Fourth Street in 2009

Posted by Laurel Krahn

For information on the 2009 convention, please visit

We're very pleased to announce that there will be another Fourth Street Fantasy Convention!

When: June 19 - 21, 2009
Where: at a hotel in or near Minneapolis

Elise Matthesen will be chairing the next Fourth Street; she and other committee members are still working on finding a hotel for the convention. Once we have a contract with a hotel, we'll start taking pre-registrations.

If you have suggestions for next year or would like to volunteer, please get in touch with us.

Dead Dog Party etc.

Posted by Laurel Krahn

[This was posted on Sunday, June 22nd, 2008.]

Dead Dog Party tonight in rooms 1117 & 1118.

Smoking Room will be 1206 (same as last night).

Music Party tonight at 9pm in the room formerly known as the Dealer's Room (the Fuji Room on the second floor).

The traditional post-con sushi outing (also known as Fish) will be on Monday at 12:30pm at Sakura in Saint Paul (350 Saint Peter Street in St. Paul, MN 55102 | 651-224-0185). [Directions/Map]


Posted by Laurel Krahn

[This was posted on Friday of the convention.]

Tonight's party is located in the Fireside/Cortland rooms; the registration table is outside of those rooms. If you enter the hotel from the lobby, go up the stairs and you'll find the rooms near the top of the stairs (to the left). If you enter the hotel from the ramp, you'll want to walk down the hallway, past the elevators, and just keep on going 'til you go past the stairs – the room is on your right. From the elevators, the room is to the right on the right, past the top of the stairs. There is another group having a shindig of some sort right nearby, one hopes you can figure out which group is which!

On Saturday and Sunday, programming will be in the rooms they call "The Grove" (which is what happens when you combine the rooms known separately as Beacon, Duchess, Regent, and Waldorf). From the parking ramp, you walk past the pool area and the rooms will be on your left (before you get to the elevators, if you get to them, you've gone too far). From the elevator area, you go left down the hall toward the pool, the rooms are on the right. Registration will be outside of those rooms on Saturday and Sunday. From the stairs, you'll go right, past the elevators, down the hall and they'll be on your right. The Dealer's Room is in the Fuji Room which is across the hall from programming.

The consuite is on the 13th floor in the Presidential Suite (a.k.a. 1321). There'll be a sign near the elevators pointing the way. Despite what it says in the elevators, you shouldn't need a room key to get to the 13th floor this weekend.

Thursday Afternoon Update

Posted by Laurel Krahn

Descriptions and panelists have been added to the Programming Schedule page. I think these are fairly close to being final, but of course things can change at the con and I suspect such changes will be announced and/or posted somewhere.

If you have suggested corrections or additions for the website, please comment on entries on the website or post to the Fourth Street Livejournal.

The Fourth Street Livejournal is a great place to post if you have questions or comments or are looking to connect with other folks who are going to the convention. I see there's a "Roll Call" post there already, a good place for out-of-towners in particular to check in when they arrive in town (assuming you want people to know you're here!). The LJ community is a good place to post if you're looking to hook up with people to go out to eat or see Serenity or check out the nature preserve or the Mall of America or anything like that.

When looking for the latest info about the convention or people at the con, check our website and the LJ community.

Know Your Holiday Inns

Posted by Laurel Krahn

Fourth Street is at the Holiday Inn Select in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Please don't confuse it with the Holiday Inn Express in Bloomington, Minnesota which is on American Blvd less than two miles from the convention hotel.

The Holiday Inn Select (con hotel) is taller and closer to the airport and nature preserve; the Holiday Inn Express is shorter and closer to the Mall of America.

The Holiday Inn Select (Fourth Street hotel) has an attached parking ramp, the Holiday Inn Express just has a parking lot.

On this map, the convention hotel (Holiday Inn Select) is point A and the Holiday Inn Express is point B.

Getting To The Convention

Posted by Laurel Krahn

I've created a page that covers Directions and Parking and stuff like that. Have updated it and updated it some more and I imagine I'll update it another time before the convention starts. Hope this is in time to be useful.

