Afua Richardson Joins Featured Artists at Dublin 2019

Afua Richardson, known for her work on Genius and World of Wakanda, will be joining Jim Fitzpatrick and Maeve Clancy as one of the featured artists at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon.

Richardson has just created a variant cover for Shuri #2, the Wakanda-based series written by Nnedi Okorafor. Other stories she has drawn for include X-Men, Captain Marvel, Captain America, and the Mighty Avengers for Marvel Comics; Wonder Woman Warbringer and All-Star Batman for DC Comics; and Mad Max.

She worked with U.S. Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis to illustrate Run, a volume in his autobiographical comic series co-written with Andrew Aydin. Her first full-length graphic novel was the award-winning Genius series (Image Comics/Top Cow), which tells the story of an urban liberation movement led by a strategically gifted 17-year-old girl. She won the 2011 Nina Simone Award for Artistic Achievement for her trailblazing work in comics.

“We are obviously very excited that Afua Richardson will be part of Dublin 2019 and will be bringing her talent and experience to share with our members,” said convention chair James Bacon. “Her work will delight con-goers who have not seen it before and its themes complement the other two featured artists whom we have already announced.”

In 1968, featured artist Jim Fitzpatrick created the two-toned Che Guevara image copied on walls and T-shirts around the world. His other artwork includes intricate Celtic-inspired images, including The Book of Conquests, as well as portrait drawings of iconic Irish writers, and album covers for Thin Lizzy.

Featured artist Maeve Clancy is the author and illustrator of the financial crisis travelogue A Hibernian in Hellas (Cardboard Press) and the web comic Flatmates. She also creates large-scale works in cut paper, mural and other forms. She has produced commissioned artwork for Tall Ships Dublin and a puppet show set for the children´s theatre Branar Téatar do Pháistí. She worked with young Syrians in Monasterevin, County Kildare, on the exhibition The Moon Belongs to Everyone, shown in April at Riverbank Arts Centre.

Art tracks with featured artist talks and panels, the art show and the art auction have long been part of the programme for Worldcons. Dublin 2019 will be the 77th annual World Science Fiction Convention, the first to be held in Ireland and the eleventh in Europe.

Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon will take place in the Convention Centre Dublin from August 15 to August 19. More than 4300 people have already signed up as members, including more than 700 who are attending a Worldcon for the first time.

Other activities at the Dublin Worldcon will include the 2019 Hugo Awards, the world’s leading awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, as well as the spectacular Masquerade costume display. There are typically 650 to 800 separate programme items, including author readings and autograph sessions, films and videos, academic presentations, and panel discussions on speculative literature and other media, many involving fans and audience.

Guests of Honour for Dublin 2019 include YA author Diane Duane, and screenwriter and Hugo winner Ian McDonald, as well as game designer Steve Jackson (Melee, Chaos Machine, Munchkin) and editor Ginjer Buchanan. Science Guest of Honour will be Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered radio pulsars in 1967 as a postgraduate student. Bill and Mary Burns will be fan Guests of Honour.

Dublin 2019 featured artist websites:
https://www.afuarichardson.com/
https://www.jimfitzpatrick.com/
http://www.maeveclancy.com/

More information and membership registration for Dublin 2019 are available at Dublin 2019.

Dublin 2019 Adds Special Hugo Award Category: Best Art Book

Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, (“Worldcon”) taking place in Dublin Ireland in August 2019, announced today that a special Hugo category for “Best Art Book” will be included in the 2019 Hugo Awards, and the Retrospective Hugo Awards for 1944.

The Hugo Awards are the leading awards for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy, and have been presented at Worldcons since 1953. They are voted on by members of each year’s Worldcon.

Art books formerly featured strongly in the Best Related Work Hugo Award category, and its predecessors, Best Related Book and Best Non-Fiction Book, and also in the former Hugo category Best Original Artwork. Finalists and winners included collections of works by significant figures in genre art, and annual anthologies of notable and award-winning art works.

Although fewer art books have appeared on the Hugo ballot in recent years, many genre art books of various types are published annually, and they continue to generate intense interest from both reviewers and the wider fan community. The Hugo Category Study committee is also considering Best Art Book as a potential permanent category.

“The Hugo Awards encourage and appreciate the creation of great SF&F genre work, whether in prose, dramatized or visual form,” said Vincent Docherty, WSFS Division Head for the convention. “Dublin 2019 is pleased to honour the ongoing contributions made by artists to the field of science fiction and fantasy in what will be the 80th anniversary of the first Worldcon – whose sole Guest of Honor was artist Frank R. Paul.”

An eligible work for this special Hugo award is any art book in the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year, and which is not eligible in Best Graphic Story.

[From a press release.]

Dublin 2019 to host Irish Science Fiction Film Festival and Golden Blaster Awards

The National Irish Science Fiction Film Festival and Golden Blaster awards ceremony will take place in August as part of hDublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon.

More than 4300 people have already registered for Dublin 2019, enabling the presenters’ films to reach an unprecedented audience. The festival has taken place and the Golden Blaster awards have been given since 2009.

“This event brings greater recognition to filmmakers who create speculative fiction in the short film format,” said James Bacon, the chairman of Dublin 2019. “It’s an honor to be involved in this long-running film world gathering and to bring the works of Irish speculative filmmakers to one of the planet’s largest fan-run events.”

The NISFF provides a platform for science fiction, fantasy and horror from all over the world. The final closing date for films to be entered is June 30, 2019.

Award categories include the Golden Blasters for Best Picture and Best Screenplay and the Silver Blaster Audience Award. Recent previous award ceremonies have been held at Octocon, the Irish national science fiction convention.

Dublin 2019 will be held from August 15 to August 19 at the Convention Centre Dublin and other locations around the city (Worldcon Fringe). It will be the 77th World Science Fiction Convention and is aimed at both veteran fans and newcomers. At least 700 of those registered say they will be attending Worldcon for the first time.

Other activities at the Dublin Worldcon will include the 2019 Hugo Awards, the world’s leading awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, as well as the spectacular Masquerade costume display. There are typically 650 to 800 separate programme items, including author readings and autograph sessions, feature films and videos, academic presentations, and panel discussions on speculative literature and other media, many involving fans and audience.

Guests of Honour for Dublin 2019 include screenwriter and Hugo winner Ian McDonald, as well as YA author Diane Duane and game designer Steve Jackson (Melee, Chaos Machine, Munchkin) and editor Ginjer Buchanan. Science Guest of Honour will be Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered radio pulsars in 1967 as a postgraduate student. Bill and Mary Burns will be fan Guests of Honour.

[From a press release.]

Worldcon 76 Masquerade Results

By John Hertz: The 76th World Science Fiction Convention Masquerade was Saturday 18 Aug 18. I was one of the judges.

