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SMOF News, volume 1, issue 17
Worldcon, Worldcon, and Worldcon.
The World Science Fiction Convention is not the singular center of fandom it once was, but it still generates plenty of news. This year’s Worldcon was DisCon III, held in Washington, DC, December 15-19.
The Hugo Awards, voted on by members of the convention, were presented on December 18. Winners are available on the Hugo site, with detailed statistics about nominations and final voting.
Those wishing to nominate for next year’s Hugos, if not already a member of this year’s or next year’s Worldcon, will need to get at least a supporting membership in the next one, Chicon 8, by the end of this year. Nominations will likely open in January.
The David A. Kyle Big Heart Award, for services to sf fandom, went to Linda Deneroff, and was announced at the DisCon III opening ceremonies.
First Fandom awards, also presented at the opening ceremonies:
Hall of Fame Award: William F. Nolan
Posthumous Hall of Fame Award: Dick Lupoff
Sam Moskowitz Archive Award: Kevin L. Cook
The Nommo Awards, for works by African creators, were presented at Worldcon for the first time. Results on the official site.
The Sidewise Awards, for alternate-history works, were presented at Worldcon as they usually are. The official site has not been updated yet, but results are available on their Twitter feed.
The WSFS Business Meeting gave final approval to retaining the Lodestar Award, the Best Series Hugo category, and the current system of six finalists per category, with five nominations per voter per category.
The proposal to add a Best Audiobook category was referred to the Hugo Awards Study Committee, and one that would have limited shows to no more than one episode being named as a finalist per year (down from the current limit of two) was voted down.
Chengdu, China defeated Winnipeg, Canada by 2006 votes to 807 to host the 81st Worldcon, which will be August 16-20, 2023. Guests of honor will be Liu Cixin, Robert Sawyer, and Sergei Lukianenko. Initial membership rates are 50 USD for supporting, 80 USD for virtual, and 100 USD for attending. Official site here.
Site selection encountered a number of unusual problems this year, partly due to a large contingent of voters used to doing things differently online. Chinese fans are so accustomed to paying for things on WeChat that DisCon III felt a need for a public announcement addressing why it was not possible to pay the site selection fee there:
We have had to remove WeChat as a payment option. Due to their restrictions on charitable giving, we are unable to use WeChat services at this time. Our tech team is working to find a workaround to help overseas fans who want to pay using WeChat.
When mail-in votes were validated, the majority of the votes for China were discovered to have incomplete mailing addresses, with e-mail addresses replacing the street portion. This led to a non-binding resolution being introduced at the WSFS Business Meeting advising that incomplete mailing addresses should result in the ballot being counted as No Preference, essentially invalidating that vote. While the resolution passed, the administrator ultimately decided to deem the ballots valid.
Chinese fans explained on the DisCon III Discord server that this is a common practice in China, due to addresses being collected for purposes of committing fraud. Discussion continues around the Worldcon community as to whether physical mailing addresses should even be necessary for voting anymore.
Around 900 people are rumored to have paid the site selection fee but not submitted ballots, hinting at other hurdles.
The landslide for Chengdu was a surprise to many because DisCon III did not follow the common Worldcon practice of posting membership statistics by country. They were provided to File 770 on two occasions, but do not appear to have traveled far beyond there.
In reaction to this, a member of the Winnipeg in 2023 bid, Kevin Standlee, posted a preliminary count of ballots received by country at the start of DisCon III, showing the huge number coming from China (but not how the ballots had voted, as they had not yet been opened). Standlee later deleted that information, saying:
My actions yesterday, taken by me without any consultation with the management of either DisCon III or of the Winnipeg in 2023 committee, showed a lack of judgment on my part, and I ask everyone to not hold either organization responsible for my actions, which were my decision and not theirs.
Robbie Bourget, making a concession speech on behalf of the Winnipeg bid just after the results were announced, congratulated the Chengdu bid, but noted that the experience of all the procedural problems had been painful for everyone, and expressed hope that this learning experience could lead to an improved process in the future.
Other bid news
A site for the North American Science Fiction Convention, held in years when Worldcon is not in North America, will be selected at next year’s Worldcon. The one confirmed bid to emerge so far is Orlando in 2023, an offshoot of the Orlando in 2026 Worldcon bid campaign. Would-be volunteers can reach the Orlando NASFiC bid at email@example.com. Its Web site is at orlandoin2023.org, and it is on various social media platforms as @Orlandoin2023.
There are other rumored and potential NASFiC bids for San Jose and Los Angeles.
Glasgow remains unopposed to host Worldcon in 2024.
Full videos of the WSFS Business Meeting sessions are available on YouTube:
Thursday (preliminary) (1:30:19)
For those with slightly less time on their hands, all DisCon III’s at-con newsletters are available on its Publications page, including the traditional hoax issue.
Weekend of December 24-26
I got nothing. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.
Weekend of December 31-January 2
Comic Market 99 (amateur comics), Tokyo, Japan
Painted Desert Fur Con: Neo Tokyo (anthropomorphic), Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Ikkicon (anime), Austin, Texas, USA
OKiCon (anime), Norman, Oklahoma, USA
Weekend of January 7-9
Shadowcon XXV (relaxacon), Memphis, Tennessee, USA
GAFilk 2022 (music), Atlanta, Georgia, USA
SuperMAGFest (gaming/videogame music), National Harbor, Maryland, USA
OrcaCon 2022 (gaming), Bellevue, Washington, USA
Animé Los Angeles 17, Long Beach, California, USA
Taiyou Con 2022 (anime), Mesa, Arizona, USA
Anime-ZAP!, East Peoria, Illinois, USA
Fan Expo New Orleans (media), New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Weekend of January 14-16
Chattacon XLVII, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Na Meji Nevidnega, Ljubljana, Slovenia
GenghisCon, Perth, Australia
Arisia 2022, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
MarsCon 2022, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
COSine 2022, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
DeCONpression 17 (relaxacon), Columbus, Ohio, USA
Waypoint Norwescon (relaxacon), online
HexaCon (gaming), Broomfield, Colorado, USA
Midwinter Gaming Convention 2022, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
SCARAB 2022 (gaming), Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Siege of Augusta XXXI (miniatures gaming), Augusta, Georgia, USA
SaltCON Bryce (boardgames), Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA
Further Confusion 2022 (anthropomorphic), San Jose, California, USA
Anime Impulse, Pomona, California, USA
Ichibancon 12 (anime), Concord, North Carolina, USA
OtakuFest (anime), Miami, Florida, USA
Central Florida Comic Con, Lakeland, Florida, USA
Puerto Rico Comic Con, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA
Wintercon (media), Jamaica, New York, USA
Weekend of January 21-23
Rising ConFusion, Novi, Michigan, USA
AnthroExpo: CasinOwO Royale (anthropomorphic), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
KapCon 31 (gaming), Wellington, New Zealand
Polar Vortex 6 (gaming), Lisle, Illinois, USA
ConTingency (gaming), Hunstanton, UK
Rocket City Gamefest, Huntington, Alabama, USA
Cascade Games Convention, Bellingham, Washington, USA
Cancon 2022 (gaming), Canberra, Australia
Niagara Boardgaming Weekend, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
TBRCon (literary/gaming), online
Wilkes Comic Con, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, USA
Fan Expo Portland (media), Portland, Oregon, USA
CONsole Room (Doctor Who), Bloomington, Minnesota, USA
My Hero Convention: TX Smash (My Hero Academia), Irving, Texas, USA
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