“God Is An Iron” Funds, Will Play Sasquan

god is an iron posterBlack Box Montreal, an independent theatre company, has succeeded in crowdfunding a production of Spider Robinson’s story God is an Iron and will perform it at Sasquan.

We’re very excited about going to WorldCon in August! We’ve secured our plane tickets, bought our passes, and our performance schedule is set. We be performing God is an Iron at Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, in Integra Telecom Ballroom 100B on Thurs, August 20th at 8:30pm, with a Q and A session to follow. See you there!

Robert J. Sawyer is enthusiastic. “I saw the Montreal Fringe version of this play in 2014, and it blew my socks off.”

They’ve started rehearsals at Black Theatre Workshop’s rehearsal hall.

After Sasquan, there also will be a 6-show run at Mainline Theatre in Montreal from September 16-20.

Last Minute Reminder About Sasquan Tours

Several pre- and post-Worldcon tours of the Inland Northwest are offered by Sasquan but if they don’t make their minimum numbers by July 28 the tours will be canceled.

  • Come early or stay late and let the locals take you on tour of the Inland Northwest. Historic sites, parks, wineries and craft breweries are some of the area’s top attractions we’ve lined up for you. When will you have the opportunity to do this again!
  • To reserve one of these fabulous tours, please go to http://www.groupcoordinators.com/sasquan-tours.php
  • If you need further information or have a question please call Julie at Group Coordinators – 509.455.4354 or julie@groupcoordinators.com
  • Payment is due by July 28, 2015. If minimums are not reached by that date, the tour will be canceled and your money refunded. Based on availability, you can still register after July 28, 2015.

Here’s are the headlines – details at the Sasquan website.

TOURS OFFERED ON TUESDAY, August 18, 2015

  • Spokane City Tour
  • A Journey on the Ale Trail
  • Afternoon of Wine Tasting
  • Literary, Musical & Theater Ghosts of Spokane Walking Tour
  • Scenic Cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene

TOURS OFFERED ON MONDAY, August 24, 2015

  • Afternoon of Wine Tasting
  • Literary, Musical & Theater Ghosts of Spokane Walking Tour
  • Scenic Cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene

Sasquan Reaches 10,000 Membership Mark

Sasquan logoSasquan, the 2015 Worldcon, reports it had 10,036 members on July 15.

The con added 260 members in the first two weeks of July — 60% of them buying supporting memberships. A $40 supporting membership is the minimum requirement to become eligible as a voter in 2017 site selection or to vote on the winners of the Hugo Awards.

Sasquan’s 10,036 member figure includes 4,047 attending and 5,539 supporting members.

LonCon 3, last year’s Worldcon still holds the record of 11,125 total members. But its tally of 2,882 supporting members, then a record, has been surpassed by Sasquan.

Sasquan has sold 3,774 supporting memberships since January 31.

Here is how the new totals compare with the figures on June 30:

Sasquan Total Members
6/30/2015  9,776
7/15/2015 10,036
Increase     260

 

Adult Attending Members
6/30/2015 3,945
7/15/2015 4,047
Increase    102

 

Supporting Members
6/30/2015 5,410
7/15/2015 5,539
Increase    129

Standlee Produces Business Meeting Basics Video

Got to hand it to Kevin Standlee for all the hard work he puts into evangelizing the Worldcon business meeting.

Here is an 8-minute video about the basic operating rules. Clear, concise, correct.

Kind of reminds me of those driver training videos. The challenge is to apply that learning at freeway speeds — or the rate at which sausage is made by business meeting veterans.

Hugo Voting Deadline Approaches, Thousands of Ballots Already Cast

Sasquan logoThe Sasquan committee reports they have already received 2,300 ballots. How many more will come in by the time 2015 Hugo Awards voting closes at 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on July 31?

Will Sasquan break LonCon 3’s record of 3,587 Hugo votes? That’s what fans expect. While LonCon 3 had 2,882 supporting members, Sasquan already has 5,410 supporting members. Why else would a such a large number of people step up to buy supporting memberships? Surely it can’t be just to read the Sad Puppy nominees in the Hugo Voter Packet.

There actually is one other possibility. Not only can supporting members vote in the Hugos, they also can buy a Site Selection membership and vote on where the 2017 Worldcon will take place. Four bids are vying for the right to host 2017 – Helsinki, Montreal, Nippon, and Washington D.C.

Site Selection voter turnout tends to peak when Eastern U.S. bids are in the race. Vincent Docherty’s compilation (click here to open spreadsheet) shows 2,564 people voted on the 1995 site (Glasgow beat Atlanta), a record that still stands. Then 2,168 voted on the 2001 site (Philadelphia beat Orlando), and 2,094 voted on the 2004 site (Boston beat Charlotte). These races rank one-two-three as the highest vote counts ever.

What’s more, quite often throughout Worldcon history the Site Selection vote count has vastly outnumbered the Hugo vote. (Although that was not true last year, when only 758 votes were cast to determine the 2016 Worldcon host.) Supporting members may do both, vote for the Hugos and in SiteSelection, but they often don’t.