Decades ago the Masquerade, as its name suggests, was a dress-up party. By the 1960s it had evolved to its present form, an on-stage costume competition with lights, sound, and awards (not prizes – nothing of intrinsic value – just glory). Wonders appear.

At our conventions the Masquerade is a great event. At the Worldcon it outdraws everything but Hugo Night. The Hugos are our most substantial event, the Masquerade our most spectacular.

Like much else that we contrive somehow, it’s amazing we can do the Masquerade at all. There’s almost no rehearsal time; people are busy. This can be hard on the tech crew. People come from all over; how to bring costume pieces? Another incentive to do more with less.

Experience has given us guidelines.

An Original Masquerade entry might be from an SF story (but not an existing illustration), or myth, or wholly the entrants’ imagination. A Re-Creation, not meant to be original but faithful, might be from a book cover, a film, television, animé, a poster, video games; Re-Creation entries give the Masquerade Director documentation showing their source.

Novice, Journeyman, and Master classes let entrants compete at their own level – if they wish. If one has never won a major award (higher than Honorable Mention) at a comparable Masquerade, one may enter as a Novice; then until winning three major awards, as a Journeyman (the suffix -man isn’t masculine); thereafter one is expected to enter as a Master. Anyone may “challenge up”. Exceptions are made as needed by the Masquerade Director. The Worldcon 76 Masquerade called the most demanding class “Open” instead of “Master”.

The Judges sit in the theater, and see what the audience sees. Sometimes a Judge is posted at the back of the room to get that perspective.

Workmanship Judges look at an entry backstage before it goes on; workmanship judging is optional, and need not be for everything: “This space-ship, please, but not my bug-eyed-monster suit”, or “Only those green headdresses”. This allows recognition, if the entrants wish, of what may not be obvious to the audience.

Judges have and need a lot of latitude in giving and indeed naming awards. We’re always comparing apples to androids.

Usually we give Best in Show, sometimes also Best in Class, only to an entry that is particularly outstanding; no Best in Show might be given at all, or it might go to a Novice entry, or there might be both a Best in Show (Original) and a Best in Show (Re-Creation); an entry might be given, say, Best Workmanship in Class and nothing else. Such things happen now and then.

After all entries have gone on, the judges go off, to deliberate. Would you like it to be faster? We’d like that too. If there are three dozen entries, and we spend two minutes on each one, we’ve been out an hour.

Masquerade Director

  • Karisu Wen

Master of Ceremonies

  • Chris Garcia

Judges

  • Laura Kelly-Freas Beraha, John Hertz, Derwin Mak, Sandy & Pierre Pettinger

Workmanship Judges

  • Jill Eastlake, Leslie Johnston, Jonnalyhn Wolfcat Prill, Kathy Bushman Sanders, Karen Schnaubelt

Novice

Honorable Mention, also Workmanship Honorable Mention for Proton Pack Perfection: “Raymond J. Stanz, Apparition Eliminator”, Zach Miles (this had been in the Midamericon II Masquerade (74th Worldcon), but won only a Workmanship Award; it was allowed to enter again)

Honorable Mention, also Workmanship Honorable Mention for Electronics: “Caelyn of Falconpeak in the Final Battle”, Melisa Kaye

“Kitty’s Meow” Workmanship Award for Attention to Detail: “Gandalf the Pink”, Gene Barrett

Workmanship Award for Use of Playing Cards: “Alice in Wonderland”, Kate Martin, Shelli Frew

Best Transformation, also Workmanship Award for Terrific Tentacles: “Vanessa”, Diego Gomez

Best Re-Creation: “The Plague Doctor”, Ben Reid

Best Presentation, also Workmanship Award for Excellence in Creature Construction: “Locusta, Displacer-Beast Thief”, Amanda Potter

(c) Olav Rokne and Amanda Wakaruk

Best in Class, also Best Workmanship in Class: “Knight Radiant”, Sky Corbelli

(c) Olav Rokne and Amanda Wakaruk

Journeyman

Workmanship Honorable Mention, “1870s Ursula the Sea Witch Mash-Up”, May Fendell

Best Television, also Workmanship Award for Best Attention to Detail: “Storm Mine Survivor”, Johanna Mead

Most Beautiful, also Best Workmanship in Class: “Silver Birch Dryad”, Megan Daggett

Most Dramatic, “Lady Mothra”, Denise Tanaka

Best Re-Creation, also Workmanship Award for Best Re-Creation: “The Three Fates”, Sharon Bass, Barbara Galler-Smith, Ita Vandenbroek

Best in Class, also Workmanship Award for Best Sculpting: “Alien Queen”, Karen Fox

Open

Honorable Mention: “Star Wars Rebel X-Wing Pilot”, Sheryl R. Hayes

Best Television: “Demogorgon”, Janis Wright (worn by Paul Prange)

Best Mask, also Workmanship Judges’ Choice for Silicon Mask Work: “A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy”, John Coxon, Mette Hedin, Bryan Little, España Sheriff

(c) Olav Rokne and Amanda Wakaruk

Most Comical, also Workmanship Honorable Mention for Traditional Maskmaking (Codmother mask): “Lost in Translation”, Orchid Cavett, Theresa Halbert, Cate R. Siguenza, Janine & John Wardale

Most Evocative, also Workmanship Judges’ Choice for Excellence in Traditional Needle Arts: “The Queen of Halloween”, Jerry Corrigan, Bonnie Jones, Sam Paris, Jennifer Skwarski

Best Re-Creation, also Workmanship Judges’ Choice for Silicon Mask Work: “A Scene with Rocket and Baby Groot”, Vicki Glover, Lynn Kingsley, Greg Sardo, Julie Zetterberg

Best in Class, also Best Workmanship in Class: “Mummy for Nothing”, Phil Burgess, Lance Ikegawa, Kim Kwon

(c) Olav Rokne and Amanda Wakaruk

Best in Show

“Citizens of the Emerald City” (Open; also Best Workmanship in Show): Cheryl, Don, Drake, Logan, Marina, and Reef Serr

(c) Olav Rokne and Amanda Wakaruk


Note, the newsletter report (The Tower, Issue M) is incomplete and has some errors.

The photos above come from the Worldcon 76 photography galleries. (Credits not listed at the site, but File 770 will add them if provided.)

Taking Inventory of Future Worldcon Bids

Next year fans will choose the site of the 2021 con, for which Washington, DC is currently running unopposed. Beyond that?

This list matches the list of bids on the Worldcon.org page.

