Take Online Survey of Shortlisted YA Award Titles

The Worldcon’s YA Award Committee asked fans last year to suggest a name for the prospective award, which received its first passage at MidAmeriCon II and is up for ratification at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki.

The committee received 1,138 responses, giving them 460 unique names to winnow.

Some names have been eliminated because they are already attached to other awards: The Stargazer, the Codex, the Nautilus, the Silver Tree, the Beacon, the Portal, the Unicorn, and the names of authors like Robert Heinlein, Andre Norton, Jane Yolen, and Anne McCaffrey.

Other names have been ruled out to avoid copyright and trademark issues: Golden Snitch, Earthsea, Bilbo Baggins, etc.

And the committee enjoyed but also won’t be using any of the funny suggestions — the Read It and Reap Award, the Rodent of Unusual Size Award, and the Chesterfield Sofa.

They have settled on a six name shortlist and are asking everyone for their opinion in “The <blank> Award for Best Young Adult Book Shortlist Survey”.  The names are —

  • Anansi
  • Lodestar
  • Ouroboros
  • Spellcaster
  • Tesseract
  • Worldcon

The survey will be open until March 15, 2017.

In addition to the survey, the committee is listening to feedback from groups of experts on cultural sensitivity and trademarks, and will also incorporate advice from a panel of three Young Adult authors.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

Worldcon 75 Adds Two Vice Chairs

Worldcon 75 Convention Chair Jukka Halme has appointed two Vice Chairs to assist him, Karoliina Leikomaa and Colette H. Fozard.

The online bios of the two new Vice Chairs show they have a wealth of conrunning experience.

Karo Leikomaa

Karo Leikomaa

Karo Leikomaa has been organising events since the late 90s. Since 2008 Karo has been on the committee for several Finncons, in roles such as Vice Chair, Finance, Venue and Logistics, Gophers and Security, and GoH Liaison. She has chaired three Tampere Kuplii Comic Book Festivals and one Åcon. Karo worked for several conventions every year in Finland before moving to London, UK, in 2014. She has been active in Soroptimists International Finland since 2011. She is currently studying towards her MA at University College London.

 

Colette H. Fozard

Colette H. Fozard

Colette H. Fozard has been helping to keep SF and anime conventions running for over twenty years. She has served as Convention Chair or other senior staff of several US East Coast cons including Arisia, Balticon, MAGFest and Zenkaikon, as well as many others. Her love of working at conventions has blossomed into a professional career in event planning. She is the Director of Operations for the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival in Washington, DC each spring – the largest one-day celebration of Japanese Culture in the United States. She also serves as venue liaison for several other clients.

Worldcon 75 started out with three co-chairs, Jukka Halme, Saija Aro, and Crystal Huff. Aro resigned in May 2016 and Huff resigned in November 2016.

The Helsinki committee has also announced their next rate rise is at the end of January. Adult attending rates will increase from €145 to €170, and Youth rates from €90 to €100.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

2017 Hugo Nominations Open

Worldcon 75 is now taking nominations for the 2017 Hugo Awards. All members eligible to nominate may do so either by sending in a paper ballot, included with the convention’s Progress Report 3 and also separately downloadable from the Worldcon 75 website, or voting online by individual links supplied to voters.

Helsinki worldcon-only-you COMPAll nomination ballots must be postmarked by March 17, 2017 or submitted by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on March 17.

Eligible to vote are all those who have purchased membership in Worldcon 75, MidAmericon II or Worldcon 76 in San José by January 31, 2017. Both attending and supporting members have the right to vote for the Hugo Awards and in Worldcon Site Selection for 2019.

Hugo voters are encouraged to nominate up to five works/individuals in each category that they believe are worthy of the award. The most popular nominees will go forward to the Final Ballot.

According to Karl-Johan Norén, online voting —

…uses a new system with personalized links, which should not be shared. Once you have logged in, you can make as many changes as you like up to your nomination ballot until the deadline. Your current ballot will be emailed to you an hour after you stop making changes to it.

The final ballot will be announced in early April, and the awards will be presented August 11 at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland. Only Worldcon 75 members will be able to vote on the final ballot and choose the winners.