The page has directions to the hotel, parking info, links to bus and light rail info, hotel shuttle schedule, links to Department of Transportation sites where you can find info on road closures, and so on.

I still need to confirm the hotel shuttle schedule with the hotel, I'll do that on Thursday. Will note it in the shuttle section once I've confirmed it.

If you have info on road closures or detours that would be helpful, please note them in comments on this post or send them in via the web form. If you're driving to the convention and will be traveling through areas affected by flooding, I recommend checking with the appropriate Department of Transportation website to see which roads and bridges are closed or restricted.


Posted by Laurel Krahn

Temperatures this week in Minneapolis have been in the 70s, mostly. Forecast calls for highs of 80-83 this weekend. Fahrenheit, that is.

For weather info, check out: StarTribune Weather page, KARE 11 Weather, KSTP Weather, WCCO Weather, and/or the Weather Underground MSP page.

There's a really excellent nature preserve within walking distance or a short drive of the hotel. If you find yourself with spare time and want to spend it outdoors, check out the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The Long Meadow Lake Unit is the trail closest to the hotel. (If you don't find time to check it out now or want to see it again later, we'll be going on a nature walk there in the Fall during Convivial 3.)


Posted by Laurel Krahn

Registration: Noon - 6:30 p.m. (possibly running later if there's demand)
Programming: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. (with a party starting at 9 p.m. with readings at 9:30 p.m.)
Dealer's Room: 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Consuite: Opens at 5 p.m. and stays open all night or until the last person crashes.

Registration: Opens at 9 a.m. and stays open as long as it's needed
Programming: 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Dealer's Room: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Consuite: It's pretty much open all convention (except when it's not)

Registration: Won't be open.
Programming: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Dealer's Room: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Consuite: Closes at 4 p.m.

A note about Registration

The Registration table will be located outside the room we're using for programming on the second floor. On Friday, the room we're using is the Fireside/Cortland Room; on Saturday and Sunday programming will be in the Grove room. There should be signs directing a person to where things are.

When Registration isn't officially open, you'll still be able to register; we'll put a note or sign on the table indicating where to go or who to find to do so.

A note about the Consuite

The consuite will be located in the Presidential Suite on the 13th floor of the hotel. It officially opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, if you wander up there earlier than that you'll be expected to help set things up, though I don't think we actually get the room 'til 3 p.m. on Friday.

Once the consuite opens, it will stay open for the whole convention, more or less. The consuite may close late at night or early in the morning if there's no one around to mind it.

I'm guessing that help could be used closing down the consuite on Sunday before it closes at 4 p.m.

There will be a Dead Dog Party at the hotel on Sunday night, but it won't be in the consuite – it will be in two rooms yet to be determined. We'll have info at the convention. (If you're new to conventions and haven't heard the term "Dead Dog Party" before, it's just the party that happens after the convention is officially over; a time to wind down and consume leftover food and drink.)

Programming Notes

It's possible panels may run long, the announced end time for programming each day is an educated guess.

While panels conclude at 6 p.m. on Friday, there's a party on Friday night starting at 9 p.m. in the same room which will include readings by Guest of Honor Elizabeth Bear and other nifty people.

Registration Confirmations Emailed

Posted by ddb

I have just now emailed registration confirmations to those that we had an email address for. You are not required to print and bring these with you or anything, but receiving one can sometimes feel nice, and like you're not forgotten.

Program Schedule

Posted by Laurel Krahn

I've been making all sorts of updates to the website this week, will be making more all the time.

A preliminary Programming Schedule is online. So far it has the titles and times for program items – I believe Steve is still working on finalizing who is on each panel. The Programming page has also been updated with a list of panelists and some other details.

There's now a page about the Dealer's Room; it includes a list of the folks who'll be selling stuff at the convention (and links to their websites when known); that page also now includes the hours and location of the Dealer's Room.


Posted by Laurel Krahn

This is all still somewhat subject to change, but the general hours likely won't change much at this point.


