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.

46 thoughts on “Worldcon 75 Explains Print Publications Policy

  1. On a related note, has anybody who was a supporting member of Sasquan or MidAmeriCon received a printed copy of the souvenir book of either WorldCon? Because I never got one and simply assumed supporting members didn’t get it. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised when my Loncon souvenir book arrived in the post several months after the convention.

  2. I may be in the minority, but it doesn’t matter that much to me. When I got my Supporting to Worldcon 75, it was quite clear that print publications required an additional fee. A digital copy is fine.

    Hell, I had an Attending membership to LoneStarCon 2 20 years ago, couldn’t go for health reasons and I never got my Program Book from that. Such is life.

    Here in 9826, they just place it as a dot on your retina, for ease in reading, like every other piece of written material.

  3. Forgot to tick the box and now I’m running from a wildcat in 0402. Serves me right!

  4. I have been a supporting member since 2014, and I’m in the US. I was able to download a digital copy of the Loncon Souvenir Book. I think they said (in email) they were going to try to send print copies if requested, but I didn’t. I did not receive either print or digital copy of Sasquan or MidAmeriCon’s souvenir books. I assumed that it was dropped for supporting memberships. I’ll be happy if I can at least get a digital copy of this year’s.

  5. I don’t suppose I’d object if a Worldcon explained that they couldn’t budget for any paper publications for supporting members, but it would have been nice if they’d made it completely explicit so that people who definitely wanted one knew how to get it. As it is, some people have assumed one thing and some people assumed another.

  6. I’m unimpressed with their lack of clarity, and their communications and handling of this, but Halme’s statement is an improvement! I’m glad they’re backtracking on the “tough luck, too late to pay for print pubs” bit. Also, an electronic copy is groovy (though apparently they never mentioned epub’ing the book to the contributors, which hopefully won’t bite W75 in the rear).

    I’m ticked off at their treatment of Van Ekeren (removing her from the committee was uncalled for, IMHO), but I’m glad they still list her on the site. I hope they don’t change that; people should get credit for work they do/did for the con!

    I’m happy to see a very clear, specific statement from the Dublin 2019 bid about their plans, so there are no surprises there. (And BTW I so look forward to Dublin 2019! For reasons unrelated to publications.)

    Anyway, I’m still looking forward to W75, etc.

  7. It was completely unclear to me.

    Their PR/messaging has been completely shit the entire time — inept, delayed, or just plain wrong with occasional voyages into… worse.

    I was wondering why all of a sudden Dublin pops up out of nowhere to announce “of course we’re sending out Program Books!” b/c I was all “bwuh? why would they have to announce it? That’s like announcing they’re going to have a masquerade.”

    Had fandom but known, they never would have been awarded the con.

    Also, Van Ekeren assembled the best fookin’ Hugo packet ever, and gets thrown off concom for the terrible crime of wanting to tell the truth? Nice.

  8. If you kick someone out for them going public about your policy and then admitt that you had to rethink a lot of things because of them going public… then you should have rethought at the start and not had to kick someone out, right?

    So that was a failure.

    And yes. I have no idea why all the news comes by way of twitter and not on their own site. I have no idea of how much I have missed. Hopefully filers have filled up the gaps for me.

    But reading some of the out of proportion comments, I almost feel like I would like to vote against all cons handing out the souvenir book for free. 😛

  9. lurkertype on July 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm said:
    Also, Van Ekeren assembled the best fookin’ Hugo packet ever, and gets thrown off concom for the terrible crime of wanting to tell the truth? Nice.

    ⬆ ⬆ ⬆ ⬆ ⬆ ⬆
    THIS

  10. And… the bashing begins. it was stated in the Worldcon 75 web pages under Memberships -> How will I receive publications and updates: “If you wish to receive paper copies of the convention’s publications, we will be happy to send those to you for an additional €10 / $12 fee. Our convention default is to receive your pre-convention publications at no additional charge via email or download from this website.”

    I guess they should have defined that publications here means *all* publications but for me it was clear anyway. Publications means publications including the souvenir book, that’s how I read it. I think it’s quite understandable that printing and mailing being quite expensive (especially overseas mailing) it’s better to ask for an extra fee and try to keep the supporting membership fees down.

