Chengdu Bid Committee Officially Established to Facilitate Worldcon 2023 Bid

The bidders to hold the 2023 Worldcon in Chengdu, China held a kickoff meeting to publicize their efforts on July 28, the day before the start of CoNZealand. Those attending saw video messages from well-known sff authors Liu Cixin, Wang Jinkang, He Xi, and Yao Haijun, deputy editor-in-chief of Science Fiction World magazine,

A photo shows there also was a video message from Colette H. Fozard and William Lawhorn, co-chairs of Discon III, the 2021 Worldcon in Washington, D.C.. The 2023 site selection vote will be administered by their Worldcon. A press release posted after the meeting quotes Lawhorn —

William Lawhorn, chairman of the 2021 Washington Worldcon, also encouraged Chengdu’s bid. He hopes the Worldcon can expand its scope of influence to farther places on earth. “After all, only by hosting at different places each time, the world-class convention can be diverse and the sci-fi family can be enlarged.” Lawhorn said, “We need Chengdu, China to become a part of our world sci-fi family.”

The complete press release follows the jump.

At 10 am on July 28th, 2020, the “2023 Chengdu Worldcon Bid Kickoff Meeting (hereinafter referred to as “the meeting”) was officially held in Jingui Hall on the 6th floor of Intercontinental Chengdu Century City. Many guests attended the meeting and shared with us their dreams. The establishment of the Worldcon 2023 Chengdu Bid Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “Chengdu Bid Committee”) was announced at the meeting as well.

The meeting, held one day before the opening of the 2020 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon78), is aimed to show the world science fiction (hereinafter referred to as “sci-fi”) fans the willingness and resolution of Chengdu to bid for the 2023 Worldcon through live streaming, which enables the interaction between the online and the offline. Such well-known sci-fi authors as Wang Jinkang, He Xi, and Yao Haijun, deputy editor-in-chief of Science Fiction World magazine, attended the meeting for pepping up.

Many sci-fi celebrities like Liu Cixin, internationally well -recognized sci-fi scholars Wu Yan and Song Mingwei, well-known sci-fi critic Yan Feng, and Yang Xiao, the first president of Science Fiction World magazine and others also expressed their good wishes to, high expectations and strong support for Chengdu’s Bid for the 2023 Worldcon through videos.

Setting the Goal Two Years Ago, and Getting the Answer One Year Later

On August 16th, 2018 (local time), at the 76th San Jose Worldcon in the USA, Chengdu officially submitted the bid for the 2023 81st Worldcon. Other bidders were Nice, in France and Memphis, in the United States.

The bidding result will be announced next year at the 79th Washington Worldcon, where representatives from all over the world will vote the winner out.

There is a three years’ gap between the submission of the bid and the announcement of the result. However, Chengdu did not spend the past 2 years’ time just waiting in silence but preparing for the 2023 Worldcon actively. Just as at today’s kickoff meeting, another propellent for next year’s final moment, we want the science fiction fans from Chengdu, China and all over the world to know that Chengdu, a “science fiction highland” in China,  has been fighting for the 2023 Worldcon with strenuous efforts.

At the beginning of the kickoff speech by the presidium, the story of “three train tickets” instantly brought many guests back to touching memories.

About our initial science fiction dream 30 years ago

At that time, “Science Fiction World” had yet to be the name of the magazine, but “Science Literature”. The 1989 San Marino annual conference would vote out the host country of the 1991 Annual Conference. Yang Xiao did not even know where the small country of San Marino inside Italy was before she set out.

But she already had a goal, a bold dream, that was to let the world know about Chengdu, and even to bid for the right to host the annual conference two years later. Her efforts and enthusiasm moved all the meeting attendees. At that time, Poland and Yugoslavia were both bidding for the 1991 Annual Conference, but in the end, everyone agreed to give the opportunity to Chengdu, China.

In 1990, in order to express commitment and confirm issues related to the 1991 Annual Conference, Shen Zaiwang took the train from Beijing together with Yang Xiao, then editor-in-chief of Science Literature and Xiang Jichun, then arts editor of Science Literature. After 8 days and nights traveling through the Eurasian continent, they arrived in Hague, the Netherlands, and attended the 1990 annual conference.

