Record-Setting Number of Votes for 2016 Hugo Nominations

MidAmeriCon II reports over 4,000 nominating ballots were received for the 2016 Hugo Awards, nearly doubling the previous record of 2,122 ballots set last year by Sasquan, the 73rd Worldcon held in Spokane, WA.

This is the eighth consecutive year the record has been broken. Prior to Sasquan, Loncon 3 (2014) received 1,923 ballots; LoneStarCon 3 (2013) 1,343; Chicon 7 (2012) 1,101; Renovation (2011) 1,006; Aussiecon 4 (2010) 864; Anticipation (2009) 799 — each a new high-water mark at the time.

MidAmeriCon II reports there were 12,715 eligible nominators, also a record. These consisted of the members of Sasquan, and all the members of MidAmeriCon II and Worldcon 75 who had joined by January 31.

The finalists for the 2016 Hugo Awards, John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 26 via MidAmeriCon II’s social media.

The finalists will be released category by category, beginning at Noon CDT (1 p.m. EDT, 10 a.m. PDT, 6 p.m. London, 7 p.m. Western Europe), through the convention’s Facebook page ( and Twitter feed @MidAmeriCon2

The announcement will begin with the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards then continue with the 2016 Hugo Awards and Campbell Award.

The full list of finalists will be made available on the MidAmeriCon II website directly after the completion of the live announcement, and will also be distributed as a press release to all MidAmeriCon II press contacts.

The full press release follows the jump.

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LoneStarCon 3 Discs Ready

Syd Weinstein announces he has completed work on the LoneStarCon 3 DVD/BluRay discs. To order, see

LoneStarCon3 Hugo awards – Available in Blu-Ray or DVD version

The Blu-Ray version is NTSC 720p High Definition as recorded on-site. The DVD version is a down convert to standard definition. Combo Packs include the DVD and the Blu-Ray copy.

LoneStarCon3 Masquerade – Available in Blu-Ray or DVD version

The Masquerade disc contains all of the presentations, including the young fans, as well as the awards and the two half time shows: Music with Leslie Fish and The Magic of Drew Heyen for over two hours of content. The presentations and the awards have been edited to add more views, stills, and complete credits for each costume.

Future Worldcon Bids

Who’s bidding for the Worldcon? Here is a summary of ongoing bids pieced together from the presentations at LoneStarCon 3, the 2012 Smofcon, plus other online discussions — and my own Machiavellian speculation thrown in for seasoning.


There is an unopposed bid for Kansas City.

Kansas City, Missouri: KC in 2016 proposes to hold the con August 17-21 at Bartle Hall and the Kansas City Convention Center.

Kansas City is a sentimental favorite in some quarters after losing three Worldcon bids in a decade — 2000 (chairs Jim and Susan Satterfield), 2006 and 2009 (both chaired by Margene Bahm).

The current bid’s co-chairs are Diane Lacey, Jeff Orth, and Ruth Lichtwardt. The committee is Chaz Boston Baden, Margene Bahm, Warren Buff, Aurora Celeste, Glenn Glazer, Barry Haldiman, Sheril Harper, Parris McBride Martin, Tim Miller, James Murray, Paula Murray, Mark Olson, Priscilla Olson, Jesi Lipp Pershing, John C. Pershing II, John J. Platt IV, Keith Stokes, Beth Welsh, Ben Yalow, Jim Young.

George R.R. Martin has plugged the bid.

Twitter: @KCin2016


There are four bids in various early stages of activity, Helsinki, Montréal, “Northeast Corridor” (USA) and Nippon.

Helsinki, Finland: This is a rollover of Helsinki’s narrowly-defeated bid for 2015. Eemeli Aro will chair, with Karoliina Leikomaa as the bid’s Project Manager. Other committee members are Crystal Huff, Jukka Halme and Hanna Hakkarainen.

They propose to hold the convention in August 2017 at the Messukeskus, the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre.

