The Chengdu Worldcon Twitter account announced today that the event is being rescheduled to October 18-22, and that it will be held at a different venue, using different hotels than originally announced.
The event will now be held at the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum in Jingrong Lake, Pidu District, Chengdu. The Sheraton Chengdu Pidu and Wyndham Grand Chengdu will be the new convention headquarters hotels.
The Chengdu Science Fiction Museum venue was described in a January 3 post on the Worldcon’s Chinese language website (“World Science Fiction Convention update: The main venue is taking shape, and Hugo Award nominations are about to open – the 81st World Science Fiction Convention in 2023”). “Nebula” alludes to the venue’s appearance, as shown in the photo above.
The main venue of the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention is… “Nebula”
On the shores of Jingrong Lake in the west of Chengdu, the construction of the World Science Fiction Park is accelerating, and a “nebula”-shaped science fiction museum is taking shape, which is the main venue of the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention. Inside the Science Fiction Museum, the Hugo Awards Theater, Forum Space and other exhibition and supporting functional spaces will be built.
…On the basis of the existing Jingrong Lake Talent Park, the World Science Fiction Park will be built around the lake area, with a total area of more than 1,000 mu. Along the lake, viewing nodes and play nodes related to science fiction and ancient Shu culture will be created, combined with science fiction works IP, presenting immersive interactive scenes….
rcade: It’s rather absurd to expect the MPC to be the source of a coup against the Chengdu Worldcon. You probably haven’t considered who is on the committee:
Judy Bemis, Joni Dashoff, Linda Deneroff, Cliff Dunn, Donald E. Eastlake III, Bruce Farr (non-voting), Dave McCarty, Chris Rose, Linda Ross-Mansfield, Chen Shi, Kevin Standlee, Alissa Wales, Nicholas Whyte, Mike Willmoth, and Ben Yalow.
The 15 members include two of the three co-chairs of the Chengdu Worldcon, plus three other members of their committee.
You might want to argue that 10 is more than 5. However, I wouldn’t predict that the others, most of whom have been involved with Worldcons for decades, are going to take a radical action if their colleagues, who they also have known for many years, don’t consider it to be the right thing to do.
I was thinking more about Kevin’s “you tell me who has the authority to discharge a Worldcon committee” than whether the current MPC would take action.
rcade: As a wise friend once observed while taking our money, “I play the players, not the cards.”
People having been talking about how Worldcon should be taken away from Chengdu since before they were even officially seated. It was too late then and much more so now. They are still in the best position to make sure at least something happens this year. Yes, it sucks that they haven’t sent any communication directly to members. Yup, the Hugo nominations should already be open. But with the change in dates it’s not crucial yet.
Mike Glyer on February 6, 2023 at 3:02 pm said:
I disagree. Section 2.6 says who picks up the pieces if a Worldcon defaults, absolutely: the other seated Worldcon. It does not say that the other seated Worldcon can declare that default. Specifically, I do not believe that the Glasgow Worldcon committee has the right to declare that “Chengdu is unable to carry out its duties under the WSFS Constitution, and therefore we’re going to decide what to do about the 2023 Worldcon.”
I’m not sure how you read Section 2.6 and conclude that the other seated Worldcon has the right to declare a Worldcon committee in default.
The language at 2.6 predates me, and I cannot find any documentation of debate that adopted it that would give us any legislative history with which to interpret it. I do not think that it says that “The other seated Worldcon committee can determine whether a committee is unable to perform its duties,” and I think it would be a terrible idea for that to be the rule. It would potentially set Worldcon committees at each others’ throats, issuing threats to unseat each other.
There is only one clear way to determine that a committee is in default, and that is for a generally recognized representative of the entity that was awarded the right to hold that Worldcon to declare the committee unable to carry out its duties. One exception: if the declared dates of a given Worldcon come and go and nothing happens, that is an obvious default. Unfortunately, by the time that happens, it’s probably too late for the other Worldcon to fix it.
Any other path is not spelled out in the Constitution, and I’m convinced that making the other seated Worldcon the judge is not the way to go.
Why don’t you tell us what you think could be the way to go, rather than telling us we’re all stupid to be talking about fixing the problem for the future. And remember, I’m talking about fixing the problem for the future, not trying to unseat Chengdu. I agree we just have to live with that disaster.
What could we do that might provide some safeguards against a similar disaster in the future?
Any future Worldcon whose preceding Worldcon is failing would stay as far away as possible from the situation. Glasgow has its plate full producing an excellent con that’s well-planned, well-promoted and inclusive.