They entered the assembly room, looking a little travel-stained, played a promotion video “Welcome to Sichuan” to the attendees, delivered a detailed meeting agenda, and showed them the cute pictures of giant pandas and the incomparable enthusiasm of Chinese sci-fi fans.

In 1991, the World Science Fiction Annual Conference was held in Chengdu as scheduled successfully. And more and more overseas sci-fi authors and people in the sci-fi publishing industry had grown fond of Chengdu. “Science Literature” was also officially changed to “Science Fiction World” that year.

All sorts of feelings were well up when looking back to our 30 years (1989~2019)’ sci-fi dreams.

The 81-year-old Worldcon will be more significant next year.

Founded in 1939, the Worldcon is the largest sci-fi event in the world in terms of scale and influence. It boasts a history of 81 years. Since 1953(the time of the 11th Worldcon), the winner of the Hugo Award, known as the “Nobel Prize in Science Fiction”, has been announced at each Worldcon.

In August 2015, at the 73rd Worldcon in Spokane, Washington, Kyle Lindgren, an astronaut stationed at the International Space Station floating 3.5 million kilometers away from the earth, announced to the world through a video link that Liu Cixin, a Chinese author, had won the award Best Novel with the first volume of The Three-Body Problem. This makes Liu Cixin the first Asian sci-fi author to have received such honor in more than half a century since the Hugo Award was set up.

To many sci-fi fans, the “China (Chengdu) International Science Fiction and Fantasy Conference” in 2007 was undoubtedly a world-class sci-fi event. Many well-known sci-fi authors like Robert Sawyer, Neil Gaiman, and Nancy Kress attended the conference in person. They delivered wonderful speeches and interacted with Chinese sci-fi fans coming to Chengdu from different areas in China.

Actually, it was also the first time for the Worldcon to be held in Asia in 2007. The main venue was Yokohama, Japan, with parallel sessions in North America. The conference held in Chengdu was regarded by many sci-fi fans as a wonderful prologue to the 2007 Worldcon, so they called it a “pre-Worldcon”.

If Chengdu can successfully bid for the 2023 Worldcon in 2021, it will become the first city of China to host the Worldcon. Therefore, the 79th Washington Worldcon is of great significance to Chengdu and to China.

When congratulating on the kickoff meeting in the video, Liu Cixin said: “Chengdu is a city of science fiction, and Chinese science fiction was developed in Chengdu and spread to the world. Chengdu has integrated the traditional atmosphere with modern vitality, which makes Chengdu full of charm now and forever. I wish Chengdu a successful bid for the 2023 Worldcon. Let the world know about Chengdu, and let Chengdu embrace the future!”

Chengdu: The gathering spot for Chinese sci-fi talents for the past 20+ years

In recent years, Chengdu has been sparing no efforts to create its name card of “science fiction”. Since 2017, China (Chengdu) International Science Fiction Conference has been a permanent event to be held in Chengdu every two years. At the same time, Chengdu plans to build a “Chinese Science Fiction City” (Science Fiction Industrial Park of China) to vigorously cultivate the sci-fi culture industry and create the function areas and an international platform for the sci-fi industry.

Currently, the development of Chengdu’s sci-fi industry is booming and has received widespread attention from all sectors of society. The Wandering Earth, a film adapted from Liu Cixin’s sci-fi novellas, has a cumulative box-office value of 4.7 billion yuan. It marked the era of Chinese sci-fi movies. A branch of MORE VFX in Chengdu High-tech Zone undertook more than 800 special effects shots for The Wandering Earth.

In addition to the Science Fiction World magazine and the “Galaxy Award”, the highest sci-fi award in China, Chengdu also gives birth to many awards with national influence, such as the “Xingyun Awards for Global Chinese Science Fiction” and the “Future Science Fiction Master Award”, as well as a number of sci-fi institutions with broad social influences, such as China’s Science Fiction Research Academy, Sci-Fi Space and Eight Light Minutes Culture, all of which have made Chengdu the most important gathering spot for sci-fi talents in China and one of the host cities for global science fiction festivals for the past 20+ years.

