Worldcon Bid for France
Faces New Obstacle

The Nice in 2023 Worldcon bid website says they plan to use the city’s Acropolis Convention Center if they win. However, their newly re-elected mayor told voters during his campaign he might tear it down as part of his vision to “continue the metamorphosis of Nice into a garden city.”

A French-language news article published in January carried the proposal. Here is the lede, rendered in English by Google Translate:

A week ago, he officially confirmed his candidacy for a third term as head of the city of Nice. This Sunday, Christian Estrosi held his first campaign meeting at the Acropolis Palace.

The opportunity for him to announce that he intends to raze this building to extend the Promenade du Paillon to the North. To enable this “urban forest” project, the National Theater of Nice (TNN) will also be demolished and relocated to the former Franciscan church in Old Nice.

Nice, France is competing with Chengdu, China and Memphis, Tennessee for the right to host the 2023 Worldcon.

CoNZealand Issues Statement About Delayed Online Hugo Voting

CoNZealand has announced that online voting for the Hugos will open by July 8, and they are extending the voting deadline to July 22:


We are very sorry for the delay in opening online Hugo Voting. We are working as fast as we can to make that available, and anticipate it being open no later than Wednesday, 8 July, hopefully before. Due to the delay we are extending the voting deadline to Wednesday, 22 July 2020 at 23:59 PDT (UTC-7)/Thursday, 23 July 2020 at 18:59 NZST (UTC+12).

In the meantime, a fillable and printable PDF of the paper ballot is available so that you can keep track of your rankings and can enter them online as soon as the online voting option becomes available. You may also vote by mail. The US postal address for mailing ballots is listed on the ballot, and the deadline change also applies to the printed ballot. Due to the global postal slowdown, we will also be accepting ballots by email to hugo-ballot@conzealand.nz. In either case, ballots must be RECEIVED by 22 July 2020 at 23:59 PDT (UTC-7)/23 July 2020 at 18:59 NZST (UTC+12) to be counted. But at this point we strongly encourage people to wait for the online voting system to open rather than send a paper or email ballot.


[Thanks to Avilyn and Tammy Coxen for the story.]

DisCon III Hotel Waits
To Learn Fate

Employees of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington D.C., main venue of the 2021 Worldcon, have been notified of the hotel’s potential permanent closure. The facility has been shuttered since March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Members of Local 25, the union representing hotel workers, told local ABC affiliate WTOP they were informed of the potential closure during Zoom calls held with more than 500 Wardman Park employees.

Marriott spokesperson Casey Kennett told a WTOP reporter:

Marriott International has provided advance notice to employees, government officials and union officials about a potential closure of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park.

The hotel has been temporarily closed since March. At this time, no decision has been made about the hotel’s future operation and reopening, as discussions are ongoing.

The 2021 Worldcon committee today posted a “Statement from DisCon III Regarding Marriott Wardman Park”:

DisCon III is aware of the news stories that have been published recently about the Marriott Wardman Park and we are monitoring the situation closely.  We are in contact with our salesperson at the hotel and other industry contacts, and are receiving updates. As the news stories made clear, there are ongoing discussions but no formal decisions have been made.

Just after winning the bid, DisCon III signed a contract with the Omni Shoreham for all of its function space and a significant majority of its hotel rooms.  This contract is not impacted by the discussions at the Marriott Wardman Park.

Throughout all of this, DisCon III remains committed and confident that we will host a fabulous Worldcon in Washington, DC next year, and we look forward to welcoming you.

The property was formerly the site of the Sheraton-Park Hotel, where the 1974 Worldcon was held. Sheraton replaced that structure with a modern brick tower and in 1980 reopened it as the Sheraton Washington Hotel. Marriott International took over management in 1998 and changed the name to the Washington Marriott Wardman Park.

If Marriott closes the hotel, there is always the possibility another chain might take it over. There would still be important questions about how soon it would resume operations, and what terms new management might require to host next summer’s Worldcon. Meanwhile, DisCon III has its space in the nearby Omni Shoreham.  

CoNZealand 2022 Site Selection Payments Available

The advance membership tokens required for voters in the 2022 Worldcon Site Selection can now be purchased through the CoNZeland website

Full information about buying tokens and guidelines for voting in 2022 Site Selection are available at the link. The deadline for CoNZealand to receive postal mailed ballots is July 13, and the deadline for email ballots is July 29 at 12:00n New Zealand time.

Whether you vote by mail or online, you must pay an Advance Supporting Membership (Voting) Fee of NZ$72 to vote in the 2022 Worldcon site selection. Payment may only be made via the information on the CoNZealand website, using your credit card. No checks or cash will be accepted by mail. Voters must purchase their site selection token before July 29 for their ballot to be counted. 

Question Time for the 2022 Worldcon Bids

CoNZealand is scheduling a one-hour moderated session on June 28, 06:00 NZT where members can hear each 2022 Worldcon bid make a presentation and respond to questions asked by one of the moderators. The link has not yet been distributed.

CoNZealand attending members can submit questions to be asked of the bids via this form. Submissions will be anonymous. The committee adds:

All submitted questions will be edited to remove any personal attacks. We will encourage questions to be hard, but we will not permit them to be insulting.

We will follow the general format that has been used recently….

15 minutes will be allotted for each presentation and there will be a 30 minute questioning period of both bids to follow.

Responses the two bids have already made to Frequently Asked Questions can be read online:

Guidelines for voting in 2022 Site Selection are here. The deadline for CoNZealand to receive postal mailed ballots is July 13, and the deadline for email ballots is July 29 at 12:00n New Zealand time.

