Chengdu Worldcon Publishes Progress Report #2

Chengdu Worldcon Progress Report #2 is available as a free download at the link.

The sixty-five page color publication begins with an outline of convention activities. An Opening Ceremony will be held October 18. The multi-day Business Meeting starts on the second day of the convention, October 19. There is a general statement that Site Selection for the 2025 Worldcon will be held but no specific details.

Air and ground transportation is covered. Available hotels are listed, along with some basic booking advice.

The Progress Report contains a multi-page guide about applying for a visa – which advises “Before applying for a visa, please contact the email [email protected] to get an invitation letter, then print 3 copies as it’s needed by customs.”

There are a lot of beautiful pictures of food, and the PR concludes with a large section on tourist attractions.

The convention starts three months from tomorrow, so the beginning of the chairmen’s message “We are now less than half a year away from the Chengdu Worldcon…” resonates with the first time a Foundation leader realizes one of Hari Seldon’s messages is out of synch with what’s happening. They say there will be a Progress Report #3.

34 thoughts on “Chengdu Worldcon Publishes Progress Report #2

  1. I got the email — found it in the spam folder. But then that’s why I check the folder frequently, things are always ending up there that don’t belong.

  2. Surprisingly their emails haven’t gone into my spam. A time or two, when all I could see were Chinese characters at the beginning of the subject, I almost tossed it in spam myself before looking more carefully.

  3. With regard to the WSFS section of the document I’m worried that if Chengdu doesn’t carefully delineate that only those with WSFS memberships may vote at the business meeting, there may be chaos. I want to encourage all attendees to attend, but everyone has to be clear on the rules. (My concern is with the fact that Chengdu is selling packages of five one-day memberships that are specifically NOT WSFS memberships.)

  4. A few things I noticed…

    -I don’t have any real reason to believe that the Hugo shortlist has been censored or anything but this sentence is certainly not going to calm any worries about that:

    Eligible members vote according to the “one person, one vote” rule to select Hugo Award works and individuals that comply with local laws and regulations.

    -There’s nothing in here, or anywhere on the Chengdu site that I could find, about a Masquerade. Is the upcoming Worldcon planning on having one?

    -There was a post on the Chengdu site some time ago about 144-hour visa-free transit through Chengdu, so I’m mildly surprised that wasn’t mentioned anywhere here as an alternative to obtaining a visa. Granted, when I checked, qualifying flights from the Western U.S., at least, were thousands of dollars more expensive than itineraries that didn’t meet the visa-free rules.

  5. “resonates with the first time a Foundation leader realizes one of Hari Seldon’s messages is out of synch with what’s happening.”

    Heh!

  6. I wonder if we could get a Hugo admin to clarify

    “Eligible members vote according to the “one person, one vote” rule to select Hugo Award works and individuals that comply with local laws and regulations.”

    This seems to go against the ranked voting of the past. In addition can we see what local laws and regulations apply?

  7. There are a lot of beautiful pictures of food, and the PR concludes with a large section on tourist attractions.

    Oh,no. I must say that I have never seen a PR like this one before. Look at other worldcons like Chicon8 or Glasgow 2024. Their PRs are full of messages concerning worldcon and SF. Useful information about the worldcon are updated in time and interesting essays in the field of sf fans and culture beautify the progress reports. No foods, tourist attractions and business ads.
    Even the cons held by fans themselves can make a PR better. In recent few months, several cons have been held by Chinese sf fans, including Trantor (Chuantuo) con in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Jiangcheng SF Forum in Wuhan and Starsilicon 1 in Hangzhou (Zhejiang University). These three fan cons all made their own progress reports and guidebooks. For example, Starsilicon 1 finished and promoted 5 progress reports in only three months. These reports used only one pragraph to introduce tourist attractions and foods in Hangzhou City.
    I do know that the committee need to help forenigers to learn more about Chengdu. But a PR of a science fiction activity should contain detailed information about the activity itself. Over 35 pages are babbling about the city. On the contrary, only TWO pages talks about the worldcon itself! A committee containing “professional” workers from media, curation companies and sf publishing houses does even worse than ordinary sf fans and students?! I could not believe my eyes.