At 11:22 am on December 20th, 2019, AI satellite (Cstar-8), the world’s first satellite named after “Science Fiction World”, a sci-fi agency, was successfully launched with a Long March 4B carrier rocket in Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The satellite, jointly developed by Chengdu GuoXing Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd. and Beijing Minospace Technology Co., Ltd., marks that people in the Chinese sci-fi industry and fans now have a satellite of their own.

From a magazine to a satellite, from the first convention to the many coming grand events, a seemingly distant dream now has been cultivated to a mature landscape. Chengdu’s all-round sci-fi industry has contributed much to it!

Actions before the opening of the 2020 Worldcon!

Tomorrow (July 29th) is the opening day for the 2020 Worldcon. The host city of the Worldcon this year is Wellington, New Zealand. But due to the influence of COVID-19, many activities will only be held online. The kickoff meeting is held today because Chengdu would like to take this opportunity to seek the world’s sci-fi fans’ attention once again through the Internet and let Chengdu, a city of charm, embrace the sci-fi dream in reality.

After 30 years when Science Fiction World first went abroad with the initial beautiful dream, Chengdu has now become a real “Science Fiction City”. Science Fiction World, the only science fiction magazine that enjoys a giant audience base, has celebrated its 40th birthday in Chengdu. The Galaxy Award, which has been granted for 30 times, has influenced several generations in China. Many well-known sci-fi authors like Liu Cixin, Han Song, Wang Jinkang, and He Xi all published their works on Science Fiction World at first. The Three-Body Problem, the Hugo Award fiction, and the original work from which The Wandering Earth is adapted were also published in the magazine.

At the 77th Dublin Worldcon in 2019, the fans of Science Fiction World and other sci-fi magazines once again voiced for Chengdu: Chengdu wants to host the Worldcon in 2023.

On November 22th, 2019, at the 5th China (Chengdu) International Science Fiction Conference, according to the “2019 China City Science Fiction Index Report” by the Shenzhen Science and Fantasy Growth Fund, Chengdu got the highest score and became “the most sci-fi city” in China in 2019. Beijing and Shenzhen ranked 2nd and 3rd. Everyone attending the conference agreed that the time for Chengdu to formally bid for the Worldcon has come.

Professor Shi Jingyuan, a scholar at Yale University, published a commentary on the Financial Times titled “Why is Science Fiction the Secret Weapon of China’s Soft Power?” The article spoke highly of the 5th China (Chengdu) International Science Fiction Conference and expressed her expectations for Chengdu’s bid for the 2023 Worldcon.

William Lawhorn, chairman of the 2021 Washington Worldcon, also encouraged Chengdu’s bid. He hopes the Worldcon can expand its scope of influence to farther places on earth. “After all, only by hosting at different places each time, the world-class convention can be diverse and the sci-fi family can be enlarged.” Lawhorn said, “We need Chengdu, China to become a part of our world sci-fi family.” Representatives of other major institutions in the sci-fi industry also voiced their support for Chengdu’s bid for the 2023 Worldcon.

In the morning after the kickoff meeting, the salon themed by “Chengdu’s Bid for the Worldcon and the Future for Chinese Science Fiction” was held. The well-known sci-fi authors like He Xi, Wang Jinkang, Yao Haijun, deputy chief-editor of Science Fiction World, Jiang Zhenyu, the first sci-fi Doctor in China, Yang Feng of Chengdu Eight Light Minutes Culture, and Wang Long, COO of Chengdu GuoXing Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd. communicated freely with the guests. They all provided suggestions for Chengdu’s bid for the Worldcon and the future development of Chendu’s sci-fi industry.

39 thoughts on “Chengdu Bid Committee Officially Established to Facilitate Worldcon 2023 Bid

  1. While this is a tangential issue, what do they mean by “… it was also the first time for the Worldcon to be held in Asia in 2007. The main venue was Yokohama, Japan, with parallel sessions in North America”?

    I don’t remember reading about the Worldcon in Japan holding parallel sessions in North America.

  2. everyone needs to remember what happened when WorldCon flirted with Scientology: they tried to dominate the convention, they tried to fix Hugo voting and reminded us all that WorldCon is not supposed to be a commercial enterprise.

