Paris in 2023 Worldcon Bid Announced

Paris in 2023

Paris in 2023

It’s official: a committee of French and UK fans are bidding to host the 2023 Worldcon in Paris.

Interest in the idea of a Worldcon in France has growing since 2009 and last year its proponents started sending up trial balloons in social media, hints that a bid was on the way.

Now the chair of the bidding committee, Cécile Reyer, has sent a press release saying they intend to launch at Loncon 3, just two weeks away:

I am pleased to announce the formation of Paris in 2023, a Worldcon bid to host the 81st World Science Fiction Convention in Paris, France in 2023. We will be launching our bid at this year’s Worldcon, Loncon3 in London, where we will have information table in the Fan Village.

We strongly believe that Europe has the fannish resources and facilities to host more Worldcons, and with Loncon 3 being held in London this year together with bids for Helsinki in 2017, and Dublin in 2019 we feel that France would be an ideal location for 2023.

Our vision is to run a family friendly Worldcon and we have chosen the dates of Thursday 3rd August to Monday 7th August 2023, and have preliminarily selected the convention  facilities at Disneyland Paris as a possible venue to host the convention.

At this early stage in our bid the committee comprises a small group of Anglo-French fans, but as time goes on we wish to grow and add international expertise from fans from all over Europe, the USA and the rest of the world.

Paris in 2023 will be voted on at the 2021 Worldcon, the location of which has yet to be determined. Further information about our bid can be found on our website at:  http://parisin2023.org/

The members of the bid committee are: Chair: Cécile Reyer (France); General Committee: Léandre Boulez (France); Clarisse Lamarque (France); Pierre Messiaen (France); Jonjo (Wales); and Sharon Lewis-Jones (England).

There’s precedent for the idea of holding a Worldcon at Disneyland Paris, mixing Mickey Mouse and Hugo Gernsback. Three worldcons have been held across the street from Disneyland (L.A.con II, III and IV), and the Orlando in 2015 bid wanted to host the con in a DisneyWorld hotel.

I suppose the only obvious misstep in this launch is that the French language webpage is “still under construction.”

The bid also has a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

2014 Worldcon Schedule Goes Live

Loncon 3’s full program is now available online and can be accessed through an interactive programme guide at http://guide.loncon3.org/ (using the mobile-friendly Konopas web application), and the native mobile Grenadine Event Guide app, available for free from the Android and Apple app stores. The identifier to download the schedule in the phone apps is LONCON. (The Apple version is supported only by iOS 7.1 and later.)

With these guides, attendees can create their own schedules, receive up-to-date information about the programme and notifications of changes, view maps of the convention facilities, and access pages of other useful information about the convention. The guides are linked to Loncon 3′s programme database and will be updated automatically to reflect programme changes.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Loncon 3 Names Hugo Hosts

Justina Robson and Geoff Ryman will co-host the Loncon 3 Hugo Awards ceremony on August 17.

Justina Robson

Justina Robson

Steve Cooper and Alice Lawson, Loncon 3 co-chairs, commented: “Justina and Geoff are greatly liked and admired across the wide Worldcon family and we are sure they will make the 2014 Hugo Awards Ceremony a great success.”

Justina Robson is known for her five Quantum Gravity books and the Transformers Prime official history, The Covenant of Primus. Several of her novels have made the shortlists for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award.

Geoff Ryman

Geoff Ryman

Geoff Ryman’s novel Air (2005) won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Tiptree, Sunburst and BSFA Award. In 2011 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette What We Found.

Fans have wondered about Loncon 3’s delay in making public its choice to succeed Jonathan Ross as Hugo ceremony host. Ross was announced on March 1 and withdrew the same day after his selection lit off massive controversy.

Two months ago the committee named its hosts for the Retro Hugo ceremony but remained quiet about the hosts of the main Hugo Awards ceremony until today.

The full press release follows the jump.

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A Fantastic Partnership: Loncon 3 and the British Film Institute

Thanks to the British Film Institute (BFI), Loncon 3 will be able to screen a variety of recently discovered TV classics and modern favorites.

The BFI/Loncon 3 program will include –

  • The Crunch, a classic 1964 teleplay by Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale, which has only been screened in public a handful of times since it was rediscovered in 2005;
  • The Other Man – also from 1964 and believed lost for decades – set in a parallel 1940 where a peace treaty is signed with Nazi Germany after Churchill is killed;
  • Out Of The Unknown – No Place Like Earth, the first episode of the classic SF anthology series, screening in advance of its imminent DVD release by the BFI; and
  • A newly restored print of what is widely considered to be the finest dramatization of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954), starring Peter Cushing and scripted by Nigel Kneale.

