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.

San Jose Worldcon Online Conversion Nearing Readiness

Kevin Roche, chair of Worldcon 76 in San Jose, posted a status report on Facebook about the online conversion/upgrade process that presupporters have been awaiting.

Kevin here, wearing his conference chair hat.

We’re thrilled at how enthusiastic everyone is about converting/upgrading their memberships, and we acknowledge it has taken longer than we expected to open the conversion process. We have at least 50 possible permutations of the upgrade path, and we want to make sure they all work. With ~1300 hand-transcribed voter forms, we want to keep glitches down to a minimum.

The good news is that we are in final testing of the voter conversion process and expect to send those invitations in the next few days.
In more good news, if you presupported the bid (and did not automatically convert to an attending membership) you may now log in to the regonline system via the “View or Change Your Existing Registration” link and should be able to access the Upgrade Memberships page once you log in. (If you did not set or do not remember the password you set there is a link to reset it.)

We have scanned the site selection records to ensure that pre-supporters voting status is reflected in their records.

Note: after we get the voter conversion invitations sent out, we will be sending more detailed instructions for upgrading presupporting memberships.

Thank you for your patience; the registration “doors” will open soon.

Main registration is accessible via http://www.regonline.com/worldcon76

PS: We think we’ve found and corrected all the typos in that 50-permutations set of paths. If you spot one, let us know and maybe you’ll get a t-shirt.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

France Wants To Host A Nice Worldcon

nice-acropolis

Worldcon in France team member Alex S. Garcia has announced the proposed venue for the 2023 con is in the city of Nice, in the south of France — the city’s main convention center, The Acropolis.

The Acropolis is located in the heart of the city, very close to the old town and to a large selection of hotels and restaurants. By 2023, it will be easily accessed by a tram line from the airport.

Garcia says the team will be making presentations at Smofcon, and next year at the Worldcon in Helsinki.

They are accepting pre-supporting memberships. The rates are:

  • Level 1 : $20 / 15€
  • Level 2 : $50 / 40€
  • Level 3 : $100 / 80€

If France in 2023 wins, the cost of presupports will be deduced from convention memberships.

MACII’s Code of Conduct Response Procedures Posted

The MidAmeriCon II Incident Response Team Handbook, scrubbed of personal identifying information, has been posted online by IRT head Kris Snyder for use or adaptation by other conrunning groups.

A lot of conventions that have followed the trend of the past few years by adopting a Code of Conduct or antiharassment policy will find this document a help in thinking step-by-step through their own procedures.

Here are a couple of excerpts. The first was selected because it probably came into play when MACII dealt with Dave Truesdale’s membership revocation.

Handling reports about Program Participants

  • Take the report as normal.
  • If the manager evaluating the situation is considering removing the panelist from being on program, they need to consult with programming (preferably [Programming DH], [DDH] or [Program Ops] as backup).
  • If the member’s program participant privileges are revoked, please make sure to take any gizmos or ribbons that indicated their program participant status.
  • In the case that we take action against the member which does not include removing their program participant status or privileges, we still need to inform the programming department.
  • Always involved the conchair if a situation involves a Guest of Honor.

The second excerpt shows a range of available responses to complaints.

  • Actions we can take in response to a complaint (and who needs to be consulted or informed)
  • Talk to person and tell them to cut it out
  • Talk to the parents if the person reported is a minor
  • Restrict access to certain areas of the convention (eg: art show, dealer’s room, thing)
    • o Consult with the Area Head and/or Division Head Involved
  • Disallow someone’s continued participation on programming (While we can’t stop people can be assholes, but we don’t have to give them a platform to be an asshole from)
    • o Include programming in that decision.
    • o Programming has requested that we inform them about all reports made about the behavior of a program participant.  IRT bears the primary responsibility for acting on reports about panelists.
  • Pull someone from their staff position/disallow them to volunteer
    • o Supervisor should be included in the decision making process, in consultation with the area head.  The division head should be informed
    • o Volunteers should be informed
    • o If a DH is the problem, involve the chair.
    • o If it’s an advisor, involve the chair
    • o If the chair ([Chair]), is the problem, go to [Vice Chair] and [Advisor]
  • Remove someone from the convention for a day.  They can return tomorrow
    • o Please inform the chair afterwards
  • Remove someone from the convention period.
    • o Involve the chair in this decision, unless there is an immediate safety concern.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