    I’m perfectly happy to get the materials and publications in electronic format anyway. Also, I was supporting member for Sasquan in 2015 I never received the souvenir book, in any format. Their representative has informed me that that was an oversight but I suspect they got a bit overwhelmed with a large number of new supporting members after that spring’s Hugo Award nominations fiasco, and the souvenir book distribution was not handled well. For example, I’m pretty sure I never got an email with a download link for the electronic format.

    As for the communications, yes, Worldcon 75 could have handled that better. I agree that their reliance on social media has not been the best policy and that they should have used the official web pages more efficiently.

    As for Jo Van Ekeren, I think she said she quit and that she was not kicked out from the con organization. I agree that she has done a terrific job, but her assertions that Worldcon 75 is deliberately bringing down the worldcon quality is a bit far fetched, really. I suspect that part of these problems rise from inherent problems in cross-cultural communications and that the con organization is comprised of people from different cultural and language backgrounds.

    The different venues, hotels and economic realities in different geographic locations (concerning e.g. printing and mailing costs, or availability and size of adjacent convention hotels, hotel room sizes etc.) do affect cons. Not necessarily making them worse or better, just different. If expectations are that things should be done exactly the same way in any worldcon held in Europe as in a worldcon organized in North America, well then, sure people’s expectation may not be met. If this is used to bash non-North American con bids and con organizers (as I think is already happening regarding Worldcon 75), I think it’s unfair. Also, if the fandom supporting and attending worldcons wants things done in just one way even if it may not be possible in some geographic locations and that leads to fewer worldcons held outside of North America, then I think fandom is doing itself a disservice and ignoring the international aspect of fandom.

    Over the years I’ve attended many different types of conventions and conferences ( also several worldcons) organized by different kinds of professional, scientific and voluntary organizations in Europe and North America. Different locations and cultures always bring their own challenges but they also bring richness and discovery to the experience which I think makes it very worthwhile.

  11. As for Jo Van Ekeren, I think she said she quit and that she was not kicked out from the con organization.

    No, they removed me from the con staff, after I sent them 3 very courteous e-mails begging them to be honest with the membership, and they kept refusing to do so, and I finally said in the 4th e-mail “either you tell them, or *I* will”.

    I suspect that part of these problems rise from inherent problems in cross-cultural communications

    They had 2 co-chairs who were highly-experienced American con-runners, and their Advisor was the chair of Worldcon in 2013. I am quite sure that they knew exactly what they were doing.

    Their claim

    It was never our intention of not being upfront about this matter

    rings extremely hollow, given that they had repeatedly made it quite clear in e-mails to me that they had no intention of doing so.

    As far as the packet, I am so glad that you all enjoyed it! It was my pleasure to put it together for the voters, since the Hugo Awards are very dear to my heart.

  12. Terhi:

    No, Jo Van Ekeren didn’t say she quit. This is what she said:

    “And they confirmed for me that ***they had never had any intention of communicating the Souvenir Book issue to the members***, by telling me that they were removing me from Worldcon 75 staff because they couldn’t have a member of the staff criticizing the convention publicly – something I would not have any need to do, if they were willing to be honest with the Worldcon 75 members themselves.”

    As an organizer myself, I’m also quite sensitive when I feel things go into bashing territory. And while I saw some of that on the Facebook page of Van Ekeren, I do not see anything of that here. Perhaps one comment that could be seen as that (I do not think awarding a con or not to some would hang entirely on the price of a souvenir book).

    Otherwise, I agree that I have seen several cultural clashes regarding the con (such as american use of cheques, of how distances to hotels are larger in Europe and so on). I hope they will be over before Dublin.

    But I do think that breaking with longstanding traditions should be communicated clearly. And that has nothing to do with cultural clashes.

  13. And I did not receive any souvenir book for Sasquan either. Didn’t know I was supposed to. Was that for everyone or only those who got printed copies?

    Not that I would know what to do with one.

  14. Wait, were there electronic copies of the Souvenir Books from Sasquan and MidAmeriCon II? Because I never got e-mails with those.

  15. Terhi: If this is used to bash non-North American con bids and con organizers (as I think is already happening regarding Worldcon 75), I think it’s unfair.

    All the “bashing” of Worldcon 75 I have seen has been over their many, repeated communications failures over the last 2 years (and there have been a lot of those), and over the fact that they seem to want to have the prestige of running a Worldcon without having to meet the standards of a Worldcon.

