Discover more from SMOF News
SMOF News, volume 2, issue 1
Cyberattack at IHG, masks dropped at Dragon Con, Worldcon roundup, and news in brief.
IHG Booking System Suffers Cyberattack
InterContinental Hotels Group owns a wide array of hotel brands. Its central booking system has been experiencing serious difficulties since Monday. In a brief filing with the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, IHG said that some of its systems have been “significantly disrupted” by “unauthorized activity”.
If this is keeping you from making a reservation online in your favorite convention’s room block, IHG says there is a workaround:
IHG's hotels are still able to operate and to take reservations directly.
Dragon Con Changes Mask Policy Mid-Con
Dragon Con (this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia) dropped its vaccination requirement this year, but required masks in all convention spaces, until it suddenly didn’t.
Its August 1 update stated:
Well-fitting and appropriate masks are required indoors at all our convention venues, including all five host hotels and AmericasMart Buildings Two and Three.
Director of Media Engagement Dan Carroll and Hyatt Regency Atlanta Director of Marketing Walter Woods had a joint interview with TV and radio station WABE to emphasize that the con was serious about safety:
“We have to continue keeping people safe and having fun,” [Carroll] said. “With the safety protocols we have this year … it’s good middle ground.
Woods and Carroll have made it their primary goal to ensure the well-being of their guests.
“The safety our of attendees is one of our core principals, and the most important one because that’s the one on what everything else depends on,” Carroll said. “Our procedures and processes are not things that I can talk about, because they’re effective and throughout the convention.”
One of Carroll’s proudest accomplishments with Dragon Con has been being able to provide all who come to their event with a space to enjoy each other’s company and the events offered without fear of security or comfortability being compromised.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our guests and our colleagues … it always has been and it always will be,” Woods said.
“It is absolutely vital also to make sure that this a place of not only physical safety but emotional safety,” said Carroll, who is disabled.
But attendees found that enforcement of the mask rule was nearly nonexistent from the start of the con, and one volunteer reports that by the end of the day Saturday, Dragon Con had given up:
But then came the news. PPE was running out all over. Okay, that's what happens when people don't take responsibility, take for free what they should have brought themselves, and add on Football Fans who DGAF about the safety of others. DragonCon leadership dropped the formal mask mandate. We could ask that attendees wear one. But if they didn't have one, we had to let them in anyway. I was done. I walked back to my ops center, took off my volunteer badge and lanyard, and tendered my "resignation" over the change of policy.
(The Football Fans would be people coming into town for the kickoff of college football season, the biggest event that weekend in Atlanta.)
As the majority of attendees were apparently okay with no masks, this will probably have no lasting consequences for Dragon Con.
All the Worldcon News
The World Science Fiction Convention (Chicago, Illinois) was also this past weekend. Your correspondent was in attendance and observed close to 100% compliance with its mask rules.
Glasgow and Winnipeg Win Site Selection
Although it may seem like a foregone conclusion when there is only a single bid, WSFS site selection always includes “None of the Above” as an option. Glasgow and Winnipeg both handily beat it and have been seated as the 2024 Worldcon and 2023 North American Science Fiction Convention respectively.
The 2023 NASFiC will be Pemmi-con. Guests: Julie Czerneda, Waubgeshig Rice, Nisi Shawl, John Mansfield, Philip John Currie, Lorna Toolis (Ghost of Honour), katherena vermette, and Tanya Huff.
Hugo Awards (fan-voted, includes Lodestar and Astounding Awards)
Nommo Awards (African sf)
Sidewise Awards (alternate history)
International Travel Notes
The adventures of Nigerian author and editor Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki did not end with his last-minute visa approval. He would then arrive at his departure airport to discover his travel agency hadn’t actually booked him on the flight he was supposedly taking out of the country. He eventually made it out on a later flight and arrived in Chicago in time to attend most of Worldcon.
Ekpeki has declared that a future project will be a travel-themed anthology.
The committee for the Kampala in 2028 Worldcon bid was unable to even get visa interviews in time to travel to the US. They provided a statement to be read at the “Future Worldcons Q&A” which emphasized Uganda’s low level of travel restrictions.
Representatives of the 2023 Worldcon in Chengdu were already out of the city by the time it was locked down to stop the spread of COVID-19 there, but may be unable to return yet as the lockdown has just been extended.
More future Worldcon and bid tidbits
Chengdu Worldcon co-chair Ben Yalow promised a website update within a few weeks, once a new US-based organization has been finalized to handle payments from Western countries. It will then be possible to buy and upgrade memberships through the new site.
The Seattle in 2025 bid said that its planned facility is currently scheduled to finish construction in January 2023.