Lis Carey on February 6, 2023 at 5:52 pm said:
I have never called anyone stupid, and if it sounded like I did, it was never my intent, and I apologize. I have tried to get people to come up with a realistic proposal. Not every single jot and tittle: just an outline, but something more concrete than “someone should do something!”
You want to know why I haven’t proposed anything? Because I feel that any proposal from me will be dismissed by those who in December 2021 vilified me for my actions during the 2023 Worldcon site selection.
Y’all have completely misunderstood me. I’d be happy to draw up proposals for people. I have my own ideas as well. Do y’all think that I’m happy that a Worldcon committee is acting like they want to drive themselves off a cliff? But what I want is a method that can’t be weaponized against a Worldcon by anyone with an axe to grind, like, for example, disliking DC3’s sponsorship by Raytheon.
If I could discern any sort of consensus for a concrete change to the rules that would give any particular entity the right to determine a Worldcon’s default (other than that committee itself, which is all that’s there at the moment), I’d be happy to draw it up in the proper form. (Although frankly, the first time it’s likely to come before WSFS is the 2024 Worldcon.)
At the moment, the only entity that I see (other than the seated Worldcon itself, and only before the dates of the Worldcon in question) that might have some sort of right to declare a Worldcon in default is the WSFS Mark Protection Committee, and then only if the MPC determined that the actions of a seated committee threatened to do irreparable harm to the service marks of the society. The MPC would not be the entity that would decide who fixes the problem; that’s the other seated Worldcon committee’s constitutional responsibility under section 2.6.
Note that this separates the decision that a default has happened from the entity responsible for taking remedial action. This, in my opinion, removes the organizational possibility that Worldcons could go to war with each other.
Sadly, the hostility and ridicule directed at anyone who is at the stage of “we have to do something, because this is a danger to WorldCon and WSFS,” without yet having a plan or even, and brace yourself because this is not a sin, not realizing that we really are screwed this year if the more experienced Chengdu committee members can’t talk sense into the rest of the committee, hasn’t contributed to a perception that you have any interest at all in a constructive solution, nor has it created the impression you’ll react constructively to any proposal you don’t regard as excellent rather than merely “promising” or “it’s a start.”
It’s very, very frustrating, and disappointing.
Ridicule rarely gets a positive response from anyone. You used to know that.
Mike Glyer on February 6, 2023 at 3:52 pm said:
In my opinion, most of the members of the MPC are more interested in WSFS as a whole and its continued well-being rather than the interests of any particular committee sanctioned by WSFS.
I held that thought in mind when I wrote — because if any MPC member who’s on the Chengdu Worldcon committee thought the con wasn’t performing up to snuff they would be doing something about it, right?
Mike Glyer on February 6, 2023 at 6:51 pm said:
I can’t speak of the other members, but I know that I’ve not received any recent responses to my inquiries other than those to my immediate area head, Donald Eastlake III. He and I have regularly discussed how we hope to be able to run our area, should we be allowed to attend the convention. To that extent, it’s no different than any other Worldcon. I am only responsible for the tasks in my area. I’m not a division manager. I am not privy to any other internal communications of the Chengdu committee.
You are trying to avoid my point and in the process are misconstruing the rule. The rule doesn’t say another Worldcon can just make a declaration. The other committee is expected to assess the situation and make a determination, and then gain authority for taking a response by consulting the Business Meeting or by mail poll if time permits. Whether “time permits” is something else that depends on the expected good judgment of the seated Worldcon committee.
Note also the important use of the word “shall” in the rule — it’s “shall”, not “may”. The other one or two seated Worldcons (depending on the point in time where the default happens) are required to take these actions.
Your next argument that admits only two possible ways of establishing that a Worldcon cannot perform its duties is also incorrect:
Having, perhaps, the Worldcon chair say their group can’t carry out its duties would be the politically easiest way for it to happen. To say that’s the “only clear way” is simply unimaginative. A Worldcon’s leadership could be rendered inoperable by local political or legal action. Or natural disaster. An individual could abscond with the Worldcon’s funds and leave it financially nonviable.
However, up to now you keep trying to argue that if rule 2.6 could operate — and it certainly wasn’t added to the Constitution to be a nullity — it could only be abused, even though the rule contains procedures for calling on the business meeting or the WSFS membership which shows the rulemakers are trying to craft an outcome that enjoys majority support.
Mike Glyer on February 6, 2023 at 7:22 pm said:
I do not think that the other Worldcon can make that determination on their own. The phrase “shall determine what action to take” doesn’t happen until after the default, and thus it’s not the other Worldcon’s business to make that determination.
In the case of WSFS, I think the entity that can determine that a default has happened is not the same entity that can determine what action to take regarding the failed convention.