    But sure, if you can point out posts where bashing is being done just because Worldcon is being run by a different country, I’ll be glad to go over there and tell them it’s wrong and they should stop doing it.

  16. Oh, I do think there have seen a few comments where bashings have been done just because of Worldcon being run by a different country. But from the perspective of the bashers, it has been because of lower standards. The discussion about cheques is such a one (which was still referred to on the linked Facebook page).

    Americans think it is low standard to not support cheques. While Europeans think supporting cheques is extremely low standard. 😛

  17. OK, I’m sorry, I admit I was wrong about the Jo Van Ekeren’s situation regarding the removal from the con organization.

    I brought up the souvenir book and Sasquan, because Jo asserted in her original public Facebook post that it’s a long tradition and an obligation to provide the souvenir book (in printed form) to the supporting members (direct quote from her Facebook post):
    “I told them I recognized that the Worldcon 75 concom, being unfamiliar with the long history of Worldcon in general, may not have understood that sending Souvenir Program Books to Supporting Members was an obligation, but that this had been caught in time. The concom still had time to re-work the budget and ensure that (by my current estimate, since the last time that membership totals were released for Worldcon 75 was 3 months ago) 3,000+ Souvenir books, and the postage to mail them to Supporting Members, could be provided for in the budget, and that the most economical arrangements could be made (such as having a set printed in, and mailed from, the U.S.) to fulfill this obligation.”

    As you can now see, at least one other worldcon (Sasquan) recently had problems in fulfilling this obligation to their supporting members… (And I think Sasquan did not make it clear whether the souvenir book was at all available, in any format, for supporting members. However, after my posting in Jo’s Facebook thread, Sasquan’s representative messaged me saying that was an oversight and was kind enough to offer to bring Sasquan souvenir books and cds to Helsinki. I replied that a cd was fine for me.)

    It seems to me that this controversy originally was not just about whether the souvenir book was available in electronic format to all members or whether it was available in print for supporting members for an extra fee and whether this was communicated clearly, but that Jo asserted that it was the obligation for the Worldcon 75 to mail the printed souvenir book to all supporting members and that the Worldcon 75 had decided (quite early on) not to do so due to economic reasons and to provide the printed book for supporting members for a fee (and admittedly not communicated that perhaps clearly enough). So, I think that Jo’s original complaint about Worldcon 75 and souvenir books is not quite fair or reasonable when considering evidence from e.g. Sasquan… I think Worldcon 75 will fulfill their obligation for supporting members reasonably well with electronic version of the souvenir book.

    (To clarify, I’m not sure whether MidAmericon II was supposed to provide the souvenir book to supporting members in any format. My understanding from the Facebook comments was that at this moment at least Worldcon 75 supporting members are expecting to get the book in electronic format and the con organizers have assured them that this is indeed the case. I assumed then, possibly wrongly, that MidAmericon II and Sasquan would also have provided at least the electronic version of the souvenir book to their supporting members to fulfill this obligation of providing souvenir books to the supporting worldcon members and because at least Sasquan had clearly had some problems in sending out printed souvenir books. I tried to confirm this the Sasquan and MidAmericon II web sites but did have time to do a thorough search. I now realize I may have created just further confusion regarding this issue of supporting memberships of Sasquan and MidAmericon II and souvenir books in electronic format, and I apologize for that. )

    This discussion then relates to how high the supporting membership fee should then be and what is more important, to attract more supporting members and get them to participate e.g. in the Hugo Awards or covering costs for printing and mailing a con souvenir book to all supporting members. I personally am happy to pay lower supporting membership fees and pay extra for the printed souvenir book and for other publications.


    @Hampus Eckerman About bashing, I think there’s been several quite negative non-constructive comments about the Worldcon 75 here already during recent weeks. (I’m not going to name any names here because that is just not going to be productive but if you’ve been paying attention and reading comments you’ve noticed them. Maybe those comments don’t count as bashing for you, but for me their tone has been acrid and mean(ish) enough to count as not objective criticism.)

  18. All decisions are political and will have an abundance of opinions that will argue this or that. That is one thing. The other thing is how you communicate outwards when you make changes to traditions. That is another thing.

    It is the communication that has been the problem. I see no reason to go into an argument of souvenir books do or don’t.

