Record-Setting Number of Votes for 2016 Hugo Nominations

MidAmeriCon II reports over 4,000 nominating ballots were received for the 2016 Hugo Awards, nearly doubling the previous record of 2,122 ballots set last year by Sasquan, the 73rd Worldcon held in Spokane, WA.

This is the eighth consecutive year the record has been broken. Prior to Sasquan, Loncon 3 (2014) received 1,923 ballots; LoneStarCon 3 (2013) 1,343; Chicon 7 (2012) 1,101; Renovation (2011) 1,006; Aussiecon 4 (2010) 864; Anticipation (2009) 799 — each a new high-water mark at the time.

MidAmeriCon II reports there were 12,715 eligible nominators, also a record. These consisted of the members of Sasquan, and all the members of MidAmeriCon II and Worldcon 75 who had joined by January 31.

The finalists for the 2016 Hugo Awards, John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 26 via MidAmeriCon II’s social media.

The finalists will be released category by category, beginning at Noon CDT (1 p.m. EDT, 10 a.m. PDT, 6 p.m. London, 7 p.m. Western Europe), through the convention’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MidAmeriCon2/) and Twitter feed @MidAmeriCon2

The announcement will begin with the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards then continue with the 2016 Hugo Awards and Campbell Award.

The full list of finalists will be made available on the MidAmeriCon II website directly after the completion of the live announcement, and will also be distributed as a press release to all MidAmeriCon II press contacts.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Smofcon Scholarships Awarded

CanSMOF Inc., the parent organization of the 2009 Montreal Worldcon, has selected the recipients of two scholarships to attend Smofcon 32, a convention for conrunners. Jean-Louis Trudel of Quebec City and Jared Dashoff of Washington, D.C. will each receive 500 CAD to help defray the cost of attending Smofcon.

One scholarship was designated for a Canadian citizen or resident, while the second was open to anyone involved in running conventions, anywhere.

Smofcon 32 will be in Manhattan Beach, California from December 5-7.

Ann Methe Passes Away

Montreal fan Ann Methe succumbed to cancer October 5. 

Leading Canadian sf writer Robert J. Sawyer saluted her on Twitter as “one of Canada’s great science-fiction convention runners.”

Methe was past chair of Con*Cept, formerly run by the MonSFFA. She won an Aurora Award in 1999 for her work on Con*Cept and was nominated two other times.

She also worked on the 2009 Montreal Worldcon, Anticipation, as a hotel liaison.

She is survived by her husband, artist Jean-Pierre Normand.

[Thanks to Diane Lacey for the story.]

Krugman’s SF Reading List

Nobel prizewinner Paul Krugman has posted a list of SF recommended for economists at his “Conscience of a Liberal” blog. “Not surprisingly for anyone who was at Anticipation,” says Morris Keesan, “Krugman is a big Charlie Stross fan.”

I absolutely second (and third, and fourth) Charlie Stross. But Accelerando, although great, isn’t my top pick. He’s incredibly prolific, with the ability to write in multiple sub-genres, but if economics is what you want, you might want to look at the Merchant Princes novels, which are arguably parallel-universe fantasies that are also essays in development economics. (New edition of the MP novels coming out, with some plot snafus fixed). If you want sheer giddy fun, try the Laundry novels, Lovecraft-meets-hackers-meets-pop-references, with tips of the hat to everything from James Bond to Modesty Blaise.

[Thanks to Morris Keesan for the story.]

Hugo Voting Still Not Open

LoneStarCon 3 announced this year’s Hugo Awards nominees on March 30 but has yet to open the voting. Is 30 days and counting a long delay or not? How does this performance compare with other recent Worldcons?

The answer: It does not compare very well.

Last year, Chicon 7 announced it was ready to take votes 2 days after the nominees came out – meaning paper ballots. Online voting opened 11 days after, according to publicity.

Renovation (2011) said paper and online voting was open in a press release issued 5 days after the nominee announcement.

Aussiecon 4 (2010) reported voting open 30 days after the nominee announcement.

Anticipation (2009) wasn’t taking votes until the 60th day after.

Denvention 3 (2008) is a little harder to pinpoint because the information came in a progress report the month after the nominees were announced. The interim could have been as short as 9 days and as long as 39, and the true figure presumably lies somewhere in between.

Conclusion: The past two Worldcons got voting opened pretty quickly, and at 30 days LoneStarCon 3 is falling behind the curve.

Worldcon

(Year)

Nominees

Announced

Voting

Available

 

Packet

Available

Chicon 7 (2012)

4/7/2012

4/9/2012

 

5/18/2012

Renovation (2011)

4/24/2011

4/29/2011

 

5/20/2011

Aussiecon 4 (2010)

4/4/2010

5/4/2010?