As in previous years, voters may nominate up to five possible finalists in each category. However, the World Science Fiction Society’s Business Meetings in 2015 and 2016 made some changes to the way nominations will be tallied this year to produce the final ballot. These include:

  • Final ballots in each category will now have six rather than five finalists (but the maximum number of nominations that a voter can make in each category remains five);
  • A new system for counting nominations, which will reduce the extent to which a small bloc of voters can dominate individual categories;
  • No more than two works by the same creator(s), and no more than two stories from the same series, can appear on the ballot for any one category;
  • The requirement that all finalists in a category must receive more than 5% of nominations has been removed.

Worldcon 75 also is using its right under the rules to run a one-time Hugo category by giving a trial run to the proposed Best Series category, which received its first passage at the 2016 Worldcon Business Meeting and will become permanent if the 2017 Business Meeting ratifies it.

The Hugo base this year will be designed by a Finnish artist, to be selected by the Worldcon 75 committee.

The Hugos are the most prestigious award in the science fiction genre, honoring literature and media as well as fan activities. The awards were first presented in 1953.

More information about the Hugo Awards, including details about how to submit a nominating ballot, is available at http://www.worldcon.fi/wsfs/hugo/

Rotsler Award Exhibit at Midamericon II

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Rotsler Award exhibit at MidAmeriCon II. Photos by Kenn Bates.

By John Hertz: Midamericon II was the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, held at Kansas City, Missouri, August 17-21, 2016. The 34th, now known as Midamericon I, was there in 1976.

The Rotsler Award, named for Bill Rotsler (1926-1997), is given annually for long-term wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the S-F community. The winner is determined by a panel of judges, currently Mike Glyer, Sue Mason, and me.

Founded in 1998, the Rotsler is sponsored by the non-profit Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, Inc. At Loscon, the annual L.A. convention over the United States’ Thanksgiving weekend in November (Loscon XLIII was 25-27 Nov 16), the winner is announced and a sample of the winner’s work exhibited.

I try to exhibit all the winners to date at the Worldcon. Two exhibits I was particularly happy about were at Denvention III (66th Worldcon; Denver, Colorado, 2008), where Spike contributed those handsome black foam-core panels, and Lonestarcon III (71st; San Antonio, Texas, 2013), where volunteers helped me choose samples visually interesting to folks who might not know fanzines.

Elizabeth Klein-Lebbink contributed her electronic wizardry to the MAC II exhibit; also a fine design sense, and not being very active in the fanzine world she could temper my enthusiasm for reference jokes. For Chicon VII (70th Worldcon; Chicago, Illinois, 2012) she’d helped marvelously with an exhibit in honor of Diane Dillon and in memory of Leo (1933-2012).

With a few hours at Klein-Lebbink’s equipment — well, more than a few, actually — we were able to print a Rotsler Award exhibit on six-foot-long banners. I took them to MAC II and didn’t have to get dozens of images enlarged by photocopy, mounted on colored construction paper, and hung with binder clips from hooks set in pegboard panels.

The banners looked swell. Kenn Bates kindly photographed them.

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Loscon is hosted by LASFS, the L.A. Science Fantasy Society, oldest S-F club on Earth. I rhyme LASFS with joss fuss, but Morris Keesan said “That’s your dialect,” and Len Moffatt rhymed it with sass mass. I miss them.

SCIFI (of course that’s what the initials spell; despite the power of Forry Ackerman, pronounced skiffy) has among other things produced Worldcons, Westercons (West Coast Science Fantasy Conference), a NASFiC (North America Science Fiction Convention, held when the Worldcon is overseas), and the second (1992, hardbound) edition of Harry Warner’s history of 1950s fandom A Wealth of Fable.

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Artwork by ATom.

Artwork by Brad Foster.

Artwork by Brad Foster.

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Artwork by Kurt Erichsen.

 

MAC II Incident Response Statistics

MidAmeriCon II, the 2016 Worldcon, has shared statistics about Code of Conduct issues handled by the Incident Response Team. Although a few instances resulted in public announcements, they generally will not be commenting on any of the details.

MidAmeriCon II received 40 official reports through the Incident Response Team’s report process.