That’s not making sense — the rulemakers in using “shall” placed a strong call for action on the remaining Worldcon(s), therefore are requiring them to be aware whether action is needed.
Just as a bystander since the whole Affaire de Chiots, I wonder if a couple of things might be worth considering for the future:
1) Sever the responsibility of running the Hugo (etc.) nominations & voting from the Worldcon committee and give it to something like the Mark Protection Committee but with regularly rotated on/off members voted on by [handwaves]. Running a Con is a huge amount of work without ALSO having to administer an increasingly complex professional award. Because the anxiety of “we might not get to enjoy our convention” is real, but the anxiety of “authors might miss out on the career make/break of earning an award in the year their work is eligible” is much more directly connected to people’s livelihoods.
2) Presumptively award the right to host the Hugo (etc.) Award Ceremony to the year’s Worldcon, unless [something something something they are unable or unwilling to host] in which case, those who administer the nominations and voting can opt to do something simple online. See previous rationale re: livelihoods.
3) Sever the umbilical link between the Worldcon As She Is Observed Live And In 3-D, and the Business Meeting. In the great age of videoconferencing (and plagues), it is shockingly retro not to have some flexibility about how to hold a legit meeting to do the basics such as voting on 2-year proposals/sunsets/whatever and making sure the infrastructure holds until such time as we may all gather again in Jerusalem or whatnot.
There is a seperate Hugo committee. Worldcon’s are not required to have a ceremony. Just to administer the Hugo Awards. The usual suspects have expressed that an online Business Meeting would (at least potentially) be too large to work. But there has been discussion of having a smaller representive group meeting and hashing out proposals with voting then put to the membership.
Mike Glyer on February 6, 2023 at 8:32 pm said:
The sentence has two elements, with a comma separating them.:
“If one of [the Worldcon committees] should be unable to perform its duties,”
“the other selected current or future Worldcon Committee shall determine what action to take,”
You appear to have interpreted this to mean:
“Shall a Worldcon Committee determine that any other Worldcon Committee is unable to carry out its duties, they shall determine what action to take,…”
I disagree with this interpretation, because it allows a Worldcon Committee to hold a Sword of Damocles over any other Worldcon Committee.
Yes, of course the other Worldcon Committee should be aware of whether action might be needed, but it doesn’t say that they get to decide whether that action actually is needed.
I often disagree strongly with Ben Yalow, but this is one of those areas where we agree, although he takes a stronger position than I do, in that he says that the only entity that can declare a committee failure is the legal entity to which that Worldcon was awarded or any legally constituted successor organization. (That might happen if a Worldcon transferred its franchise to another organization.) Nobody else can do so.
Kevin Standlee: The WSFS rules are written for the use of people who want to be good stewards of the Worldcon. Just as you assure us that the Mark Protection Committee has the best interests of the Worldcon at heart while discussing scenarios where it might unilaterally act to deprive a Worldcon entity of its right to use the marks, it is appropriate to look at rule 2.6 as an emergency kit which it is assumed other seated Worldcons are going to take out only if there is a real default. Since the rule doesn’t say that only the defaulting committee gets to make that call, and it does say what action the remaining seated Worldcons shall take, the decision to initiate action has been put in the hands of the remaining Worldcon committees.
If you think the rule should actually operate as in your opinion it should, you ought to take the advice you so often serve out to others and draft a proposed change to submit to the business meeting.
“There is a seperate Hugo committee. Worldcon’s are not required to have a ceremony. Just to administer the Hugo Awards. ”
My point is that administration should perhaps be located elsewhere from a group of people who are elected afresh each year to put on an international convention. Then if the international convention committee is somehow thwarted in their task, the awards, which are directly connected to folks livelihoods, could still proceed in an orderly fashion.
Mike Glyer on February 7, 2023 at 7:46 am said:
That’s a good idea. Perhaps, at the first likely opportunity (that would be Glasgow), I should propose an amendment to change the text so that it explicitly says what you seem to think it says:
“Shall a Worldcon Committee determine that any other Worldcon Committee is unable to carry out its duties, they shall determine what action to take,…”
I can then include in the supporting argument quotes from you saying that you think “shall” in the existing language applies to the first clause, not just the second, and that perhaps that if this is what WSFS wants, we should say so explicitly, and that if WSFS does not think so, we should reject the change. And we should make the legislative history more clear to make it more obvious that WSFS wants Worldcon committees to have the right to make such a determination about their fellow seated committees. The existing legislative history is sufficiently murky that it is not at all obvious to me what the actual legislative intent is here, and who should be able to make such a determination that a Worldcon Committee is unable to carry out its required duties.
Assuming you’re a member of Glasgow’s Worldcon, would you co-sponsor such a proposal?
