You are here

Arisia Abbreviated History

Arisia was founded as a non-profit in 1989 to hold conventions and to promote science fiction and fantasy in all forms. Arisia '19 will be our 30th annual convention.

Click on the Souvenir Book covers for a larger image. We also have a gallery of Arisia T-shirts.

Date Venue Guests of Honor & Special GuestsConChair & OfficersTheme/NotesReg.
Arisia '90
Feb 23-25, 1990
Lafayette Swissôtel
Boston, MA
WGoH: Richard Bowker
AGoH: A.C. Farley
FGoH: Spike MacPhee
Chair: Matthew Saroff
Pres: Mary Robison
VP: Kim Van Auken
Treas: Tom Fish
Clerk: Adria Crum
1990 was Arisia's second year of existence; officers from the first year were: Pres: Cris Shuldiner, VP: Mary Robison, Treas: Tom Fish, Clerk: Brian Cooper 842
Arisia '91
Feb 1-3, 1991
Vista International
Waltham, MA
WGoH: Jack L. Chalker
AGoH: Bob Walters
FGoH: Richard Hill & Laurel Cunningham
Media GoH: Larry Ross
Chair: Matthew Saroff
Pres: Mary Robison
VP: Robert Bazemore
Treas: Marshall Ellis
Clerk: A. Joseph Ross
The "Vista International" is now the "Waltham Westin" hotel ~1050 (from memory)
Arisia '92
Jan 3-5, 1992
Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers
Boston, MA
WGoH: Craig Shaw Gardner
AGoH: Robin Wood
Filk Guest: T.J. Burnside Clapp
Guest Editor: Ginjer Buchanan, Shoshanna Green
Media Guest: Lynne Stephens
Tech GoH: Alex Latzko
Chair: Kimberly S. Van Auken
Pres: Patrick McCormack
VP: Jeffrey Jordan
Treas: Marshall Ellis
Clerk: A. Joseph Ross
Ginjer and Shoshanna were each listed as "Guest Editor" in different sections of the Program Book. No one (including the chairman) remembers what really happened. 1094
Arisia '93
Jan 15-17, 1993
Boston Park PlazaWGoH: Ellen Kushner
AGoH: Charles Lang & Wendy Snow-Lang
FGoH: Monty Wells
Tech GoH: Carl Zwanzig
Chair: Robert "Insanity*3" Bazemore
Pres: A. Joseph Ross
VP: Heather Coon
Treas: Allan Kent
Clerk: Mark Dulcey
Arisia '94
Jan 21-23, 1994
Boston Park PlazaWGoH: Spider & Jeanne Robinson
AGoH: Michael Whelan
FGoH: Dave Kyle
Chair: James S. Belfiore, Jr.
Pres: A. Joseph Ross
VP: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Treas: Allan Kent
Clerk: Edward Dooley
The "Park Plaza Castle" (formally the armory for the First Corps of Cadets National Guard Unit) was used for the masquerade and several other events, due to an outside wedding being scheduled in the hotel main ballroom. 1513
Arisia '95
Jan 13-15, 1995
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: C. J. Cherryh
AGoH: Jael
FGoH: Walter Kahn
Filk Guest: Michael Longcor
Tech Guest: Deryl Burr
Chair: Sheila Oranch
Pres: Joelll Herda
VP: Jim Stevenson
Treas: Eric Bunce
Clerk: Edward Dooley
DIVERSITY--we are not one-dimensional beings! 1810
Arisia '96
Jan 12-14, 1996
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Emma Bull & Will Shetterly
AGoH: Lissanne Lake
FGoH: Rob Bazemore a.k.a. "Insanity*3"
Musical Guest: Boiled In Lead
Chair: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Pres: Cris Shuldiner
VP: Walter Kahn
Treas: Randall Cohen
Clerk: Robert Fairburn IV
Minneapolis Music
The Fan Guest of Honor got married in the hotel ballroom as his "GoH Event." Arisia '96 was the last year under the old family owned Park Plaza management. The hotel sale closed the Monday after the convention.
Arisia '97
Jan 10-12, 1997
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: R. A. Salvatore
AGoH: Bob Eggleton
FGoH: The Gang of Five (Arisia's Founders: Brian Cooper, Tom Fish, Mary Robison, Matthew Saroff, Cris Shuldiner)
Dictator: Pat McCormack
Pres: Cris Shuldiner
VP: Brendan Quinn
Treas: Marshall Ellis
Clerk: Glen Goodwin
Exploring Tyranny In Our Literature and In Our Lives
a.k.a. "The Iron Boot of Tyranny"
Arisia '98
Jan 16-18, 1998
Westin Hotel
Waltham, MA
