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Thoughts on Worldcon -- without being there - RonO's Ramblings

Sep. 2nd, 2007 06:31 pm Thoughts on Worldcon -- without being there

Back in 2004, when Yokohama beat out Columbus for Worldcon, we decided that there was no way we could afford to go. (Actually, had we not goofed and forgot to send our ballots, we would have voted for Columbus because we could have gone.) However, in some ways -- but not when I look at our finances -- I regret not going. Mostly because I would have enjoyed being at Worldcon. This won't stop me from pontificating about some of what has gone on, or at least what I've heard about, mostly from the SMOFs list and my lj friends.

First, I cannot say that I'm not disappointed that KC didn't win the Worldcon bid for 2009. We like the people we've met who were running on, or working on, the KC bid, and fannish friends who have been involved in more Worldcons and Worldcon bids that I have did not have a lot of confidence in the Montreal bid committee and the expected con committee, so KC was our first choice. In addition, KC would be an easy drive (which Tara kept saying would let us run a really nice party, even though I've gotten a bit burned out on being the primary party hosts). On the other hand, I've thought since Toronto that Montreal would be a nice city to visit and a great place for a Worldcon. (I thought the same thing about Vancouver, but I don't think they should even consider until 2020 or 2021 since they are so close to Seattle). We do plan on going to Montreal, and the August date actually makes it easier since we won't have to deal with Derrick missing school.

I've read some other live journal postings that have decried the result as a sign that the midwest won't win another worldcon, and that worldcon has been outside of the US too much recently. Given that the Chicon bid is, at least so far, unopposed and at least the impression our chair was given at last year's SMOFcon, may well remain that way. In other words, 2012 is Chicago's bid to loose. Therefore, I suspect that there will be another worldcon in the upper midwest in the next decade.

I'm also not sure that given today's world, and the world idealized in a lot of SF, that having the Worldcon outside of the US more often isn't all that bad. When I first got into fandom (circa 1994), I briefly thought that Worldcon alternated between a US and non-US site each year, since it looked like it was that way in the mid 1990's. The only problem I have with overseas Worldcons is that they can be more expensive to travel. US customs can be a bit of a pain, but even since 2001, I've never had problems getting back in through airport customs. I haven't left or returned to the US by land since 1998 or 1999 (and I've heard that it is now much, much, harder to cross into the US at San Ysidrio -- between San Diego and Tijuana), so I don't know how bad those crossings would be. Since I cannot see spending the time for a longer drive, I suspect that we'd fly to nearly any Canadian Worldcon anyway.

I've also read about the proposal to add a "Best Website" Hugo. Frankly, I'm not sure exactly what that will accomplish. If I recall correctly there weren't enough nominations last year for this category to even appear on the ballot. On the other hand, since it seems that nobody thinks of nominating a website for "Best Fanzine," there is probably a niche for it. I can, however, see where the ephemeral nature of websites will make nominating and judging a website more of an issue. I'm also not sure if all types of SF related sites can quite be compared equally. Live Journals and other blog type sites don't necessarily compare equally to sites that report news. Either could be nominated, and the former will be much easier to "recreate" past versions of (as long as content isn't deleted or back edited).

I keep telling myself that when I'm at Worldcon I should go to the business meetings, and then I tend to oversleep since I've been up too late the previous nights, but maybe next year...

The bottom line, if I could have afforded to go without having lost the trip in 2005 to Glasgow and the expected and planed for trip in 2010 to Australia, I would have loved to have been in Japan this week. (Except for the fact that I've been on-line with work a whole lot this weekend due to a project that is almost, but not quite, running automatically and has a finish date of Tuesday, which would have made my being out of town awkward, although I'm sure I'd have made other arangements if I'd had plans for Japan).

I'm also looking forward to next year in Denver, and not just for the chance to visit with my brother and his family (who I haven't seen in 2 to 4 years) or other friends who I haven't seen in nearly 20 (Hi graht). I'm also looking forward to getting back to Worldcon and enjoying myself -- and probably doing more beyond just attending stuff then I have in the past.

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Comments:

From:marahsk
Date:September 12th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
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The only problem I have with overseas Worldcons is that they can be more expensive to travel.

For us, sure. But having the Worldcon move around makes it affordable for more people some of the time, instead of affordable for fewer people most of the time.

I haven't left or returned to the US by land since 1998 or 1999

I have. Lines can be longer, and more annoying, but it's not more *difficult* for anyone with proper ID who isn't doing anything they aren't supposed to.

(and I've heard that it is now much, much, harder to cross into the US at San Ysidrio -- between San Diego and Tijuana), so I don't know how bad those crossings would be.

I don't know what it used to be like, but we went into Tijuana before LACon, and crossing was trivial. Everyone had to get off the bus, put their bags (purses, purchases, etc.) through an x-ray, and show ID. In our case, they took our passports, saw that they were US and Canadian, and handed them back without even opening them. Another bus passenger said that this was higher security compared to what he was used to, but it was seriously Not A Big Deal.

I've also read about the proposal to add a "Best Website" Hugo. Frankly, I'm not sure exactly what that will accomplish. If I recall correctly there weren't enough nominations last year for this category to even appear on the ballot.

That's not the way it works, though. New categories can be created only by an amendment to the rules, so people don't nominate works in nonexistent categories. The two times that "Best Website" was a one-off category, there were plenty of nominations.