The committee has posted details about its goals here, adding that 2017 is Finland’s centennial year as an independent nation.

One bidder observed that many Helsinki supporters who voted in the 2015 race will acquire supporting memberships in the Spokane Worldcon, making cost less of a factor in qualifying as 2017 site selection voters. I still wonder how the Helsinki committee resisted the temptation to bid for 2016, whose Worldcon site will be decided by members of Loncon 3, among them a very large number of European fans.

URL: — presently just leads to a Google doc of the bid announcement.
Twitter: @helsinkiin2017

Montréal, Canada: Originally announced as a 2019 bid, the Montréal committee has now set its sights on 2017. The Montréal group proposes to return the Worldcon to the Palais de Congrés, the 2009 Worldcon facility, over August 17-21, 2017.

When questioned at the 2012 Smofcon, Montréal responded that its bid co-chairs are Terry Fong and Diane Lacey, and the committee presently included Robbie Bourget, Liz Cano, Bruce Farr, Terry Fong, Eugene Heller, Dina Krause, Diane Lacey, and Jannie Shea.

René Walling, who chaired the 2009 Wordcon and made Montreal’s original bid presentation at the 2011 Smofcon, is no longer named as a member of the committee.

The bid has no dedicated online presence – webpage, Facebook or Twitter.

NEC (Northeast Corridor): Despite a bidcom that combines the crews of BWAWA, Inc. (Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association) and SPRAWL (the Sprawl in William Gibson’s fiction is a colloquial name for the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis) no one has suggested nicknaming the bid 17 for ’17. But I have hope.

The entire list of cities under consideration by NEC has not been published although Laurie Mann has not been shy about the fact that Pittsburgh is one of them. Washington D.C. and Baltimore have been named elsewhere. Warren Buff and Michael Nelson say they are working with several venues and have offers from most of them. Kris “Nchanter” Snyder is also a bid member.

Recent construction in the Washington D.C. area has made the city a viable Worldcon candidate once again. Washington DC’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center opened in 2003 but not until November 2011 was ground broken on a 1,167-room Marriott Marquis across the street. Fans have long considered such a hotel the essential missing piece in any plan to return the Worldcon to Washington.

At LoneStarCon 3 Buff promised details will be revealed in December, which I expect means at Smofcon.

URL: (No information currently posted.)

Nippon: The Nippon in 2017 committee has shortlisted three cities as possible sites: Yokohama (where the 2007 Worldcon was held), Chiba, and Shizuoka. They would hold the con in August.

Members of the bid are Andrew A. Adams, Masaharu Imaoka, Mutsumi Imaoka, Kyoko Ogushi, Hideaki Kawai, Koji Kurakata, Tomoki Kodama, Trevor Knudsen, Shigeru Hayashida, Vincent Docherty, Mike “Sparks” Rennie, Megan Totusek.

The Nippon in 2017 bid is immediately handicapped by questions about the huge loss incurred by the 2007 Worldcon in Japan whose full dimensions were not revealed until 2012. Bid spokespersons say funding for 2017 is separate. In a move to bolster their credibility they’ve added Vince Docherty to lead the finance division. A great deal more will need to be done to persuade voters that it is economically practical to hold another Worldcon in Japan.



A New Orleans group is considering launching a bid.

Members of the New Orleans in 2018 Pre-Bid Committee are Raymond Boudreau (Chair), Michael Guerber, Cordelia (Colin) Murphy, Rebecca Smith, Jessica Styons and Kendall Varnell.

Committee member Jessica Styons told File 770, “Obviously we are in the early stages of building support, gauging interest and staking a claim but we are interested in all comments, offers of support and assistance.” Rebecca Smith, chair of CONtraflow, is part of the bid.



Two bids are on the radar for 2019.

Dublin, Ireland: James Bacon unveiled the Dublin bid at LoneStarCon 3 and it will officially launch next year at LonCon 3.

They propose to hold the Worldcon in the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) from August 14-19, 2019. There are 1,268 hotel rooms are available within 850 meters or half a mile of the convention center.