2021

DC in 2021

Proposed Site: Washington, DC
Proposed Dates: August 25-29, 2021
Bid Chairs: Bill Lawhorn and Colette H. Fozard
Website: DC in 2021
Facebook: DC in 2021
Twitter: DC in 2021
Code of Conduct: DC in 2021 Code of Conduct
Worldcon 76 questionnaire: DC in 2021 questionnaire for Worldcon 76

2022

Chicago in 2022

Proposed Site: Chicago, IL
Proposed Dates: Mid-August – Labor Day Weekend, depending on venue availability.
Bid Chairs: Helen Montgomery and Dave McCarty.
Website: Chicago in 2022 Worldcon Bid
Facebook: Chicago Worldcon
Worldcon 76 questionnaire: Chicago in 2022 questionnaire for Worldcon 76

2023

Chengdu in 2023
Proposed Site: Chengdu, China
Twitter: Chengduworldcon

The bid was announced at Worldcon 76. See the File 770 post “China Bids for 2023 Worldcon”

France in 2023

Proposed Site: Nice, in the south of France
Proposed Dates: August 2-6, 2023
Bid Leadership: (From a Smofcon questionnaire)

At the moment, our team is led by a group of seven individuals who have been active in the French fandom for several decades. Some are editors, writers, translators, many with past or current experience running local conventions and festivals.  These seven persons are: Alex S. Garcia, Alain Jardy, Sybille Marchetto, Arnaud Koëbel, Albert Aribaud, Thomas Menanteau and Patrick Moreau.

Website: Nice in 2023
Twitter: Worldcon in France
Facebook: Worldcon in France (English)
Worldcon 76 questionnaire: Nice in 2023 questionnaire for Worldcon 76

New Orleans in 2023

Proposed Site: New Orleans, LA
Proposed Dates: August 23-27, 2023
Facebook: New Orleans Worldcon Bid Year 2023
Worldcon 76 questionnaire: New Orleans in 2023 questionnaire for Worldcon 76

2024

UK in 2024

Proposed Sites: Two cities are being considered — Glasgow, Scotland; London, England.
Proposed Dates: August 2024
Bid Leadership: Esther MacCallum-Stewart and Vanessa May
Website: UK in 2024
Facebook: UK in 2024
Worldcon 76 questionnaire: UK in 2024 questionnaire for Worldcon 76

2025

Seattle in 2025

Proposed Site: Seattle, WA
Proposed Date: Mid-August 2025
Bid chair: Kathy Bond
Worldcon 76 questionnaire: Seattle in 2025 questionnaire for Worldcon 76

Perth in 2025

Twitter: Perth in 2025
Dates: August 2025
Committee: Jack Bridges, Dave Cake, P R Khangure, Sarah Parker (per questionnaire for Worldcon 75)
Worldcon 76 questionnaire: Perth in 2025 questionnaire for Worldcon 76

DISCUSSION POINTS. There is a drumbeat of opinion in favor of denying the U.S. all future Worldcons, energized by each new instance of an sff fan or writer being put through the wringer by TSA, or denied entry upon arrival in US due to visa rules enforcement. Here are several examples of what has appeared in social media. Apart from Adam Roberts, the rest live in the U.S.

Then, in a comment on File 770, Olav Rokne opened a discussion about whether the choice of Worldcon sites should be influenced by a nation’s human rights record —

One might base it on a simple “Does the World Freedom Index list the country as Free?” or “Does it rank highly on Amnesty International’s list“?

Update 09/30/18: Picked up some data from questionnaires submitted to Worldcon 76.

Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask: A Column of Unsolicited Opinions #35

Mission Worldcon 76 – Fallout!

By Chris M. Barkley: First of all, I apologize for the lateness of this report. In all honesty, I didn’t think I’d be writing up a Worldcon roundup at all this year. I did not keep a set of notes of our activities so everything had to be recreated through photos that were taken and the best recollections of myself and my partner, Juli.

There were also some behind-the-scenes intrigue that I am unable to share for personal reasons and frankly, I had a hard time thinking about what to include or not in this report.

On the whole, we had a good time. I was blessed to have witnessed literary history being made in person, as it happened. And weeks later, as I wrote this report, I find that the overwhelming sense of malaise and failure I was feeling before the convention somewhat muted in the wake of what happened at Worldcon 76.

Thursday, 16 August

My partner Juli and I arrived in San Jose on Wednesday out of necessity; the flight from Cincinnati was routed through Salt Lake City and with the layover of several hours and flight time, we got there in the early afternoon Pacific Time but three hours later in body time. We tried sleeping on the plane on the way out to mitigate the jet lag and it seemed to have worked, at least for a little while. Unwisely (I think), I kept my watch on Eastern Daylight Time throughout our stay just to gauge how I think felt against the actual time back home. More often than not I ended up confusing myself so I made a promise to myself to never do that again. A good night’s sleep followed.

I barely remember the San Jose that hosted the Worldcon sixteen years ago, save for the light rail system running just outside the convention center and a few restaurants. One thing that I did notice right away is that there were fences running along the rail lines to keep errant pedestrians (like myself) from jaywalking across them (as I did all too frequently the last time I was here).

Since Juli and I had already picked up our memberships, we thought it would be cool to just hang out in the convention center lobby and see who came wandering by. Among the first people we saw was our good friend Robert J. Sawyer who posed for a picture with me. Over the past year, we both discovered much to our chagrin, that Facebook’s face recognition algorithms cannot tell the difference between Rob and me. The photo Juli took of us, hilariously, was no exception.

The Dealer’s Room opened at noon. Wandering through we spotted David Gerrold hawking books and tribbles. Juli and I jointly presented him with a of a pair socks, a joke tradition that began back when we saw him at Sasquan in 2015. This year, the socks we presented him with were emblazoned with the snarky saying “Adult In Training” which he seemed to like. We also purchased his vampire novel, Jacob and a tiger-striped tribble one for our granddaughter, Lily.

Steve Davidson, editor and publisher of the newly revived Amazing Stories, was receiving a respectable amount of traffic at his booth. I commended Steve for handing out a superb issue for free to attendees.

As the day progressed, I was approached by a number of friends and acquaintances who expressed their condolences and disappointment over the naming (or, rather, the non-naming) of the Young Adult Book Award. I thanked them all and said that I was happy that Worldcon was finally recognizing the works of young adult authors.

I had my first panel in the afternoon; “My First Worldcon” which also featured Cindy Lin (who did not appear), John Hertz (who was running late), and Edwin S. “Filthy Pierre” Strauss. Most of the audience, numbering about twenty people, had never been to a Worldcon before and for a few, THIS was their first convention. To those few I jokingly said, “Well, luckily for you, it’s all downhill from here,” which drew a hearty laugh.

But from that point on, Pierre and I gave out some basic explanations of the origins of Worldcon, what to expect and how to survive the next four-and-a-half days with their wits intact. Twenty minutes in, John Hertz, elegantly dressed as always even in the daytime, waltzed in and brought the proceedings a great deal more gravitas and more practical advice (hygiene, hydration and happiness basically) than Pierre and I had combined. I hope the audience left a little more informed about what Worldcon was all about and had a good time.

