Days of Yore

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10 Years Ago

2000 was the year of Chicon 6. Emerald City #61 reported on the warren-like facilities: "[T]he maze of rooms and corridors quickly proved to the assembled multitude that, for all the D&D we might have played, mapping a dungeon is no easy task. Everyone was having trouble. Jack McDevitt wandered past me muttering something about an intelligence test. Bob Daverin said that the place made him feel like he was inside an Escher painting. As for me, I finally realised why the Chicago basketball team is called the Bulls. Something obviously lurked in those tunnels. Hopefully it was as lost as we were."

The Chicon Web site, still up at, advised neos to be prepared: "Bring at least two pairs of comfortable shoes. Nothing will ruin a convention faster than blistered feet. The Chicon Convention area isn't the largest a Worldcon has been in, but it is pretty big. You will be walking frequently. [...] The Herd Instinct Law: When in doubt, find a big group of people and follow them."

The same set of tips also includes an early version of the 5-2-1 rule, credited to Midwestern fan Dr. Bob Passovoy.

100 Years Ago

In September of 1910, the newest wonder of the world was available to Hollywood. Depending on how you felt about them, it was either the world's first trolleybus line, or the world's first policewoman, Alice Stebbins Wells.

1000 Years Ago

After several years as a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court in Heian-kyo, Murasaki Shikibu (her pen name) completed her novel Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji), and Japanese literature promptly went into an irretrievable decline, as even today there are claims it is the finest book Japan has ever produced.

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