It’s Spokane in 2015

Spokane will be the site of the 2015 Worldcon, reports Kevin Standlee. Helsinki led the first two runoff rounds, but when Orlando was eliminated enough of its voters shifted to Spokane to give it a final margin of 645 votes to Helsinki’s 610.

The results will be made official at the Sunday Business Meeting, at which time Spokane will reveal its guests and other details.

LoneStarCon 3 Main Business Meeting

Nearly all of the proposals to change the Hugos having been shot down yesterday at LoneStarCon 3’s Preliminary Business Meeting, only one was considered at Saturday’s Main Business Meeting.

The motion to transform the Best Fan Artist Hugo into something that could also be won by “musical, dance, jewelry and costuming artists” was rejected. Voters deleted the key phrase “any visual or performance medium” then passed the remaining changes that made explicitly eligible artists whose work has appeared in a “non-professional display (including at a convention or conventions).”

The intent seems to be adding to the black-letter rules something voters were already doing, considering the creators of work displayed in convention art shows. What “non-professional” means in this context is not clearly stated. Is that “Not For Sale” art, or is art offered for purchase okay too? Is the focus then on the artist — anything displayed in an art show is okay so long as the creator doesn’t work for a living as an artist? I expect that Hugo voters will be left to make up their own minds about this, as they are in so many other areas.

Two controversial motions governing World Science Fiction Society voting rights and the minimum cost of supporting memberships,  4.1.2, No Representation Without Taxation and 4.1.3, Keep Us Together, which had prompted Seanan McGuire and others to call for opponents to turn out at the Business Meeting, ended up being referred to a committee which will make recommendations at Loncon 3 in 2014.

Rachael Acks liveblogged the meeting and attempted to capture some of the arguments made on both sides, here.

The outcome of all the items on Saturday’s agenda is reported by Kevin Standlee here.

Meantime, Jo Rhett has criticized meeting chair Donald Eastlake’s handling of the YA Hugo proposal at the Preliminary Business Meeting in a post titled The preservation of White Male Privilege at WSFS. However, after seeing his post the alleged victim wrote on Twitter “I’m the lady in question from your entry, and my version of what happened differs significantly. Come find me, let’s talk.” And said in another tweet, “I’m just touchy because people are trying to use me as a symbol of #wsfs badness and I object to that.”

Also, Chris M. Barkley, who was sharply critical of the YA Hugo’s opponents generally, singled out Donald Eastlake for thanks in in an e-mail sent to a large number of people (and File 770)

To all those you have harassed, cajoled and went out of your way to humiliate Amy McNally and squash her new YA book proposal,

“Opinions are at best provisional hypotheses, incompletely tested. The more they are tested, after the tests are scrutinized, the more assurance we may assume, but they are never absolutes. So we must be tolerant of opposite opinions or varying opinions by the very fact of our incredulity of our own.”

— New York District Court Judge Learned Hand to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, circa 1919.

We all have opinions on the viability of a YA or Youth Book Hugo Award but we will never settle such an argument convincingly without actually testing it.

It is my belief that such a test, of two of three years, would not harm the integrity of the Hugo Awards, would be welcomed by the readers who nominate and vote on the Hugos and the YA community at large.

Change, through either growth or attrition, is the natural order of things. The pursuit of change is the primary drive of the fiction we all love. Indifference or denial of change can only lead to the death of fandom as we know it.

I encourage journeyman activists who want to foster continued change in Hugo Award categories and the WSFS constitution to press on with their efforts.

I also want to personally thank Donald Eastlake and Kevin Standlee for going out of their way to form a committee on this issue. I hope that this can be resolved in a more civil and courteous manner from this point forward.

In the meantime, I call on the Loncon committee and the winners of the 2015 Worldcon bid to strongly consider using their constitutional Special Award clauses for a YA Book award.

2013 Sidewise Awards

This winners of this year’s Sidewise Awards for Alternate History were announced at LoneStarCon 3 on August 31.

Short Form
Rick Wilber, “Something Real” (Asimov’s, 4/12)

Long Form
C. J. Sansom, Dominion (Mantle, Pan McMillan)

2013 Chesley Award Winners

The winners of the 2013 Chesley Awards given by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists were announced at LoneStarCon 3 on August 30.

Best Cover Illustration: Paperback Book
John Picacio The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper; Pyr, November 2012

Best Cover Illustration: Hardback Book
Todd Lockwood The Wild Road by Jennifer Roberson; DAW, September 2012

Best Cover Illustration: Magazine
Ken Barthelmey Clarkesworld #74 November 2012

Best Interior Illustration
Sam Burley “Brother. Prince. Snake.” by Cecil Castellucci;, July 2012

Best Monochrome Work: Unpublished
Raoul Vitale Last of His Kind, pencil

Best Color Work: Unpublished
Julie Bell A Passion for the Future, oil

Best Three-Dimensional Art
James Shoop Ramataur, bronze

Best Gaming-Related Illustration
David Palumbo Ereshkigal, Death Mistress (“Legend of the Cryptids”); Applibot Inc., April, 2012

Best Product Illustration
John Picacio La Sirena; Loteria card, 2012

Best Art Director
Irene Gallo – Tor

Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
Gerald Brom

New Dublin in 2019 Worldcon Bid

James Bacon announced a Dublin bid for the 2019 Worldcon this afternoon at LoneStarCon 3.