Truesdale Truths

Michaele Jordan, in her MidAmeriCon II Report posted by Amazing Stories on October 28, purported to have the true reason Dave Truesdale’s membership was revoked — that he published his remarks while the convention was going on. A few File 770 commenters found this version more appealing than the official statement. However, MACII Chair Ruth Lichtwardt says that is not the case.

The committee’s explanation appeared in Issue 9 of the convention daily newzine on Saturday, August 20:

Membership Revocation

At the beginning of a panel on The State of Short Fiction on Friday, Dave Truesdale read a prepared statement that contained inflammatory comments that were considered inciteful by a number of people at the panel.  After consulting with the Incident Report Team, the Division Heads revoked Dave’s membership.  They issued the following statement:  “Dave Truesdale’s membership was revoked because he violated MidAmeriCon II’s Code of Conduct. Specifically, he caused ‘significant interference with event operations and caused excessive discomfort to others’”

However, Jordan asserts that while working in the convention Press Room she heard that was not the reason, it was something else:

… immediately upon exiting the panel — he posted his entire speech on-line….  It was this posting of his speech that got him ousted. (You heard about that, right? I gather there’s been quite a furor about it.) Vague on-line references about the Code of Conduct aside, Mr. Truesdale and all other program participants were explicitly told to give MidAmericon II first publication rights, and forbidden to publicize their remarks until after the con was over.

Many claimed later that he was ejected for “inciteful remarks”, but whatever his remarks were, that was not the reason. I was there, first at the panel and then in the Press Room. He was kicked out for posting, in clear violation of his agreement with the con, and I knew this long before I managed to track down on-line what he said…

As someone who had been scheduled to be a program participant and received the standard emails, I had no recollection of MACII making any request or restriction about publishing at-con remarks as part of that correspondence. (No Worldcon that I have ever participated in has tried to impose such a restriction.) So Jordan’s claim about a real reason that was different from the one announced struck me as highly unlikely.

I reached out to Ruth Lichtwardt, Chair of MidAmeriCon II, and asked her to comment. Lichtwardt replied:

I can absolutely assure you that at the time I made the decision to revoke Dave Truesdale’s membership and notified him, neither the Incident Response Team or I had any idea that he had recorded the panel or that he was going to post it.  We learned of the recording afterward so it had no bearing on the original decision.

Thank you for asking!

Michaele Jordan’s version couldn’t have happened: the decision to revoke Truesdale’s membership was made (for the announced reason) before those involved heard he’d recorded the panel and published his statements.

UK in 2024 Discussion Continues

The UK in 2024 Worldcon discussion group now has a landing page at http://www.ukin2024.org/.

The group was begun in 2015 by Emma England, Vanessa May, Esther MacCallum-Stewart and James Bacon.

Esther MacCallum-Stewart adds —

The group was launched in 2015 at Novacon, in order to explore the possibility of bidding for a Worldcon in the UK in 2024. It was formed as a result of the huge enthusiasm generated from Loncon 3, and because of the thriving science fiction, fantasy and horror scene in the UK, which very much wants to see Worldcon returning to our shores in the future. The group is formed of fans old and new, with experience both of running Worldcons and involvement with the UK convention community.

We are currently exploring venues around the UK, and will hold two sessions at the forthcoming UK Conrunner event in February to discuss ways forwards, and to talk more about the locations in depth.

For more information, you can either attend one of the discussion sessions, or write to the group at info@ukin2024.org.