WGoH: James P. Hogan
AGoH: Cortney Skinner
FGoH: Marty Gear
Exec Director: Glen R. Goodwin
Pres: Jeffrey L. "Hunter" Jordan
VP: Brendan Quinn
Treas: Skip Morris
Clerk: Paul Selkirk
Freedom: Stories of The Revolution!
The "Westin Waltham" is the former "Vista International". Arisia '98 had a strict membership cap of 1500 due to hotel function space limitations. The cap was raised to 1550 and no one was turned away.
Arisia '99
Jan 8-10, 1999
Westin Copley Place
Boston, MA
WGoH: Roger MacBride Allen
AGoH: Gary A. Lippincott
FGoH: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Science Guest: H. Paul Shuch a.k.a. "Dr. SETI"
Chair: Cris Shuldiner
Pres: Elka Tovah Menkes
VP: Glen R. Goodwin
Treas: Skip Morris
Clerk: Rachel Silverman
The 10th Arisia/Party Like It's 1999
There was actually no external theme for this convention, as the Chair does not believe in them. What is listed here is the internal theme designed for the staff to have fun with.
Arisia '00
Jan 14-16, 1900
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Jane Yolen
AGoH: Tom Kidd
FGoH: Sharon Sbarsky
Musical Guest: Echo's Children
Chair: Paul Selkirk
Pres: Noel Rosenberg
VP: Cris Shuldiner
Treas: Skip Morris
Clerk: Tom "Merv" Murphy
No official theme, but the "in joke" was that Arisia '00 was officially "Not Y2K Compliant," so the dates were printed as 1900. 1965
Arisia '01
Jan 12-14, 2001
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Lois McMaster Bujold
AGoH: Wojtek Siudmak
FGoH: jan howard finder a.k.a. "Wombat"
Chair: Elka Tovah Menkes
Pres: Brendan Quinn
VP: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Treas: Skip Morris
Clerk: Tom "Merv" Murphy
Looking Back on the Future 2082
Arisia '02
Jan 18-20, 2002
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Katherine Kurtz
AGoH: Tristan Alexander
FGoH: Eugene Heller
Chair: Noel Rosenberg
Pres: Brendan Quinn
VP: Colette Fozard
Treas: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Clerk: Paul Selkirk
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish:
A Tribute to the Works of Douglas Adams
Arisia '03
Jan 17-19, 2003
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Harry Turtledove
AGoH: Victoria (Poyser) Lisi & Julius Lisi
FGoH: Anthony R. Lewis, FN
Gaming Guests: Looney Labs (Andrew Looney, Kristin Looney, Alison Frane)
Costuming Guests: Pierre & Sandy Pettinger
Filk Guest: Gwen Knighton
Chair: Skip Morris
Pres: Joel Herda
VP: Noel Rosenberg
Treas: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Clerk: Paul Selkirk
Exploring Alternate Realities Through Literature 2264
Arisia '04
Jan 16-18, 2004
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Tim Powers
Sculptor GoH: Arthur Ganson
FGoH: Kim Van Auken
Freedom Guests: Eric S. & Catherine Raymond
Filk Guest: Tom Smith
Evil Overlord: Carsten Turner
Pres: Joel Herda
VP: Noel Rosenberg
Treas: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Clerk: Alex Latzko
The Future of Freedom
Official Con Book: Powers of Two, from NESFA Press
Arisia '05
Jan 21-23, 2005
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Barbara Hambly
AGoH: John Picacio
FGoH: Victor J. Raymond
Media Guest: Harry Knowles
Fannish Movie Guests:
Filk Guests: Mary Ellen Wessels & Ed Stauff
Chair: Buzz Harris
Pres: Carsten Turner
VP: Rick Kovalcik
Treas: Alex Latzko
Clerk: Claudia Mastroianni
Through Alien Eyes
Snowstorm shut down Boston
Arisia '06
Jan 13-15, 2006
Boston Park Plaza WGoH: Allen Steele
AGoH: Frank Wu
FGoH: Barb Schofield
Musical Guest: Heather Dale
Chair: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Pres: Rick Kovalcik
Vice Pres: Lisa Hertel
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Rachel Silber
Focus 2437 (reg'd)
2330 (attended)
Arisia '07
Jan 12-14, 2007
Hyatt Regency
Cambridge, MA
