First Night Logo

Welcome to the program for First Night Noreascon, the Noreascon Four opening night celebration! We've brought together a myriad of activities designed to give you a taste of the convention and of the different aspects of fandom. (And some things just for fun!)

First Night runs from 7:000pm–11:00pm on Thursday night, September 2, with a few items starting earlier or ending later. Look for signs, balloons and streamers in the First Night colors of purple, red, and yellow which will mark the locations of First Night events. Many of the program items are interactive and most are designed so that you can drop in and sample many different activities during the evening.

Many of the activities (those shown in red) will be giving out tickets that can be redeemed for silly carnival prizes. The First Night Prize Table will be located at the Information Desk in the ConCourse.

We hope that you will come, participate, and have a great time!

Continuing Events

All continuing events will run from 7:00pm–11:00pm unless noted otherwise.

Ankh-Morpork Ball: Dancing Through the Ages, 7:00pm–2:00am. The evening starts with participatory Renaissance dance: easy dances from the 16th and 17th centuries. Everything will be taught, so come on in! (Run by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Justin du Coeur, dancemaster.) Follow this with ballroom dancing of the ages, including waltz, polka, one-step, tango, swing and rock, from 8:00–10:30pm. Finally, wind up the evening with modern music. Bring your dance shoes! (Sue and Larry Schroeder) Hynes 200.

Art Show and Retrospective Art Exhibit, 6pm–10pm. Over 350 panels of science fiction and fantasy art, including a special exhibit of classic pieces from the Golden Age of SF illustration. (Harp music by Ellen James from 8:00pm–9:00pm) Hynes 3rd floor Ballroom.

Artist Demonstrations. 7:00pm–9:00pm: Margaret Organ-Kean, Dave Seeley, MOIFA—Chinese Brush Painting, Sophie Klesen.
9:00pm–11:00pm: Ruth Sanderson, Tom Kidd, Jay Trefethen. Rotunda..

Beer and Skittles. Come join us for a friendly game over by The Mended Drum. As a showcase for the Gaming rooms, we'll be playing short (5–15 minute) games of every type from Fluxxx to Lightspeed, from Falling! to Devil Bunny Needs a Ham. Take a load off your feet and elevate your sugar level!. We also expect to have the Looney Labs oversize pyramids to play with. (Bill Todd and Daniel Abraham) ConCourse.

Balloon Animals. (Megan Hefner). Various locations.

Belly Dancing. We'll have dancing all night, and during the 8:30–9:00pm segment, the more venturesome of you will be welcome to join in. Dancers include: Ravenar (Julia Mandala, Linda Donahue, Kathy Turski), The Hippy Chix (Nancy "Aurora" Rogers, Valerie Kerin, Kimberly Parker, Janet Johnston, Pat Vandenberg), Bad Raqsan'e Sahra (Karen Purcell, Anne Livermore Rookey, Lynne Chaney, Susan Dunphy, Laura Hayes, Kathy Journeay, Beth Kelly, Carol King, Randi LaMadeleine, Keri Ogorzalek, Thesa Roberts, Audrey White, Jen Wise, Kate Waterous) and Christina Briley. Midway.

Blackjack. Play blackjack (for fun) with a professional dealer. (Dave Cantor, Kevin Hall, Michael Nutt) Midway.

Bounce Castle. (Sponsored by Arisia) ConCourse.

SF Concentration. Match names of SF authors and win a Fast Forward DVD. (Sponsored by Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction) Midway.

Caricature Artist. Kyle Thomas. Midway.

Children's Costume Corner. Crafts area where children (and interested adults) can make their own sparkle crowns, magic wands, and capes. (Persis Thorndike) Midway.

DUFF/TAFF Reception, 8:00pm–11:00pm. Come meet Norman Cates and James Bacon, the DUFF and TAFF delegates, and while you're here, check out the fanzines and grab some beads. (Guy Lillian) Fanzine Lounge, ConCourse.

Exhibits. Browse through the many exhibits featuring our Guests of Honor, E.E. 'Doc' Smith, Masquerade Costumes, Hugo Awards, Fan History, and NASA. ConCourse.

