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Published in the monthly newsmagazine Science Fiction Chronicle, Volume 2, Number 9, in June 1981, a small review of the B. Dalton SF Festival, held at the end of March 1981, provides a glimpe into the good relationship between John Norman and Don Wollheim, and it also hold some unique pictures, never before published on the Internet.

TopB. Dalton SF Festival Suffers Poor Publicity

John Norman in 1981 - click to enlarge B. Dalton's 3rd SF festival was held March 23rd-26th ar their Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street branch. Attendance at some functionbs wasn't as large as last year, perhaps because signs for the festival were inside the store, rather than being in the outside facing windows as was the case last year. Monday, David Hartwell presented Peter Straub and Brian Aldiss during lunch hour, followed by James White, Fred Pohl, Stephen Donaldson and the del Reys in the evening slot, 5:30 to 7pm. SFC's humble reporter, ANdy Porter was recovering from the after-effects of Lunacon and missed Monday's events.

Tuesday at lunchtime Berkley Books was there in force, though the crowd was a bit light. The evening session was a jam-packed one with Isaac Asimov holding forth.

Wednesday found DAW Books in control of the authors forum area, with a good sized crowd of fans listening to John Norman while C.J. Cherryh visibly controlled herself. Ron Goulart, befitting his station as SF's most humorous author, told a string of one liners and kept the crowd laughing. Afterwards, many fans left for a group dinner and a fannish party for James White.

Finally, Timescape Books held sway Thursday evening, attracting a fair crowd. SFC was able to get some pictures o Timescape's Administrative Editor John Douglas, who has been remarkably camera-shy down through the years.

If there'd been a more visible publicity campaign in the store -- signs in the window would have helped a lot -- attendance at the sessions would have been better. The best sign present was the DAW Books display, consisting of hundreds of covers and clear, simple information about who was going to be at the store. Not so remarkably, the DAW session was the best attended one.

John Norman in 1981 - click to enlarge
Left to right: Lin Carter, C.J. Cherryh, John Norman, Donald and Elsie Wollheim, Betsy Wollheim, Ron Goulart

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