From there it was off to Opening Ceremonies, where we were greeted and regaled by a dozen or so members of the local Native American Muwekma Ohlone tribe, who shared several songs with us. Artist Guest of Honor and Hugo Toastmaster John Picacio introduced his fellow artists of the Mexicanx Initiative who were attending the Worldcon at his behest. By all accounts, they had a great time.

One unusual thing; the First Fandom Award and the Big Heart Award were given out and I don’t recall them ever being presented separately and this early in the convention. I surmised (correctly, as it turned out) that John Picacio was planning to run the Hugo Awards VERY quickly. Erle M. Korshak, one of the last living members of the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939 (Robert Madle being the other) presented Robert Silverberg with the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award. The late June and Len Moffatt were inducted into the Hall posthumously. My Editor, Mike Glyer, was announced as the surprise recipient of the Big Heart.

Surprisingly, Mike was not present to accept so I promptly texted him: “Dude, YOU just won the Big Heart Award… CONGRATULATIONS!”

His reply, several hours later was:  “Thanks Chris. If only someone had hinted, ‘Mike you shouldn’t miss Opening Ceremonies!’”

As I was checking my Facebook feed at dinner, I saw that Worldcon 76 had an uninvited guest earlier in the afternoon; Jon Del Arroz. His hostile and provocative statements towards Worldcon 76 and previously recorded intentions of disrupting the convention got him banned from attending. Streaming live and commenting as he walked, he filmed himself entering the convention center and tried to register. He was quickly spotted and asked, very politely by Worldcon security, to leave the building.
As Del Arroz was being led out, he repeatedly asked why he was being ousted, knowing full well why he was getting the boot. I only wished I had been there to witness his inglorious exit because as he passed by, I would have piped up and shouted, “You want to know why, Jon? Because you’re a JERK, that’s why!”

Juli and I dined out at a restaurant amusingly called Vietnom, which was situated in an amalgamation of other eateries called SoFA Market. The food was incredibly good and generously portioned. We also heartily recommended Tac-OH, a nice, casual Mexican place with a nice ambiance to our friends and anyone else who would listen to us.

Later in the evening, We did run into Pablo Miguel Alberto Vasquez, with whom we shared several overpriced drinks with at the Marriott bar before retiring.

As my head touched the pillow I remembered that a group of folks from File 770 were going to convene at a bar but completely forgot about it. I made a mental note to try and make the second meet up, which was going to be at another venue on Friday.

Friday, 17 August

The first full session of the Business Meeting was scheduled in the morning. And while I had no doubts about the outcome, I always go in with butterflies in my stomach. To feed those butterflies, Juli and I consulted the Restaurant Guide.

“Hey hon,” said Juli, “what about Peggy Sue’s?”

Something stirred in my memory. “Where is that on the map?”

“About two blocks away.”

Sixteen years ago at ConJose, I usually started my day at an amazing little diner that served amazing food with generous portions. We walked over several streets and easily found Peggy Sue’s on San Pedro Street; a quaint little diner with the sensibility and décor that was straight out of the 50’s and 60’s. The food, eggs, burgers burritos and shakes were the best I have ever tasted. We happily ate there on a regular basis during the rest of our stay.

Frankly, I dreaded going to the Business Meeting. I had no doubt that some there were feeling a certain measure of schadenfreude towards me in the wake of the withdrawal of the proposition to add Ursula K. Le Guin’s name from the Young Adult Book Award. And I did note that several regular attendees went out of their way not greet me or ignore my friendly overtures to make small talk.

There were a few old friends who did come up and either commiserate with my frustration or added the condolences over the situation.

Regular readers of File 770 know that I had been a longtime advocate of making this new award a Hugo Award category. But, after several years and series of study committees (the last of which I did not participate in due to family issues), it was decided that it would be better to have YA novels compete separately from other award categories. But I needn’t have worried about the Friday session; it finished in what seemed to be a record time of an hour and ten minutes without too much parliamentary rancor or shenanigans. Usually these sessions take up the full three hours of allotted time each day.

What would I have said? I would have read the following excerpts from her 1973 National Book Award acceptance speech for her children’s novel, The Farthest Shore, which can be found in her 1979 collection of essays, The Language of the Night:

“I am very pleased, very proud and very startled to accept the National Book Award in children’s literature for my novel The Farthest Shore

“And I also rejoice in the privilege of sharing this honor, if I may, with my fellow writers, not only in the field of children’s books, but in that even less respectable field, science fiction. For I am not only a fantasist, but a science fiction writer, and odd though it may seem, I am proud to be both.

“We who hobnob with hobbits and tell tall tales about little green men are quite used to being dismissed as mere entertainers, or sternly disapproved of as escapists. But I think that perhaps the categories are changing, like the times. Sophisticated readers are accepting the fact that an improbable and unmanageable world is going to produce an improbable and hypothetical art.

“At this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence. A scientist who creates a monster in the laboratory; a librarian in the library of Babel; a wizard unable to cast a spell; a spaceship having trouble reaching Alpha Centauri: all of these may be precise and profound metaphors of the human condition. Fantasists, whether they use the ancient archetypes of myth and legend or the younger ones of science and technology, may be talking as seriously as any sociologist – and a good deal more directly – about human life as it is lived, and as it might be lived, and as it ought to be lived. For after all, as great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.”

Yes, even forty-five years ago, Ursula Le Guin UNDERSTOOD the power, grace and majesty of fantasy and science fiction in modern literature even if her mainstream contemporaries and literary critics refused to, then OR now.

But now, the best moment to permanently honor her, in this fashion, has passed. And so it goes.

After the Business Meeting, Juli and I made a beeline to the Dealers Room to decompress. One of our stops was at John Picacio’s table, where we marveled at his series of images inspired by his love of Loterria, a Mexican version of bingo.

We particularly liked El Arbo, La Valiente and La Luna, which we happily purchased on the spot. His image of La Calavera (The Skull) graced the cover of the Worldcon 76 Souvenir Book and the attendee’s badges.

Later that afternoon, Juli and I had the pleasure of playing Loteria (a delightful form of Mexican Bingo) with John and an enthusiastic crowd of several dozen people. We played with cards covered with mystic images, animals and symbols using uncooked beans as cover tokens. John was having a terrific time as our host, giving out prints, posters and cards of his work as prizes. Juli and I came within a space or two of winning but as frustrating as it was, we were having lots of fun and so was the everyone else.

We saw Robert Silverberg wandering in the Dealer’s Room and he said he was looking forward to Harlan’s memorial panel. He then cocked one of his bushy eyebrows at me and asked, “And what are YOU going to share about Harlan tomorrow?”