    P.S.@Goobergunch

    -There’s nothing in here, or anywhere on the Chengdu site that I could find, about a Masquerade. Is the upcoming Worldcon planning on having one?

    I am so shocked when I find something different from Chinese PR2 and the English one. In Chinese version, there is a activity called “HUGO NIGHT”. According to the introduction, the night will include meals and a dance party. I wonder if the committee consider it as a Masquerade.
    A masquerade is easy to be held in China. Maybe you have heard of “anime expo”. An anime expo always allows audience to make up (in China and Japan, it is always called”cosplay”) like in a masquerade. Anime expos are held in many Chinese cities from Beijing Shanghai and Chengdu, which are the biggest cities, to those small towns with a pupulation of less that 1,000,000. Some of the expos can hold over 200,000 people in one single day like CP29 in Shanghai. So, the committee may not have the ability to hold a normal anime expo. HA! HA! HA!

  8. Zimozi Natsuco: Thanks for pointing out the difference between the English and Chinese versions of the PR. I wonder if there are others.

  9. I downloaded the Chinese version of PR#2 and the first thing I noticed is that it is 6 pages shorter.

  10. I have not received PR2 in either my inbox or my junk folder. But then, I never received PR1, either.

    Still; I can’t complain too much; I DID receive the nomination info, was able to nominate, and received the voting info. And that’s more important than the progress report for a convention I won’t be able to attend in person.

    Does anyone know anything about the site selection vote yet?

  11. Zimozi Natsuco: Thanks for pointing out the difference between the English and Chinese versions of the PR. I wonder if there are others.

    @Mike Glyer:
    A lot. I will try to list them. Maybe you can promote a essay on File770 so that I can attach the detailed pictures.

    1.Chairman’s message:
    Chinese version (CN) : We are now less than three months away from the Chengdu Worldcon, andmany parts are in place…
    English version (EN): We are now less than half a year away from the Chengdu Worldcon, and many parts are in place…
    2.Page4 Title
    CN: Detailed Introduction (Juti Jieshao) :
    EN: Basic Introduciton
    3.Hugo Award Selection and Award Ceremony
    CN:
    Lack of Hugo Award Selection

    4.Hugo Award Ceremony
    The Hugo Award Ceremony will be held like Oscar. Celebbrites on SF will announce the winners one by one. SF fans will be honored at the ceremony.
    5.”The Hugo Night” Lakeside Party
    Acoording to the tradition of worldcon, we will hold “The Hugo Night” Lakeside Party. The party will be presented silkpunk-style visually and invite Hugo winners, sf fans and science fiction industrypractitioners. The party will be divided by three parts–Neo Chinese style buffet area, communication area and performance area. Famous Chinese artists will be invited to use bamboos, silks and Sichuan figured satins (Shujin) to create a drowned party with ancient Chinese science fiction style, fashionable retro, cultural science fiction, eastern-western culture.

    EN:
    Lack of “The Hugo Night”.

    4. Hugo Award Selection and Award Ceremony
    The current convention continues the tradition by featuring 19 categories of awards. The Hugo Awards selection process consists of two rounds: nomination and final voting. Eligible members vote according to the “one person, one vote” rule to select Hugo Award works and individuals that comply with local laws and regulations. The Chengdu organizing committee will review the nominated works and validate the votes. The list of finalists for the 2023 Hugo Awards, comprising 114 works or individuals, has been announced on the official social media accounts and website. Each category has 6 nominated works or individuals.