    And yes, I have read more or less all comments for the last years. But if I’m angry at a comment, I will respond to the comment in that thread. I see no reason to talk about bashing in one thread when I’m referring to comments in another thread some other week.

    There has absolutely been comments I’ve felt have been unnecessary. Well, I’m on the internet, so of course that is true.

  19. Hampus Eckerman: from the perspective of the bashers, it has been because of lower standards. The discussion about cheques is such a one.

    That’s a complaint I don’t agree with, either; I think the expectation that Worldcon 75 should accept U.S. checks onsite in Helsinki is ridiculous. As long as they’ve got a system which will accept U.S. cards, that should be sufficient. I believe that they did accept checks for memberships purchased at other U.S. conventions. And they are accepting U.S. checks for Site Selection, if the ballots are mailed to the U.S. collection address.

    One of the things which does concern me is reports from several people who, after a long delay, were finally notified of their accommodation in the onsite hotel, but their rooms do not appear to actually meet accessibility needs. 😐

  20. I do think MAC2 was better on communication, such as with the park. As an example W75 still has information about sponsoring a bench, but no mention that the the deadline has passed. On the other hand, MAC2 had this horrible mess with the Hugo voting with people not knowing if their votes had been received.

    Every convention will make their own mistakes.

  21. “One of the things which does concern me is reports from several people who, after a long delay, were finally notified of their accommodation in the onsite hotel, but their rooms do not appear to actually meet accessibility needs. ?”

    Lets hope that will be solved in the month that is left then.

  22. All the “bashing” of Worldcon 75 I have seen has been over their many, repeated communications failures over the last 2 years (and there have been a lot of those) …

    I would second that sentiment. This episode is simply the latest one.

    In another forum somebody stated their understanding had long been that opting for electronic pubs was for pre-con publications (progress reports, etc.) and was not for the Souvenir Book. That had been my understanding as well.

    I’m glad the chair of Worldcon 75 has finally made a statement clarifying their position, and even cracking open the door a bit on the possibility of providing hard copy Souvenir Books to all members, attending and those supporting who want it. As an attending member who won’t be able to attend, I look forward to getting my SB in the mail …

    And I’m doubly, trebly glad that the Dublin committee has clearly outlined its policy.

  23. @Hampus Eckerman

    All decisions are political and will have an abundance of opinions that will argue this or that. That is one thing. The other thing is how you communicate outwards when you make changes to traditions. That is another thing.

    Jo Van Ekerman’s original posting in Facebook was about the tradition and obligation concerning providing printed souvenir books to all supporting members without an extra fee. I’ve pointed out that thread and more clearly here that fulfilling this obligation and tradition seems to have been problematic already a couple of years ago in Sasquan. I can understand how Sasquan might have had problems with a large number of new supporting members joining in after the Hugo nominations thing, but I find it very problematic that Worldcon 75 now receives this amount of very negative commentary when they are providing the souvenir book in electronic format for all members and have communicated about their printed publications policy, not clearly enough perhaps, but they have done it. Double standards at work here.

    About responding, I’d spend too much time of my time commenting and responding, if I reacted to everything all the time.

    But…
    @Lurkertype

    Their PR/messaging has been completely shit the entire time — inept, delayed, or just plain wrong with occasional voyages into… worse.

    You’re welcome to criticize and provide also reasons for your views, but this tone and aggressiveness is exactly what I find unnecessary. You can criticize without calling something **it. Also, I admit there have been problems with communications but what about providing suggestions and solutions instead of just this negative spiel. OK, your style is your style but I’m calling for some reasonably stated opinions. And, no, just telling me ‘This is internet, deal with it’ is not going to be very constructive.


    All in all, I find that most of the time discussions here have been enjoyable, entertaining and informative, but occasionally there been quite unpleasant pile-ons to people who have expressed differing opinions. If you view this space as tolerant and welcoming, well, I’m not sure it always actually is. My first language is not English and therefore I may not always be able to express myself clearly enough and convey nuances as well as I’d like to. This is also something that prevents me from commenting as often enough as I’d like to. It’s also something to keep in mind when replying to new people here…

  24. Terhi: I admit there have been problems with communications but what about providing suggestions and solutions instead of just this negative spiel.

