Chicon 8 Membership News

Chicon 8, the 80th World Science Fiction Convention, reports that April was its best month yet for member sales, with 720 new members joining the con, including 520 who will be attending in person.

COVID. With nearly 4,000 total members, including over 2,600 physical attending members, registered so far, the Chicon 8 committee is “confident of delivering a full and rounded Worldcon experience.” At the same time, they are committed to protecting their staff and members from the residual threat of Covid-19, and to learning lessons from other events over the last two years. Read their Covid policy at the link.

MEMBERSHIP RATES. Full information on all membership types and how to register can be found here.

In person: Chicon 8 membership rates increased on May 1, with a full Adult Attending membership now costing $240, a First Worldcon Attending membership $145, and lower rates for Children, Teens and Young Adults (those aged under 25 as of September 1, when the convention opens).

Virtual: There also are Virtual Attending Memberships available for $80 (or $30 as an upgrade for existing Supporting Members). Virtual Attending Memberships include WSFS rights, and will enable members to vote in the Final Ballot for the 2022 Hugo Awards, nominate for the 2023 Hugo Awards, and vote in Site Selection for the locations of the 2023 NASFiC and 2024 Worldcon.

Dailies: Day Admissions will be on sale from June 1.

ROOMS. Accommodation at the Hyatt Regency is open for booking and rooms are already selling well – full details can be found here.

VIRTUAL PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS. Chicon 8’s Program team has re-opened sign-ups through May 7 to allow Virtual Panel Participants to apply. Interested individuals can fill in the Program Participant Interest Form here.

DEALERS AND ARTISTS. The convention is continuing to accept applications for space in the Dealers’ Room and Art-show.

[Based on information provided by Chicon 8.]

29 thoughts on “Chicon 8 Membership News

  1. The Broadway League in Manhattan and the Kennedy Center in Washington have both announced they are removing vaccine mandates as of May 15, although they will still require masks. It would not surprise me if Chicago theatres have made a similar announcement.

    Why does the committee consider an sf convention more dangerous than a theatre?

  2. I would like to make clear that I am NOT opposed to vaccines and have had three shots of Pfizer. I got my first shot five days after I was eligible in March 2020.

    What I am opposed to are rigid, inflexible rules that cannot be questioned, challenged or debated, like Chicon’s COVID policy.

  3. Is this a paradox here? Questioning a rule that “cannot be questioned”?

    Of course, I can’t speak for the committee, but a Worldcon runs for more than 10 times the length of a theatrical presentation, so might reasonably be expected to have different rules.

  4. @martin wooster
    Theaters don’t usually have the same relationship and regard for their attendees as a Worldcon does for its members, many of whom are older or in other ways more at risk for severe illness. Chicon is choosing to prioritize the needs of its most vulnerable members.

    You can question, challenge and debate Chicon’s rules all you like. Doesn’t mean they’re going to change them for you, but no one is denying you the right to complain about them. If you would like to be part of making policy regarding Covid for future conventions, then I suggest you volunteer to be part of the leadership team who makes the decisions. Those are the people putting the work in – their con, their rules. Would you really propose that those people should be FORCED to run a convention they themselves would not be comfortable attending? And are you going to step up to do their jobs when they resign because of it?

  5. As a cancer survivor, my immune system might handle a COVID infection, or maybe not, and finding out the hard way could be very bad. If an event doesn’t have a good vaccination and mask policy, it is better that I stay away. Thankfully DisCon 3 had a good policy and I was able to attend. I am pleased and relieved to see that Chicon 8 is taking health concerns seriously.

    Answering Martin Wooster, a convention runs for several days, much longer than most theatrical performances. Conventions have fans eating five meals a day to go with their two hours of sleep, parties where we are very likely to relax and not be as careful, the business meeting with people speaking loudly, and most dangerous of all, non-stop filking. There are good reasons for conventions to be more careful.

