Dublin 2019 Worldcon Bid’s Access Report

The Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid did a walkthrough of its facility and posted a preliminary access report on their website.

The Dublin 2019 Bid team take accessibility extremely seriously, and we want to work from the start to make our Bid, and our convention places where we have done our utmost to make the convention available to everyone.

On the blog, we’ve published our first accessibility report. Our team took an access specific tour of the Conference Centre Dublin (CCD), and the report also includes some observations from seeing the building in use. We are very positive about the building, and the steps it has taken in making the area accessible, and we’ve also added several observations that we’d like to work towards from our own perspective.

They would like to hear about any specific questions people think they should address in their next visit.

Recent issues experienced by other conventions also prompted the bidders to remind everyone they have a Code of Conduct for the bid itself, which can be read here. The committee will update it as necessary if Dublin is voted to host the Worldcon.

[Thanks to Esther MacCallum-Stewart for the story.]

MAC II Statement on Data Release for EPH Testing

The Sasquan and MidAmeriCon II committees responded to File 770’s query about the transfer of anonymized raw 2015 Hugo nominating ballot data for use in testing the proposed E Pluribus Hugo vote tallying method.

Linda Deneroff, Sasquan’s WSFS (World Science Fiction Society) Division Head, wrote:

Sasquan passed its nominating data to MidAmeriCon II for analysis in the EPH process. Neither Glenn [Glazer], John [Lorentz], Ruth [Lorentz] nor I were involved in the analysis.

Tammy Coxen. MidAmeriCon II WSFS Division Head, explained what was done with the data:

After EPH passed at Sasquan, the MidAmeriCon II Hugo Administration team publicly committed to testing the system so that real data about its efficacy could be made available to WSFS members before the business meeting where ratification would take place. As part of that testing, MidAmeriCon II was collaborating with two researchers (Bruce Schneier and Jameson Quinn) in evaluating the system. As previously announced, it was determined that the data was unable to be sufficiently anonymized for a general release, so the researchers were provided data under a non-disclosure agreement.

There was to have been a coordinated release of the research findings between MidAmeriCon II and the researchers, which would have made clear the circumstances under which the data had been shared. Planning was already underway regarding that release, but as noted, analysis is still occurring. Our intention is to jointly share the research findings when they are complete, which will be well in advance of the business meeting at MidAmeriCon II.

The previously announced concerns that Coxen refers to were discussed here in a September 2015 post, “Hitch in Sasquan Nominating Data Turnover”.

Where To Find Current World Science Fiction Society Documents

MidAmeriCon II’s “What Is WSFS?” webpage is the primary place to find the latest governance documents for the World Science Fiction Society.

Ordinarily the WSFS.org site also hosts this information, but as Kevin Standlee explained in a comment the other day, WSFS.org is slowly being migrated (as the volunteer’s time permits).

Jared Dashoff, MAC II’s Business Meeting chair, encourages those discussing potential Hugo Award proposals or seeking information about the Business Meeting to look for the guidance they need at the MidAmeriCon II WSFS page.

The available information also includes the date, time, and location of the various sessions (as much as they know now); and how to submit new business.

Dashoff also has a reminder for those drafting motions —

For the last part, you must have at least 2 sponsors (both of whom must be at least supporting members of MAC2) and email your proposal to businessmeeting@midamericon2.org. The Business Meeting Staff will assist you in formatting your proposal if you need assistance. We can also answer questions (ABOUT THE BUSINESS MEETING AND WSFS), should you have them.

Business Passed on From Sasquan, and the current versions of the WSFS Constitution, Standing Rules and the Resolutions of Continuing Effect available on MAC II’s webpage.

Reports to last year’s Business Meeting, held at Sasquan, are available at http://sasquan.org/reports-to-the-business-meeting/ should you like to view them.

[Thanks to Jared Dashoff for the story.]