The website lists the bid committee’s “Home Team” as:

Shelly Coleman, Carol Connolly, Pat Fanning, Malcolm Hutchison, Gareth Kavanagh, Dave Lally, Ted Lee, Ruth Long, Aisling Lynch, Cat McGrath, Maura McHugh, Alissa McKersie, CE Murphy, Sonia Murphy, Brian Nisbet, Mick O’Connor, Rod O’Hanlon, Peadar Ó’Guilín, Trish O’Flaherty, Sorcha Power, Helen Ryder, Philippa Ryder, Lynda E. Rucker, James Shields, Sten Thaning, Julian West, Nicholas Whyte.

And its “Away Team” includes:

Eemeli Aro, Claire Brialey, Liz Batty, Steve Cooper, John Dowd, Vincent Docherty, Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf, Deb Geisler, Colin Harris, Nigel Furlong, Mark Herrup, Edward James, Alice Lawson, Mark Meenan, Farah Mendlesohn, Helen Montgomery, Mark Plummer, TR Renner, Ian Stockdale, Geri Sullivan, Paul Taylor, Kees Van Toorn.

Though not listed, I suspect James Bacon’s name also belongs somewhere in the mix too…

Twitter: @Dublin2019

France: Is there a genuine French bid? Who is behind it? Is it a plan or just a wish?

So far as I have been able to find out, the torch is being carried by a small number of visionaries both in and out of French fandom.  

Created early this year, a Paris in 2019 webpage invited queries which were answered by UK fan David Steere. He said this is a bid by fans in the UK and France that aims to launch at LonCon 3.

However, since 2009 there has been a Facebook club, Pour l’organisation dune WorldCon SF en France. The initial entry credits Florence Dolisi with the idea to bid for France, inspired by the 2009 Worldcon in Quebec. That post suggested an attitude of openness to anybody who might actually deliver the con —

At the moment there no identified structure, no Committee, no plan of action, but an obvious willingness, now the movement is launched, to lead, and to be able to get useful. [Rendered into English by Google Translate.]

In April 2013, Bernard Henninger collected 33 names of fans willing to support the idea. And Henninger wrote again in August that the idea created a stir at the 2013 Eurocon in the Ukraine – including a show of interest from Finnish fan Eemeli Aro.

So it remains to be seen whether enough French fans want a Worldcon for a solid bid to emerge anytime in the future.

Paris in 2019 URL:

France in 2019 Facebook:


The one serious bid is for New Zealand.

New Zealand in 2020 is led by Norman Cates, a past DUFF delegate. The general committee members are Kevin Maclean (New Zealand), Maree Pavletich (New Zealand), Lynelle Howell (New Zealand), Malcolm Fletcher (New Zealand), Louise McCully (New Zealand), Struan Judd (New Zealand), Daphne Lawless, Andrew Ivamy (Queensland, AU Agent), James Shields (European Agent).

They have yet to settle on which of the country’s two main islands they’d hold a Worldcon. There are said to be two facilities in Auckland and one in Wellington that could support a 1500-3000 member con. They would hold the con anywhere from late June to late August.


And beyond…

At LSC3 a potential 2021 North Texas bid was announced by FenCon’s Tim Miller.

There are also plans for a Chicago in 2022 bid.


Fannish Inquisition questionnaires submitted to Smofcon 30 (December 2012).

Kansas City, Worldcon Bid, 2016
Montreal, Worldcon Bid, 2017
Nippon, Worldcon Bid, 2017
New Zealand, Worldcon Bid, 2020

Videos of Worldcon bid presentations at LoneStarCon 3 (September 2013) taken by Lisa Hayes.