    Bridge the Binary Realties (Mixed Vitural World and Reality in CN)
    CN: emphasize “to bulid a METAVERSE platform” instead of the “online platform” in EN.
    Transportation
    CN: including a “special connection shuttle for worldcon”, which is missing in EN:

    (2) Special Connection Shuttle for Worldcon (SCSW)
    SCSW is avialable in four lines from October 16th to 22nd.
    Line 1:Xipu-Shuangtie Station – Main Venue
    Line 2:Hongguang 1958 Square – Main Venue
    Line 3:Shuxin Av. Station for Chengdu MTR Line6 – Main Venue
    Line 4: Dashu East Rd. Station for Tramcar Rongline 2 – Main Venue

    6.Hotels:
    EN: Point 5 and 6 of Booking Guide is missing in CN:

    5. Sheraton has a limited number of rooms available for people with access needs, and that if you have such, please contact with our email: [email protected]. We’ll try to accommodate you there if there are still rooms available.
    6. Wyndham hotel has few rooms for booking. We’ll release the exact number of Wyndham hotel in PR3.

    In additon, the booking websites are provided as QRcodes in CN.
    7.”What to Play When You Arrive in Chengdu”
    This part is missing in EN and only available in CN. About 27 pages. This part mainly introduces museums, tourist attractions and shopping centres in Chengdu.(Little contact to Worldcon itself)
    8.Application Procedure
    These sentence in EN are missing in CN:

    Before applying for a visa, please contact the email [email protected] to get an invitation letter, then print 3 copies as it’s needed by customs.If your city doesn’t have a consulate, you can ask for a travel agent to help with visa application.

    If there is more difference, I will continue to update this list.

  12. @Zimozi Natsuco:

    I am so shocked when I find something different from Chinese PR2 and the English one. In Chinese version, there is a activity called “HUGO NIGHT”. According to the introduction, the night will include meals and a dance party. I wonder if the committee consider it as a Masquerade.
    A masquerade is easy to be held in China. Maybe you have heard of “anime expo”. An anime expo always allows audience to make up (in China and Japan, it is always called”cosplay”) like in a masquerade. Anime expos are held in many Chinese cities from Beijing Shanghai and Chengdu, which are the biggest cities, to those small towns with a pupulation of less that 1,000,000. Some of the expos can hold over 200,000 people in one single day like CP29 in Shanghai. So, the committee may not have the ability to hold a normal anime expo. HA! HA! HA!

    Yeah, I have friends who regularly attend Anime Expo in Los Angeles, and if I’m not otherwise occupied I usually try to at least swing by Fanime in San Jose to check out some of the costumes. Thank you for confirming that there’s no good reason that the Chengdu Worldcon shouldn’t have one, and for the information about Hugo Night.

  13. “Construction of the new building is going well, and the target completion date of the end of August looks reasonably likely.”

    I suppose its being “reasonably likely” that the convention site will be built on time is encouraging.

  14. Julie on July 17, 2023 at 5:18 pm said:

    I wonder if we could get a Hugo admin to clarify

    I’m not a Hugo Award administrator this year, and I doubt any of them this year are following F770, but I can take a guess on one element…

    “Eligible members vote according to the “one person, one vote” rule to select Hugo Award works and individuals that comply with local laws and regulations.”

    This seems to go against the ranked voting of the past. In addition can we see what local laws and regulations apply?

    This has nothing to do with ranked-choice voting, which is the way the ballot is set up. It means that each natural human being (that’s a term of legal art that excludes corporations and “non-natural persons,” so don’t make jokes about space aliens) may cast one and only one ballot regardless of how many memberships they hold. A ranked-choice/instant-runoff ballot is one vote in each category; it’s just that you rank that vote in the usual way. Just because you put multiple rankings on a category does not mean you voted more than once in that category.

    I’m unsure what the wording about “local laws and regulations” means, but it’s a principle of rule interpretation that WSFS rules yield to local law. I will not speculate about how this affects this year’s Hugo Awards.

  15. @Gary McGath:

    On a scale* of one to seven, “reasonably likely” is probably a four.

