58 thoughts on “Worldcon 76 Open Post for August 19

  1. @Mark: Thanks for the masquerade photos link. This will be fun to look over!

    @Red Panda Fraction: Groovy; I’ll snap up a sequel as soon as it’s out. 🙂

  2. Biggest bits from the business meeting:

    After a lengthy discussion in committee of the whole, the artist categories were referred to a brand new committee, to report back next year, 41-30.

    An on-the-fly resolution to apologize to the Le Guin estate for the Lodestar naming kerfuffle was rejected, 23-31.

  3. Yay Maia.

    I have a rant stored up about the business meeting and what a cock up it is to have meeting rules so convoluted that neither the chair nor the deputy chair can run the ordinary business (because committees of the whole qualify as ordinary business) meeting without consultation with the parliamentarian or frequent interjections on points of order by Kevin Standlee.

    This in no way means I think either the chair or deputy chair did a poor job. They were great.

    I get that meeting rules are a necessary component of cat herding. I do not believe they should be so abstruse as to discourage any participants who have not attended for the past 40 years or to confuse those people chairing the meeting.

  4. Yay New Zealand! Yay Utah! Yay Goblin Emperor! Really excellent news all-round.

  5. Tremendously exciting news about The Goblin Emperor sequel! Though to people excited about more Maia: it’s possible Addison’s changed her mind about this, but as far as I know her most recent statement regarding a sequel was that she was interested in writing a novel set in the same world but focusing on a different character or characters as the protagonist(s).

  6. @CeeV: Right, I remember that as well, and I’m happy about another book in that world – whoever it’s about. I (and perhaps others, and perhaps including Tor?) sometimes use “sequel” a bit broadly. 😉

  7. @ Cheryl S. I sat through part of the business meeting and by my estimate 10% of the time was taken up arguing over the meeting rules rather than the actual discussion.

    @ Steve Green. Talking to people today, several were quite excited about NZ and visiting Hobbiton. Others were dubious about the cost- we will have to wait and see.

    Speaking of attendance, anyone know what the numbers are for Worldcon76?

  8. What are people’s plans for the Hugo ceremony? Lauowolf and I are wondering.

  9. @Cheryl S.: I’ve been pondering whether it’s worth proposing a standing rules amendment to tweak Committee of the Whole procedures to be a bit more user-friendly. On the other hand, I’m not sure that we get much benefit out of Committee of the Whole (as opposed to Informal Consideration or Quasi Committee) in the first place.

    @bookworm1398: Last night’s newsletter said 4690 warm bodies end of day Friday.

  10. On the Goblin Emperor sequel:
    It is not the next book (she has turned in her next book).
    Her editor has seen three chapters.
    It is not a direct sequel, it does take place in Maia’s reign (so Maia is not viewpoint character)
    Per editor, she writes slowly. So if I were a betting man, I don’t think we would see it before 2020 at the very earliest. Still great news, though.

    This is from the Tor panel, there may be news elsewhere I am unaware of.

  11. @Douglas and @Goobergunch —

    we have 5,293 warm bodies

    4690 warm bodies

    I just can’t resist asking — how many cold bodies?

    Yeah, I know, I’ll shut up now….

  12. Re: Hugo watching, I’m hoping to meet up with people to sit with for the ceremony. (Last year, due to having a panel that ran into the line-up and seating time, I missed out on the social aspects for the most part.) I plan to be generally hanging out in the lobby around line-up time so see what sort of group accretes.

    By the way, I have been having a fabulous Worldcon. I’ve managed to find the right balance of social interactions while still keeping track of my introvert limits. And I’ve had a delightful number of people accost me randomly and say nice things about my writing. Living the author life!

  13. I’m thinking of watching the simulcast at Callahan’s Place for a while, then wandering off to the open filk and/or the New Zealand victory party.