FANAC. FANAC's exhibit of fan photos and memorabilia from the past forty years will be open throughout the convention. The Photo Scanning Station will be open from 7:00–9:00pm during First Night, so bring along your favorite fannish photos or newspaper clippings to add to our archive. ConCourse.

Face Painting. Megan Hefner, Lisa Hertel, Kate Johnson, Elizabeth Stone. Midway.

Filksinging and other entertainment in The Mended Drum and Club SF. (See schedule below.)

FIRST Night TIMES The First Night Real-Time One-Shot Fanzine. Contribute 25–250 words or fan art on the theme of "Your First Time" and come back tomorrow to help collate and pick up the finished fanzine that you created. (Bob Devney) ConCourse.

"You might write about your First Night experience. Or your first time at a con. Your first time at a Worldcon. Your first time reading SF or fantasy. Your first time reading a particular author or subgenre. Your first time in Boston. Your first time attending or competing in a Masquerade. Your first time composing or performing a filksong. Your first time on a panel. Your first time meeting a particular author, editor, artist, or fan. Your first time contributing to a fanzine…Or, on the mundane side, your first time eating a Boston delicacy (hah!), buying a house, using a computer, driving a car, flying in an airplane, riding a horse, firing a gun, seeing a ghost running for office, having a baby, taking a drink, breaking a bone, visiting a foreign country, dreaming in a foreign language, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Oh, or having sex."

Hall Costumes are encouraged! If you're wearing a hall costume, look for our roving photographer to take your picture and give you a prize ticket. (Vivian Abraham) Various locations.

Hugo Ring Toss. Toss glow-stick rings onto real Hugo rockets and win a prize. (Sponsored by the Science Fiction Oral History Association) Midway.

Haiku, Origami, Ikebana, and Godzillas. Haiku contest, Origami and Ikebana demonstrations, Pin the Propeller Beanie on Yokohama, Chocolate Godzillas. (Sponsored by the First Japanese Worldcon Bid, Nippon 2007) Midway.

Juggle 3 Balls in 20 Minutes. Learn to juggle in 20–30 minutes. We'll lend you the balls! Sessions will start at 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, and 9:30pm. (David G. Grubbs) Midway.

Juggling by Eric Kollenberg. Various locations.

Magic Show. Bill Brang of Have Wand Will Travel. Two shows at 8:00 and 9:30pm. Midway.

Movie Previews, 8:00pm–10:30pm. Drop in and see previews of the films that will be shown during the convention. Hynes 208.

Period Fun. The Society for Creative Anachronism will be running a variety of Medieval and Renaissance games and other activities over the course of First Night. Come on by and join in! ConCourse.

Phoenix Swords. Come see the Phoenix Swords' interpretations of St. George and the Dragon (7:30pm) and Don Quixote (8:30pm). Sword-fighting demonstrations before each show. (Phoenix Swords: Frank Hunt, Holly Hunt, Carol Mantz, Jenifer Larkin, Tom Howard, Rachel Malkoski, Brian Rust, Nate Grondin) Auditorium.

Prize Table. Cash in the tickets you win for silly prizes at the Information Desk in the ConCourse.

Refreshments. A variety of food and drink, including a selection of beers, will be available in The Mended Drum. There will also be popcorn and ice cream available from food carts in the Midway.

The Show That Never Ends. Our performers will entertain and amaze you as you join us for peep shows, gypsy fortune-telling, a fish-tossing game, and a guessing game. (Sponsored by Cascadia Con, the NASFiC in Seattle in 2005) Midway.

Souvenirs. Convention souvenirs, including T-shirts and our Guest of Honor books, will be on sale at the Sales-to-Members tables. ConCourse.

Theremin Demonstration. Thomas Farrell will give a short talk on the science and history of the theremin each hour on the hour. In the remaining time, you will be invited to try playing the theremin yourself. Midway.

To Serve Fan. Hot Dog Mania, with trivia and guessing games. (Sponsored by Chicago in 2008 Worldcon Bid) Midway.