    You know that during the last year, Worldcon 75’s been given lots of constructive feedback, by many people, on how they can communicate better, right? And that it hasn’t seemed to make any difference?

    Also, why should it be the job of File 770 commenters to fix Worldcon 75’s communication problems? If you’d like to see a more positive public reception, perhaps it would be better for you to volunteer to help with the Worldcon 75 concom to make things better, instead of telling people here that they’re not allowed to react in the way that they’re reacting.

    I can sympathize with your feeling that you’re getting “piled on”.

    But I’ve seen you repeat several incorrect things here and in your comments on the Facebook thread that Mike linked to in this post. Did you not actually read that Facebook post? Do you think that maybe it looks as though you’re rushing in to make a bunch of excuses for Worldcon 75, without actually understanding the criticisms? Do you think that maybe it looks as though you’re introducing a lot of side issues in an attempt to deflect and minimize those criticisms?

    Can you understand how those things might cause others to respond in a way that might cause you to feel “piled on”? 😐

  25. Under no reasonable interpretation can “pre-convention publications” include the souvenir/program book, since it is distributed AT the convention. I would even (grudgingly) paid extra had that been made clear. Tehri is quite simply wrong in this assertion. I do want the printed book and look forward to the option of getting it, even if it’s going to cost more. Let this be a warning to future Worldcon bidders (and kudos to Dublin for getting out ahead of this).

  26. Terhi:

    “…but I find it very problematic that Worldcon 75 now receives this amount of very negative commentary when they are providing the souvenir book in electronic format for all members and have communicated about their printed publications policy, not clearly enough perhaps, but they have done it. Double standards at work here.

    You have noticed that the negative commentary mostly comes from before it was clearly communicated about the souvenir book? And that the negative commentary afterwards is more or less only about how it is sad that they failed to communicate more clearly before the public facebook post?

    And that is it. I do not understand what you mean by double standards. Truly. My guess is that this hullabaloo will die by itself now when an answer has been given. That is what typically happens. It blows up for a short time and then dies out and people will continue to discuss the fun things.

    “About responding, I’d spend too much time of my time commenting and responding, if I reacted to everything all the time.”

    I’m not saying you have a duty to respond. I only say that you confuse things for us others when you talk about bashing in one thread, but you are referring to bashing occurring somewhere else.

  27. If anyone has information about obtaining e-copies of the Sasquan and MidAmeriCon2 Souvenir Books, I’d love to know. I’d also consider purchasing print copies if they were made available.

    For whatever it’s worth, Loncon was my first time as a Supporting Member, and even receiving an ebook was a surprise. My experience as a Supporting Member of Sasquan and MidAmeriCon2 led me to believe that the “new tradition” since 2015 was Souvenir Books (print or ebook) were for Attending Members only. Given that Loncon had struggled and Sasquan had such an increase in supporting memberships, I could see it, and I don’t recall anything being communicated about it in either case.

  28. Regarding communication…

    Communication is extremely hard, mostly thankless, but very important. I don’t know how many times I had things blow up in my face because of bad communication when organizing things. And the aftermath is always enormous amount of work that would have been much better served with clearer information beforehand.

    But it is so easy to see that afterwards.

    Like the discussions about hotels before. That European cities tend to have convention centers in one place, outside of the city, and hotels inside the city. And for us it is so natural that we are baffled when people react to this and say that they were never informed. Because that is how it is everywhere. Here.

    Another thing is that when organizing, you tend to sit in meetings and discuss things absolutely all the time that it is easy to forget how much more knowledge you have than others. Or that those very clear lines on the webpage aren’t as clear when you don’t have all that pre-existing knowledge. And that people reading the last amount of info have no idea what you sent out in a totally different release six months before.

    Add into it that when working in a foreign language, the person doing one thing and have all info might not be able to update a page with all the info because they are lacking the written language skill. There is a difference between understanding a language, speaking in a language and writing in a language. So the person writing the stuff might have less knowledge about what they are writing than if the person doing the stuff had written it down.

    I have failed numerous times and have become better. To the level that I know can read others texts and wince, knowing that the innocent wording in one place will be received like a thrown hand grenade.

    But I think we shouldn’t underestimate the work with communication. And how much work it is, how much energy is drained, how much drama there is behind the scenes. I’m very impressed when people manage to communicate before large events without any hick-ups.

