Sasquan Online Store Opens

Get a head start on your 2015 Worldcon shopping in OffWorld Designs’ Sasquan store.

There are numerous designs, multiple styles of shirts, a hoodie, jacket and a cap. (The shirts go up to 5X. Good thinking there.)

Shirt options include the Brad Foster-designed memorial T-shirt with “In Loving Memory-Bobbie DuFault-Chair In Memoriam” printed on left sleeve. (Sasquan co-chair DuFault passed away in September 2013, soon after winning the bid.)

There is also a Sasquatch Foot t-shirt designed by Ray VanTilburg.

Voting Expert Asks Help To Attend Sasquan

Jameson Quinn has been participating in the Hugo voting reform thread at Making Light and is now seeking $1,400 in donations to a GoFundMe campaign in order to attend the Worldcon business meeting and support a proposed voting system.

I’ve been deeply involved with election theory for over a decade; and currently, I’m on the board of Electology.org (the Center for Election Science) and studying a doctorate in statistics at Harvard in order to further this interest. So when I heard about the problems with the current Hugo nominations, I had just the resources to help. On the guest posts by Bruce Schneier on the Making Light blog, I helped design and simulate a proportional voting system especially for the Hugo process’s needs, and now I’d like to go to Sasquan so that I can help explain it in the business meeting.

Quinn has raised $760 of his $1,400 goal at this writing.

Sasquan Releases Hugo Nominee Packet

The 2015 Hugo Voter Packet can now be downloaded by members of Sasquan here.

The packet contains the full text of three Hugo-nominated novels, The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, and The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, plus excerpts of Skin Game by Jim Butcher and Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie.

All of the nominated short fiction and four of the five graphic novels are included in their entirety. (Sasquan’s press release suggests Zombie Nation may still be coming).

Complete copies of four of the five Related Works nominees are in the packet, together with an excerpt from Letters from Gardner by Lou Antonelli.

There is some material in each of the other categories except the Dramatic Presentations, but as Sasquan notes in the release, “not everyone wanted us to include their work in this packet.”

This download is supplied by the creators and publishers of nominated works to allow Hugo Awards voters to make an informed choice. It is free to Sasquan members, including new members who join before July 31.

Voting on the Hugo Awards is open to all Supporting, Attending or Young Adult members of Sasquan. Information about voting and a ballot may be found here [PDF file]. Voting requires a membership number and Hugo PIN, and can be done online here.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Standlee’s Worldcon Site Selection Lesson

Fans often say they find it helpful to have Kevin Standlee walk them through the rules, thus a link here to Kevin’s explanation of site selection voting which begins —

This year’s Worldcon has a Site Selection Frequently Asked Questions, but it’s apparently still ambiguous to some people based on a recent Twitter exchange. I’m going to try and explain it again, for the benefit of people who possibly have never voted on a Worldcon Site Selection before. Bias Alert: I am a director of the Montreal in 2017 bid committee’s parent non-profit corporation and am listed as one of their committee on the ballot.

In order to cast a ballot on the 2017 Worldcon, you must:
1.Be at least a Supporting Member of the 2015 Worldcon.

2.Pay the Advance Supporting Membership (ASM) fee for the 2017 Worldcon. This automatically makes you a Supporting member of the 2017 Worldcon no matter who wins the election.

Sasquan Supporting Memberships Still Rolling In

Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon, gained another 494 members between April 23 and May 6 and, continuing a trend, nearly 80% of the newcomers are supporting members.

The con now has a total of 8,510 members, including 3,590 attending and 4,581 supporting.

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 has long since shattered LonCon 3’s record number of supporting members, which was 2,882 (according to information distributed at Smofcon 32).

Here is how the new count compares to the figures reported as of April 23:

Sasquan Total Members
4/23/2015 8,016
5/6/2015 8,510
Increase    494

 

Adult Attending Members
4/23/2015 3,517*
5/6/2015 3,590
Increase     73

 

Supporting Members
4/23/2015 4,183
5/6/2015 4,581
Increase    398

(*) correction from number run here in last update

Classics of S-F at Sasquan

By John Hertz:  We’ll discuss three Classics of S-F at Sasquan the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, one discussion each. Come to as many as you like. You’ll be welcome to join in.

We’ll start with “A classic is a work that survives its time. After the currents which might have buoyed it have changed, it remains, and is seen to be worthwhile for itself.” If you have a better definition, bring it.

Each of our three is interesting in a different way. Each may be more interesting now than when first published.