Tombola Booth. Interaction brings the heart of the English village fete to First Night with a traditional tombola. Much beloved by Agatha Christie, these summer affairs were the highlight of the village calendar, and the tombola booth gave the villagers access to the only form of gambling that was approved of by both Vicar and Womens Institute. So come and try your luck! (Sponsored by Interaction, the 2005 Worldcon in Glasgow, Scotland) Midway.

First Citizen of Fanitopia. Campaign and vote for your favorite SF author for "First Citizen of Fanitopia". The best off-the-cuff campaign speeches will win prize tickets. (Sponsored by Washington Science Fiction Association) Midway.

Scheduled Events


Fannish Eye for the Mundane Guy. Fans will give a total lifestyle remake to a mundane or two. (Esther Friesner, Lynn Gold, John F. Hertz (m), David R. Howell, Suford Lewis, Edie Stern) Hynes 206.

Tall Tech Tales. Panelists, with considerable audience participation, tell real-life amusing anecdotes about the sciences. (Guy Consolmagno, Jeff Hecht (m), Robert A. Metzger) Hynes 205.

Fancyclopedia — Live! Tales of fannish lore, with audience participation. (Joe Siclari, Jack Speer, Milt Stevens) Fanzine Lounge, ConCourse.


Roland Liu, a prize-winning young violinist, will play traditional waltzes, jigs, reels, and bluegrass. The Mended Drum, ConCourse.


Trumpet Fanfare announces the official start of First Night and the opening of the Midway booths. "Arthur's Fanfare" from the score for First Knight by Jerry Goldsmith will be performed by The Star Chamber. (David G. Grubbs, Jerry Sabatini, Dave O'Neal, Jim Paradis, Michele Weinstein, and Alex Wei) Midway.

Punday. A host provides topics to a set of contestants who must in turn make a not-yet-said pun on that topic within 30 seconds. When someone misses or repeats, they're gonged out and the topic changes. (Jordin T. Kare, Josepha Sherman) Hynes 206.

Godzilla: My Favorite Monster. Born in Japan as a nuclear allegory, now an American favorite in innumerable remakes and variants…What is the big guy's appeal? Bob Eggleton discusses Godzilla and shares his collection of commercials, trailers, and other oddities. Hynes 208.

Future House. Imagine a mixed group of average folks from the USA of 2004 living for 3 months in a typical 2104 biopodplex. (Rusty Hevelin, James Patrick Kelly, Ellen Kushner, Connie Willis (m)) Hynes 205.

The Return of 20 Panels an Hour. Using patented ThoughtSquasher compression technology, Boskone's barely tolerated "Sunday Funny Sunday" crew flees to Noreascon's First Night. Watch with whimpering amazement as they whip through at least 20 complete panel topics (not including this one) in 55 minutes or less. Warning: do not apply directly to brain. (Michael A. Burstein, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Bob Devney (m), Leigh Grossman) Hynes 311.

Terry on Trial…for such charges as "failing to stop at a trilogy", "writing with undue care and attention," "cruelty to animals," and "being a rich bastard!". Celebrity witnesses will include Death, Nanny Ogg, and others. (James Bacon, Esther Friesner, Jay Caselberg (m), Mary Kay Kare, Terry Pratchett) ConCourse.

Ask Dr. Mike. What can you get for the man who knows everything? Science fiction's wildly acclaimed answer to Drs. Hawking, Ruth, Phil, and Laura asks only for the gift of your most challenging questions about science, philosophy, history, the meaning and origin of life, and that awkward con restaurant-invitation thing. (John M. Ford) Hynes 209.

Dave Weingart. Filksinging. Club SF, Hynes 210.


St. George and the Dragon, as interpreted by the Phoenix Swords, with sword fighting, puppets, and cross-dressing. (Phoenix Swords) Auditorium.

Paul Shuch sings witty science and SETI songs. Club SF, Hynes 210.


Magic Show. Have Wand Will Travel. (Bill Brang) Midway.

Autographing. (Peter Weston and William Tenn) Rotunda.

Tavern Songs. (Faye Ringel and Sean McMullen) The Mended Drum, ConCourse.

Comedy Routine. Harry Harrison and Gary Davis (World Citizen #1) do comedy! Hynes 209.

