Begins!

Posted in Conventions on January 2, 2013 @ 10:43 am

Now that 2013 is here, I’m already looking ahead to this year’s Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention. As I write these words the con is scheduled to begin in just 100 days. April 12th will once again find hundreds of pulp-fiction and pop-culture mavens assembling in Chicago’s Westin Lombard hotel for the hobby’s first major event of the convention season. Even though the national economy has been in the doldrums for several years, the Windy City show has continued to grow and thrive, and this year’s confab promises to be another great one.

The upcoming “Windy,” as many fans call it, will acknowledge two major anniversaries in the pulp and pop-culture realms. Just 90 years ago, in 1923, pulp fantasy and science fiction took great strides forward with the respective publications of Weird Tales‘ first issue and the special “Scientific Fiction Number” of Hugo Gernsback’s Science and Invention, which paved the way for Amazing Stories and other SF magazines. An even hundred years ago, in 1913, Sax Rohmer’s immortal “devil doctor” made his debut in a book published in England as The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu and here in the U.S. as The Insidious Dr. Fu  Manchu.

As many of you know, I’m one of the Windy’s committee members, and it’s my job to run the con’s film program, which begins when the show opens on Friday and ends late Saturday night after the auction. This year’s lineup will, naturally, include movies adapted from stories that first appeared in Weird Tales and from Rohmer’s novels. I’m still searching for copies of a few that aren’t commercially available, so I don’t want to tip my hand just yet, but check the Windy City site late this month for the final schedule.

The Windy’s auctions are always highlights and this year’s promises to be no exception. The Friday-night session will include over 200 lots of pulps — some 1100 magazines in all — from the estate of the late, legendary collector Jerry Weist. You can see pictures of many key items on the convention website. Most of these pulps are dazzling high-grade copies and the bidding is expected to be hot and heavy.

Of course, the Windy dealer room is where most of the action takes place. With over 140 tables of material for sale, there’s always plenty of great stuff for discriminating collectors — even those on tight budgets. As always, Murania Press will be on hand with the latest issues of Blood ‘n’ Thunder and other publications.

Stay tuned for updates, but plan on joining us in Chicago. In fact, why not make your hotel reservation today? You can cancel at no cost up to 24 hours before the event, and if you wait too long there’s always a chance that you won’t be able to book a room at the discounted convention rate. (You can find the contact and room-rate info on the Windy’s website.) This show is always one of the year’s highlights, and the next 100 days can’t pass too quickly for me.


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