Helsinki Wins 2017 Site Selection Vote

The 2017 Worldcon will be in Helsinki, Finland. According to Kevin Standlee, who participated in the ballot count as a member of the Montreal bid, the unofficial tally went as follows:

Helsinki     1,363
DC               828
Montreal      228
Nippon        120

The total number of votes was 2,624 (which includes write-ins and no preference). The number of ballots expressing a preference was 2,605. Therefore 1,303 votes were needed to attain a first-round majority, which Helsinki achieved.

113 thoughts on “Helsinki Wins 2017 Site Selection Vote

  1. I’ve wanted to go to Scandinavia forever, so this is a good excuse.

    My inner pedant feels the need to point out that, as cool a place as it is, Finland isn’t technically part of Scandinavia.

  2. @McJulie: Helsinki has its own special variety of beauty, especially in August when the weather’s so lovely and the days are so long. More than the other Scandinavian capitals, even more than Stockholm, the Baltic is part of the urban landscape, and I recommend at least once using one of the urban-area ferries that go around the city.

    As a Norwegian-American, it pains me slightly to recommend Stockholm, Sweden, not far to the west, as the most stunningly gorgeous of the towns, so try to spend at least a day there, too. And, something that some people forget, the mediaeval walled city of Talinn, Estonia is a very short trip south by ferry from Helsinki, so I would highly recommend that, too.

    And Oslo, yeah! If only to see Kon-Tiki. ;->

  3. @Rick
    I think if I can manage to go, I’ll build in an extra week to see all of the cool, interesting things in the general area. Thanks for the tips!

  4. My inner pedant feels the need to point out that, as cool a place as it is, Finland isn’t technically part of Scandinavia.

    True, but Scandinavia is on the way. I’m planning stop offs in Copenhagen and Stockholm along the way.

  5. Aaron on August 22, 2015 at 11:36 am said:

    I’ve wanted to go to Scandinavia forever, so this is a good excuse.

    My inner pedant feels the need to point out that, as cool a place as it is, Finland isn’t technically part of Scandinavia.

    I concur. However, no internet comment section can possibly maintain its reputation without a lengthy argument on how Finland is really part of Scandinavia thus provoking a pointlessly lengthy digression into Iceland and Greenland. So as nobody has done so yet I am obliged to disagree – Finland is part of Scandinavia. Also submarines are ships.

  6. @Zil: You certainly don’t have to go to parties or participate in shenanigans (?!). 😉 Usually there’s a “party hotel” and a “quiet hotel,” and usually there are several hotels, so you could always pick the one that’s farther away and thus less likely to have a lot of late activity. On the other paw, if you are travel-averse (it sounds like) and don’t like staying in hotels (tough to tell), then maybe a con just isn’t for you. You may want to start with something smaller than a Worldcon, to dip your toe into the waters. 🙂

  7. The Finns were runners up to run 2015 (this Worldcon) two years ago

    Possibly this played a role in the Helsinki vote landslide. I know a bunch of folks here at Sasquan see them as comrades-in-arms of a sort.

  8. When they pulled into Spokane town in time for Sasquan con,
    We had high hopes that they would bring, the Worldcon some new fun.
    We had been to Swedish parties, and some Norwegian too,
    And expecting something sim’lar, but no idea on what they’d do.

    The Finns are banned from Worldcon, everyone.
    Banned from Worldcon, they’re just having too much fun.
    They spent a jolly weekend here for just five days or four,
    But Worldcon doesn’t want Finns any more.

    Eemili plied vodka freely, to ev’ryone he gave,
    He never warned that it included a salmiakki wave.
    The Hotel staff were on the way, we had no second chance,
    We tossed him out in the nick of time, but the parties were enhanced.

    The Finns are banned from Worldcon, everyone…

    The Guests of Honor were on display, to show that they were great,
    Some Finns started singing a filk song they did write.
    They sang words in languages that we didn’t understand,
    But hearing French the Spokane cops put them in remand.

    The Finns are banned from Worldcon, everyone…

    Jukka volunteer’d to gopher, checking badges at the door,
    He turned it into a quiz show that claimed all our floor.
    The venue staff arrived in force to take the con floor back,
    But his questions demanded answers that left them out of wack.

    The Finns are banned from Worldcon, everyone…

    A gang of Klingons landed, and nobody seemed to care
    They stamped into the sauna to announce that they were there.
    Half the Finns were busy inside and invited them to play,
    but they Klingons only looked at them, and turned and ran away.

    The Finns are banned from Worldcon, everyone…

    Our fans are the world’s finest, and the Worldcons are our pride,
    But then they came with parties that left the sky so dyed.
    We’re sorry ’bout the Moomins and the vodka and the fuss,
    But at least the Business Meeting could still be run by us!