It looks like Opening Ceremonies will be at 3 p.m. on Friday with programming running on Friday from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The big party on Friday night starts at 9pm with readings starting at 9:30 p.m.

Seems safe to assume that registration will open at least a couple hours before Opening Ceremonies; will let you know time and place as soon as they're confirmed.

Consuite opens at 5 p.m.


On Saturday, programming will run from 9:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. or so with a lunch break from 12:15 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. and a dinner break from 6 p.m. 'til 8 p.m.


Programming will likely run from 10 a.m. 'til 4 p.m. or so with a break from 11:30 a.m. 'til 12:30 p.m. for lunch. Closing Ceremonies are set for 3:30 p.m.

The consuite will close at 4 p.m. though we will have a room or suite for a Dead Dog Party at the hotel on Sunday night.

Shiny Lioness Event and Chapbook

Posted by Laurel Krahn

Elise Matthesen is hosting a special event on Friday night of the convention. You should really click on the link and read all about the event if you haven't yet (or haven't lately); the bit that Elise wanted me to remind you of is:

There will be an invitation in your convention packet, but I'm telling you now so you can plan ahead and bring any shinies you have to our documentation project to be photographed for my portfolio. (See below.)

And here's the "below" part:

Heather Corinna will be photographing those who wish, because part of the goodness will be documenting people and their shinies for my portfolio. If you will be wearing a named necklace or other named piece, please contact Elise before the event in order to reserve a photo time. Heather will also be available on-site earlier that day and possibly on Saturday for a limited number of author photos and other work; please ask Elise for Heather's contact information if you wish to arrange a session.

So when packing for Fourth Street, don't forget to bring any fabulous Lioness jewelry you may own; you may also want to get in touch with Elise before the convention.

Elise is also now accepting pre-orders for a chapbook inspired by her jewelry, to be delivered during Fourth Street. The chapbook includes work by by all sorts of cool people, including Fourth Street Guest of Honor Elizabeth Bear.

Other Local Events of Interest

Posted by Laurel Krahn

We surely don't want to lure people away from all the fun at Fourth Street, but we figure out-of-towners might want to hear about some of the other things going on in the Twin Cities while they're here.

Here's a list of just a few of the cool things we know about that are going on in the Twin Cities before, during, and after the convention:

There'll be three showings of Serenity at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis as part of Can't Stop The Serenity. The screenings are on Thursday at 9:30 at night, and Friday and Saturday nights at 11:30 p.m.

The special exhibit "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" will be at the Science Museum of Minnesota from June 13th through August 24th.

Paul Score and the Fabulous Lorraine will be playing shows on the nights of June 20th and 21st at Charlie's Pub in Stillwater, Minnesota. You can find out more in their blog. Please note that Stillwater is more than 35 miles away from the convention hotel and it may take longer than you think to move between the two locations due to fun road repair stuff.

The Tim Malloys (Adam Stemple, Johnny Sjogren, and friends) play at Kieran's Irish Pub in downtown Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday, June 20th and 21st.

Bedlam has a regular Tuesday gig in the Twin Cities. These days Bedlam is: John Sjogren, Paul Regge, and Mark Sterling.

The Minnesota Twins play two series at the Metrodome from June 17th through June 22nd; they'll be playing the Nationals and the Diamondbacks. If anyone decides to go to a game and wants info or advice (and possibly even tickets), get in touch with season ticket holder Laurel Krahn.

These are just a few items we know about, feel free to pass along more suggestions and additional data. Most locals are happy to answer questions about where things are, best ways to get to them, and that sort of thing.

[Yes, we'll have more information about the convention itself up here soon. Your humble webmaster is pestering people for information about the program schedule, registration location/hours, and all that good stuff.]

Hotel Deadline Extended

Posted by Laurel Krahn

The deadline to reserve a room in our block at our convention rate has been extended from May 30th to June 2nd.

Check out our previous post about the deadline or the hotel page for more info on rooms, rates, and all that important stuff.

Revised Flyer and Poster

Posted by ddb

Please use the latest revision of the Fourth Street flyer and poster.