    Theaters dropping mask mandates seems reckless to me. Just because they do it, doesn’t mean we have to follow them.

    I would say that I feel rather critical of rigid, inflexible opposition to sensible rules that harm no-one.

  6. An important consideration is that many people, especially those who may be vulnerable, may decide whether to register and attend based on the policy. If one relaxes the policy in the run up to the con, this would put such people in a difficult position. When the policy was set there was a strong sense that it was best to set out a policy and stick to it to provide certainty to everyone who decides to invest time and money in the trip.

  7. Tom Becker: This piece by Joseph Allen of the Harvard School of Public Health from the WASHINGTON POST notes that for people wearing an N95 or KN95 mask “live a low-risk life regardless of what others around them are doing.” He also says mask mandates are not necessary for places that impose vaccine mandates.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/15/our-playbook-fight-covid-19-is-outdated-here-are-10-updates-2022/

    If people want to wear masks, that’s their right. But I request you refute Allen in your response. Include citations.

    Tammy Coxen: I’m a Boomer,and the Chicon committee is hostile to my generation. So there’s no point in volunteering.

    Since no one from the Chicon committee has responded, I conclude their Covid-19 policy is an ex cathedra judgment that they cannot defend and is not necessarily based on science.

  8. Martin Wooster: Tammy Coxen and Colin Harris are both on the Chicon 8 committee.

  9. Mike Glyer: Fine. I hope the Chicon committee realizes that there should be a debate over its Covid policy.

  10. Martin Wooster: They must — they’re here debating the question you raised.

  11. I’m a Boomer,and the Chicon committee is hostile to my generation.

    This is an extraordinary claim given the typical demographic makeup of both Worldcon and its committees.

  12. Meredith: This is an extraordinary claim given the typical demographic makeup of both Worldcon and its committees.

    My observations are that the Chicon 8 committee is hostile to bigotry. Equating all Boomers with bigots is certainly an extraordinary claim… but I guess it’s easier to pretend that it has to do with age than it is to own up to bigotry.

  13. @Martin Wooster: There is nothing to refute in Allen’s opinion piece. Obviously it is his opinion. He says what he thinks should be done. He does not provide any evidence or models or citations. In asking me to refute his opinions, you are holding me to a higher standard. So okay. Here you go.

    Howard et al., An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19, PNAS (2021)

    It has 141 references. Let me know when you are done fact-checking all of them.

  14. I find Chicon’s covid policy a little overly restrictive as well, but since a lot of members praised it, that seems to be what the majority prefers. Never mind that there are a lot of people in our community who are vulnerable to covid for various reasons. And since for a lot of people, whether they will attend the con depends on the covid policy, it makes sense to announce it early enough, so people can decide whether to go without having to cancel hotels, etc…

  15. @Martin Wooster: That City Journal article is a polemic, starting from the title. It’s not science. To be more precise and technical, the article is bullshit.

    At this point, I am appreciating the Chicon 8 concom more than ever.

  16. @Martin Wooster: Do you ever verify sources? The author of that City Journal article is a guy named John Tierney. His Wikipedia entry says:

    A self-described contrarian, Tierney is a critic of aspects of environmentalism, the “science establishment”, big government, and calls for limiting emissions of carbon dioxide.

    As they say, he seems nice!

  17. Given what happened at Norwescon, a Worldcon Covid policy that is a little more restrictive than absolutely necessary or required by law is something I am pretty okay with.

    But then I work in an office that I am one of two people in a 100 workers who regularly masks.

  18. Chicon’s policy is similar to that of Westercon 74 in Tonopah. I am heartily in favor of it and feel safer about attending. Last weekend, a dozen committee members met in person in Tonopah, and except when actively eating or drinking or when separated by at least two meters, we remained masked.