    The Finns are banned from Worldcon, everyone…

    But now we’re there…

  9. On a more serious note, Finnish and Swedish fandom has very good contacts with one of the ferry companies plying between Finland and Sweden. I think it is very likely that there will be group travel options between Stockholm and Helsinki in connection with the con. The ferries will serve as a huge party space, and tickets are inexpensive.

  10. I’m curious about site selection timing. Wouldn’t it be a good idea for non-U.S. sites to run in years like 2017 when the crowd’s obviously most amenable to foreign locations — since they’re all people willing to attend a long way from Worldcon’s motherland?

  11. If the webcomic Scandinavia and the World can be trusted, Finland is not part of Scandinavia proper (Sweden, Norway, Denmark); is part of Fenno-Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finland); and is one of the Nordic nations (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland).

  12. Isn’t Vox Day’s publishing house located in Finland?

    I wonder if the puppies were instrumental in the vote?

  13. @Hunting Guy: To repeat what’s already been thrashed out in this thread, there is zero evidence for that. Castalia House and the concom don’t even get along.

  14. Very unlikely. This was already mentioned and discarded earlier in these very comments….

    ETA: Ninja’d by Jim Henley! 😉

  15. Teddy’s publishing house is based in Finland, but at one point he was certainly denouncing Helsinki as a villainous attempt to shrink the con down so that anti-puppy rules changes could be more easily forced through. So probably not.

    Though I’d not be the least bit surprised if he changed his mind, and will shortly be declaring the vote as a thing he wanted all along.

  16. Hunting Guy: It’s extremely unlikely. Castilia House has almost no connections to Finnish fandom, who have been running large conventions for years, have an active fan base, and started trying to get a Worldcon before this Puppy business started. Furthermore, it is known that at least some prominent Puppies were pushing for DC.
    Finland won it fair and square, by traditional methods including showing fandom at large that they a) could do it, b) had the facilities to do it in, and c) really wanted it. And d) threw great room parties.
    [edit: Ninjaed. Twice.]

  17. @nickpheas – See, he WANTED everyone to think he hated the Finns so that they’d vote for it to spite him! So it’s totally his doing that they won! Really! Because he’s a GENIUS! Why won’t you admit his genius?!

    Etc, etc, some people could get struck by lightning and waste their dying breath gasping out that the storm had played right into their hands.

    The Helsinki bid has been nothing but awesome and I’m looking forward to it enormously.

  18. @Hunting Guy: Isn’t Vox Day’s publishing house located in Finland?

    That’s a popular misconception. It’s actually in a different country of the same name.

    Rick M.

  19. @RedWombat:

    Etc, etc, some people could get struck by lightning and waste their dying breath gasping out that the storm had played right into their hands.

    Wait up! How would the most awesome dying words ever be a waste? I mean, if I ever get struck by lightning, I hope like hell I have the presence of mind to say that.

  20. I have proposed to my housemate (NOT an sff fan, but a medievalist heh) that we consider a vacation to Finland in August 2017…..if we start planning/saving for it now, it might be possible.

  21. Awesome. Helsinki is a really excellent place (make sure to look at the architecture of the train station and remember Sky Captain as you do 😀 )

    Also, if you go to Helsinki and you don’t try mammi, reindeer or salmiakki, you will have totally FAILED 🙂

  22. Bah! Humbug!

    You are all smiling now, but just you wait! JUST YOU WAIT! I SAY! The Finns will try to poison you all! POISON YOU ALL!

    After all, they got those ‘lovely things’ like Karjalan Piirakka ja Munavoi, Kalakukko, Salmiakki, and Mämmi. Each growing more and more horrifying as far as the taste goes. And they will offer you these foods when you least expect it! Not to mention the fermented Swedish/Danish/Norvegian herrings.

    Also the Finnish coffee culture can be quite a shock for the Americans who are far more into ‘grab and go.’

    Not to mention how the Finns always lie about the polar bears.

    So yeah…


  23. Do the Finns have a traditional rotten-seafood dish? It seems like all the other Nordic countries do….

  24. Anyhow, speaking of the reindeer, you can easily try it by finding a ‘Kotipizza’ the sort of Finnish ‘Pizzahut’ and order something called: ‘Berlusconi.’

  25. Also, awww, it’s not HelCon? Well, I guess the Norwegians would have that tied up (Hell is in Norway, not Finland). But also not MoominCon? Oh that’s just sad 🙁

  26. Moomins are a very active commercial property. I’d be very surprised if they could use that name.

  27. Tom tried and failed. I was next to him at a party last night and he was spouting the usual Sad Puppies line

    You encountered an actual Puppy at Sasquan? I hope you tagged and released it so we can learn more about these creatures and their movement.