    1) Guaranteed
    2) Almost certain
    3) Expected
    4) Reasonably likely
    5) Not impossible
    6) Hard to imagine
    7) Impossible

    *a scale I have, just now, made up, out of freshly-processed, bespoke, artisanal, whole cloth.

  16. Being the first event ever in a newly finished building — that will be a challenge.

  17. A message from the staff of Chengdu Business Daily:

    The design of the trophy of Hugo Award has been confirmed. We are prerfecting the details and we will publish it on the opening ceremony.

  18. My reading of this is:

    Eligible members vote for the Hugo Awards according to the “one person, one vote” rule, to select [works and individuals that comply with local laws and regulations].

    I find this extremely disturbing.

    They are openly admitting that they will not permit any Hugo finalists or winners which are not approved by the Chinese government.

  19. It’s in the Trash folder and I didn’t put it there. I have emailed him to ask about it.

  20. @JJ–I assumed this was inevitable. I don’t think they have a choice. It’s all part of the overarching reason the voters would have done better not to choose China. And yet I can understand. I think things are too fraught for it now, but that fraughtness isn’t displaying itself in really dramatic events on TV, like Tienamen Square (which I hope I have spelled correctly, but my headache isn’t letting go, so I’m not searching to verify).

    And everyone I know that’s been to China in less fraught times and without being a person of interest to the Chinese government, has has a fantastic time in a fascinating culture with a lot of history, and with a government that has an active interest in seeing to it that tourists do leave with good stories about their experience. I just don’t think it’s a good idea now, even apart from active atrocities currently under way. The Chinese government seems far too touchy, and too willing to act.

  21. That one is not very right so I decided to delete it and change some of my words.
    When Chengdu was confirmed to hold Worldcon81 in 2021, the venue is a meeting centre in Wuhou District of Chengdu which has been built already and has held lots of meetings and exhibitions. In 2022, some messages spreading on Chinese Internet showed that the venue might be changed due to the decision mady by Chengdu Business Daily and related people in Pidu District. Revelant reports have been cleared up and promoted by SF Light Year (Kehuan Guangnian), who have focused on the news for a long time.
    CBD and other business organizations decided to bulid a completely new museum for Worldcon81. The building was begun in the second half year of 2022, claiming that it will be finished on July 2023, waiting the worldcon in August.
    Helping Chengdu Become the Capital of Science Fiction, the Main Part of the Science Museum will Seal a Top in January Next Year :

    “The science fiction museum project is currently progressing very smoothly, and it is expected that the basic construction of the entire project will be completed by the end of December, and the main body of the science fiction museum will be topped out around January 12, 2023, and the synchronous hardcover will also enter the construction around January 1.”The relevant person in charge of the Pidu District Science and Technology Innovation City Management Committee said that it is expected that the hardcovering, landscape, mechanical and electrical construction will be completed on June 15th, 2023, and the exhibition will be completed on July 30th.

    Note: This article was promoted by Jinguan News, Chengdu Daily in November, 2022. At this time, the committee was still telling members that the worldcon would be held in CEC-Chengdu Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center.
    Nevertheless, a report on the wabsite of the government of Pidu District, which is provided by Hongxin News, a sister medium organization of Chengdu Business Daily, showed that Chengdu Science Museum will be finished on August 30th, 2023.
    Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, the main venue of 2023 Chengdu Worldcon has just sealed a top, and it will be finnished on August 30th

    As a whole-process project management consulting unit, the relevant person in charge of China Resources Land said that it will achieve high-quality completion of the project on schedule and strive for the Luban Award.
    On August 8 this year, the completion acceptance conditions were reached and the exhibition was completed
    The reporter learned from the scene that during the Spring Festival, the construction workers do not stop their jobs, the above-ground venue area will continue to carry out roof steel grid structure assembly and welding, and the secondary structure and mechanical and electrical installation in the basement area will be interspersed, and it is expected to reach the completion acceptance conditions on August 30th this year, completing the installation of the 2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention.
    According to the data, Pidu District plans to build a 106-square-kilometer science and technology innovation city. The city has laid out a number of major projects such as the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, the Super Island Chain Scientists Living Room, and the World Science Fiction Park, helping Chengdu build a “Chinese science fiction capital”.