So we’re all left waiting to discover the real reason behind the huge bump in supporting memberships.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Final Revision of Best Series Hugo Proposal Now Online

Jared Dashoff reports final wording of the proposed rule creating a Best Series Hugo category has been posted on the Sasquan business meeting agenda webpage.

File 770 hosted discussion of the idea under its former title in “New Draft of Best Saga Proposal”.

The latest version reads as follows. (The text that would be added to the WSFS Constitution is underlined.)

B.1.3 – Short Title: Best Series (revised July 13, 2015)

Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution to change the written fiction Hugo Award categories by creating a Best Series award and correcting related references to the existing Hugo Award categories, by adding words as follows:

1: Insert words in existing Section 3.2.4 as follows:

3.2.4: Works appearing in a series are eligible as individual works, but the series as a whole is not eligible, except under Section 3.3.X. However, a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part.

2: Insert the following section before existing Section 3.3.4:

3.3.X: Best Series. A work of science fiction or fantasy presented as a single series with a unifying plot, characters or setting, appearing in at least three (3) volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the previous calendar year,at least one of which was published in the previous calendar year. If such a work has previously been a finalist, it shall be eligible only if at least two (2) additional volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words have been published since its last appearance on the final ballot by the end of the previous calendar year and provided it has not won under 3.3.X before.

3: Insert the following before existing Section 3.8.3:

3.8.X: For nominations of works under Section 3.3.X, if a work is eligible as both an overarching series and a subset of that series, and if the both the subset and the overarching series receive sufficient nominations to appear on the final ballot, the Worldcon Committee shall determine whether the subset or the overarching series shall appear on the final ballot, after consulting with the author of the work insofar as it is possible to do so under the provisions of Section 3.9. If neither the subset of the series nor the overarching series receive sufficient nominations to appear on the final ballot, but the total ballots nominating either of them would place a work on the final ballot, the Worldcon Committee may combine the nominations and, after consulting with the author of the work insofar as it is possible to do so under the provisions of Section 3.9, determine how the work should appear on the final ballot.

Dublin in 2019 Plans Books Outreach

The Dublin 2019 Worldcon Bid will be supporting a science fiction and fantasy books Outreach program, where they give away free new and secondhand books at various conventions and events in the UK and Ireland, and encourage people to attend conventions such as Worldcon, Octocon and Eastercon. The Bid Team has been gathering donations from publishers as well as secondhand books from fans.

The bid’s first giveaway will be at Dublin Comic Con, August 8-9.

Books Outreach began in 2008 with James Bacon and John Dowd promoting Eastercon LX in 2009, at London Film and Comic Con (LFCC) and then Thought Bubble.

In the US, events have been coordinated as Science Fiction Outreach by Helen Montgomery since 2010. The first event was at Wondercon in April 2011, and the most recent at Emerald City Con.

The Dublin in 2019 press release explains:

Books Outreach is important to us both as a Bid team and as supporters of our local convention scene, since it allows us to talk to fans, especially those who might not initially consider attending a science fiction and fantasy convention. In doing so, we can also encourage everyone to read more science fiction and fantasy – something that is obviously very close to our hearts! For those who prefer a good rummage, the secondhand section provides a huge variety of books, and we love recommending old classics and previously undiscovered authors to new readers.

Dublin 2019 and the Outreach team are indebted to the publishers who have already donated many thousands of books, and we’re really looking forward to giving these away! In alphabetical order, we have already received books from Angry Robot, Gollancz, Hodder, O’Brien Press, Penguin and Tor, with further donations of graphic novels from Forbidden Planet International. Many of our supporters are also helping by recycling books they have read and may not have space for. We give out thousands of books every year, so having these people behind us is not only appreciated, but an essential part of the project.

We look forward to seeing you from behind piles of books at our stands and hope you are as excited about this as we are! We will of course, get a sneaky word in about our fantastic bid to bring Worldcon to Ireland for the first time ever (it’s about time!), and enthuse about the other conventions in the UK and Ireland. And, if anyone is interested in donating (as a publisher or with secondhand books – we love both equally), please get in touch with us at admin@dublin2019.com, and we’ll see if we can arrange collection.

Westercon Today and Tomorrow

Westercon 68, held this weekend in San Diego, had 945 total members reports Mike Willmoth. The number in attendance has yet to be released.

Site Selection: The unopposed bid for Tempe, Arizona won the right to host Westercon 70 in 2017. According to Kevin Standlee, Westercon 70 has only one confirmed GoH at this time, local author Gini Koch.

Smoffing: Lisa Hayes’ videos of the Fannish Inquisitions held at Westercon are already online.

Westercon 68 Fannish Inquisition: MidAmeriCon II (2016 Worldcon)

Westercon 68 Fannish Inquisition: DC in 2017 Bid

Westercon 68 Fannish Inquisition: Helsinki in 2017 Bid

Westercon 68 Fannish Inquisition: Montreal in 2017 Bid