  • 4 of the reports we received were made pre-con.
  • There were 28 distinct incidents reported.
  • 18 of the 28 incidents required additional follow up by the IRT.
  • 8 of the reports included information about previous and/or ongoing patterns of harassing behavior by the person who’s behavior was being reported.
  • 11 incidents included verbal harassment.
  • 7 incidents included physical intimidation or unwanted physical contact.
  • 5 incidents resulted in a response more substantial than a warning.
  • 3 incidents resulted in membership revocation or suspension.
  • 1 incident resulted in removal from a volunteer position.
  • 6 incidents resulted in a warning.
  • 17 incidents resulted in neither warning nor any sort of more substantive action being taken.

2017 Smofcon To Be Held in Boston

An unopposed bid to hold Smofcon 35 in Boston was awarded the 2017 event by members of this year’s Smofcon, meeting this weekend in the Chicago area.

The 2017 Smofcon, led by Laurie Mann (chair) and Kris “Nchanter” Snyder (hotel), will be held November 30-December 3 at the Back Bay Hilton in downtown Boston. Memberships can be bought at the website.

Kevin Standlee tweeted a list of cities interested in future Smofcons.

Three of them responded to the Fannish Inquisition questionnaire circulated by this year’s Smofcon committee —

The responses of these bidders for future-year Worldcons are also available on the site:

Bidding

Crystal Huff Resigns as Co-Chair of Worldcon 75

Crystal Huff, who spent years working to bring the Worldcon to Helsinki and, after they won the bid for 2017, became co-chair of Worldcon 75, resigned today citing the need to give family and career priority. She will continue working on the con in another role.

The committee responded on Twitter:

[Thanks to Mark-kitteh for the story.]

Worldcon 75 Posts Its Code of Conduct

Worldcon 75, the 2017 Helsinki Worldcon, now has its Code of Conduct online at http://www.worldcon.fi/coc/.

This Code of Conduct applies to “any Worldcon 75 associated events or spaces, physical or virtual, up to and during Worldcon 75 itself.”

The committee introduces the CoC with the comment “Worldcon 75 is an international gathering and subject to Finnish law, which can differ from the law many participants may be used to.” The CoC is unusually prescriptive, containing more than a dozen examples of prohibited behavior, including many explicit limitations on speech:

  • Racist, sexist, ageist, sizeist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or any other form of exclusionary/offensive speech or actions are unacceptable.
  • Do not evaluate aloud or insult other people’s looks, clothing, or any aspect of their appearance.
  • If someone states their discomfort with the current discussion topic or the kind of jokes, please save those jokes for another time. Jokes do not always translate well.
  • Do not make unwelcome sexual remarks at or about other convention members, venue staff, or any associated personnel.
  • It is not acceptable to keep talking to someone after they tell you to stop.

And this warning about the powers of security personnel is repeated twice in the CoC:

According to Finnish law, licensed security personnel have the right to remove any person from Worldcon 75 for violating the Code of Conduct, harassing other people, or in other ways behaving inappropriately.

Reports of incidents or problems will be taken by Code of Conduct Listeners. The section on “Reporting an Incident” says “best efforts will be made to make same-day decisions regarding the situation and to take appropriate action, with priority given to the safety of convention members.”

The range of appropriate action includes “verbal or written warning, requiring a guarantee regarding specific behaviour, dismissal from committee, staff, programming or volunteering, banning from one or more areas of the convention for anywhere from an hour to the rest of the convention, or complete revocation of membership.”

[Thanks to Terhi Törmänen for the story.]

Worldcon 75 Membership Figures

Worldcon 75, the 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki, has released their latest membership numbers.

3,182 Attending
1,818 Supporting
5,000 Total

That’s a good size compared against other Worldcons held outside North America (provided you set aside the record-setting LonCon 3 in 2014).

San Jose Ready To Process Presupporter Conversions

Worldcon 76 chair Kevin Roche told Facebook readers they have squared away online registration:

Registration is open again! Apparently switching to “radio buttons” on the first page of the form was the problem, so we’ve gone back to the drop-down menu version.

We anticipate starting sending the access codes for voter conversion later today.