WOOF 2020

Guy Lillian III, Official Editor, has announced plans for the 2020 collation and distribution of the Worldcon Order Of Fan-Editors aka W.O.O.F.

CoNZealand will be a virtual convention, therefore W.O.O.F. 2020 will itself be an online production. Send PDFs of your zines to Guy at: GHLIII@yahoo.com. Be sure to include an up-to-date e-dress of your own. The deadline is 12 midnight Eastern on August 6.

Guy adds:

I you can’t avoid hard copy and must send me a physical zine, the address is 1390 Holly Ave., Merritt Island FL 32952. I’ll scan your pages, but please mail extra early.

And he explains why the deadline is after the end of CoNZealand.

I’m scheduling this disty for after the Worldcon to glean people’s reactions to CoNZealand and to include the at-convention newszines, Hugo results and whatnot. But write what you wish! Comment on the last WOOF mailing. How’s the coronavirus treating you? What’s happened over the past year? Any memories of cons or WOOFs past you’d like to share?

Finally, Guy exhorts —

Pub your ish for WOOF 2020, in the 45th year of the annual Worldcon Apa! It won’t be the same without you.

CoNZealand Opens Site Selection

CoNZealand has opened site selection voting for the location of the World Science Fiction Convention in 2022. There are two filed bids, for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Full information is available at the convention’s website.

Email ballots will be accepted via the process explained at the link. For those who wish to cast their ballot by postal mail, CoNZealand asks that you send it as soon as possible, as there are delays in global mail due to the global pandemic.

Whether you vote by mail or online, you must also pay an Advance Supporting Membership (Voting) Fee of NZ$72 to vote in the 2022 Worldcon site selection. Payment may only be made on the CoNZealand website, using your credit card. No checks or cash will be accepted by mail. HOWEVER, the system to make online payments for site selection tokens is not available yet. CoNZealand will announce it online and to the members when it is ready. Voters must purchase their site selection token before July 29 for their ballot to be counted. If you have any questions, please email siteselection@conzealand.nz.

CoNZealand will host a one-hour moderated session on June 27/28 where members can hear each 2022 bid make a presentation and also hear the bids respond to questions submitted by members to the moderators.  Attending members can submit questions to be asked of the bids via this form.

CoNZealand Business Meeting Plan

CoNZealand Business Meeting Presiding Officer Kent Bloom has explained how this year’s WSFS Business Meeting will be handled, one of the events that can’t be shifted online.

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, announces that the Business Meeting of the World Science Fiction Society will be held in the CBD of Wellington, NZ, at 10 am on Saturday, August 1st, 2020 (exact location to be announced when finalised). Darusha Wehm has agreed to be Acting Presiding Officer for the meeting.

Because of travel and meeting restrictions imposed by the Government of New Zealand due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many members of WSFS will be unable to be present in Wellington. We plan to have a very minimal meeting to satisfy the requirements of the World Science Fiction Society Constitution. We plan to take only actions which are time-constrained to the 2020 meeting, specifically extensions of eligibility for Hugo Awards under Section3.4.3 of the WSFS Constitution.

All business, including committee reports and financial statements, must be submitted to CoNZealand on or before July 2nd, 2020 and should be submitted to businessmeeting@conzealand.nz. We encourage members to submit business to the DisCon III business meeting (businessmeeting@discon3.org) instead of the CoNZealand meeting, as we plan to defer all business to 2021, when we hope more members of WSFS will be able to attend.

None of the sections of the WSFS Constitution requiring re-ratification fall due in 2020. They come up in 2021 or 2022 —

  • 2021: (3.3.18) Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book; (3.81) Tallying of Nominations [the provision for six finalists]; (3.8.3) provides that only the version of a series which received the most nominations can be a Best Series finalist
  • 2022: (3.9.4) provides after the initial Award ballot is generated, if any finalist(s) are removed for any reason, they will be replaced by other works in reverse order of elimination.

WSFS Division Head Colette Fozard said they intend to record the CoNZealand business meeting for later viewing.

2021 Worldcon Adds Artist GoH
John Harris

John Harris

DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), has announced John Harris will be their Artist Guest of Honor. The convention will be held August 25-29, 2021 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC, USA.

“It is a great pleasure to add John to our already exciting line-up of guests. His art has inspired thousands worldwide, decorated so many memorable covers, and is collected by some of our committee and staff. He has truly earned this honor,” said DisCon III co-chairs Colette Fozard and Bill Lawhorn.  

Harris was born in London, England in 1948 and studied at Exeter College of Art, graduating in 1970. Over the last 40 years and more, John has created book covers for many of the most iconic authors in science fiction such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, John Scalzi, and Orson Scott Card. His work is collected internationally, and a piece commissioned by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Aftermath, T+60 (1984), hangs in the Kennedy Space Center.

In 2015 he received the Chesley Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist in 2014. Three films about him can be seen online at www.alisoneldred.com. The latest book of his work, Beyond the Horizon, is currently in its second edition.

Harris joins the list of previously announced DisCon II guests: Author Guest of Honor Kress, Editor Guest of Honor Toni Weisskopf, Fan Guest of Honor Ben Yalow, and Special Guests Malka Older and Sheree Renée Thomas.

The Worldcon is a five-day event that has been held annually since 1939 (apart from a four-year break during the Second World War). DisCon III (www.discon3.org) is the 79th Worldcon, and the third to be held in Washington, DC. Previous DC-based Worldcons were held in 1963 (DisCon I) and 1974 (DisCon II). DisCon III will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park from August 25-29, 2021. DisCon III is sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc. (BWAWA, Inc.), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Maryland.

[Based on a press release.]