‘Oh, you’ll see, “ I said with the utmost confidence and a grin. HA! Yeah, I had NO IDEA what I was going to say right then. Then again, it’s never wise to let Robert Silverberg see you sweat.

For dinner, we joined Rick Moen and two full tables of File 770 fans and writers at Back A Yard Caribbean Grill, an excellent hangout with very good Jamaican fare. The Boss was not present but Juli and I were in excellent company.

We also made the rounds of the parties in the Fairmont Hotel. While we had a good time, we were still feeling a little jet lagged from the trip west so retired shortly before midnight.

Saturday August 18

I woke up and lay in bed with a mild case of apprehension.

The “Harlan Ellison Memorial” panel was scheduled at 4 p.m. and I had no idea of what I was going to say yet. I had left the notes I had made when I wrote my remembrance of him for my File 770 column at home.

Former Worldcon chair (and friend) Tom Whitmore was the moderator along with authors David Gerrold, Robert Silverberg, lawyer and photographer Christine Valada and Harlan’s biographer, Nat Segaloff.

And me.

I was a last-minute stand in for another close friend of Harlan’s, Adam-Troy Castro, who was unable to attend. I was pretty damn sure Adam had hundreds of Harlan stories and anecdotes that he could readily remember at a moment’s notice. What did I have?

Of all the people on the panel, Tom and I were the only fans. Realizing that, I knew exactly what I was going to say…

Saturday session came and went as quickly as the previous session. After the YA Award amendment had passed there was a pause in the meeting to provide some maintenance for the video equipment. A friend asked what i thought the YA Award should look like. “It should be a statue of Ursula Le Guin,” I said without the slightest hesitation and a small chuckle. No one knew what the award was going to look like but it was rumored that it was highly likely an engraved plaque would be presented. But I also heard from another well placed source before the convention that there was a surprise in the offing, too.

When Juli and I left the meeting, we determined that there was probably no reason to attend the Sunday session; a proposed amendment regarding the revision of the definitions of the Best Fan and Professional Artist categories had been pushed back to tomorrow’s agenda due to a meeting of the Association of Fantasy and Science Fiction Artists happening later today. ASFA members had read the proposals and wanted to debate their merits beforehand. Since neither I, nor Juli, had an opinion either way about the issue, we decided to skip it. In retrospect, I’ll wish we hadn’t.

After the Business Meeting, we decided to go on another buying expedition back at the Dealer’s room. It was there that Juli and I encountered our good friend Marcia Kelly Illingworth, who beckoned us to her table.

Marcia showed us a vast array of fannish keepsakes, artifacts and jewelry for sale, all the property of Samanda Jeude, the founder of Electrical Eggs. A survivor of a condition known as post-polio syndrome, she started Electrical Eggs in the 1980’s, first to assist physically challenged fans attend Worldcons, and then expanding to local and regional cons as well.

But an object along the back of the table immediately caught my eye, A Hugo Award mounted on a piece of glazed Georgia marble, I picked up and upon reading the engraved plaque, recognized it right away, Judy-Lynn Del Rey’s infamous posthumous Best Editor award from the 1986 Hugo Ceremony. Why do I say “infamous”? Well, Del Rey, a master book editor from all accounts, was so good at handling Ballantine Books fantasy and sf books, she was promoted to editor-in-chief and given their own imprint by Ballantine Books, with the assistance of her husband, Lester, who handled the fantasy line. Judy-Lynn Del Rey suffered a brain hemorrhage in October of 1985 and subsequently died in February of 1986. Fans who knew of her and her work were quick to nominate her in the Best Professional Editor category, which had been dominated by magazine editors since it’s modern incarnation in 1973.

I was in attendance at Confederation when this award was given. Sitting in the audience, and knowing what a curmudgeon Lester Del Rey could be, I had a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach as a representative approached the podium. He (whose name is lost to me and history), read a bitter and forceful statement from Lester Del Rey which more or less said that he was rejecting this award because she was dead and this was just a sympathetic gesture that he want no part of whatsoever. The audience sat there, stunned. The representative left the stage empty-handed. The Hugo Award was taken away, its fate unknown to everyone there.

I felt awed as I held it in my hands. Samanda Jeude and her late husband, Don Cook, members of the Confederation convention committee, were given custody of the Hugo for safekeeping. Marcia explained that Samanda was now in an assisted living facility but needed money to help pay her bills. She also said, emphatically, that this particular Hugo award was NOT for sale; but said that there were competing fund drives being held at Worldcon 76 to determine its fate. We could contribute to one fund to put it up for sale to the highest bidder or the other to make sure it stayed out of the hands of a collector. I pulled out a $20 bill and voted for the latter fund. It belongs in a museum as a noted fictional archeologist one stated. (At the end of the convention, Marcia Kelly Illingworth posted on Facebook that the fans had spoken and the Hugo will be eventually donated to an institution for posterity.)

I also spotted an Incident Response Team desk in a prominent spot in the fan activities area with two staff members at the ready. It was nice to know they were there and on duty.

At around 1 p.m., I decided to take a look outside the north entrance of the convention center. Jon Del Arroz, in his infinite wisdom, had called on like-minded right-wing fans to come and protest hedonism, liberal bias and “pedophilia” of the attendees several weeks earlier. (Which makes his effort to try and register on Thursday appeared to be a rather lame attempt to rile up his supporters.) The call also attracted the attention of Trump supporters and white supremacists, who promised to show up in force. That, in turn, inflamed local antifa members, who promised to be there to counter-protest.

Well, I went to the main entrance, which the committee had forewarned us not to use during the time period of the protest, from noon until four pm. As I descended the stairs, I saw a rather pudgy man trying to enter the front door which was blocked by a police officer and a staff person. I surmised that he was being denied entry because of the sign he was carrying, which said in huge, capitalized block letters: “DEL ARROZ DID NOTHING WRONG.” Oh well, no one said his supporters were smart. I do wish I had taken a picture of that scene, though.

Peering out onto the plaza, I did not see much of anything going on. In fact, it looked as though there were more police officers on the scene than protestors. The official estimate was a total of forty people showed up, evenly divided for each side. The local news coverage bore this out.

The charge of pedophilia against Walter Breen, and by association his wife Marion Zimmer Bradley, are quite real and happened decades ago. Bringing Samuel R. Delany into the discussion is just pure slander. The only thing he might be guilty of is writing “transgressive literature” which some critics and readers must have mistaken for pedophile porn.

I did notice that there were about a dozen people in pink shirts emblazoned with “ I’m Here To Help” acting as escorts for people coming to or leaving the convention. It was a lovely gesture which I am sure people appreciated.