Part 6: Nippon 2017 Bid
Part 7: Montreal 2017 Bid
Part 8: Baltimore-Washingon in 2017 or later Exploratory Committee
Part 9: Dublin in 2019
Part 10: New Zealand in 2020
Part 11: North Texas in 2021

Status of LSC3 Hugo/Masquerade Videos

The Hugo Awards available at no charge via Ustream is a copy “corrected” and uploaded on September 10. Syd Weinstein reports that since then he has “performed a few more edits to clean it up a bit more.” That version can be ordered from the site. He adds:

The video was recorded in NTSC at 720p High Definition.  The Blu-Ray is recorded at this resolution.  The DVD, of course, is a down convert to Standard Definition NTSC television.

I will now start production work on the Masquerade.  This will take a bit longer as there is a large amount of work to add the still photographs and the full costuming credits to the production.

Weinstein asks for patience while he finishes this work, reminding fans he is a volunteer who does all this editing and disc production outside of normal business hours.

Cornell Apologizes for Smof Routine

Paul Cornell, LoneStarCon 3’s Toastmaster, has posted an apology for his Hugo Awards routine about “Smofs” and “Smurfs”.

“Smurfs” I need hardly explain. “Smofs” is an acronym for “Secret Masters of Fandom” that was coined as a pejorative but in the 1970s evolved into a humorous self-reference freely used by many sf conrunners.

However, as we have been going through an especially unhappy season with lots of blogging about the evil, nasty conrunners, some of which has been reported here, there’s been a trend back toward the word having a pejorative meaning in some circles. Cornell took inspiration from that for a string of jokes during the Hugo Ceremonies.

My immediate reaction as I listened to him tell the jokes was thud-thud-thud. I didn’t think it was a gracious way to treat the people putting on LoneStarCon 3 whose hospitality Cornell symbolized as Toastmaster. Yet what I’ve been reading online is so much worse I just stuffed it — I sent a mild joke to CoverItLive saying the material suited the blue background we were seeing on the broadcast.

On the other hand, some fans were apoplectic. One told Cornell to his face what he thought. Others explained their reaction in e-mails.

And now Cornell has done something you never see happen in the blogosphere. He apologized. He said, in part —

I think I broke two rules which I hold other people to, and it’s taken me days of searching my conscience to realise that.

Firstly, I always say that when someone tells you they’re offended, they’re not lying. One has to deal with the offence one has caused as real, and not regard such complaints as ill-conceived or somehow ‘wrong’. Many ‘smofs’ have written to me in support, saying they felt gently teased, that it was all in good fun, but the ones for whom it felt like a personal insult don’t deserve to have their feelings ignored.  One reaction is as ‘true’ as the other.

Secondly, while I’m sure there are those among the ranks of ‘Smofs’ who deserve a little satire, I’m also sure there are those who absolutely do not.  My error was to tar them all with the same brush, to not be precise, but instead to hurt a range of people through the term they identify with.  ‘Things are complicated’ as our heroes said in Knight and Squire.  I don’t like it when other groups are made into folk devils, but there I was doing it.  It’s terrifyingly easy and tempting to follow the crowd and go for that sort of laugh.  It’s also a very bad thing to do.

I’ve only quoted a little to give you an indication of what he felt. It’s worth your time to go over and read it in full.

Hertz: Texas and the World

The lone star rises
A third time shining on us
As we reach for space.

By John Hertz: Around 4,300 attended LoneStarCon III (or “3” if you were writing this), the 71st World Science Fiction Convention, 29 Aug – 2 Sep 13, San Antonio, Texas. Art Show sales $46,000 by 90 artists. LoneStarCon II was there in 1997. So was I; I remembered the Alamo. LoneStarCon I was – but that’s another story.

lonestarconThe LSC3 newszine, of course La Estrella Solitaria (Spanish, “the solitary star”), kindly printed this contribution of mine. Sunday at 3:30 a.m. I heard Kathy Mar sing “Starship and Haiku”.

NASA kindly sent an exhibit, astronaut Cady Coleman, and engineer Heather Paul. Two suits from NASA stood next to the Heinlein Society. I said the title Have Space Suit, Will Travel didn’t really depend on knowing Have Gun (24 episodes by Gene Roddenberry). We celebrated the 50th anniversary of Glory Road.