    The message was posted on January 20th, 2023. Though it claimed that it is estimated to finish the construciton in August, this means that the constuction has delayed. Just at the same time, the committee offically declared the change of the venue and the time, without any necessary communication and notification. At that time, a Chinese member wrote a letter to WSFS, receiving a answer full of confusion: “Why? You do not know the change? We also don’t know why!”
    Thus I am pessimistic about the “reasonably likely”. The committee has had a fault and they did not try to correct it. Even the two words themselves show the dangerous — the committee is short of confidence, comparing to the word “estimate” in January.
    If the committee followed thier bid filling and promise in 2021, the worldcon can be held in August as scheduled. But they changed thier mind for some reason we will never know. Some anonymous sources point out that the delay is due to pandemic. But the policies has changed before, and now you cannot find even one sentece about COVID-19 on thier progress report or thier website. The only thing we can know noe is that the unfinished new museum led to the delay directly. But why they chose to build a new one?

  22. @Zimozi Natsuco: Thank you very much for the interesting information.

    I am confused by this article about a May 2022 visit to Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park by members of the Worldcon team, which I found via search engines. The article ends (via Google Translate):

    Liang Xiaolan, vice chairman of the Municipal Science Fiction Association, fully affirmed the construction of the venues, surrounding supporting facilities and ecological environment of Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park, saying that the site selection for the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention series of supporting activities will fully consider the advantages of Xinjin.

    Google Maps tells me that that Xinjin county is ~70km from both Guixiang and the Pidu districts of Chengdu, so I don’t understand how it could be convenient for supporting the announced Worldcon venues. (I must say though, the buildings in that park look super cool.)

    Regarding differences between the EN and CN language material: in the comments to a previous thread, I mentioned that I had seen a Chinese list of committee members, but IIRC there was no English language equivalent of that list. I have since found an archive.org copy of that Chinese language page – I had forgotten that before Chengdu won the bid, a different web domain was used. That page is here. It identifies which companies the members of the bid company work(ed) for – there were 4 employees of Chengdu Business Times (aka Chengdu Commercial Daily in Google Translate) in that team, and I believe all have continued to be staff in the con team to the present day. I’m sure that Chinese fandom is aware of this stuff, but I suspect it is not widely known amongst the fans in other countries?

  23. @John S / ErsatzCulture:

    I’m sure that Chinese fandom is aware of this stuff, but I suspect it is not widely known amongst the fans in other countries?

    This stuff is even not widely known in China. Back to 2021, the year of bidding for worldcon81, most of the Chinese sf fans —- including me, are attracted by the appeal of Science Fiction World. SFW is the biggest SF magazine in China (even in the whole world), and they have organized several sf convention, like International SF Convention and Annual Meeting of WSF in 1991, which is the first global sf meeting in China. It is natural to lead to the conclusion that Worldcon81 will be hosted by SFW. Thus many sf fans will miss the existence of CBD.
    Nevertheless, we have to admit that employees from CBD do host the worldcon instead of SFW. SFW, as far as I know, act as a Miss Etiquette for the duration of bidding and preparation. Yao Haijun, the editor-in-chief of Science Fiction World, only appears in some etiquette occasion like He Xi and Liu Cixin. The employees from Chengdu Business Daily you mention like Liang Xiaolan, Chen Shi, Wang Yating, hold the real power of worldcon. They meet with local administration, attend important meetings on behalf of Worldcon81, make decisions and look for commerical coopration. An evidence of this is the passage you mention; you hardly find a staff from SFW and Liang speak towards the camera and microphone on behalf of Worldcon81. Another one is a passage called