WGoH: Esther Friesner
AGoH: Hilary Scott
Filk GoH: Luke Ski
Chair: Joel Herda
Pres: Rick Kovalcik
Vice Pres: Lisa Holsberg
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Rachel Silber
Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy.
A new home for Arisia
A'07 had a strict membership cap of 2000 due to hotel space limitations. A few individuals were turned away on Saturday and given discount coupons for Sunday.
2137 (reg'd)
2045 (attended)
Arisia '08
Jan 18-21, 2008
Hyatt Regency Cambridge WGoH: Laura Anne Gilman
AGoH: Marrus
Fan Performer GoH: Eric "in the Elevator" Zuckerman
Chair: September Isdell
Pres: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Vice Pres: Crystal Huff
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Rick Kovalcik
Pirates vs. Ninjas
First four day Arisia
2369 (reg'd)
2280 (attended)
Arisia '09
Jan 16-19, 2009
Hyatt Regency Cambridge WGoH: Walter H. Hunt
AGoH: Dave Seeley
FGoH: Ricky and Karen Dick
Chair: Jill Eastlake
Pres: September Isdell
Vice Pres: Crystal Huff
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Fabric of Science Fiction 2523 (reg'd)
2410 (attended)
Arisia '10
Jan 15-18, 2010
Hyatt Regency Cambridge Writer / Editor GoH: Gardner Dozois
AGoH: Sarah Clemens
FGoHs: Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley
Musical GoH: SJ Tucker - Skinny White Chick
Chair: Rick Kovalcik Pres: Samantha Dings
Vice Pres: Glenn MacWilliams
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
SF - Old and New 2416 (reg'd)
2307 (attended)
Arisia '11
Jan 14-17, 2011
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoH: Kelley Armstrong
AGoH: Josh Simpson
FGoH: René Walling
Webcomic GoH: Shaenon Garrity
Special Guest: Seanan McGuire
Chair: Crystal Huff
Pres: Rick Kovalcik
Vice Pres: Noel Rosenberg
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Mad Science 3050 (reg'd)
2912 (attended)
Arisia '12
Jan 13-16, 2012
Westin Boston Waterfront GoHs: Phil and Kaja Foglio, Gareth Hinds Chair: Cris Shuldiner
Pres: Rick Kovalcik
Vice Pres: Crystal Huff
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Where Science and Adventure Come Together! 3,442 (reg'd)
3,284 (attended)
Arisia '13
Jan 18-21, 2013
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoHs: Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes
AGoH: Roger Dean
MGoH: Emerald Rose
Chair: Rachel Silber
Pres: Rick Kovalcik
Vice Pres: Conor Walsh
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
3,869 (reg'd)
3,629 (attended)
Arisia '14
Jan 17-20, 2014
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoH: Tanya Huff
AGoH: Lubov
FGoH: James Nicoll
Chair: Lisa Hertel
Pres: Conor Walsh
Vice Pres: David D'Antonio
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Rick Kovalcik At-Large: Anna Bradley, Kathryn Kun, & Tanya Washburn
A'14 did not sell memberships (including day memberships) on Saturday or Sunday, resulting in fewer unique visitors (counted here) even though each day had more attendees.
3,785 (reg'd)
3,560 (attended)
Arisia '15
Jan 16-19, 2015
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoH: N.K. Jemisin
AGoH: Lee Moyer
FGoH: Colette H. Fozard
Chair: Mike Sprague
Pres: Conor Walsh
Vice Pres: Anna Bradley
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Noel Rosenberg
At-Large: Jaime Garmendia, Rachel Kadel-Garcia, & Tom Traina
4,287 (reg'd)
4,010 (attended)
Arisia '16
Jan 15-18, 2016
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoH: John Scalzi
AGoH: Johnna Y. Klukas
FGoH: Pablo Miguel Alberto Vazquez III
Chair: Kris "Nchanter" Snyder
Pres: Conor Walsh
Vice Pres: Jaime Garmendia
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Rick Katze
At-Large: Daniel Eareckson, Abby Noyce & Jaelen Rachlin
Arisia 2016 -- now with 32% more whimsy!