    I’ve worked with many Chinese fans and writers; I was invited to the party held at San Jose to kick off their bid. I think it is wonderful that science fiction and fandom are growing in China and that works in translation (both ways) are helping the cause of the genre.

    BUT: China has a political goal; they see science fiction as a social engineering tool that can be actively manipulated.

    The US is no rose these days, but after what happened in Hong Kong, with the Uighers (still in camps being “re-educated”), the country’s provocations in the China Sea, we should be saying to the Chinese Bid “now is not the time”.

    The downside potential from a Chinese Worldcon is potentially far more long-lasting and pernicious than Jeddah would be. We would be not only holding a Worldcon in a country responsible for numerous human rights violations and on-going repression, but we would also be inviting in a governmentally-based commercial interest.

    This is Non-Fannish. This bid should not be allowed to win.

  3. Joshua K. I don’t remember reading about the Worldcon in Japan holding parallel sessions in North America.

    That didn’t happen per se, but WSFS held a NASFiC several weeks earlier in St. Louis, which may be what they’re trying to say.

  4. I, too, thought they meant the NASFiC; which sure does not reflect well on their PR copywriters, at the very least (as well as the use of “sci-fi”, unless it’s become socially accepted again while I was slowly gafiating).

  5. @Jan Vanek jr.–Sci-fi has been drifting back into common usage, possibly because as sf gets more mainstream attention, it’s handy to have a tag that’s clear to people who didn’t grow up in fandom.

  6. There are a lot of glitches besides the NASFIC confusion (and the debatable use of “sci-fi”). For one thing, nobody “officially submitted” a bid in San Jose; bids are submitted to the Worldcon running site selection, which hadn’t even been picked in 2018. (Known, yes; made official, no.) And Lindgren was ~4 orders of magnitude closer than stated — no human has been as much as ~1/8 as far from Earth as claimed here. On a larger scale, I wonder what kind of shuffling and politicking was going one; Worldcon committees are usually fully set much earlier — this wouldn’t have been early even for an announcement of officers. (All this from just the first few screens; I gave up on the bloviation.)

    On one hand I would like Lawhorn to have been more reflective of circumstances; on the other, I don’t think the chair of the bid running the selection could properly say anything about disqualifications.

    @Rich Lynch: ISTM that the main difference is that China has even less excuse — e.g. their last opponent is constitutionally barred from having an army.

    @Steve Davidson: I do not believe either of us will live to see a time appropriate for a Chinese bid, what with the spinoffs from Xi setting himself up as dictator-for-life. Any statement to the bid that now is the wrong time would be met with claims that we’re interfering in internal matters; they should just be voted down massively.

    Given reasonably plausible reports of Chinese hacking, I’m just happy that the WSFS rules stipulate physical ballots.

  7. @Chip Hitchcock: Physical ballots would offer little protection were there a tsunami of Chinese membership applications for the 2021 Worldcon.

  8. Time travel stories are now forbidden in China. It’s true: no stories about going back in time, because the Chinese Communist Party can never be changed or altered in any way.

    And hey! let’s have some programming about the politics of Hong Kong or Tiananmen Square…

  9. Time travel stories are not forbidden in China. There’s several soap operas on Chinese TV using time travel.

  10. I try now to avoid using a country name by itself as a metonym for the government of the country, e.g. “Australia has appalling policies towards refugees” when it’s the Australian government’s policies. I think it is of particular importance for countries such as China or Israel where people of related ethnicities are also subject to historical racism and discrimination.

  11. I think it is good to use the country name in case of Israel, as in “Israel performs ethnic cleansing and land theft” as it is not only government policy, but supported by all major parties and the clear majority of the population as a whole.

  12. As a Chinese, we welcome sci-fi fans from all over the world to visit China.Since you are a science fiction powder, you should understand what is included in the science fiction world. In the world of science fiction, there is no race, no country and no political ideology. Have a plenty of imagination and longing for the unknown world. If you don’t know anything about China, you can visit China in person and sit down and talk with Chinese science fiction fans. Instead of criticizing and denying China with hostility.

