Norwescon 43 Cancelled

Norwescon, which had been planned for April 9-12 in SeaTac, WA was cancelled today due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Gordon VanGelder will announce alternate plans for presenting the Philip K. Dick Award, which was to have happened at the convention.

Two days ago the governor of Washington state set a policy banning large gatherings in three counties, and today closed schools for a month in those same counties. SeaTac is in King County, one of the affected three.

The committee posted this statement:

For the health and safety of our community, due to the ongoing concerns about the coronavirus situation, and in accordance with the recent proclamations by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and the King County Public Health Department, we have decided to cancel this year’s convention. We appreciate your patience as this has not been an easy decision to make.

We have spent much of the past two weeks monitoring the news, tracking announcements, keeping up with recommendations from local and governmental health organizations, and monitoring your questions, comments, and concerns on social media and those sent by email. While we had hoped to continue as planned, it has become clear that this would not be best for our community.

We know that you were all looking forward to this year’s convention just as much as we were, and we hope you all will be able to join us again next year. We also hope that you will continue to keep an eye on our website and social media outlets, as we will be working on highlighting the many professionals, authors, artists, and vendors who were looking forward to introducing you to their projects, books, creations, and wares.

Memberships for this year’s convention will be automatically rolled over to next year’s convention. If you have concerns or questions regarding this, please contact us at registration@norwescon.org.

At this time if you had a reservation in the Norwescon room block your room has been canceled and your deposit will be returned by the hotel.

We deeply and sincerely thank you all for the enthusiasm and support you have for Norwescon and look forward to your rejoining us in 2021. In the meantime, we hope you all stay safe, healthy, and keep washing those hands.

[Thanks to Michael Hanscom for the story.]

11 thoughts on “Norwescon 43 Cancelled

  1. Seattle is a ghost town. No one is on the streets downtown and my normally packed bus was 4/5 empty today. Yesterday, I went to the store to pick up a few things. There were whole rows of empty shelves. One checker only and she was wearing a face mask. It’s getting weird here.

  2. It’s getting weird everywhere. Here in Portland, Maine the Library system just shut down for until at least the first of April, and everything of a cultural nature has been canceled pretty much through the summer.

    All higher education institutions have gone to online learning only and even the local art school is taking a two week break while it assesses how handle this pandemic.

    I see my health care team every week, sometimes more more often, so I’m sure that they’ll catch any signs of the virus before it gets bad in me if I get it. Jenner, my PCP, doesn’t think I’m particularly at risk at developing an active case of it. Having spent forty plus days in-hospital last year at this time being treated for in-bone staph infection I find that reassuring.

  3. Here in Sunnyvale the library just announced it was closing until not sooner than April 6. Up in San Francisco all library programs got shut down until at least the end of the month (which is probably optimistic). I was very much looking forward to some of the SF By the Bay events that are likely not going to happen now, but it’s the right call.

    (Selfishly, I’m also slightly relieved that the library shutdowns are happening after I finished all of my Hugo Nominations reading.)

    Stay healthy out there, Filers.

  4. I suspect Seanan McGuire’s phone never stops ringing; everyone wants a quote from her. It feels like Kellis-Amberlee here in Boston

  5. Eric and I live in downtown Seattle, near the Space Needle, and, as Miles Carter says, it’s like a ghost town. At rush hour, two streets near our condo are usually jammed with traffic, but lately the daytime traffic looks more like the usual 2 AM traffic.

    The supermarkets are a bit more crowded than usual, but not a whole lot. Depending on when you hit them, they can run out of things, but as of Friday morning, there were no real shortages. Toilet paper was a bit low. (What is it with everyone buying toilet paper in a crisis? There’s a great plot for an SF humor story there, I’m sure.)

  6. Supermarkets in Boston have varied; the closest examples of the two biggest chains were almost stripped on Thursday night but only moderately busy, while the Trader Joe’s was completely out of frozens (maybe for cleaning?) that night but moderately restocked this morning — and so busy they had someone just to marshal the checkout lines (partial moves toward a multi-server queue). The differing timing may have had an effect: the governor didn’t declare a state of emergency until 4 days ago.

  7. Over here in West Seattle, I went in the early morning to avoid rushes and found I was definitely not the only person with that idea. Our Safeway was pretty much out of bread, eggs, soap, bacon, bouillon, and frozen pizza, and low on a lot of other stuffs like dried beans, milk, TP, and crackers. Soap was actually being rationed – 2 bars per person.

    Good time to kick one’s local food bank a few extra bucks if you can.

  8. If the isolation is getting you down, check out the news from Concellation 2020 on Facebook.
    It’s billed as:

    The SF&F con that’s always canceled. Celebrate the con that never was – cancelled before it was even announced, Concellation 2020 is the event you wish you could have pre-opposed!

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