Hotel Reservation Deadline

Posted by Laurel Krahn

[This post has been edited to reflect an extension of the room reservation deadline from May 30th to June 2nd.]

The deadline for room reservations at the convention hotel (the Holiday Inn Select Airport in Bloomington, Minnesota) is May 30th, 2008 June 2nd, 2008. If you try to reserve a room after May 30th June 2nd, we can not guarantee that you will get the convention rate or that rooms will even be available.

Our room rates are $95 for a King or Double and $125 for a Suite. Most suites have a sitting room that is separate from the bedroom with a sleeper sofa, desk, mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and second TV.

You can contact the hotel at (952) 854-9000 or (800) 465-4329. Tell them you're with "Fourth Street Fantasy Convention" to get our room rate.

The hotel offers free shuttle service to and from the airport, free parking, and free wireless internet access (with wired access also available for free in some rooms). The hotel is part of a rewards club in case you're interested in those or already a member of this particular club.

We have more info about the hotel on the hotel page.

If you run into any issues when making your reservation or have any questions that the hotel staff cannot answer, please get in touch with us.

What People Are Saying

Posted by Laurel Krahn

Emma Bull: Fourth Street Fantasy Convention. Why You Should.

Marissa Lingen: Uncle Fourth Street Wants You!

Elise Matthesen: Hey! Cool future thing alert: Fourth Street Fantasy Convention. Elise is also hosting an event at the convention.

And Pamela Dean said:

I was supposed to write an essay months ago for the website, but I have been finding it difficult to bring up coherent memories. Fourth Street was a great deal like disappearing under the hill, visiting the very far lands of Faerie. It was, at least, if Faerie had chocolate-covered coffee beans and a wedding party leaving at six a.m. so that the participants, including the bride and groom, could be back at the convention for the start of panels at ten; if Faerie included Samuel Delany, leaving in the middle of a panel to catch his plane home and stopping the standing ovation he was getting with the startling words, "No, no, sit down and do what you're doing. This is valuable work"; if Faerie included Jane Yolen and Patricia McKillip doing a joint guest of honor speech; if it included Patrick Nielsen Hayden standing up out of the audience and demolishing the entire premise of a panel and providing a new one, all in a paragraph; if it included a membership so involved in the programming that moderators were sometimes obliged to say they would take only questions, not comments, until later in the hour; if it included sitting around at five in the morning while music was still going on in the other room, discussing simultaneously Dorothy Dunnett, the vagaries and virtues of fountain pens, the flavors of jelly beans, and the proper use of violence in fantasy. A few local writers, both established and aspiring, used to leave early on Sunday, followed by the pleas of their friends to stay longer, because the programming had made them want to do nothing except go home and write. Cally Soukup once stayed up for 72 hours straight at a Fourth Street, because there was always somebody to talk to.

Tell Your Friends!

Posted by ddb

Outdated! I've left this here for history, but please get the latest flyer or poster from a more recent posting.

Should you feel the urge to tell your friends about Fourth Street, the latest poster design is available below as a PDF. Feel free to print some out and post them in appropriate places!

4th Street Poster

This incorporates the extended registration deadline, and is reformatted to work better on walls instead of folded in the mail (or on freebie tables).

Edited to add: I've also updated the old-style mailing/freebie table flyer to contain the extended registration deadline.

Revised flyer


Posted by Laurel Krahn

Our head of Programming Steven Brust says: "If you're a writer, editor, publisher, or critic, and plan to be at 4th Street, please let me know via email: skzb at dreamcafe dot com.";

Edited to add: You should also contact Steven if you're interested in being on programming regardless of whether you fit in any of those categories. If you're passionate about fantasy and are interested in being on a panel, get in touch with Steve.

Deadline for pre-registration extended

Posted by Laurel Krahn

We've extended the deadline for pre-registrations from May 15th to May 31st, 2008. This give us all more time to plug the convention to other folks, it also gives those who haven't registered yet a bit more time to gather the funds together to do so.