  13. Welcome to Chengdu, China! There are delicious food, beautiful scenery, aliens (Sanxingdui) and pandas!

  14. I am very worried about this. The Italian SF convention was captured for years because it attracted the interest of a much more numerous and powerful group, and two locations monopolised it for decades. This might well make the Puppies seem like very small potatoes.

  15. Steve Davidson: You do what you want. I’m not a part of a “we” in this.

  16. We would not have some of the problems that we would have in a Saudi Worldcon. That is, the Chinese don’t have specific laws about what women can wear and weird family sections in restaurants but SF fans (hmm, the term WE use for science fiction) would have a tendency to talk about the three Ts or other things the Chinese don’t want people talking about. Also the Chinese are now being militarily aggressive. Would Indian fans be comfortable going there? How about practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, a not unknown part of Buddhism in the United States? What about the Great Fire Wall?

  17. @Steve Green: the ballot tsunami is a general issue; hacking is specifically pertinent.

  18. Re: the term “sci fi”, I had no idea anyone objected to it until I started commenting here in 2015, and I’d been happily ensconced in transformative works fandom for years at that point. I’m not sure it’s a common complaint outside of the fannish circle around English-speaking sf/f lit fan-run conventions. For context: I was in my mid-twenties at the time, so fairly young as far as the average age of File770 commenters goes, I think.

    To be honest, if someone tried to tell me I shouldn’t use it, I’d think they were being a bit of a jerk, although I don’t mind people grouching about it in general (everyone has pet peeves).

  19. Meredith: Re: the term “sci fi”, I had no idea anyone objected to it until I started commenting here in 2015,

    Short answer: There’s no reason not to use “sci-fi”. Long answer: This all ties back to the ancient fannish concern for the respectability of Science Fiction. Forry Ackerman, who invented the “sci-fi” term, was all about monster movies and horror films (he edited Famous Monsters). Harlan Ellison, who in the first place didn’t like Forry, and in the second place wanted his writing to be respected and break out of the genre ghetto, would call out and shame anybody who used “sci-fi”. And since Harlan set the standard for being cool, everybody who wanted to think they were cool (even me, uncool as I am) adopted that value. Well, most fans don’t set their clock by Harlan Ellison anymore, and in any case, “sci-fi”, like “nerd” and “geek” (which once were regarded as insulting terms) have been embraced by people as identifiers. So sci-fi away!

  20. Re sci-fi – that’s what I call it, too. In fact, whenever I read ‘SF’ it translates in my head to sci-fi. I remember being hugely impressed and influenced by Dangerous Visions as a teenager, but I guess that part didn’t stick. Didn’t Ellison favour SF because it could stand for ‘speculative fiction’, which sounds more respectable.

  21. Cliff: Didn’t Ellison favour SF because it could stand for ‘speculative fiction’, which sounds more respectable.

    You’re right. And somebody else even came out with “speculative fabulation.” Anything to distance themselves from that Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff.

  22. To be clear, the script for the welcome from Bill and Colette was:
    B: Ni hao
    C: I’m Colette
    B: and I’m Bill
    C: and we’re the cochairs of Discon III, the 79th World Science FIction Convention
    B We wish to welcome the fans of Chengdu to the Worldcon family.
    C: Have a great convention

  23. The script used for the welcome by Colette and I was:
    B: Ni hao
    C: I’m Colette
    B: and I’m Bill
    C: and we’re the cochairs of Discon III, the 79th World Science FIction Convention
    B We wish to welcome the fans of Chengdu to the Worldcon family.
    C: Have a great convention

  24. @OGH: there were other markers of “scif-fi” showing … incomprehension? …; the classic example is the TV executive who told Roddenberry “We don’t need another sci-fi show; we’ve got Lost in Space.” OST has many weaknesses in perspective; LiS was … unrespected … at the time by people who knew genre. I suppose at this point it’s dead history to most people even in-genre.

    @William Lawhorn: so they actively put words into your mouth? ISTM it’s worth knowing how they … embroider.

  25. Speculative fiction as A Terribly Serious And Respectable Science Fiction Term is always a little funny to me because it was a term used as a euphemism for fanfiction by some of the Vampire Chronicles fandom back when Anne Rice was constantly trying to sue them and they were trying to hide it all from her lawyers. Of course that was quite a bit later – 90s and 2000s, I think?