  14. Will the ceremony be available to stream online, if we have to go back to the hotel early? Is there a break in the middle? We have to check out at 7am so might not be able to see the whole thing in the ballroom or Callahans

  15. I’m planning on making my way to the lining up point soon. Ish.

    Goobergunch – I’ve been pondering whether it’s worth proposing a standing rules amendment to tweak Committee of the Whole procedures to be a bit more user-friendly.

    Rules tweaks are part of the problem. The current Frankenstein’s monster assemblage of rules by which the business meeting is run is not actually discoverable by anyone new to the meeting. No matter how well you know Robert’s Rules, you will still be wrong footed in most cases by the long, slow accretion of tweaks.

    The resulting institutional dysfunction is sufficiently severe that the people running the meeting cannot actually do so without consulting the parliamentarian or applying to Kevin Standlee for even ordinary business. And then far too often the people speaking at the podiums are either those who have been at every business meeting for decades or those who are sufficiently armored and don’t care that people are shouting that they’re doing it wrong.

  16. We’ve decided that the logical sane thing for us to do is to watch in Callahans so we can leave when our frail East Coast systems say it’s time to quit.

    Those of you who have seen me in the last couple of days know I’ve been plagued by back pain on this trip. Last night I had my first ever legal marijuana, and also tried some (legal even in NJ) CBD. I’m now a believer if not indeed an evangelist.

  17. I’m in the back at Callahan’s and there are some extra chairs.
    Next to the teeny Palm tree, if anyone wants to rendezvous.

  18. More of Maia’s world! I whooped so loudly I scared the cats!

    @ Mark: Thanks for the link! That will soak up some time.

    @ Cheryl: No argument from me. I’ve been saying for years that the primary result of applying RROO is to turn any meeting, no matter how small, into Entmoot — and it only gets worse if you have a rules-lawyer or two in the group.* Yes, you need to have rules and a structure, but there’s got to be a better way.

    * Thanks to one of those, deciding on a NAME for our start-up local convention took up all of two entire concom meetings, most of which needed to have been spent discussing other issues. CWAA.

  19. Mostly lurker, sometimes commenter: I got to make a flying Worldcon trip yesterday — I’m in Sacramento, so I drove over, spent Saturday hanging around, and then drove home — and I’m trying to get all the experience down.

    Here’s the first part: Worldcon (Part the First). I’m going to try to write more here shortly.

  20. @katster: I just read your post and I’m so happy for you being able to go to Worldcon for the day! 😀

  21. @katster: Delightful to have spent time chatting with you — and it’s equally delightful to hear that being at the Worldcon brought some joy into your life.

    @Doctor Science: You tried some surprisingly lawful Central Business District? (That’s actually the first thing I thought of when I read CBD, so I’m clearly not even a tiny bit with it.)

    Sorry to have gotten your SMS rather late after Friday’s Filer dinner gathering. As it turned out, although I went after dinner with a smaller group seeking a place to sit comfortably and chat, it turned out the other folks preferred to spend time in room parties, so we went our separate ways.

  22. @Dougtron3030 : Thanks for the news and detail!
    I am A-OK with a non-Maia followup book. I am also A-OK with another non-Goblin Emperor-related book even before then! I am, generally speaking, in great excitement about the promise of future Katherine Addison books, of any stripe and color (and I have a warm place in my heart for authors who “write slowly”).

  23. @Doctor Science: Entirely delightful to meet you w/ my wife Muccamukk (who I think is a more regular commenter here) at a room party on Friday night! I hope you were able to watch the Hugo ceremony as much as you wanted to in whatever way worked best. <3

    I was delighted to see that Kevin Standlee wore a Mirror Universe Starfleet outfit to the Hugos, since I did the same thing! I wish I could have achieved a photo op, but he seems to be extremely busy so it didn't happen. Still, pretty cool to have independently come up with a similar idea!