Arisia was awarded the title of "Best of Boston® 2016 - Best Geek Gathering" by Boston magazine.

4,335 (reg'd)
4,014 (attended)
Arisia '17
Jan 13-16, 2017
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoH: Ursula Vernon
AGoH: Stephanie Law
Radio GoH: Krypton Radio
FGoH: Greykell Dutton
Chair: Anna Bradley
Pres: Kris "Nchanter" Snyder
Vice Pres: Cody Mattes
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Rick Kovalcik
At-Large: Diana Hsu, Abby Noyce, & Peter Olszowka
4,563 (reg'd)
4,299 (attended)
Arisia '18
Jan 12-15, 2018
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoH: V. E. Schwab
AGoH: Ashe Samuels
Comics Industry Guest of Honor: Shannon Watters
FGoH: Mikki Kendall
Chair: Jaime Garmendia
Pres: Noel Rosenberg
Vice Pres: Anna Bradley
Treas: Benjamin Levy
Clerk: Rick Kovalcik
At-Large: Jaelen Hartwin, Kris "Nchanter" Snyder, & Sharon Sbarsky
4,372 (reg'd)
3,930 (attended)
Arisia '19
Jan 18-21, 2019
Boston Park Plaza AGoH:Elizabeth Leggett
FGoH: Bjo & John Griffin Trimble
Chair: Daniel Eareckson
Pres: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Vice Pres: Alan Wexelblat
Treas: Kris Pelletier
Clerk: Sol Houser
At-Large: Cassandra Lease, Andy Rosequist, & RaShawn Seams
3,553 (reg'd)
2,707 (attended)
Arisia '20
Jan 17-20, 2020
Westin Boston Waterfront WGoH: Cadwell Turnbull
AGoH: Kristina Carroll
FGoH: Arthur Chu
Chair: Diana Hsu
Pres: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Vice Pres: Rachel Silber
Treas: Kris Pelletier
Clerk: Sol Houser
At-Large: Rachel Kadel, Melissa Perreira-Andrews, Kim Riek
3164 (reg'd)
2,771 (attended)
  Arisia '21
Jan 15-18, 2021
Online WGoH: Suzanne Palmer
AGoH: Hannibal King
FGoH: Kat Tanaka Okopnik
Chair Team: etana, Melissa Perreira-Andrews, Nicholas "phi" Shectman, Rachel Silber, Mike Sprague
Pres: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Vice Pres: Mike Sprague
Treas: Kris Pelletier
Clerk: etana
At-Large: Jodie Lawhorne, Claudia Mastroianni, Melissa Perreira-Andrews
1,567 (reg'd)
1,014 (attended)
913 (Discord)
  Arisia '22
Jan 14-17, 2022
Online WGoHr: Andrea Hairston AGoH: Reiko Murakami FGoH: Elsa Sjunneson Chair: Vivian Abraham
Pres: Nicholas "phi" Shectman
Vice Pres: Mike Sprague
Treas: Melissa Perreira-Andrews
Clerk: Claudia Mastroianni
At-Large: etna, Jan Dumas, Jodie Lawhorne
Due to the COVID Pandemic, the planned, in-person Arisia'22 was replaced with the "Arisia 2022 Community Online Gathering (ACOG)".
  Arisia '23
Jan 13 - 16, 2023
Westin Boston Seaport District GOHs: TBA Chair: Jodie Lawhorne

WGoH: Writer Guest of Honor
AGoH: Artist Guest of Honor
FGoH: Fan Guest of Honor
MGoH: Music Guest of Honor