Coleman on Hugo Night gave a Con Committee Award – not done every year – to Stan Schmidt. Paul Cornell gave him a Hugo. The Big Heart Award went to Tom Veal. Video wizard John Maizels made the most of Chris Garcia.

Down Under Fan Fund delegate Bill Wright from Australia was in fine form, also Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund delegate Jim Mowatt from Britain, and my counterpart the North America TAFF Administrator Jacq Monahan. Japan confirmed its bid for 2017, with which Montréal will compete. Dublin announced for 2019.

Leah Zeldes & Dick Smith miraculously got to the TAFF/DUFF fundraising auction the copy of Pebble in the Sky autographed by Fred Pohl we almost managed last year. It may be unique.

Pebble was an SF Classic discussed at Chicon VII; it’s set in Chicago. I’d found a mildly rare paperback and thought to ask Pohl. He could inscribe “I did not write this book, but I brought it into existence. Frederik Pohl, accoucheur.” In fact he signed “the Godfather”. Then by no one’s fault it sat in Illinois. I still don’t know how it arrived.

The news of Pohl’s death came around Closing Ceremonies. It was indeed a closing. He began in the 1930s; he bought Larry Niven’s first story and hired Judy-Lynn del Rey; now he’s immanentized the Eschaton.

On Wednesday and Thursday volunteers helped me mount the Rotsler Award exhibit, which for some reason was in the Art Show. “I want you because you’re ignorant,” I said. “I know too much. You can pick out drawings you find visually appealing regardless of the back-stories and in-jokes.” People said the result was good.

The Art Show had a great Darrell Sweet display. One painting was the cover for my copy of Space Cadet. Another, used as the cover for the Program Book (“Souvenir Book” if you were writing this) was his “Isle of the Dead”, which my Art Show tour discussed. I was glad to see too his non-SF themes. Wire wonder woman Elizabeth Berrien won Best of Show.

A fine LSC3 idea was a First Worldcon ribbon. To wear it invited explanation. They ran out and had to be re-ordered.

My talk on The Glass Bead Game drew helpful participants. This masterpiece of Hesse’s is a hall of mirrors. Does anyone change? Maybe Father Jacobus. One fan said “Now I have to read it in German.” Two days later Terry Sisk Graybill saw to the heart of The Dying Earth: “at the last chapter you re-think the whole story.” She’d met Vance, who gave her a kazoo.

I ran into Yasser Bahjatt in the Dealers’ Room. He was wearing Sa‘udi Arabian dress. I said “I don’t wish to be disrespectful by giving you a hall-costume award” – I was Chief Hall-Costume Judge – so we talked about it and he took one. I had been a Workmanship Judge in the Masquerade. Janice Gelb fictitiously lost an eye in a disaster to well-omened redshirts.

After the tumult and shouting had died I found three visitors adrift in the Exhibit Hall. They’d just heard of the con and wondered if any was left. I scavenged some Program Books and Pocket Programs and answered questions. Jonathan Miles came by and helped. Did it matter that he and they were black? I don’t know, but good dealers are smart. I walked the three of them out to the river, went to Dead Dog parties, and went home.

Update 09/26/2015: In 2013, the Big heart Award was presented to Tom Veal by Dave Kyle and Sue Francis.

LSC3 Film Festival Awards

Nat Saenz has announced the LoneStarCon3 Film Festival Winners —

Best SF&F Short Film
Ray Bradbury’s Kaleidoscope – USA
Director:  Eric Tozzi

Best Horror Short Film
CARGOLS! (Snails) – Spain
Director:  Geoffrey Cowper

Best Animation Short Film
Oh Super – USA
Director:  Mike Roberts

Best Fan Film
Star Trek Continues; Pilot – Pilgrim of Eternity – USA
Director: Vic Mignogna

Best Feature Film
Chill – Horror – USA
Director:  Noelle Bye and Meredith Holland