The Cairo in 2026 bid is in the process of obtaining permission from the relevant authorities to hold its Hugo Awards ceremony at the actual Pyramids of Giza.
Business Meeting Results
The World Science Fiction Society Business Meeting, which usually has sessions on the middle three days of Worldcon, had to make use of an overtime session on the last day in order to get through this year’s substantial agenda. Full video of all sessions is available at the Worldcon Events YouTube channel.
For those who would prefer a quick rundown of the highlights:
An amendment adding a new Hugo category for Best Game or Interactive Work passed its first vote. It will need to be voted on again next year to take effect.
Two proposals to reduce the overlap between Best Series and Best Novel were rejected.
The current system for counting votes to determine Hugo finalists was re-ratified.
A committe was formed to work on the wording of fan vs. pro categories.
Two controversial nonbinding resolutions, one expressing solidarity with Ukraine and one condemning the Chengdu Worldcon for including Sergey Lukianenko as a guest, both passed after some debate as to whether they were even within the scope of the Business Meeting.
Balticon has released the results of its investigation into the alleged code of conduct violations by Stephanie Burke at Balticon 56. Burke has been cleared, and the rude staff member that she complained about has been barred from volunteering for the convention for two years. The full statement has been posted on Twitter (with alt text).
Dragon Con has posted a list of awards presented at the con, starting with its fan-voted Dragon Awards.
Weekend of September 9-11
OutsideCon, Burns, Tennessee, USA
Bouchercon 2022: Land of 10,000 Thrills (World Mystery Convention), Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Furry Migration: Galactic Space Race (anthropomorphic), Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
FursonaCon 2022: Academy of Magic (anthropomorphic), Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Impossible Realities #21: Damage Control (gaming), St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
ZorCon (gaming), Lake Jackson, Texas, USA
Ludesco (gaming), La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Tabletop Central (gaming), Savoy, Illinois, USA
Escape Winter Con (gaming), Orlando, Florida, USA
Dice Tower Retreat (gaming), Miami, Florida, USA
Sugoi Expo (anime), Orlando, Florida, USA
Anime Oklahoma, Midwest City, Oklahoma, USA
Arkansas Comic Con, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Rose City Comic Con, Portland, Oregon, USA
Colossalcon East (media), Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania, USA
Power Comicon, Florence, South Carolina, USA
International Comic Expo, Birmingham, UK
Popcorn! (media), Rotherham, UK
Ottawa Comiccon, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Elstree-Con (media), Elstree, UK
Unicon & Game Expo (media), Minsk, Belarus
D23 Expo 2022 (official Disney fan convention), Anaheim, California, USA
Weekend of September 16-18
FenCon XVIII, Irving, Texas, USA
16. Elstercon: (N)IRGENDWO (N)IRGENDWANN, Leipzig, Germany
Copernicon, Toruń, Poland
FantasyCon 2022, Heathrow, UK
Albacon 2022, Albany, New York, USA
Furry Takeover: Alien Invasion (anthropomorphic), Fontana Dam, North Carolina, USA
Furdance Budapest (anthropomorphic), Budapest, Hungary
8th Annual Steampunk Fair, Kennebunk, Maine, USA
32nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
SIBCON XXVI (gaming), Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
MegaMooseCon (gaming), Richburg, South Carolina, USA
Strong Tower Gaming Convention, Brookfield, Wisconsin, USA
B-Con 2022 (gaming), Northglenn, Colorado, USA
Tabletop Gaming Live 2022, Manchester, UK
ShireCon 2022 (gaming), Falls Village, Connecticut, USA
Game Devs of Color Expo, online
Southern Front 2022 (miniatures gaming), Morrisville, North Carolina, USA
Anime St. Pete, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Avalon Expo 9 (media), St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
AncientCityCon (media), St. Augustine, Florida, USA
Incredible Con (media), North Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Granite State Comicon (media), Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
Edmonton Expo (media), Edmonton, Alberta, USA
Fandom Kissimmee (media), Kissimmee, Florida, USA
Extremicon (media), St. Robert, Missouri, USA
Incredible Con (media), North Charleston, South Carolina, USA
CaperCon (media), Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Weekend of September 23-25
Necronomicon 2022, Tampa, Florida, USA
SWFL SteamCon (steampunk), Ft. Meyers, Florida, USA
PhilliFur 2022: The Cyberspace (anthropomorphic), Quezon City, Philippines
Nuke-Con (gaming), Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
Enbicon (gaming), Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Tennessee Game Days Fall 2022, Franklin, Tennessee, USA