    Something that these “Masks are Bad!” people seem to not realize is something I found when the Westercon 74 committee was discussing the details of our mask and vaccination policy: had we not adopted what we had, we wouldn’t have a committee to run the convention, because most of the committee and staff would have quit. As it was, only one person withdrew, and even then, they did the pre-convention work and are handing it over to someone else who agreed to run that part of the convention, for which I’m grateful.

    I think those people who think that Masks Are Bad should try to organize their own events where the wearing of masks of any sort is prohibited and see how well that goes for them. But I want them to be very clear about their policy, so I can stay far away from them.

  19. People attending a Worldcon are likely to have just been travelling, perhaps for long distances on airplanes or trains, and so are more likely to have been exposed recently than someone attending a theater performance.

  20. Tom Becker: first off, I will read your article from the PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES this weekend because, ummm, I have a job and I need to work!

    But for the record, do you consider all opinion pieces supporting mask use as illegitimate as that of Joseph Allen’s?

    If John Tierney’s piece was just opinion, I wouldn’t link to it. As OGH knows, I am getting increasingly allergic to pure opinion pieces. But I’ve liked Tierney’s work for 20 years and he uses a regression analysis that persuades me that mask use overall has no affect on Covid transmission rates.

  21. @Martin Wooster: I’m not sure what you are asking. Someone may write an opinion piece where I happen to agree with its view, but if it is poorly reasoned or intellectually dishonest, it’s a bad opinion piece.

    It can be fine if someone honestly expresses their opinion, as such. For example, https://xkcd.com/2448/.

  22. You stated that you considered an opinion piece by Joseph Allen illegitimate. I wonder if you would consider an opinion piece by a public health professor that argues that Covid conditions will never change and therefore we should continue masks and isolation forever equally illegitimate.

  23. @Martin Wooster: “Illegitimate”. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The Joseph Allen article is wrong, it makes no attempt to be truthful, and it is not worth my time to refute it, But this is a free country. He has a right to be wrong.

    Please refrain from smoking in the vicinity of your argument. The straw men are highly flammable. And the loose pieces and dust are making the sea lion sneeze.

    Check out this paper: “An ancient viral epidemic involving host coronavirus interacting genes more than 20,000 years ago in East Asia”, Current Biology, June 24, 2021, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.067. There is genetic evidence of a coronavirus epidemic that started 23,000 years ago and caused high rates of death for 200 years. This is what we are up against.

    If you want covid conditions to change, wear a damn mask. Combined with vaccination, mask wearing is the most effective way to fight the virus, and it is also the cheapest and easiest. If you can’t be bothered to wear a mask, it means you really don’t care.

  24. I’m not going to respond any further, and before you dance your happy dance, here’s why: nothing I write will change your mind, and I would rather spend the hour reading the PNAS paper on doing activities I enjoy. I don’t particularly enjoy feuding on the Internet.

    I did what I was supposed to do which is state my arguments and provide my evidence. The next time the Chicon committee meets to discuss their Covid policy, they will know the hearty applause they previously assumed would accompany their Covid policy is not unanimous.

  25. It would have been nice if there’d been an apology for the ex cathedra remark. It was quite rude and based on a false assumption.

  26. I apologize for being snarky.

    @Martin Wooster: Nobody is having a happy dance. Covid is a monster. I just wish we could be in the science fiction movie where the townspeople band together and defeat the monster. Unfortunately, we seem to be in the horror movie version.

  27. @martin wooster – you are very mistaken in thinking that the Chicon committee assumed the Covid policy would lead to universal hearty applause. There is no policy that would, it’s an impossible goal to achieve. There was vigorous discussion within the committee with a variety of perspectives included, and this is the policy that resulted. The committee was very aware that there are people who would not approve and will no longer attend the convention because of it. Just as there would be had we gone with a looser policy. Like Kevin mentions with Tonapah, in the end the needs and preferences of the people who are doing the work are going to have to outweigh the wants of some of the people who are attending, because otherwise there’s no one to run the convention and its a moot point.

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