    Starship is Approaching: The Last Three Days in the Bidding of Worldcon81

    It used to be posted on Douban.com, but now it has been deleted. It mentioned that Chen Shi used unskilled Chinese and unskilled English to make the presentation for Chengdu on Discon3. Staffs from CBD walked through the venue, took photos to make sure that they could crow about their “contibution”, though their wrong promotion materials and awful representation nearly messed everthing up.
    The 2023 World Science Fiction Convention settled in Chengdu! They experienced a “moment of horror” before success

    “We consulted with on-site experts and charter experts from the misleading Chinese on our website, the rules governing the separation of votes, and the problems with the pre-check procedures of the site selection committee, and they all agreed that these votes should not be classified as invalid ballots.” Liang Xiaolan said; Wang Yating also sent emails to the presidents of previous science fiction conventions to consult about these matters, and after receiving continuous affirmative answers, they fed back these situations to Chen Shi so that they could help him to continue to argue in the front.

    The similar article promoted the contribution from Chen and other leaders from CBD. So I had to write these essays to help clarify the truth.
    Now we can also talk about Xinjin. You can easily find similar news —- leaders of CBD visit some places in Chengdu and give a good appraisal, saying that these tourist attractions are useful for worldcon81. It should be taken into consideration that at the date of this passage, May 11th 2022, the offical venue of worldcon81 is still CEC-Chengdu Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center in Wuhou District. Xinjin county is also ~50km from there. (Yes, Chengdu is indeed a big city.) I cannot guess the reason. But it have not caused direct or significant influence on the worldcon yet; the PR#2 has nothing to do with Xinjin County.
    Maybe these leaders are invited by local administartion, but you can agree with me that they should pay more attention to the worldcon itself instead of wondering in different parts of Chengdu. They even haven’t promoted a PR at that time yet!

  24. When I was searching for info yesterday, I found a copy of the same Baidu.com article, but published on a Sichuan news site. I guess it was syndicated to many different news outlets.

    Despite all my concerns, I nevertheless belatedly registered at the weekend for a virtual online admission and WSFS membership, and hope others will do the same. After spending time looking through machine translated versions of Weibo posts, 0GSF articles, etc, it’s clear to me that there is a lot of knowledge and hard work in the Chinese SF scene, that up until now has been pretty much unknown in the Anglosphere. To be honest, it’s bad on my part that I was surprised to find that stuff; 20 years ago, I was fortunate to be in Tokyo and attend a couple of Comikets, and the quantity and quality of the fan work there was astonishing – and there’s no reason why Chinese fans couldn’t be capable of similar things. A sample of the work that’s been done will be in the Hugo voter packet – hopefully in both English and Chinese – but it would be great if the Worldcon provides a platform for a greater direct exchange of ideas and experiences.

    I do worry that a perceived lack of interest from Western fans in the Chengdu Worldcon may alienate Chinese fandom. I remember seeing various tweets at the end of Chicon 8 saying “see you at Glasgow”, as if Chengdu 2023 didn’t exist. Given visa difficulties, COVID, inflation and other financial problems, etc, I’d hope that a relative lack of Western visitors on site at the actual event will be understood, but that doesn’t affect the online component, which only costs $2. (Obviously that doesn’t include the $50 WSFS membership, but I imagine that the fanwork in the packet will be available elsewhere online.)

    As an aside, from Twitter keyword searches on “chengdu worldcon”, “hugo awards”, etc, I’ve only seen two Western authors indicate that they will be attending Chengdu in person (aside from the GoHs of course). Both are Europeans from non-Anglophone countries, who I suspect aren’t known at all to the majority of Anglophone readers. Are there any US/CA/UK/IE/AU/NZ/etc authors who’ve indicated they plan to attend?

  25. Pingback: Breaking Down the Chengdu Hugo Awards Ineligibilities - WWAC

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