Fifteen minutes before the Ellison panel, I made my way to the Green Room for a drink. As I passed through the lobby, I saw my boss, Mike Glyer, seated at a table with his back to me, holding court with a group of friends. If I hadn’t been en route to my panel, I would have stopped and said hello. In light of what happened the next morning, I really feel badly about that.

As I walked into the Green Room I bumped into my fellow panelist Nat Segaloff, whom I recognized by his Facebook profile picture. And he was there for the same reason I was. After grabbing our beverages of choice, we made our way to Room 210G…

Panelists: Tom Whitmore, Bob Silverberg, Chris Barkley, David Gerrold, Christine Valada, and Nat Segaloff.

And here I must fault the Programming Division on their choice of venue( although it is difficult to predict a panels popularity), which was significantly too small to accommodate the crowd, standing room only; and the time allotted, which was at the very least thirty or forty-five minutes too short. Luckily, Juli got a seat in the back as Nat and I arrived. All of the other panelists were already there except for our moderator Tom Whitmore. I took the third seat from the left, Robert Silverberg on my right, then David Gerrold, Christine Valada and Nat at the very end of the table. I gave David a hug as he sat but he then leaped up and said, “I forgot my recording mikes. Don’t start without me!”, and he ran from the room.

While David was gone, I took the opportunity to show Christine two items I have on my everyday keychain that I keep in remembrance of her late husband, Len Wein; a very small Batman symbol and a metal tag from the Wolverine work shoes. Len did me a big favor by being a guest on my public access sf radio show back in 1983 (as a counterpoint to another interview guest, Marvel’s editor-in-chief Jim Shooter). I think I may have shown them to Len at a Worldcon years earlier and he got a good laugh out of it. Christine hadn’t seen them and was very appreciative of the gesture.

David came running in with his microphones just as Tom had seated himself at the table. As soon as David had situated himself, Tom opened the proceedings.

So, as the fan representative on the panel, I reached back into my childhood memories and said that I knew of Harlan’s work on television even before I had the pleasure of knowing him. I eschewed more sophisticated stuff like Burke’s Law and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for more works of primal fear like The Outer Limits. I noted my reactions to “Soldier” and “Demon With a Glass Hand” but I also could have included “The Price of Doom” a first-season episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea which was disowned by Harlan under his pseudonym “Cord Wainer Bird” (for the VERY first time, by the way), a nightmare story about a strain of mutant plankton taking over the Seaview.

While I was feeling at ease, I was very worried about David, who was opening shedding tears next to me. But when his turn came to speak, he pulled it together and told memorable stories of how they met, how Harlan inspired him as a writer and most poignantly, helped saved his life by listening and reassuring him during a particularly dark period in his life.

As you can tell from the audio recording there were many stories and anecdotes about Harlan, many of them much better than my own, in my estimation. I wished we had more time to take questions and hear memories from the standing room only crowd but it was not to be. When Robert Silverberg capped things with his eloquent quip, we all rose to a big round of applause. I gave David a hug and a kiss. Mr. Silverberg signed my copy of the special 1977 Harlan Ellison issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction I had brought with me and featured a short biographical memory written by him.

After the panel we discovered that Jon Del Arroz had not even bothered to show up at his own protest. In a video on Twitter shot on a boat at sea (not his own, it appeared) he explained that the air quality in downtown San Jose was unsuitable for his young son (WHAT? He was planning to bring his own SON into a potentially dangerous situation?) and begged off attending. Well, isn’t it nice to know that if ANYTHING had gone screwy, America’s Leading Conservative Hispanic author would have been safely out of harm’s way to protest (and annoy us) some other day.

We dined at Tac-Oh, a very nice restaurant located just around the corner from the convention center. While the ambiance and food was great, we and a dozen other patrons were put off because there was only one waiter on duty taking everyone’s orders.

When we inquired why, the waiter told us that the management was NEVER informed about a convention being in town this weekend. Since the wait schedule was made out in advance, once the management found out about Worldcon 76 they found that their most of their staff was unavailable.

Now, this was not the first time that we had heard this during our stay. I don’t know who might be at fault here but somebody, at the visitors and convention bureau or the convention committee or some third-party in between really dropped the ball on this issue. And its little irritants like this that can really stick in the minds of attending fans. Future convention committees and bids should make a bullet point note of this.

Chris Garcia

From there we traveled back to the convention center for the Masquerade, hosted by Christopher Garcia. While the presentation was plagued by what seemed to be an endless series of technical faux pas and delays, Chris gamely plowed forward as the master of ceremonies, improvising with self-deprecating humor and scattershot jokes all during the show.

Shortly after the Masquerade started there was a surprising presentation; the Seiun Awards, which had a longstanding relationship with the Hugo Awards Ceremony, began without any prior announcement from the convention. (I checked the Pocket Program Book later and there was no notice there either.)

As egregious as Programming’s mishandling of the Ellison Memorial panel was, I felt that this was far worse. The Seiun is a highly respected award and had been, to the best of my knowledge, a part of the Hugo Awards Ceremony for a considerable period of time. While I recognize that the Hugo Ceremony has been getting longer in recent years, the relegation of the Seiun Awards to the beginning of the Masquerade seemed either haphazard or, even worse, a slight to those were presenting their awards. If the length of the Hugo ceremony was the problem, then the Seiuns should have been presented at the Opening Ceremonies or in their own hour-long panel and ceremony. I don’t know how everyone else felt about this but It felt awkward that Worldcon 76 had literally put the Seiuns in a corner instead of a deserving and proper setting.

The costuming presentations resumed and when they were over, we did not hangout for the halftime entertainment or the judges’ decisions. Instead, we headed back over to the Fairmount for another round of noisy and exuberant room parties before retiring back to our room for a good night’s sleep.

Sunday, 19 August

The morning was spent in the company of Juli’s sister Gail, her husband Mauro and their kids Sonia and her younger brother, Dario. We met at Peggy Sue’s and feasted on a mountain of omelets, breakfast sandwiches and pancakes. Juli and I regaled them with our convention adventures and name-dropping the famous writers and creators that we met that week. We heard from both parents that later that morning, Dario and Sonia vehemently argued over which of us was cooler. Heh!

Meanwhile, as the Business Meeting was concluding its Sunday session, there was a motion from the floor to ask the Officers of BM to send a note of condolences to the family of Ursula Le Guin for the upsetting circumstances behind the naming of the Young Adult Award. I found out about the proposed apology and the vote on the matter after the fact several hours later after Juli read a condensed version off of a report on a blog by a mutual friend, Alex Von Thorn. When I read it, I was furious.

I had spent a great deal of time and political effort in creating the YA Award and attaching Ms. Le Guin’s name to it. And now the very people who opposed her name wanted to apologize?

What the actual HELL?