R.A. Lafferty, Past Master (1968)

Past-master-book-coverSasquan is the Worldcon in Lafferty’s centennial year. He was one of our most original voices. Here Thomas More is brought five centuries across time and space, maybe to help – as defined by whom? Judith Merril said the story “magics me with humor, anger, and love … unpredictable corner-of-the-eye perspectives and perceptions … above all … with … word-music.” You might like this book note by me.

C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (1938)

357px-Out_of_the_Silent_PlanetWeston, who clothes himself in the trappings of science, is a caricature. Yet it is he who gets the party to Malacandra; who gets them, almost impossibly, back again. Theodore Sturgeon said “Science fiction is knowledge fiction.” Chapter 9 says “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.” We never do hear about the space drive.

A. E. Van Vogt, Slan (1946)

SlanVan Vogt, praised as a stylist by no less than Harlan Ellison, won readers of the day with more sophistication than they may have noticed. Beginning in the aftermath of the main action – jump-cuts, breathtaking speed, reversals – a Bildungsroman that starts with its hero nine years old – dialogue and development that in fact barely hint – unemphasized satire of persecution and opposition, of supposing the worst.

Past Master and Slan are each first novels after much at shorter length; Out of the Silent Planet is its author’s first s-f novel.

Have you read them? Have you re-read them?

The First Ever Call For Hugo Bloc Voting

Sad and Rabid Puppies are spending unlimited effort to find old Hugo recommendation lists in order to prove with geometric logic that people were trying to manipulate the awards before they came along.

Allow me to spare you further digging!

I now provide definitive evidence that the earliest appeal to organize bloc voting for the Hugos occurred in the very year the awards were invented.

What may surprise you is that the appeal came from the Philcon II committee itself. See the second paragraph below from the August 1953 Progress Report.

Philcon2r4-03 CROP

Recalling the First World Science Fiction Convention

[First Fandom President John L. Coker III filled me in about a surviving member of the 1939 Worldcon I overlooked in a recent post.]

John L. Coker III: I appreciated very much the article (04/20) about Art Widner.  There is one update that I’d like to provide…in addition to Madle, Korshak and Kyle, another member of First Fandom attended the first Worldcon (July 2-4, 1939).  That true fan is none other than Jack Robins, who is alive and well today!  In October 1936, Jack was also part of the New York group of fans that took the train to meet with their counterpart fans in Philadelphia.  Robins, Kyle and Madle are now the only survivors of what Sam Moskowitz has acknowledged as the First Eastern Science Fiction Convention.

I have attached an excerpt of an interview that I recently conducted with Jack Robins, in which he discusses attending the first World Science Fiction Convention —

Jack Robins

Jack Robins

By Jack Robins: A group of us, Wollheim, Michel, Pohl and I headed out to the first World Science Fiction Convention.  When we arrived at Caravan Hall, we approached the admission desk together, ready to pay the entrance fee.  Sam Moskowitz came over and told Wollheim, Michel and Pohl that they couldn’t go in.  Then he looked at me as I stood there dumbfounded, hesitated a moment and then said, “You can go in.”  I paid my admission and went in.  Later on Asimov appeared and was admitted.  He was supposed to say something about the people being barred but Campbell got hold of him and praised him to the audience.  He was so flattered and in awe that he forgot he was supposed to say something about the barred fans.

Across the street from the Convention there was a cafeteria.  Whenever I could I would join them and tell them what went on.  Occasionally other fans would meet with them.  Of course they were deeply angry to have been unfairly barred from the convention.  All they had wanted to do was enjoy the first World Science Fiction Convention but somehow the organizers must have felt that Wollheim, Michel and Pohl would miraculously take over and ruin the meeting.  The funny thing is that months before, Wollheim was broaching the subject of having a Convention at the same time as the World’s Fair because fans from all over the country and from other countries might attend.  So the idea had been bandied about in Fandom but was taken over by Moskowitz, Taurasi and Sykora, with John Campbell’s support.  The organizers made a very successful first convention, doing a superb job of putting it together.

(Excerpted from an interview with John L. Coker III – © 2015)

Sasquan Opens Hugo Voting

Electronic voting for the 2015 Hugo Awards has opened. TheHugoAwards.org website revealed the availability of the ballot in its April 27 story about the withdrawal of Edmund R. Schubert.

Once voters access the electronic voting form they are advised about the two finalists that have dropped out since the ballot was locked.

Note: After the ballot went to press, the following Hugo finalists have asked that voters please not vote for them:

  • Edmund R. Schubert (Best Editor, Short Form)
  • Black Gate (Best Fanzine)

Although at the time of this writing Sasquan has neither issued a press release, nor tweeted the information, nor posted it on Facebook, the form is operational. A Sasquan membership and PIN is required.

The May 1 press release follows the jump.

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