    @Mike Glyer

    From the lofty heights of hindsight, geographical distance, and zero emotional attachment to either figure of fandom, having cunningly been born rather too late and in the wrong country for either of them to be much of an influence or presence, the whole significance is a little lost on me, I’m afraid, although I appreciate the excellent summary. I’d missed most of the nuance before, I think! But given the tone of the comments so far I did want to roundabout-hint that terminology preferences amongst sf/f lit con fans-of-a-certain-age aren’t really common knowledge or something that ought to be expected of all bidders, especially outside the USA.

    I’m grateful not everyone from the right time and place is still twitchy about it, though! I’ve been a bit concerned about accidentally getting in some very baffling (from my perspective) arguments about it.

    (Well, I was entertained years ago by some sort of lawsuit – probably in the mid 2000s? – Harlan Ellison filed in his own writing, since that reached even my bits of fandom and was high drama, but that’s about the extent of it. I don’t think I’d ever heard of Forry Ackerman until I found out about him on File770. And neither of them have exactly been covered in posthumous glory, as far as things I’ve since found out about their IRL actions are concerned, unfortunately, which makes it a little difficult to properly keep in mind and fully understand how important they both were to fans at the time.)

    (There’s certainly other concerns about the Chengdu bid, I just don’t really think using the term sci-fi ought to be a big one..!)

  26. Coming late to this party —

    You can count me as someone who despises the term “sci-fi”. Probably because that’s what people who don’t actually read or know anything about the field tend to call it. But we were doomed when the Sci-Fi (now SyFy) channel was born.

    Personally, sff is the term I usually use.

    But yeah, that would be a dumb reason to downvote the Chengdu bid. I mean, cmon, there are enough problems with translation in general, it’s easy to give them a pass on that one!

  27. Hi Lily,

    Greetings to you and all the great fans of SF in China. It would be rude for no one to respond to you.

    I suggest that it might be better if you didn’t make such gross assumptions about such a large group of people. I’ve been guilty of making that mistake. It is a common error that most people make from time to time.

    Speaking for myself, I am reasonably familiar with the Chinese government policies that are being discussed here. Aside from the benefit of a free press that is not controlled by any government, I have had the pleasure of having colleagues and friends from China and heard what they have had to say on the matter.

    The concerns being raised are legitimate.

    Science fiction has always included a strong political component. There are fierce debates over those political components.

    You might consider reading “1984” or “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, or “Starship Troopers” by Robert Heinlein to see how long politics has been a part of good SF.

    To silence criticism is to silence freedom. – Sidney Hook

  28. @Dann665–Can I just say, thank you for this excellent reply to Lily? I had mostly-written a response of my own, and accidentally wiped it out–and now you have covered the main points I wanted to, more succinctly, and I don’t have to start again!

    We often don’t agree. This time, we totally do.

  29. @Lis Carey

    Thank you for your kind words. I’m pleased to be of service.

    I find myself waiting a bit before responding to anything these days. Sometimes it is to just think about the issue. Sometimes it is to wait for the “rest of the story” that is frequently elided when a story first breaks.

    When I finally get around to cobbling together a response, your voice is frequently one that has made the point(s) already. Thanks for your efforts on those occasions.


  30. About the use of SF, sci-fi, science fiction?

    Yes, I was a Harlan Ellison fan. I know he was opposed to “sci-fi” the way people would argue about Trekkie vs Trekker. I’d first heard the term Trekkie, so it stuck with me, and the other feels weird to me.

    Way back when, I was volunteering for a town book fair run by the library. Friends in the high school Science Fiction Club, also volunteering. The adults were asking, “Who’s Romance?” and one gal raised her hand. “Who’s Horror?” and of course, the gal with the freakish grin raised her hand. “Who’s Sciffy?” Nobody raised their hand, but my friends pointed at me. “YOU ARE!” Um, what? “Science fiction is Sci-Fi, is sciffy, pronounced as one word. You’re Sciffy!”

    OH! Well, I guess that’s a better nickname than I could’ve ended up with… Also, this was 1987, maybe a month before my family moved from Oak Park, IL to Phoenix. So, no SciFi, SyFy channel yet, or however they spell it this week.