And then we heard from friends in the Dealer’s Room that Mike Glyer had been overcome with some serious ailment earlier in the morning and been taken to a hospital nearby. I immediately texted Mike on my phone through Facebook wishing him well and  offered to be a designated acceptor in case he won the Hugo. (I needn’t have worried; he called in Jo Van Ekeren to accept in his stead.)

Since there was nothing to be done about it at the moment, Juli and I split up to attend two separate program items. She went to Celebrating the New Award Category (a panel I avoided for obvious reasons) which featured Anna Blumstein, Sam J. Miller, Sarah Rees Brennan and Ursula Vernon. I attended Black Panther, Luke Cage and the #Ownvoices Creators with Steven Barnes, Sumiko Saulson, Leslie Light and T.L. Alexandra Volk. Juli found her panel a fine opportunity for YA authors to speak to other YA enthusiasts (it was well attended) and was mainly focused on its popularity and where it might be going next. My panel was just fantastic; all of the participants were engaging, excited, serious and funny. About twenty percent of the audience was made up of people of color but everyone in attendance was listening raptly to the conversation about race, sexism, appropriation and the current political and socio-economic conditions in art and fandom today.

After a delicious early dinner at La Victoria Tacqueria, we returned to our hotel to dress up for the Hugos. Juli donned a lovely black satin dress with a white bow in the back. I wore a blue suit with a black shirt, orange tie and and florid blue, white and orange FC Cincinnati scarf around my neck.

When I describe the 2018 Hugo Ceremony as a whirlwind affair, it is not an exaggeration. Clocking in at a little over two hours, it is handily one of the fastest on record. Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio had pledged as much when he was named as the Master of Ceremonies. And, as promised, he delivered the goods. (And displacing the other non-Hugo Awards helped as well.)

John Picacio

As each award was announced, I took multiple screenshots of the video boards showing the nominees and the winners on my phone and posted them immediately to my Facebook page. Several people later reported that they appreciated finding out the winners in real-time.

I was very happy that the boss, Mike Glyer, won the Hugo for Best Fanzine. And as Ms. Van Ekeren accepted for him, it was incredibly classy of him to remove File 770 from future consideration. Mike, as it was later reported, was laid up with an irregular heartbeat that would require the insertion of a pacemaker, so the Hugo was a pick-me-up. Also, Mike had Ms. Van Ekeren mention me by name in his speech, which had me a little chuffed as well.
The Best Related Work was won by Le Guin’s collection of essays, No Time To Spare: Thinking About What Matters. I kept thinking how tremendous it would have been to have her name on future issuances of the YA Award and winning her final Hugo in the same evening.

I was quite sure Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form Hugo was going to go to the Black Mirror episode “USS Callister”, a wicked send-up of Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and gaming fandom. Instead, it went to one of the The Good Place’s best episodes, “The Trolley Problem”. I was similarly surprised by Wonder Woman’s win in the Long Form category; the list of nominees was one of the best in recent memory, especially with Academy Award winners Get Out and The Shape of Water in the mix. Get Out ended up finishing a distant second and The Shape of Water (which won the Oscar for Best Picture) was fifth.

Rebecca Roanhorse was also a double winner; she was the winner of John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer AND in the Best Short Story category for “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM”, a tale that penetrates and shatters perceptions of cultural appropriation.

I was delighted that Suzanne Palmer’s “The Secret Life of Bots”, a comic story of interstellar war taken from a maintenance bot’s point of view, won Best Novelette. It was my first choice that category and would make a great film for Pixar. Hint, hint.

As much as I admired Sarah Gailey’s alternate history adventure, “River of Teeth”, Martha Wells novella “All Systems Red” (which also won the Nebula Award) was my first choice here as well. I would not be surprised if HBO or some streaming service comes knocking on her door for “Murderbot” stories, sometime soon.

Felicia Day’s appearance as the presenter of the YA Book Award took everyone by surprise. And I could not be any happier that Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Warrior was named the initial recipient of the Best Young Adult Book.

Betsy Wollheim

In fact, she actually received two awards; a plaque from the convention AND a trophy commissioned by Toastmaster John Picacio and designed and built by Sara Felix. If you were wondering how she accomplished this feat, here’s a link:

I hope that Ms. Okorafor’s book will be the first of many inspiring books that will win this special award in the years to come.

The Best Novel winner, N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky was the odds-on winner since it was first published last year and I was not surprised that she prevailed. Juli, myself and the entire audience rose to its feet to applaud the first writer in history to win three consecutive Hugo Awards in the Novel category.

And the speech she gave was fearless, ecstatic, wonderful and electrifying:

And it was over. I wandered close enough to the stage to take a few photos, congratulate John Picacio for his hosting skills and, for a few brief moments, hold Mike Glyer’s Best Fanzine Hugo.

Not having an invite to George R.R. Martin’s Hugo Loser’s Party, we made our way to the Marriott’s overpriced bar to toast the winners. We met up with a friend and fellow Cincinnati Fantasy Group member, Joel Zakem and we properly indulged with hard cider and beer. New England fan Crystal Huff and her friends also wandered in and ended up seated next to us and we engaged in some fannish gossip for a while.

When we discovered that Joel’s flight was leaving at the very same time as ours, 1:10 pm, we made plans to share an Uber to the airport.

Monday, August 20

We arose before 8 a.m. and hit the ground running. I went to a nearby post office and brought back several priority mail boxes to ship back the books we purchased and had gotten signed. It was well worth the effort because we had JUST made it a pound and a half under the weight limit for our single, huge suitcase.

On the way back to the hotel, I passed by the windows of the Westin Hotel’s restaurant and stopped to make funny faces at several diners; con-runners Jim and Laurie Mann, John Lorentz and his partner Kathy, author Jo Walton and her breakfast companion and two Pittsburgh area friends, Bob and Carla Dundes.

We met Joel on the curb outside the Westin at around 11 a.m. and before long the Uber driver was taking us to the airport. I longed to make one more trip to the Dealers Room, say goodbye to friend and attend the Closing Ceremonies. But unfortunately, our early flight and the long layover in Salt Lake City would get us into the Greater Cincinnati Airport around midnight. Poor Joel had a longer haul; his flight was routed through Atlanta and he would be getting back to Louisville, Kentucky at an even more ungodly hour than us.

We were not the only ones making an early getaway; as we made our way through our terminal, we spied authors Nancy Kress (sporting a stylish black cast on her right foot from a mishap) and Jack Skillingstead waiting near a Starbucks for their flight.

Out two flights home were long and uneventful. Luckily, the last leg was a half an hour early and we were safely snug in our beds and surrounded by grumpy cats by 12:30 am. Jet lag be damned, we were asleep in ten minutes.