  29. And I wrote that comment before we just had a major blow-up around a club I go to and it was precisely because of bad communication.

  30. Yeah, I’ve been responsible for releasing documents to the “public” (in my case, the members of my WoW guild, so both an easy audience – because I know all of them – and a hard one – because WoW and Drahma go together like mac and cheese), and hitting all the right notes and explaining things clearly but not in too much detail is hard. And people really only notice when you screw up, not when you get it right. I think in future I will try to put a bit more effort into noticing the good communication as well as the bad.

    Still, when it comes to established and expected practices, it does help to be really, really explicit and preferably apologetic if you’re removing a traditional perk. If they’d stated, clearly and early on, that based on the dificulties of prior Worldcon’s they didn’t think they could budget for any printed materials for supporting members without an additional surcharge, then there would have been some grumbling but nothing major. It’s the ambiguity of ‘pre-convention publications’ that sunk them, and the lack of clarification until after it was too late for people to pay that surcharge.

    Now, that at least seems to have been resolved, but that in the process they removed a member of the concom who had done excellent work putting together the packet… Well. It isn’t an ideal resolution. Optics are as important as results, in some ways.

    The lack of communication with contributors to the Souvenir Book about whether it would be distributed in e-form is also quite a serious communication issue. I hope they are also working on resolving that as soon as possible.

  31. Cora and Hampus-While I had an attending, rather than a supporting, Sasquan membership, I was not able to attend. I received my souvenir book, if memory serves, fairly soon after the con.

    In a reply to Ms. Van Ekerman’s initial FB post, Linda Deneroff said that she is the person to be contacted if you have not received the Sasquan souvenir book. Unfortunately, I do not have her contact info.

  32. Thanks Joel,
    I have attempted to contact her through Facebook.

    Now to see if I can find out anything about MidAmeriCon2’s book.

    (Finally remembered to look at the date here in 5674 where souvenir books are delivered directly into our brain implants the instant Worldcon begins.)

  33. Criticism may or may not be valid, but is not de facto bashing. Just because you disagree with criticism doesn’t make it bashing.

    Calling it bashing is dismissive and that’s very tedious, whether it comes from Europeans or Americans or Canadians or whoever.

  34. Gah poor wording – I wrote “you,” but I should’ve used “one” (since it was intended as a general comment).

    What was that about communication being tough? 😉

  35. @Kendall

    I suppose general-you might be a holdover from when it was the plural and never a singular. 🙂 But it doesn’t half get a bit muddled now that it does double-duty.

    I think if you’ve been consistent and built up good commenter-cred in a community, you can probably get away with saying things like ‘and at times it has crossed the line into bashing’ (paraphrase) when it isn’t necessarily referring to the current conversation, since people will either remember you pushing back on previous occasions or will know you well enough to guess at what you might mean (it can of course also backfire if you’ve gained a reputation for over-reacting). But even then, if the bashing isn’t happening in the conversation you’re actually having, it carries a faint whiff of trying to criticise current participants with a figleaf of cover if you’re not really careful, and also meeting the ‘is this relevant?’ bar might be tricky. If they’re not bashing right now why is it important to point out that it happened before? There are good answers to that, but not in every situation.

  36. Kendall: Criticism may or may not be valid, but is not de facto bashing. Just because you disagree with criticism doesn’t make it bashing.

    I also remember the last two Worldcons getting quite a bit of (justified) criticism, and they were both held in the States. So I think the claims that Worldcon 75 is getting bashed just because it’s in another country and Americans are xenophobic are pretty spurious.

    What I suspect is happening is that people who weren’t around, or weren’t paying attention, during the last three years, and thus have no awareness of the criticisms that Sasquan and MidAmeriCon II received, are assuming that because they don’t know about that criticism, those conventions didn’t receive any criticism.

  37. Every Worldcon get its share of criticism and praise. Thing is that it is easier to remember the negative comments than the positive and thus draw conclusions about “bashing” where none exist.

    On the other hand the case with people remembering negative comments more than positive is why I think people should be extremely careful when handing out criticism. I know organizers that have quit organizing because of three persons when they had hundred satisfied. Because those three persons constant energy drain made it not worth it.

    But I do think Sasquan and MAC2 was riding on an enormous community feeling and fandom patriotism because of the puppies. It is still there, but not on the same level.