MAC II Exhausts Hotel Room Blocks

Fans trying to make reservations for the 2016 Worldcon today reported it was not possible to book a room for MidAmeriCon in any of their hotels.

The committee posted this explanation on the MAC II webpage.

Due to unprecedented demand for hotel rooms at a Worldcon, our original hotel blocks were filled more quickly than expected. We are in the process of expanding our current blocks to accommodate all of you! We will announce when additional space becomes available, and you might want to check back in a few days as well.

If you have a specific issue with your reservation, write to hotel@midamericon2.org, but please note that they are already aware of the filled room blocks and are working tirelessly to alleviate this situation.

Online Nominations Open for 2016 Hugo Awards

MidAmeriCon II, the 2016 Worldcon, is now accepting online Hugo nomination ballots. Also at the link are downloadable Hugo and Retro Hugo ballot forms which can be printed and used for mail-in voting.

The deadline to submit nominations is March 31.

Eligible to cast nominating ballots are those who are members of MidAmeriCon II or Worldcon 75 (Helsinki, 2017) by January 31, and those who were members of Sasquan (Spokane, 2015).

You will need your membership number and a Hugo PIN number to nominate online. According to the committee, Hugo PINs are being emailed between January 27–February 5 to MAC II members who elected to receive electronic publications, and members of the other eligible Worldcons. They recommend that if you have not received your Hugo PIN by February 5, email a request to hugopin@midamericon2.org.

MAC II members who are receiving paper publications will find their PIN on the envelope in which Progress Report 2 was mailed. The MAC II has a lookup tool for its own members (only).

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Your Instant MidAmeriCon II Progress Report

A mini-report of progress being made by the MidAmeriCon II committee.

  • The online Hugo nominations will open soon.

  • Hurry up if you’re entering the Hugo base design contest.

  • The Worldcon hotel room reservation system is being given an in-house trial.

MAC II Hotel Booking To Open in January

MidAmeriCon II, the 2016 Worldcon to be held in Kansas City, anticipates convention hotel booking will open “around January 25”. The committee expects to announce the exact date within the next few days.

The con hotels are the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, the Aladdin, the Hotel Phillips and the Crowne Plaza. Room rates range from $119 to $134 a night.

To get a feel for where the hotels are in relation to the convention center, the committee has annotated a Google street view [PDF file] that shows what a person sees if standing at the main entrance of the convention center looking away towards the Marriott, Aladdin, and Crowne Plaza.

MAC II’s Access department will create descriptions of the routes from the hotels to the convention center this spring. They report all of the street crossings between the hotels and the convention center have curb cuts, and are controlled by traffic lights.

A lottery will be conducted for the available suites if requests outnumber the supply. See the website for details. However, the committee reminds members that parties will be held in the Fan Fair in the convention center, as explained in the Party Packet.

MAC II Call For Papers

“Tomorrow is Now” will be the theme of the 2016 Worldcon’s academic programming track.

The theme… based on the 1939 World’s Fair, both explores what tomorrow might be like as well as celebrates how far we have come.

See the linked MidAmeriCon II webpage for submission guidelines and scholarship availability.

The track will be hosted by the Campbell Conference (normally held each June at KU’s Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction).

Sessions may consist of short individual presentations (three 15-minute or two 20-minute presentations grouped together by topic), panel presentations of 3 or more presenters, round-table discussions led by facilitators, poster and multimedia presentations, workshops led by facilitators, idea sessions, and special interest groups. Keynote presentations will be organized by the Campbell Conference Committee.

Papers or presentations on MidAmeriCon II’s theme or its Guests of Honor, as well as other science-fiction proposal topics are welcome.

Deadline for submissions is January 14.

The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction is offering two need-based scholarships – which is to say, two free memberships in MidAmeriCon II — for academic-track participants whose proposals have been accepted and who otherwise might not be able to attend.

The Center will also give at least two free memberships to volunteer staff helping run the academic track.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the story.]