Their proposed venue is Convention Centre Dublin (CCD), on the north side of the River Liffey, a mile east of the center of the city. The CCD has a 2,000-seat auditorium with a full theatrical stage, six foyers and 4,500 square meters of exhibition space. The Worldcon would have sole use of the CCD.

The con would be held August 14-19, 2019.

The bid also has unveiled its official website. There is a wealth of detail about the facility, and hotels — 1,268 rooms are available within 850 meters or half a mile of the convention center.

The Dublin bid will officially launch in August 2014 at the 72nd Worldcon in London, followed by a launch at Shamrokon (Dublin). Prior to that, Irish fans will attend Eastercon 2014 and Arisia in Boston.

The bid committee’s “Home Team” is:

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.

Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, and The Dublin Convention Bureau have agreed to provide support for a Worldcon in Ireland, including monetary assistance, if the bid is successful.

A downloadable copy of the bid brochure is here [PDF file].

Sanderson Endorses Spokane

With little more than 24 hours remaining to vote for the site of the 2015 Worldcon Brandon Sanderson’s endorsement of Spokane may not have a great impact on the race but I’m sure the bidders are happy to have it just the same.

Sanderson wrote in his blog on August 29 —

I had the pleasure of being Guest of Honor a few weeks back at SpoCon, a sf/fantasy convention in Spokane, Washington…

Since I was just hosted by these people, I think I’m in a unique position to give them—and their Worldcon bid—a shout-out. The guest liaison team was top-notch, and the entire convention was extremely well organized. I was surprised by how pretty Spokane was this time of year to boot.

If anyone is debating where to put their vote for Worldcon, let me nudge you toward Spokane

LoneStarCon 3 Preliminary Business Meeting

Voters at LoneStarCon 3’s Preliminary Business Meeting on Friday morning struck down motions to eliminate the Fan Hugos, to create a YA category Hugo, and to add a third Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo.

Thanks to Kevin Standlee, Rachael Acks and others for livetweeting the proceedings.

Members voted “object to consideration” to this year’s motion to create a YA Hugo called Best Youth Book. Actually, the maker of the motion asked to withdraw it, but was prevented by another member’s objection, so it had to be put to a vote. YA Hugo proponents kept hope alive, in spite of the defeat, by getting the Business Meeting to form a YA Hugo study committee.

Members also voted to “object to consideration” of Milt Steven’s proposal to repeal the Fan Hugos and Eemeli Aro’s idea for expanding Best Dramatic Presentation to include a third Hugo for short length works of less than 15 minutes. Also failing were two motions to extend eligibility of certain items for the 2014 Retro Hugos (which will be given at Loncon 3 for works published in 1938).

However, members agreed they will take up the Joshua Kronengold/Lisa Padol motion expanding eligibility for the Best Fan Artist Hugo at Saturday’s Main Business Meeting. Under their revised definition “An artist or cartoonist working in any visual or performance medium whose work has appeared through publication in semiprozines or fanzines or through other public, non-professional, display (including at a convention or conventions) during the previous calendar year” will be eligible in the category.

LoneStarCon 3 Unveils Hugo Award Base

2013 Hugo Award base designed by Victor Villafranca. Photo: Kevin Standlee. Permission for non-commercial and journalistic uses with attribution granted.

2013 Hugo Award base designed by Victor Villafranca. Photo: Kevin Standlee. Permission for non-commercial and journalistic uses with attribution granted.

Close-up of 2013 Hugo base. Photo: Kevin Standlee. Permission for non-commercial and journalistic uses with attribution granted.

Close-up of 2013 Hugo base. Photo: Kevin Standlee. Permission for non-commercial and journalistic uses with attribution granted.

Victor Villafranca’s 2013 Hugo Award trophy was displayed for the first time at LoneStarCon 3’s Opening Ceremonies on August 29. Thanks to Kevin Standlee for making his photos freely available at

In other Hugo news, look for Ann Gentry’s article about the award, “Hugo Rising”, in the August 30 issue of the Austin Chronicle

The culmination of Worldcon is the formal Hugo Awards ceremony, in which rocket-shaped trophies named for Hugo Gernsback, editor of the first pulp magazine, are bestowed on outstanding science fiction and fantasy work from the past year. Sixteen categories spanning fiction, film, art, and fan work, plus the unaffiliated John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, make this something like the Academy Awards of sci-fi, with most fans listening for the announcement of Best Novel at the end of the night. And like the Oscars, they have plenty of detractors. Every year the release of the shortlist raises cries of sinister cronyism and downright irrelevance, with fans taking to their blogs to lambast the ludicrous process of whittling down the vast and increasingly varied body of science fiction to just five nominees in each category.