  28. The finns don’t do anything perserved by fermenting the way the swedes and icelanders do, I think (though I guess you’d find a lot of swedes living in finland, especially along the borders).

    If you’re american though, you might find they drink more coffee than you’re used to, have more guns than you’re used to unless you’re from Florida or Texas, and they drink more alcohol than anyone in the world is used to 😀

    Also, depending on the time of year, you might need to bring a coat. Helsinki can be chilly. If you plan to wander round Finland on their insanely efficient train system, you WILL need a coat. By the time you get up to places like the Finnish Capital Of Tango (Seinajoki), -30C is pretty normal around winter. And it’s pretty tundra-ish. It’s *very* awesome.

  29. Also, don’t listen to anyone who tells you mammi is unpleasant. It’s basically chocolate dessert. It does look unappealing though. But hey, so does melted chocolate…

  30. They are a well-known brand I guess nick. It’s just that moomins are pretty much the first image I get when I think of Finland, it’s a shame they can’t work it in there somehow (official mascot maybe?)

  31. Looking around Finnish SF fandom for the first time, I found this wild cover gallery for a publication of the Helsinki Science Fiction Society. I think the artist on many (all?) of them is named Kari Sihvonen.

  32. It seems Mark Dennehy has never eaten anything chocolate based.

    As for the gun thing, the graph was not entirely true and won’t be true for people living in Helsinki. There are guns, but mostly for hunting, and if anyone is going to talk about guns, it is likely to be about either hunting or the compulsory Finnish military service.

    As for the alcohol thing… When Finns drink they usually drink to get wasted. Not a side effect, but rather the actual goal.

    As for promises of snow, it actually depends on the year… You know, if they got really horrible hurricanes on the State side, it usually means warm and sunny weather in Finland. But yeah, it is a good idea to bring a sweater just in case.

    As for Moomins, there is a small Moomin museum in the Tampere (trains and buses can take you there in few hours from Helsinki), and I’d say Tampere is a much prettier city than Helsinki. Tampere is more Finnish, while Helsinki is much more like a miniature St. Petersburg without the canals.

  33. 😀 I so so so wish I had never eaten anything chocolate based, it would have made weight control sooooo much easier 😀

    But seriously, chocolate pudding is the closest american dessert to mammi that I can think of. I thought it was a little more savoury, a little more salty than that, but I can’t really think of anything else as an example of what it’s like.

    But if you go to Helsinki and you don’t try it… oh, you’ve just failed 😀

    On the alcohol thing, I’m Irish and I can’t keep up. I don’t even try. I learnt that the hard way. Never again. You guys are focussed 😀

    With the guns thing, you can probably figure it out from my avatar, I do a bit of target shooting which is how I wound up in Finland a few times up in Kuortane for training – loved it – and it was quite a bit colder up there and there was a lot more hunting going on that in downtown Helsinki 😉 So I probably have a skewed view, but it seemed like everyone I talked to in Helsinki in those trips either hunted, or did target shooting or had, or knew some of the guys who were running the training.

  34. That would be due to the compulsory finnish militaty training. If you are a guy, you are conscripted. If you do not like the idea, you got can choose between civil service that is pretty much cleaning toilets in hospitals or to just sitting the duration of your service in a prison.

  35. Well, if we decide to make the trip from NZ (and I raised the possibility with my partner a month ago), there is a good chance we will go via SIN to HEL!

  36. If anyone of you are going to visit Stockholm at the same time, I can help with whatever you need regarding finding museums, hotels, a place to sleep or whatever.

  37. My Finnish ancestors are compelling me, via passive-aggressive psychic messages, to consider attending this. I’ve never been to a con and don’t know if I’ll be able to swing this one, but the location makes me very tempted to try.

  38. I’m really happy about this, cause with Worldcon back in Europe, it means I’ll be going in 2017 after narrowly missing Loncon last year. Plus, there are daily direct flights from Hamburg to Helsinki and three flights a week from Bremen airport to Tampere., so getting there will be no problem either.

    Coincidentally, my Mom announced that she’d be interested in going as well, which surprised the heck out of me, since she’s not really a fandom person, merely a casual reader and viewer of SFF. I suspect she has no real idea what cons are like, she’s probably expecting something like the academic conferences I’ve occasionally attended.

  39. Any predictions on what impact Helsinki will have on the 2017 Hugo ballot? If bloc voting doesn’t muck things up, will we see any Finns or others from the surrounding countries as nominees?

  40. Hampus — I am almost certainly going to try to work in a visit to Sweden, which probably means “Stockholm plus that town my great-grandmother came from.”

  41. Anyone who goes to Stockholm, I strongly recommend that you make the Vasamuseet part of your visit.

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