    I figured it would be a common online name, so I should probably come up with a last name. Turned out, somebody in the family had recently done some ancestry work. We came from Switzerland, maybe some disputed part, maybe Italy, Kern might’ve been spelled Cern, Sern, Serno, Cirno, Sirno, etc. It went on for about 50 spellings in various languages, all with poor handwriting.

    So, that’s how I became Sciffy Circo. And yes, we did have dial up internet back then, and GEnie Online, so, I’ve been using that name for quite some time.

    It was maybe a decade or so later, people said, “Ya know skiffy means badly written sci-fi?” Phht… So, it’s kinda like being named Christian, then becoming an atheist? Except that I chose this name, and I’m going to keep it. I can break a mold too. And everyone else can point and say yep, there’s the crazy sci-fi fan. And I’m okay with that.

  31. I did read the Broken Stars anthology, and the book I checked out before lockdown was Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era. I do hope to see more Chinese sci-fi. As far as other bids go? I just haven’t looked for French sci-fi. I’m sure there’s plenty of it. Is there stuff from Saudi Arabia? Please, let us know! Especially the anthologies. Our library has been very good about ordering stuff.

    A few friends have asked me, if the politics and abuses and humans rights atrocities are so bad in some countries, why do they even bid for a Worldcon?

    Oh honey, bless your heart, you sweet summer child, etc.

    Here’s where we give them a fannish history lesson. About how there has ALWAYS been politics in the science fiction world. How there have always been writers trying to change things. This is almost like the “blink if you need help” signal. They want the world to know, yes, there ARE fans there, they ARE in trouble, and they need help. Please, pay attention! Of course they know they won’t win the bid. But this is also the best way to get the attention of the world.

    Now would be an excellent time for those countries to push out whatever authors they have, in as many anthologies as they can manage. It may take decades to change the politics. But it’s long past time to get started.

  32. Speaking as an American, we are in absolutely no state to throw stones at the Chinese bid because of their government’s policies. In the last few years, non-American authors and artists have been repeatedly turned back at the US border by ICE, sometimes because ICE doesn’t like their social media posts, and sometimes because ICE insists that they are attempting to emigrate. Then there’s the genuine risk of mass shootings. Foreign governments are now warning against American travel and advising their citizens to avoid mass gatherings.

    I would not recommend a non-American author travel to the US under the current administration because of the very real risk they would not be allowed to enter.

    Comic Artist Turned Away at US Border for Carrying Work in Progress
    Some Canadians suddenly blocked from U.S. even though targeting of Iranian-born travellers was ‘corrected’

  33. Lily, welcome to File770.

    I see why you wished to step up to rebut the claim that your community’s bid was “Non-Fannish.”

    I was glad that Steve Davidson at least tempered his harsh words with some positive thoughts about Chinese fandom. A subsequent commenter was racially charged and thoughtless like he was fresh from the screening of a Fu Manchu movie.

    Dann, I appreciated your kind reply to Lily. In my experience, Chinese fans are familiar with George Orwell. Imagine trying to read comments on a Chinese language blog through machine translation and submitting your own response in the same way. Tone and nuance can be lost or magnified in a rough translation. For example, I don’t think Lily didn’t meant to say that political criticism is not allowed in science fiction – rather, that the world of fandom is not limited by race, country or ideology.

    Lily, again: if you are still reading here, I hope you feel welcome to come back and talk with us more.

  34. @Madame Hardy

    Also an American here. Any suggestion that human rights in America are on par with those in China is suspect, IMO.

    With respect to authors/artists traveling to the US on business, the answer is simple. Take the time to learn about our immigration laws and apply for the correct visa/permit. Don’t cut corners by getting a tourist visa and then expect to be able to conduct commerce.

    It’s the same process that I have to follow when I travel to Mexico for business (not a terrible process) or to Canada (which has historically been a royal pain).

    @Brian Z

    Thanks. I was aware that machine translation might have been a source of miscommunication. I thought there was enough that probably was not a translation issue to be worth a response.

    And I agree that it would be nice if Lily hung around so we might gain from their perspective.

    The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. – Isaac Asimov

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