We do really appreciate the pre-registrations we've received already, a list of members is available on the website. The earlier we receive registrations, the easier it is for us.

If you haven't registered yet, you can register online; you'll also find information on how to register via mail on the Registration page.

Additions to the website

Posted by Laurel Krahn

We've added a list of members to the website as well as a page about programming. The list of members is being updated all the time, there are still some program participants and committee members who haven't registered yet, but we expect they'll be doing so any day now.

The deadline for pre-registrations is May 15th 31st, you can register online or via mail.

Fourth Street Considered as a Whole Pomegranate

Posted by Lydia Nickerson

It was almost midnight and I was hungry. I went to the refrigerator and stared at its contents; cheddar cheese, mustard, English muffins, jam, hard-boiled eggs, some fancy pickles I buy for occasions like these, Chinese left-overs in a white box – and none of it is was what I wanted. None of it. Not even the pickles. I looked over the shelves: tins of soups I don't want to eat and some dry roasted peanuts. It occurred to me that what I really wanted was… a pomegranate. It's midnight, I'm standing barefoot in the kitchen wearing nothing but a dressing gown, it's screamingly cold outside, and I want a pomegranate. So I put on clothes, and then some more clothes because it's Minnesota, then a parka, gloves, and a hat, and I drive to the nearest Byerlys*, and buy a pomegranate. By one o'clock, I'm nice and warm, tucked into my bed, my fingers are stained red and I've eaten a whole pomegranate. It can be nice to live in Minnesota.

So it happened that way only different. I looked around and found some wonderful little Iowa Icons, a Demicon off in one corner, some very nice Windycons, a truly spectacular bit of left-over Minicon, and a small, tangy bit of CONvergence. There were other things, too, but none of them appealed. I wanted… I wanted a pomegranate.

Pomegranates are mythical. For merely six seeds, the daughter of the earth is in thrall to Pluto for half the year. Imagine if Persephone had been as greedy as I, and eaten the whole pomegranate! Pomegranates have a strange flavor, not quite like anything else, and a stranger texture; rather like eating seeded grapes without spitting out the seeds. The seeds themselves are prettier than any grape, like little tear-shaped rubies. The process of eating a pomegranate is personally involving; it takes serious attention to eat a pomegranate, unlike eating an apple. Pomegranates are difficult to open. Each individual seed has to be persuaded to let go of the incredibly bitter rind. No matter how hard you try, you don't get all the good seeds. In the end, your hands are covered in red stains, and the plate is covered in red stains, as well as yellow, papery rinds, and stray seeds.

Fourth Street Fantasy Convention is equally mythical. Moreso, perhaps, as I've never eaten a Fourth Street. I've heard tales, though. I know people who traveled to that country, and ate the fateful seeds. It is a place where conversations have depth, and plant seeds of thought, sometimes even seeds of creativity. A place with music which opens up vistas that words cannot. A place of companionship, small and comfortable, but varied and lively.

They don't sell conventions at Byerlys, so I've gotten together many of the people who made Fourth Street Fantasy Convention happen before, and asked them to help me make it happen again. Because it's midnight in Minnesota, and nothing else is quite right. I want the damn pomegranate.

* If you want to get really technical about it, it was a Lunds, but they are now both owned by the same company, and both of them are grocery stores where you can get almost anything.

Lydia Nickerson
Chair of Fourth Street Fantasy Convention 10

Fourth Street: An Appreciation

Posted by Laurel Krahn

Jane Yolen wrote something wonderful for us when we asked for her memories of Fourth Street Fantasy Convention:

Fourth Street: an Appreciation
by Jane Yolen

Iteration, that revolving door,
Return to topic hour after hour,
The audience as moderator.

The moderator as footnote.
Ideas thicker than smoke.
Steve outlines the route

From idea right on to print,
Morality becomes the flint
To start a fire, a flame, a rant.

Terri speaks of living the myth,
We do the frantic math,
The music, dissect the pith

Of planting the tree of such a life.
I return home still a mother, wife,
But changed beyond belief.

– © Jane Yolen 2007