    But mostly I am over the moon about Murderbot winning, and all the other awesome winners! 😀

  24. @Standback —

    I am, generally speaking, in great excitement about the promise of future Katherine Addison books, of any stripe and color

    Or Sarah Monette books. 🙂

  25. @Lee et al: I would love to see a way to manage meetings without such a tangle of rules. OTOH, I have too much familiarity with the way one person who won’t shut up and insists on the last word can dominate a meeting run without clear rules; such can do more damage to an organization than a rules lawyer. Possibly the way to deal with a rules lawyer is for the chair to (e.g.) reject some of their actions as dilatory motions — or possibly a parliamentarian, as an independent party, is a way to keep some balance in a collection of several hundred people who mostly don’t legislate for a living.

  26. I have no objection to clear rules. I’ve chaired committee and board meetings for over 20 years and have an appreciation for the difficulty of herding cats.

    My problem is with the institutional dysfunction that has accreted over time and privileges a very few people while often thoroughly confusing almost all other attendees, including the chair and co-chair (who, once again, are great).

    In other words, my objection is that there are not, in actual fact, anything like clear rules governing the business meeting.

  27. Actually, my response to the business meeting was entirely the opposite.
    I saw it as cat herding at its finest.
    The problem with comparing the WSFS business meeting to a generic business meetings is that, although it is in fact a business meeting, it is not really like the usual meeting of a business.
    Meetings of a business are attended by people employed by or doing business with the people running it, and even when disagreeing, they are all running, as it were, on the same system.
    The only qualification for attendance at the WSFS business meeting is the purchase of a membership in WSFS, no experience, and even no intention to make things work, is required.
    It’s as if I could shell out a couple of hundred dollars and then just walk into Google and tell them how to run the place.
    The difference is between herding your own cats, and herding totally random cats, hence lots and lots of structure.

  28. @Cheryl: I’m genuinely sorry to hear that you’re so dismayed with the Business Meeting. I started following it a few years back, when EPH was proposed, and I’ve been very impressed with it ever since. It’s long and laborious, but it really does seem to me that it manages to handle pretty controversial proposals in an orderly, uncontroversial manner.

    This isn’t me arguing, this is me going: I’d love to hear more detail about what you feel is awry with the Business Meeting, because that’s a perspective I’m very much missing, and it sounds like you’ve got some well-considered opinions 🙂

    I don’t know Robert’s Rules, outside this context; what’s different and confusing about how WSFS does it?

  29. @Standback: I highly recommend the “Doctrine of the Labyrinth” series by Sarah Monette (Addison), but be warned – it’s nothing like The Goblin Emperor and is full of dirt, blood, evil, bizarre magics, and Bad Things Happening to Main Characters. Start with book 1, Melusine. She did excellent voices for her two first person main characters (and later PoV additions/replacements).

    But again, it’s not TGE – very different. So if you especially liked the “people are nice” aspect of TGE, uh, well, that’s not here. 😉

    If you’ve already read or tried this series, then never mind.

  30. First, I love the business meeting. It, like all the meetings I’ve attended and/or presided over (almost exclusively within nonprofits), is a fascinating look at how stakeholders interact with an institution. Plus I flat adore all things governance related.

    My objection is that the cobbled together mishmash of Robert’s Rules of Order and standing rules unique to WSFS results in two issues. First, the same people are rising to speak, either because they’re among the chosen few who have memorized enough of the ins and outs of a system found nowhere else or because they are more immune than the rest of the room to the disapproval heaped on those who do it wrong. All those people who didn’t rise for debate but did frequently speak sotto voce from their seats? Maybe they would have added a fresh perspective, but the inherent gatekeeping of abstruse rules kept them sitting. Maybe.

    Problem the second is that those running the meeting were frequently either wrong about how they should be doing perfectly ordinary business and had to be corrected (and these are smart, experienced people) or had to apply to the parliamentarian for guidance. That’s far from ideal unless you’re running into some kind of inside baseball matter, which wasn’t the case.

    Oh, and fun fact, the purchase of one share of a company’s stock does actually theoretically give you the right to tell it what to do, you just have to persuade the representatives of slightly over 50% of the shareholders to vote with you, so the bones are the same .