Dublin 2019 Ending First Worldcon Rate

By James Bacon, Chair Dublin 2019: Dublin 2019 has had an offer open for those attending their first Worldcon, a specially discounted rate, and it has been very successful. On the 1st of August, we had some 335 First Worldcon members. By the 2nd of September that had leapt to 585, which we were very impressed by, and now it has passed 600.

When we reach 700 First Worldcon members, we will be ceasing this offer. We think this is quite an achievement and are very pleased that we can welcome so many fans to their first Worldcon. Dublin 2019 has benefited from a brilliant idea that Helsinki implemented. However, once we reach 700 first Worldcon memberships sold we will remove the First Worldcon rate option from our website. We expect that this could happen quickly after we make this announcement.

I am sorry that we cannot keep this particular offer going. I did not expect us to reach that figure this soon, but we are pleased so many have availed of the offer. We hope many other people will also choose to make Dublin 2019 their first Worldcon, but we cannot sustain selling memberships at this discounted rate and still bring you the convention we envision.

We are and will be pursuing other initiatives:

  • We have an instalment plan available to help spread the cost of a Dublin 2019 membership.

  • Beginning Saturday the 20th of October, we will have 100 memberships available at the first Worldcon rate exclusively for residents of the Island of Ireland, to help encourage those from Ireland to attend their first Worldcon. Local initiatives elsewhere have proven successful and we hope that will be too.

  • We will soon launch the Fantastic Dublin Fund, which will help fans of limited financial means attend Dublin 2019.

  • We have donated memberships to Con-or-Bust to help fans of colour to attend Dublin 2019.

I am grateful to all the fans who have joined and support Dublin 2019. With your support we will continue to work to make Dublin 2019 a welcoming experience as well as a brilliant celebration of the fantastic.

Shimmer Program / Storycom Offers Two Grants to Send Chinese Conrunners to Dublin 2019

Once again Storycom is encouraging Chinese fans to take an active part in the Worldcons — with its third Worldcon Attending Fund for Chinese Fans, offering two grants for Chinese conrunners to attend Dublin 2019.

In order to encourage Chinese fans to take an active part in Worldcons and enhance the communication between Chinese and international fandom, Storycom sets up this Worldcon Attending Fund under the scheme of Shimmer Program. Two active Chinese fans will be selected and granted RMB 10,000 each, for their attendance in and work for Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon, which will be held in Dublin in August 2019. The beneficiaries should buy attending memberships for Dublin 2019, book their trip, as well as apply for visa by themselves, with the help of Storycom. The beneficiaries should also volunteer to work for Dublin 2019, be administrators of the future Worldcon Attending Fund and promise to take active part in attending and organizing both domestic and international science fiction activities in the future.

Some of the Shimmer Program grant eligibility requirements are:

  • The applicant must be a Chinese citizen and live in mainland China.
  • The applicant should promise that he/she will help with future Chinese Worldcon bid if there is any.
  • The applicant’s English proficiency should meet the requirements of working for Worldcon 76.

Judging the applications will be . Colin Zhang, the winner of Worldcon 75 Attending Funding (2017) & Hospitality Deputy Division Head of Worldcon 75, and Tammy Coxen, Division Head of Member and Staff Services of Dublin 2019.

This year’s winners, Sharon Shi and Mackenzie Lin, attended and worked on Worldcon 76. Their travel reports are in Chinese — but illustrated with many photos from the con.

Full requirements and application guidelines are available at the link.

[Thanks to Regina Kanyu Wang for the story.]

Dublin 2019 News


File 770 missed covering these 2019 Worldcon news releases when they first came out.

Dublin takes over as host of next World Science Fiction Convention  

Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon will be the next World Science Fiction Convention, to be held August 15-19, 2019.

Activities at the Dublin Worldcon will include the 2019 Hugo Awards, the world’s leading awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, as well as the spectacular Masquerade costume display.

There are typically 650 to 800 separate programme items, including author readings and autograph sessions, films and videos, academic presentations, and panel discussions on speculative literature and other media, many involving fans and audience.

The World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is a five-day event that has been held annually since 1939, apart from a four-year break during the Second World War. Dublin 2019 is the 77th Worldcon, the first to be held in Ireland and the eleventh in Europe.

Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon will be based at the Convention Centre Dublin, known to locals as “the tube in the cube.” Approximately 6000 people attended the 75th Worldcon in Helsinki in 2017, and 7000 attended the 72nd Worldcon in London in 2014.

“It will be a pleasure to welcome fans from around the globe to this beautiful country that is steeped in storytelling,” said Dublin 2019 Chair James Bacon, who accepted the gavel from Worldcon 76 Kevin Roche at the closing ceremonies in San Jose. “We’re looking forward to the diverse discussions and celebrations of imagination that Worldcon will bring.”

The Dublin convention will host the first-ever Worldcon Fringe programme. The Fringe programme will enable additional events to be organised “outside the box” of convention centre spaces, including special performances that showcase Irish legends, art, music and landmarks.

More than 2500 people have already signed up as members of Dublin 2019. The Dublin 2019 organisers are working to enlarge participation through the con’s own FANtastic Dublin fund as well as the Con or Bust scheme.

Guests of Honour for Dublin 2019 include YA author Diane Duane, and screenwriter and Hugo winner Ian McDonald, as well as game designer Steve Jackson (Melee, Chaos Machine, Munchkin) and editor Ginjer Buchanan. Science Guest of Honour will be Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered radio pulsars in 1967 as a postgraduate student. Bill and Mary Burns will be fan Guests of Honour.

More information and membership registration for Dublin 2019 are available at https://dublin2019.com. Follow us on Twitter at @dublin2019.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins welcomes Worldcon to Dublin

Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon has received a message of welcome from Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland (Uachtarán na hÉireann).

“Ireland is a land which celebrates stories and imagination, and our Irish heritage has always been imaginatively interwoven with new cultures and new traditions,” President Higgins said in a letter to fans and the Dublin 2019 committee. “This is aptly reflected in our deep appreciation and appetite for speculative fiction.”

The Irish President also highlighted Ireland’s successes in science and technology, including contributions to measuring wind speed, splitting the atom, and connecting continents with fibre optic cable.

“Speculative fiction plays a seminal role in helping us to question received versions of the contemporary world, and to dream of new worlds and new ways of thinking. It affords us a licence to look beyond the immediate and utilitarian, to engage in a long form of thinking which places no limits on our curiosity,” Higgins said. “You are all most welcome to share with us in this unique Irish event.”

His remarks are included in the presentation by Dublin 2019 Chair James Bacon at the closing ceremony of Worldcon 2018 in San Jose, California. The full text of the letter from President Higgins can be read on the convention website and social media.

This will be the 77th annual World Science Fiction Convention, the first to be held in Ireland and the eleventh in Europe.