Kevin Standlee: Do you think that’s a clever argument, trying to gull me into cosigning a proposal in which I will declare cloudy what I regard as already clear? It is a transparent ploy. We’re through here.
If there are different opinions on how the text should be interpreted, wouldn’t it be possible to first ask the Business meeting to advise on how the text should be interpreted? I guess an amendment is only necessary if the BM has the same interpretation as Kevin.
People are chosen with experience and don’t have other responsibilities. For example, the Hugo committee does not handle the actual ceremony. If nothing else, I have some faith that Dave McCarty who has been a Hugo administrator before will make sure that Hugos are awarded for 2022 work.
The concern expressed in these parts over the fact that nominations haven’t opened seem to suggest that others don’t share that opinion.
Kevin, have you or Don Eastlake or Ben Yalow or Dave McCarty been in contact with any of the Chinese members of the Chengdu con com recently at all and have you heard anything from them, even if it’s just “We’re working on it – please be patient”?
Because it looks to me as if the local members of the con com seem to have vanished (hopefully just metaphorically) and don’t respond to attempts to communicate with them. The translated reactions from Chinese fans also suggested that no one there had heard from the con com either. And a con som going completely silent is not only worrying, it probably is also ground to consider this Worldcon in default, even if the con com does not declare itself in default. Because if they can’t or won’t communicate, they have no way of declaring themselves in default.
Also, beyond the Worldcon issue, I do find it worrying if several members of our community – and the Chinese members of the Chengdu con com are members of our community – just vanish without a trace.
Let’s just say I haven’t given up faith yet. And they have a couple extra months now. I do believe that one way or another the 2023 Hugos will be awarded. An actual in person convention before the end of the year? Or even a virtual one? We’ll see.
Cora Buhlert on February 7, 2023 at 3:19 pm said:
Don has been in contact with who we have been told is his Chinese equivalent in the Business Meeting working out technical issues regarding submitting proposals to the Business Meeting. For more than that you would have to ask him. The same goes for Ben Yalow and Dave McCarty. I can’t speak for them.
Mike Glyer on February 7, 2023 at 10:42 am said:
I invite you to make your argument regarding the specific interpretation of Section 2.6 to Ben Yalow. I don’t agree entirely with Ben on this, but I would be astonished, based on my relatively recent discussion with him on this subject at SMOFCon in Montreal, if he did not deny your interpretation. And unlike me, he probably was at the Business Meeting where the earliest version of that language was adopted.
Hampus Eckerman on February 7, 2023 at 12:39 pm said:
In my opinion, a chair’s ruling or resolution of the Business Meeting is less persuasive in precedent than an actual constitutional change, and a rejected change is in between. OGH thinks it’s crystal clear and impossible to dispute. Unless the existing language is tested, we’ll never know what it means.
BTW, as a past Worldcon chair myself (like Mike), I would be horrified to be told I had this power. Having the responsibility to make alternative arrangements for a failed committee I can accept as a practical matter. Having the responsibility to stand in judgement over the competency of another Worldcon committee, to the extent of declaring it to be unable to carry out its duties? That’s terrifying.
Kevin Standlee: Somebody’s distant memory of a long-ago business meeting is not the arbiter of what a black-letter rule means. What the words of the rule say is what controls the interpretation.
Your feelings of terror appear to have been summoned purely for rhetorical convenience —
— because just yesterday you discussed how the Mark Protection Committee, which you were elected to at the last Worldcon, has a right to declare a Worldcon in default and did so without a twitch of anxiety:
And that notion has absolutely no basis at all in the writings of the WSFS Constitution.
Mike Glyer on February 7, 2023 at 8:47 pm said:
Not at all the same thing. The MPC is a body consisting of both elected members of WSFS and appointees from sanctioned WSFS conventions. It has a specific responsibility to protect the intellectual property of WSFS. It is not a single individual that you appear to believe has unilateral, unlimited authority to determine if a Worldcon committee (not the one they chair, but other Worldcons) is able to carry out its duties.
Well, you certainly seem to be in the mood to burn the WSFS Constitution. Let’s just abolish the MPC and the Business Meeting entirely, and vest all authority in the Chair of the Worldcon. That would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?
Do you really think this is helping you or advancing your viewpoint with others, in any way?
It seems to me this discussion is just going around in circles, with no progress.
Kevin Standlee: You brought up the MPC, not me. You made a claim about its power,not me. And here you are trying to find a way to fit me up with the desperately tired accusations which you trot out anytime someone refuses to treat you as the sole authority for comprehending the WSFS rules instead of arguing the merits of the evidence.
Pingback: AMAZING NEWS: 1/22/23 (24, 25, 26...) - Amazing Stories