In addition, Loncon 3 will also screen two documentaries about its guest of honor in memoriam, Iain M Banks — the Culture Show special Raw Spirit and The South Bank Show’s The Strange Worlds of Iain Banks.

Details of the full BFI/Loncon 3 program are here.

BFI archive expert Dick Fiddy will present “Missing – Believed Wiped.” And there will be a talk about The Doctor Who Restoration Team, a group of industry professionals who are responsible for restoring archived audio and video material for the BBC.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Paris Moves To 2023

Attention passengers on the main timeline! Please update your histories of Worldcons that haven’t happened yet to reflect that Paris is now bidding for 2023.

The Paris in 2019 Worldcon bid page first appeared online last spring, followed by manifestations on Twitter and Facebook. Inquiries were answered by UK fan David Steere, who said the bid would launch at Loncon 3.

Then, just a few days ago, plans to move the bid to 2023 were mentioned on Facebook’s Eurosmof forum. Dave Langford asked for more details and was told by Jonathan Lewis-Jones, “Expect a press release shortly before Loncon3.”

The bid’s apparent British connection reminds me of those alternate histories set in Anglo-French empires, like Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy stories.

Now there is a Paris in 2023 Twitter account. European fans have been responding favorably. Crystal Huff wrote to me:

The Paris in 2023 bid has posted their first tweet, which many people replied to in French. I’m kinda proud of the fact that the Finns were the first to do so. https://twitter.com/Parisin2023/status/486633774877536257

Since 2009 there has been a Facebook club, Pour l’organisation dune WorldCon SF en France, and in April 2013, Bernard Henninger collected 33 names of fans willing to support a French Worldcon. Henninger wrote again last August that the idea created a stir at the 2013 Eurocon in the Ukraine – including a show of interest from Finnish fan Eemeli Aro.

Fandom may get more solid indications about who is leading the Paris bid at this year’s Worldcon, and how French fans are participating in it.

Meantime, the Dublin in 2019 committee must be pleased to see that, at least for the moment, their bid is uncontested.

Audrey Niffenegger to Lecture at Loncon 3

Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, will deliver the inaugural PEN/H.G. Wells Lecture on Friday, August 15 at Loncon 3.

The new annual lecture series honors former PEN President, sf author, and human rights campaigner H.G. Wells.

PEN International is a writers’ organization active in over 100 countries “advocating freedom of expression, peace and friendship.”

The full press release follows the jump.

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Loncon 3 Already Largest Ever By One Measure

Worth mentioning for the record — Loncon 3 hit 8,518 total memberships at the end of June. That’s the most members any Worldcon has ever had — surpassing L.A.con II’s 30-year-old mark of 8,365.

At that time London had 5,457 attending and 2,768 supporting members. So it has a very good shot at setting a new attendance record for a Worldcon held outside North America. Glasgow’s 1995 Worldcon currently holds that title, where 4,173 were counted present.

L.A.con II has the overall record: 8,365 was also report as its attendance figure. You can wonder — like, what about no shows? — but it hasn’t been controversial because few Worldcons have come anywhere near drawing that number.

San Jose Opens 2018 Worldcon Bid

The San Jose in 2018 Worldcon bid holds its kickoff party at the Salt Lake City Westercon tonight, July 5.

The bid proposes to host the Worldcon from August 16-20, 2018 at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center, using the attached Marriott as its headquarters hotel.

Andrew Trembley is bid chair. Most of the core committee are directors of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc., an organization that has hosted two previous Worldcons (1993, 2002), two World Fantasy cons, three Westercons and many smaller cons.

On This Day In History 7/4

Three AWOL Worldcon members were in Yankee Stadium when this picture was taken.

Three AWOL Worldcon members were in Yankee Stadium when this picture was taken.

July 4, 1939: Julius Schwartz ditched the last day of the first World Science Fiction Convention and went with Mort Weisinger and Otto Binder to see a ballgame at Yankee Stadium.

He still got to see fan history being made. Baseball fan history.

A very special thing happened that afternoon: Lou Gehrig announced his retirement from the game of baseball. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It’s something I will never forget.

Gehrig’s famous lines echoed throughout the park:

For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

(And if you’re any kind of baseball fan you should not miss the video of all 30 Major League first basemen doing Gehrig’s lines, something Fox Sports produced to mark the 75th anniversary of his speech.)