  31. @Cheryl S

    the purchase of one share of a company’s stock does actually theoretically give you the right to tell it what to do, you just have to persuade the representatives of slightly over 50% of the shareholders to vote with you

    Good luck – even with a majority of the shareholders backing you, the board of directors is likely to decide it’s just an advisory vote” and ignore it.

  32. @Cheryl: Thanks 😀

    First, I love the business meeting. It, like all the meetings I’ve attended and/or presided over (almost exclusively within nonprofits), is a fascinating look at how stakeholders interact with an institution. Plus I flat adore all things governance related.

    YES.
    I was sincerely shocked at how much fun I had, watching and then attending the business meeting. Even when the one I attended boiled down to “Raise objections to a very popular suggestion, and then discount them one by one.” It was fun, and I may not be entirely well of mind 😛

    My objection is that the cobbled together mishmash of Robert’s Rules of Order and standing rules unique to WSFS results in two issues. First, the same people are rising to speak (…) Problem the second is that those running the meeting were frequently either wrong about how they should be doing perfectly ordinary business (…)

    That’s very interesting.

    Last year I got to join the business meeting for one of the sessions, and enjoyed it tremendously. I confess I wasn’t shy — I didn’t make a speech, but I did make two inquiries that I felt were helpful and well-placed (and had I been able to make the 3SV session, I was very eager to speak to that). My feeling was that I knew enough of the rules and procedures to be useful, not disruptive, and that I’d be promptly corrected if I got some formality wrong.

    Again, I don’t know Robert’s Rules, beyond these meetings, which is maybe why I’ve got a different take on this than you — I don’t have anything to compare it to. I did follow some of the previous years’ meetings very closely (I think I watched the full videos the year of EPH…). Plus I may be an overconfident guy 😛

    All that being said, there was only so much I felt qualified to speak on. Some of the issues just weren’t ones I knew well or had a firm opinion on (but I did through debate, and the voting bit is important too!). Other subjects were very minute and technical. It definitely wasn’t the rules keeping me from rising (OTOH, there do seem to be a few who will rise to pretty much anything, and that can definitely be frustrating…)

    I do suspect that any sufficient rules (e.g. strict Robert’s Rules) would similarly be a barrier — although I guess less of one, because more people know them? (I’m in Israel, where nobody has ever heard of Robert’s Rules. I wish we did; Israeli meetings tend to be loud.) But even so, I imagine that plenty of other Worldcon members have no more idea of them than I. OTOH, having at least some more experts who are 100% fluent, would be a stronger, healthier “critical mass”; I could definitely see the benefit in that.

  33. @Kendall:

    I highly recommend the “Doctrine of the Labyrinth” series by Sarah Monette (Addison), but be warned – it’s nothing like The Goblin Emperor and is full of dirt, blood, evil, bizarre magics, and Bad Things Happening to Main Characters.

    That sounds absolutely delightful!
    Thank you for the rec! I’d known Addison was a pen name, and she’d written more, but I never actually looked up what. I’m adding this to my high-priority TBR list.

  34. Heather Rose Jones:

    “By the way, I have been having a fabulous Worldcon. I’ve managed to find the right balance of social interactions while still keeping track of my introvert limits. And I’ve had a delightful number of people accost me randomly and say nice things about my writing. Living the author life!”

    Yay! This makes me very happy to read. ^^

  35. @Standback: Hahaha, great! This reminds me that I have some other things by her I really should read. . . . ::side-eyes Mount TBR::

  36. Charon, I’d say give Kahuna a scritch for me, but it sounds like that’s the last thing he wants. Um… leave him alone for me? (That sounds terrible…)

    Sounds like you, and he, had a lovely Worldcon, despite his complaints!

  37. Thanks Cassy, we did, and he eventually accepted the petting once he realized kitty treats were often involved. Now he is happily hiding in an Amazon box underneath a desk, enjoying the peace and quiet. Such a curmudgeon.

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