Paris in 2023 Worldcon bid chair Cécile Reyer says the bid is off again.
Reyer initially announced the Paris bid would launch at Loncon 3, followed by a last-minute cancellation citing a family emergency. Then, during Loncon 3’s Fannish Inquisition, UK bid agents Jonathan and Sharon Lewis-Jones declared the Paris bid had launched after all and they were representing the bid at a table in the Fan Village.
Reyer says in her latest statement:
Due to a circumstances beyond our control the Paris in 2023 Bid Committee were unable to attend Loncon3 and for this we must apologize.
We wish to thank everyone who came and visited the information table in the Fan Village and showed support for our bid and to our UK Agents who represented us at the convention.
After much consideration the committee has made the difficult decision to withdraw our Worldcon candidacy at this time, and we hope to be able to re-launch our bid at a future date.
The latest fluctuation in the status of the bid reportedly is powered by a backlash among French fans who don’t want a Worldcon in France, hot tempers, and resignations from the bid committee.
What little evidence of French fannish opinion I’ve tracked down so far sounds skeptical but even-tempered.
Georges Bormand of Monde de la SF said he was surprised to discover at Loncon 3 “a booth run by the mysterious Irish who are behind the project” (English wording via Google Translate) and felt the bid’s presence in London was “premature.”
Then, a writer signing himself Hervé speculated on the French rec.arts.sf.narkive about “people who want to organize a convention of several thousand people who can not travel to London!” (again, English via Google Translate).
Bid agent Jonathan Lewis-Jones wonders, “Could this be the shortest running Worldcon bid in history? I hope not, they are good people, with a fantastic idea. I just hope they dust themselves off and go for it.”
[Thanks to Steven H Silver for his assistance.]