Nice in 2023 Worldcon Bid Folds

The Nice in 2023 committee has ended their bid to bring the Worldcon to France for now, with hope of renewing their efforts in the future.

After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our bid for hosting the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention in Nice, France.

The impacts of COVID-19 are extensive and have far reaching consequences, as various industries and sectors are affected by the aftermath of the pandemic. Our daily lives, employments and businesses are severely disrupted, and we find ourselves unable to keep the 2023 target.

This has been and still is a challenging time for everyone, and we want to thank you all for your support, open discussions, understanding and encouragement.

We’re genuinely upset and disappointed, but we fully intend to host the WSFC later in time. We will be working to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming months.

In addition to the obstacles raised by the pandemic, the Nice committee’s plan to hold the con in the city’s Acropolis Convention Center if they win had been jeopardized by the city’s newly re-elected mayor who told voters during his campaign he might tear it down as part of his vision to “continue the metamorphosis of Nice into a garden city.”

The remaining active bids for 2023 are Chengdu, China and Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The site selection vote will be held next year.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

Worldcon Bid for France
Faces New Obstacle

The Nice in 2023 Worldcon bid website says they plan to use the city’s Acropolis Convention Center if they win. However, their newly re-elected mayor told voters during his campaign he might tear it down as part of his vision to “continue the metamorphosis of Nice into a garden city.”

A French-language news article published in January carried the proposal. Here is the lede, rendered in English by Google Translate:

A week ago, he officially confirmed his candidacy for a third term as head of the city of Nice. This Sunday, Christian Estrosi held his first campaign meeting at the Acropolis Palace.

The opportunity for him to announce that he intends to raze this building to extend the Promenade du Paillon to the North. To enable this “urban forest” project, the National Theater of Nice (TNN) will also be demolished and relocated to the former Franciscan church in Old Nice.

Nice, France is competing with Chengdu, China and Memphis, Tennessee for the right to host the 2023 Worldcon.

Smofcon 37 Posts Worldcon, Westercon and Smofcon Bidder Questionnaires

Smofcon 37, the convention for conrunners, taking place December 6-8 in Albuquerque, NM, asked Worldcon, and Smofcon bidders, and seated Worldcon and Westercon committees to answer a questionnaire. The responses have been posted at Smofcon’s website under Fannish Inquisition.

There will also be a Q&A session at the con on December 7 – publishing these questionnaires in advance helps keep that time from being taken up with basic information. If you want to submit a question, see the information at the end of this post.

The following FAQs have been received from Bids and seated conventions:

SMOFCon Bids

Seated Worldcons

Seated NASFiC

Worldcon Bids

Seated Westercons

Seven Worldcon committees and bidders (all except Nice in 2023) cosigned a statement (which many inserted at the beginning of their questionnaires) criticizing the Smofcon 37 committee for the short response deadline, the dramatic increase in number of questions asked from last year’s form, and use of Google Docs to communicate, which cannot be accessed in China. Smofcon 37’s chair Ron Oakes responded with a lengthy justification of what happened, while the FAQ coordinator apologized.

SMOFCon 37 Response

Submitting Questions to the Fannish Inquisition: Here are the committee’s instructions:

This event is our traditional time for bids for future SMOFCon, Worldcons and NASFiCs.  Our usual highlight event, and will mostly be run as it has been in the recent past with written questions through our able moderators.  Those wishing to submit questions in advance may do so by sending email to fi_questions@smofcon37-abq.org, up to 6:30pm MST December 7, 2019 to ensure that we receive it prior to the convention.

[Update 12/07/2019: After this post was drafted last night, several more questionnaires were added to the website. The new links have been added here.]