Blindfolded Sculpting. Come with suggestions for bizarre creatures to be sculpted or join in! (Sandra Lira, Heidi Hooper, Susan Finley, Mike Ventrella) Midway.

A Preview of The Filkado. A sampling of one or two songs from the fannish musical to be presented in its entirety later in the convention. Club SF, Hynes 210.


The Fibs. A rock-influenced trio. Club SF, Hynes 210.


Don Quixote as interpreted by the Phoenix Swords. A lucky audience member will be picked to play the title role. Singing required. (Phoenix Swords) Auditorium.


Thomas the Rhymer. Ellen Kushner’s performance interlaces portions of her award-winning novel Thomas the Rhymer with the traditional ballads that inspired it. Accompanied by fiddler Joe Kessler, she creates a living picture in words and song of the mortal minstrel taken by the Queen of Elfland to serve in her perilous kingdom. (Ellen Kushner) Club SF, Hynes 210.

SFWA Musketeers. (Elizabeth Moon, Jay Caselberg, Melanie Fletcher, Esther Friesner, Laura Anne Gilman, John G. Hemry, Lee Martindale, Vera Nazarian, Madeleine E. Robins, Selina Rosen, Susan Shwartz, Steven H Silver, Laura Underwood, Liz Williams) The Mended Drum and Auditorium.

A Scene a Minute/Whose Line Is It? How well can our teams of participants act out well-known scenes in a minute or less... and have the audience guess what they're doing? (Michael A. Burstein (m), Nomi Burstein (m), Solomon Davidoff, Michael McAfee, Michael Rennie, Josepha Sherman) Hynes 206.

Readings from the Published Works of Absent Writers. Open-mike reading of your favorite excerpts. Bring your favorite 3-minute pieces that are particularly meaningful to you and join the read-in. (jan howard finder, Mary Kay Kare) Hynes 209.

Cartoon Jam. (Joe Bergeron, Alexis Gilliland, Teddy Harvia, Bill Neville, John Zakour) Rotunda.


April Grant. Fiddler. The Mended Drum, ConCourse.


Magic Show. Bill Brang of Have Wand Will Travel. Midway


Win Tom Galloway's Money. If you liked "Win Ben Stein's Money", you'll love the (very, very freely-adapted) SF version. After all, Ben's game just can't compete with trivia categories like "That's Why Delaney Is a Tramp," "Running with Edward Scissorhands," and "I'm a Gaiman Fan—Not That There's Anything Wrong With That." (Tom Galloway and Keith DeCandido) Hynes 205.

Hippocrene and Hyperspace: An Open Mike Poetry Reading. Named in honor the poetry item at the 1963 Worldcon (Discon I), about which George Scithers later wrote, "We were afraid that a bald announcement that we were going to have a poetry-reading session would scare off the audience…". Let's jam. Hynes 209.

DiscWorld Songs. The Mended Drum, ConCourse.

On Venus Have We Got a Rabbi. A reading by William Tenn, with the original intonations… (90 minutes) Club SF, Hynes 210.


First Night Midway Closes

Entertainment at The Mended Drum and the Ankh-Morpork Ball continue until 2:00am.

The Very Secret Diaries: A Dramatic Reading. Hynes 208.

Pictionary. Think of Charades, played by mute mental patients... (James Bacon (m), Mike Dashow, Joseph DeVito, Bob Eggleton, Teddy Harvia) Rotunda.


First Night Staff and Helpers: Vivian Abraham, Ruth Alfasso, Bob Devney, Ruth Doyle, Benita Gagne, Dan Kimmel, Grant Kruger, Jim Murray, Jeff Orth, Ann Pinzow, A. Mchael 'Sparks' Rennie, Erika Shultz (program booklet), Rachel Silber, Kevin Standlee, Geri Sullivan, Leslie Turek.

Special Thanks to: John Pomeranz, Priscilla Olson, Alice Lewis (logo design), Marah Searle-Kovacevic, J. Spencer Love, Jennifer White, Persis Thorndike, Chip Hitchcock, Jim Hudson, Marc Gordon, Deb Geisler, and all of the fans, pros, clubs, and performers who pitched in to make this event a success.