 

5/4/2010

Anticipation (2009)

3/19/2009

5/19/2009

 

4/22/2009*

Denvention 3 (2008)

3/21/2008

4/2008

 

4/10/2008*

(*) In these years the packet was created by John Scalzi.

Sources for the dates are listed after the jump.

Continue reading

2013 Hugo Nominations Break Record

For the fifth consecutive year Worldcon members have cast a record-breaking number of Hugo nominating ballots. LoneStarCon 3 received 1,343 valid nominating ballots, exceeding the 1,101 received by Chicon 7 last year. Prior to that, Renovation received 1,006 in 2011, Aussiecon 4 received 864 in 2010 and Anticipation received 799 in 2009, each a record-setting figure at the time.

This record-setting trend likely gained momentum from a rules change effective in 2012 which broadened the voting base. Since last year, members in the forthcoming Worldcon have been allowed to nominate too, just as members of the current and previous Worldcon have long been able to do. LonCon 3 in 2014 is a European Worldcon, and I would guess has many members who don’t typically join when the con is in North America, making the universe of potential Hugo nomination voters that much larger than it was in 2012 when the pool consisted of members of three U.S. Worldcons (Renovation, Chicon 7, LoneStarCon 3).

The 2013 Hugo Award nominees will be announced on Saturday, March 30, starting at 3 p.m. CDT.

The nominations announcement will be made simultaneously at four conventions in the United States and United Kingdom, with the shortlists being published through the LoneStarCon 3 website immediately afterwards.

Conventions taking part in the announcement are:

  • Norwescon 36, in Seatac, WA (1 p.m. PDT)
  • Minicon 48, in Bloomington, MN (3 p.m. CDT)
  • Marcon 48, in Columbus, OH (4 p.m. EDT)
  • EightSquaredCon, the British National Science Fiction Convention (Eastercon), in Bradford, England (8 p.m. GMT).

Nominations will also be released category by category via the LoneStarCon 3 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LoneStarCon3 and the LoneStarCon 3 Twitter feed at twitter.com/LoneStarCon.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Rooms With A View

The Haggard Room.

Chicon 7 will recreate as an exhibit the Haggard-themed room from the home of GoH Jane Frank and her husband, Howard.

The Franks’ admiration for H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, She and his other lost world stories inspired them to design a room in their house to showcase specifically commissioned art based on Haggard’s work. Decorated in Victorian-era furnishings, the Haggard Room displays thematic art by Michael Whelan, Don Maitz, and Bob Eggleton, Gary Ruddell, Donato Giancola, Ian Miller, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Richard Bober, and Steve Hickman.

Chicon’s exhibit will be the most opulent room recreation ever presented by a Worldcon, a real peek into how “the other half lives” when you consider what has gone before.

Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon in Montreal, used large graphic photos to reproduce the apartment of its Fan GoH Taral Wayne, the visuals as intricately detailed as a Taral fanzine cover because of all the collections on display.

Entry to Taral's apartment at Anticipation.

Collections on display in Taral's apartment at 2009 Worldcon.

Previously, Chicon 2000 decorated its Fan Lounge to resemble the living room of a typical Chicago fan in the ‘80s, furnished with an ill-assorted bunch of old couches, lamps and end tables. One couch was occupied by two crash-test dummies dressed as Neil Rest and Phyllis Eisenstein – bearded “Neil” wearing sandals, jeans and a Windycon 7 t-shirt, and “Phyllis,” attired in black, a goth ahead of her time. Poor-fan’s bookcases made of boards and cinder blocks lined the perimeter of the room.

Roger Sims and Dave Kyle with “Neil” and “Phyllis” in the Chicon 2000 Fan Lounge.

These room recreations make innovative use of the exhibit space and have all been fun. I wonder if there been any others than the ones I remember?

Update 07/27/2012: Corrected identification of Chicon 2000 Fan Lounge crash-test dummy to Neil, per comment.

Smofcon Scholarships Available

CanSMOF Inc., parent non-profit organization of Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon, is offering two scholarships to conrunners to attend Smofcon 29 in Amsterdam. SMOFcon will be held December 2-4, 2011.

Each scholarship will be worth up to C$1000. One will go to a Canadian, preferably someone who has not attended SMOFcon before. The other will be awarded without restrictions.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

CanSMOF Awards Scholarships

CanSMOF Inc., parent non-profit organization of Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon, has announced the winners of its two $500 scholarships given for the purpose of allowing promising conrunners to attend the Smofcon 28 in San Jose.

Kent Pollard of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan won the scholarship open to a Canadian citizen or resident. Norman Cates of Wellington, New Zealand won the scholarship open to anyone regardless of their place of residence or citizenship.