  38. Terhi, in that I was a Sasquan staffer, I wish I could tell you the story about what happened with sending Sasquan Souvenir Books to members, but I cannot because that wasn’t the part of the elephant I was near, and the past is another country.

    That having been said, I feel I can second Jo’s statement that providing a printed copy to supporting members as a default assumption goes back a long ways. (I’ve been attending Worldcons since L.A. con III in 1996, 20 years. People who’ve done it longer are welcome to contradict me. That group cannot, include Dave Kyle any longer, to our great sorrow.)

    Implicit in that wording is my understanding, shared by Jo, that it’s perfectly fine to have a different policy as long as that is clear to members and potential members, from early on. In that regard, I’m drastically less interested in criticising Worldcon 75 than I am in ensuring that the issue is clarified for Worldcon 76 (San José) and after. The timely communication of policy is, as Jo says, really the point.

    On another note, hey, Hampus, any chance you or other Swedish fen can be on one of the Viking Line ferries from Stockholm to Helsinki before con, and on the one back after? My wife Deirdre and I will.

  39. Rick Moen:

    I’ll be on SILJA SERENADE, 7/8 from Sweden to Helsinki and then back 13/8 on SILJA SYMPHONY. I think ULTRAGOTHA has information about another ferry where several swedish and foreign fans have joined together (both there and back).

    If you have time to meetup in Stockholm before or after, just ask Mike for my email. Which goes for all other filers too.

  40. I, too, was a supporting member of Sasquan and MidAmericon II, and never received a printed or electronic version of the souvenir book for either.

  41. @Hampus: There had been an early aspiration, now in tatters, for a group of Swedish fen and international friends to travel together on Viking Line. This was put together by a fan named Pebbles, who later was sadly obliged to drop out on account of health problems, so those of us hoping to join in were left with an information void, and it turns out there’s no longer an organised effort. Circling back to the problem, I got in touch with my longtime (online) Svensk friend Karl-Johan Norén and his wife Therese Norén. Karl-Johan explained why the early planning fell apart, and added that many Swedish fen are travelling to Helsinki significantly early because they’re on staff (obvious in retrospect), hence will be departing Stockholm long before Mo 7 August or Tu 8 August, those being my and Deirdre’s options. (K-J implies he’s among those arriving early.)

    Karl-Johan says another Swedish fan whom I’ve not yet met will be on Viking’s M/S Mariella’s Tu 8 August departure, but knows of no others taking that line. (He says they’ve not yet arranged their return trip.)

    I hear that, of the two rival lines, Viking Line and Tallink Silja Line, the latter is reputed more elegant, the former the “party ship” (high, um, spirits being facilitated on both by duty-free drinkables, on account of the stop at Åland).

    I need not be well-lubricated, myself, so I’m asking Karl-Johan how about he and his wife returning to Stockholm using the ship and departure you’re taking. (But he says they’re probably doing it the 14th)

  42. The 2002 Worldcon attempted to send the at-con publications, including the Souvenir Book and Pocket Program, to all of the members, including supporting, who did not actually attend the convention. We even (as I recall) went back and printed membership badges for the supporting members. I remember helping stuff packets. They were quite expensive to mail.

    Now that doesn’t mean that every member got publications, because sometimes mail goes astray, we had bad addresses, etc., but the intent was that a supporting member by default got the at-con print publications, just as if they had shown up in person at the convention. Attending members who did not show up also got their publications.

    On a different subject: I will be coming to Helsinki by boat as well, but not the route described above. I’m flying to Hamburg, taking the train to Lubeck, then taking a 30-hour Finnlines ferry crossing, which will be my longest over-water trip ever, the longest being an English Channel ferry crossing in 1995. After the long flight from SFO (via PDX and KEF), I’m hoping to get some sleep on the ferry crossing, which includes two nights aboard. We get only a single day in Hamburg because the Finnlines ferries run only 6x/week, so we had to cut our time in Germany lest we get to Helsinki later than we wanted.

  43. Rick:

    I’n travelling on Silja because my father has a discount there (he buys his beer in Estonia and takes a few trips a year with a friend).

    You are correct that the Viking Line boats are more party boats which is an experience by itself, but one that I have experienced one time too many. 😉

    You did see the separate post on meetups?

  44. Pingback: Draft Resolution About Worldcon Publications Policies | File 770

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