Worldcon 75 Explains Print Publications Policy

For many years Worldcon supporting members received pre-con publications and the Souvenir Book (in addition to other rights of membership), a tradition that has recently been eroded by the finances of overseas Worldcons and a growing acceptance or even preference for digital publications.

But while a Worldcon may choose any publications policy it wants, unless the policy is stated clearly and up front a departure from tradition is likely to be met with controversy, as is the case with Worldcon 75, which had not informed members of its plan to fulfill its Souvenir Book obligations with digital copies, or printed copies if the member paid an additional charge.

Jo Van Ekeren, who put together this year’s Hugo Voter Packet, recently wrote a long post about her efforts to surface the issue and get Worldcon 75 to make this information public, an interaction that led to her being removed from the committee.

I wrote back to the Worldcon 75 exec pointing out that, as they knew, in past Worldcons, the paid paper publications have always been the Progress Reports, and that Supporting Members got the Souvenir Book without having to pay an additional fee for it. I said that if they were going to make such a sweeping change as removing the Souvenir Book from the Supporting Membership perks and requiring those members to pay to receive it, that they needed to be very clear with members up front about this, and that they had not done so.

I sent an email to the committee asking what their policy was and today received this answer from Worldcon 75 Chair Jukka Halme.

It seems that we need to clarify our intentions with Printed Publications and their distribution.

We had stated from the beginning, that our paper publications were part of the membership only with additional payment of €10/$12. Otherwise, everything would be available electronically, to everyone who had given us a valid email address.

The Souvenir Book will be given to all Attending members in Helsinki, as well as it will be posted to all Attending members unable to be on site, and to all of those Supporting members who had paid for the Paper Publications. All other Supporting members would receive the electronic version of the said Souvenir Book.

I, as the Chair of the convention, feel that I need to apologise for the less than clear way we have made this announcement. It was never our intention of not being upfront about this matter, but we have clearly not been informative enough of this matter.

I have taken in the feedback we’ve received, and have made a decision that we should find a way for every Supporting member who wants a paper copy of the Souvenir Book to receive one. I cannot promise that this will be done for free, but for a nominal sum.

We will send this information to all our members both before and after Worldcon 75.

Supporting memberships originally were created as a way for non-attending fans to be affiliated with a Worldcon and make a small financial contribution to its budget. In 1946 fans paid $1. For the 1963 Worldcon, the arrangement was $2 to join the con (and receive publications including the Program Book, now called the Souvenir Book) and another dollar to attend (so in today’s terms, $2 supporting, $3 attending.)

Online distribution of Worldcon progress reports (in PDF and other formats) has lately become the default, with a charge added for receiving paper copies. (And because PRs are another tool for publicizing the convention, Worldcons have been making them freely available for download by nonmembers.)

Earlier this week the Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid explained what its publications policy will be. As concerns the Souvenir Book, they plan to offer printed copies to all members, full and supporting as part of the membership.

2017 Hugo Voter’s Packet Offers Interactive Games

Max Gladstone and Choice of Games have teamed up with the 2017 Hugo Awards to offer voters the unique opportunity to play two interactive adventure games based on the Best Series Finalist The Craft Sequence.

Voters can follow their personalized Hugo voting link to sign in, read the instructions, then enter their name at the bottom of the page. The page will then load their voting ballot and the links to the Hugo Voters Packet for each category; go to the Best Series section of the ballot and click on the “Get Steam Token for The Craft Sequence games” link. This will submit a request to Choice of Games, who will send a token to the voter which can be used to access the full games for free via the Steam platform (this is a free software download; see the linked page for system hardware and OS requirements).

The first 2 chapters of both of these interactive games are available to play online for free at the Choice of Games website:

Worldcon 75 members can request a new e-mail with their personalized link by going to members.worldcon.fi and entering the e-mail address used on their Worldcon 75 registration.

Worldcon 75 Releases Hugo Voter Packet

The 2017 Hugo Awards voter packet is now available for download by Supporting, Attending, Youth and First Worldcon members of Worldcon 75. The packet is an electronic collection that helps voters become better informed about the pool of finalists. Works included are made available by finalists and their publishers.

The voter packet contains complete texts of many Hugo-nominated works, preview versions of some works, and directions for finding some finalists’ works online. The packet itself can be accessed by members directly from their online ballots with personalized links.

Nicholas Whyte, Hugo administrator for Worldcon 75, said:

This year’s voter packet is the most extensive and complete collection since the packet’s inception in its present form 10 years ago. We are deeply appreciative of the publishers, authors, artists, editors, and other creators who have generously provided their works to this year’s Hugo Voter Packet, and ask that voters who feel the same way consider posting on social media to thank the publishers, editors, and creators who have participated in the packet.

In most ballot categories there are separate downloads for each of the three most common ebook formats (EPUB, MOBI, and PDF). In the few cases where a publisher has provided only a PDF version of a work, the PDF has been included in each of the different format packets so that members will not have to do extra downloading. The exceptions to this are the Dramatic Presentation, Artist, Graphic Story, Fancast, and Editor Long Form categories, where there is only a PDF download.

The Hugo Voter Packet will be available for download until the voting deadline at 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time on 15 July 2017 (2:59 am EDT, 07:59 BST, 09:59 EEST). As in previous years, Worldcon 75 asks that voters honor publishers’ and creators’ request that they reserve these copies for their personal use only, and that they do not share these works with non-members of Worldcon 75.

Here is an overview of the packet contents:

  • Novel: 5 full novels and 1 excerpt
  • Novella: 6 full novellas
  • Novelette: 6 full novelettes
  • Short Story: 6 full short stories
  • Related Work: 4 full long works, 1 full short work, and 1 excerpt
  • Graphic Story: 6 full works in PDF form only
  • Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): a PDF document summarizing the Finalists, with hyperlinks to each work’s video trailer, official website, IMdb entry, and Wikipedia entry.
  • Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): a PDF document summarizing the Finalists, with hyperlinks to each work’s video trailer, official website, IMdb entry, and Wikipedia entry. In the case of the Clipping musical work, links are included to listen for free on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp.
  • Editor – Short Form: submissions from 6 editors
  • Editor – Long Form: submissions from 6 editors
  • Professional Artist: image galleries for 6 artists, with citations of where and when each work was published, and a PDF document with links to all the artists’ websites
  • Semiprozine:  submissions from 6 semiprozines
  • Fanzine: submissions from 6 fanzines
  • Fancast: PDF submissions for 6 fancasts with episode summaries and links to online podcasts
  • Fan Writer: submissions from 5 fan writers and 1 PDF document with a link to an online submission from a 6th fan writer
  • Fan Artist: image galleries for 6 artists, and a PDF document with links to all the artists’ websites
  • Series: 2 full series, 1 novel for each of 2 series, 1 excerpt for each of 2 series, and a PDF document for each series which lists all the works in the series and includes some hyperlinks to bonus related online content.
  • John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: 3 novels, 2 novellas, and 9 short stories for 6 authors

Readers who do not have membership in Worldcon 75 can still access a great deal of Finalist material at no cost; see this page for links: Where To Find The 2017 Hugo Finalists For Free Online.

Those wishing to purchase membership to Worldcon 75 may still do so. Supporting membership is €35 / $40; Adult Attending membership is €195 / $215; and First-Time Adult Attending membership is €95 / $110. All three of these membership levels are eligible to receive the Hugo Voter’s Packet. Worldcon 75 Membership Page.