Barrage (miniatures gaming), Havre de Grace, Maryland, USA
Recruits (wargaming), Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA
Hurricon 2022: Persia (miniatures gaming), Kissimmee, Florida, USA
CEOtaku (anime fighting games), Orlando, Florida, USA
Made in Asia (anime), Brussels, Belgium
Anime Fargo: Magical Transformations, Fargo, North Dakota, USA
AnimeCon Classic 2022: The Roaring Twenties, Almelo, Netherlands
Microcon II (comics), St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Fountain City Fandemonium (media), Bryan, Ohio, USA
MissouriCon (media), St. Louis, Missouri, USA
NORCON (media), Norfolk, UK
Suncoast Fan Fest (media), Palmetto, Florida, USA
Spa-Con (media), Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
Comic Con Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Cincinnati Comic Expo, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Thessaloniki Comic Convention, Thessaloniki, Greece
Retro Con 2022 (‘80s media), Oaks, Pennsylvania, USA
Alpha Omega Con (Christian-themed sf media), Whittier, California, USA
PokeFest SA (Pokémon), San Antonio, Texas, USA
Weekend of September 30-October 2
Archon 45, Collinsville, Illinois, USA
XVIII Forum Fantástico, Lisboa, Portugal
Conflux 16: Visions of Time, Canberra, Australia
Capclave 2022 (books), Rockville, Maryland, USA
Gaslight Steampunk Expo, San Diego, California, USA
Cosplay World Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, USA
H-Con XVIII: Grown Up Tails - Breiter, Dicker, Länger! (anthropomorphic), Erbach, Germany
FilkCONtinental (music), Wernigerode, Germany
OctoGônes 12 (gaming), Villeurbanne, France
Crucible X (gaming), Orlando, Florida, USA
Spellenfestival 5e (gaming), Limburg, Belgium
Lone Star Game Expo, Grapevine, Texas, USA
S’mores and Meeples (gaming), North East, Maryland, USA
Meeple-A-Thon (gaming), Kansas City, Missouri, USA
CuseCon 2022 (gaming), Syracuse, New York, USA
Michigan GT (wargaming), Lansing, Michigan, USA
SkålCon 2022 (Pathfinder& Starfinder RPGs), Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Pittsburgh Gaming Expo (video games), Monroeville, Pennsylvania, USA
Rappig Crossing (Tales video games), Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Ramencon: Year of the Kaiju (anime), South Bend, Indiana, USA
BanzaiKon (anime), South Padre Island, Texas, USA
ValleyCon 46 (media), Fargo, North Dakota, USA
Upper Valley Comic Expo, West Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
SiouxperCon: Retromania (media), Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
Monster-Mania 51 (horror media), Hunt Valley, Maryland, USA
PonyCon Holland 2022 (My Little Pony), Zeist, Netherlands
Weekend of October 7-9
CONtraflow X, Kenner, Louisiana, USA
Decongestant 5/Arcanacon (relaxacon/dark fantasy), Bloomington, Minnesota, USA
Direbrook (dark fantasy), Portland, Oregon, USA
The Global Fantastic (symposium), online
WPAFW 2022 (anthropomorphic), Allison Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Alamo City Furry Invasion: A Tell Tail Mystery, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Save Against Fear (gaming), York, Pennsylvania, USA
U-Con (gaming), Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Con on the Cob Episode 2022: Cryptid Party (gaming), Richfield, Ohio, USA
CinCityCon 2022 (gaming), Sharonville, Ohio, USA
Spiel ‘22 (boardgames), Essen, Germany
Furnace (RPGs), Sheffield, UK
Lair Con (RPGs), Pensacola, Florida, USA
Atlanta Game Fest 38, Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
Nintendo Live 2022 (official Nintendo), Tokyo, Japan
Tsubasacon (anime), Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Anime Fiesta, McAllen, Texas, USA
Animasia (anime), Bordeaux, France
Ani-Medford (anime), Grants Pass, Oregon, USA
Anime Senpai, Collinsville, Illinois, USA
Overload (anime), Auckland, New Zealand
Connichi (anime), Kassel, Germany
Wauke-Con (comics), Waukegan, Illinois, USA
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (comics and animation), Columbus, Ohio, USA
Toon-Con (comics and animation), Pasadena, California, USA
Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, Sitges, Spain
Brooklyn SciFi Film Festival, New York City, New York, USA
27th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Portland, Oregon, USA
New York Comic Con, New York City, New York, USA
Level Up ICT Con (media), Wichita, Kansas, USA
Comiccon de Québec, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Comic Con Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
MagicCon 5 (fantasy media), Bonn, Germany
Monsterama Jr. (retro media), Peachtree Corners, Georgia, USA
Ponies Exhibition: Back to the 80’s (My Little Pony), Phoenix, Arizona, USA
UK PonyCon 2022 (My Little Pony), Nottingham, UK
VoltCon! 2022 (Voltron), Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Thank you for reading! Send tips, corrections, press releases, and letters of comment to: firstname.lastname@example.org.