Chicon 8 Publishes First Progress Report; Launches Community Fund; Won’t Run Retro-Hugos

Chicon 8, the 2022 Worldcon in Chicago, has posted Progress Report #1 (also available to nonmembers).

Chair Helen Montgomery says in the PR they “have fully signed the contract with the Hyatt Regency Chicago and have completed our initial space allocation plan.” The PR also previews the Chicago Worldcon Community Fund, which some can tap into for assistance in attending the con. And Chicon 8 announces they will run a 1946 retrospective instead of awarding Retro-Hugos.

 CHICAGO WORLDCON COMMUNITY FUND. “We know that Worldcon can be an expensive prospect for many people,” notes Montgomery. “We also know that Worldcon is great fun and we want as many people there as possible.” The Chicago Worldcon Community Fund (CWCF) will crowdsource donations from the community and distribute the money to fans who may need a little help in order to attend.

Funds will be available to the following groups of people:

  • Non-white fans or program participants
  • LGBTQIA+ fans or program participants
  • Local Chicago area fans of limited means

Full information at the CWCF link.

1946 RETROSPECTIVE. Chicon 8 won’t exercise its option to run Retro Hugos for 1947. Instead, they will do a retrospective of the works and fandom of 1946, a project headed up by Cora Buhlert, 2020 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fan Writer.

The committee gave five reasons for its decision.  

First, the public feedback made on social media and sent to us in email after the last two Retro Hugos largely were not supportive of Retro Hugos at Chicon 8. Second, it has been increasingly difficult to get representatives from estates involved in the awards, leading us to question who we were actually honoring when the creators are deceased and the estates, for the most part, are uninterested. Third, there is a financial cost factor — rockets and bases, tech for putting on a ceremony, etc. Fourth, the labor costs of administering the awards, the director and crew for a ceremony, hosts and acceptors, etc. Fifth, there tends to be much less interest in the Retro Hugos, based on lower nominations, lower voting, and lower attendance at Retro Hugos ceremonies.

Their retrospective project will explore the literary and media works of 1946, and “the state of fandom” that year.

In fact, 1946 was the first Worldcon held after WWII and was notable for several firsts, including the first non-American Guests of Honor (A.E. Van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull, both from Canada) and the first woman Guest of Honor (E. Mayne Hull). We plan to have several program items looking at 1946, as well as an exhibit on it.

Anyone interested in working on the project should let the committee know by volunteering.

29 thoughts on “Chicon 8 Publishes First Progress Report; Launches Community Fund; Won’t Run Retro-Hugos

  1. This seems like a nice compromise between those interested in exploring retro work and those who feel the Retro Hugos are increasingly problematic. And yay Cora for heading it up!

  2. I was prepared to be bummed about the Retro Hugos decision but the project Cora is leading sounds great so I’m doing a 180.

  3. This is great news. Considering the fantastic job Cora has done in the last couple of years hunting down links to, reviewing, and highlighting various resources for Retro Hugo candidates, Chicon 8 is extremely fortunate she is willing to put on a program for them.

    And I hope that the people who are disappointed about the Retro Hugos not being held will reach out to Cora and offer to contribute to the program in some way. 🙂

  4. Gratz and good luck, Cora! A worthy recognition of your already-extensive work.

  5. Well my first thaught after I read the Title was Cora will not be happy.
    Cue my suprise a bit later.
    Congratulation that sounds like a great idea and very interesting.

  6. Congratulations, Cora. Looking forward to this.

    (I was a little startled to get a progress report from Chicon, with DisconIII still in the works).

  7. I had already started exploring the fantasy movies of 1946, most notably Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête, so it’s good to see that the effort won’t be entirely wasted.

  8. I had already started exploring the fantasy movies of 1946, most notably Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête, so it’s good to see that the effort won’t be entirely wasted.

    That sounds like a highly rewarding activity in and of itself–I can’t imagine considering that effort wasted under any circumstances! Do you have any further recommendations in that arena?

  9. So far the other such movies I’ve learned of are It’s a Wonderful Life, and Alexander Ptushko’s The Stone Flower. But I haven’t actually watched them yet, and I’m not certain how to see the Ptushko.

  10. Other possibilities for Best Dramatic Long

    Angel on My Shoulder (Paul Muni, Claude Rains)
    Available at Internet Archive

    The Beast with Five Fingers (Robert Alda, Peter Lorre)
    available via 2013 DVD and torrents

    Boom in the Moon (Mexican SF, Spanish title: El Moderno Barba Azul, Buster Keaton)
    available 2015 DVD, snippets on Youtube

    Make Mine Music (Disney animated)
    available via foreign DVD and torrent

    A Matter of Life and Death aka Stairway to Heaven (fantasy, David Niven)
    available Criterion DVD, torrents

    She-Wolf of London (horror but no supernatural elements, June Lockhart)
    available DVD, torrents

    Song of the South (Disney live action/animated)
    avialable foreign Laserdisc/VHS/DVD, torrents

    The Time of Their Lives (fantasy, Abbott & Costello)
    available DVD, torrents

    The Tinderbox (1st Danish animated feature)

  11. Animated Shorts
    Andy Panda (Walter Lantz/Universal)


    Fox and the Crow (Screen Gems)

    Loonie Tunes/Merrie Melodies
    Hair-Raising Hare (first appearance of “Gossamer”)
    Walky Talky Hawky (first Foghorn Leghorn)

    MGM (includes Tom and Jerry; Droopy)



    Terrytoons (includes Mighty Mouse)

    Tom and Jerry

    Woody Woodpecker

    Note: “The Cat Concerto” (Tom and Jerry) won Oscar for Best Animated Short. Other Nominees were “John Henry and the Inky-Poo” (Puppetoons), “Musical Moments from Chopin” (Andy Panda/Woody Woodpecker), “Squatter’s Rights” (Disney), “Walky Talky Hawky” (Merrie Melodies).

  12. Thanks, Bill. That’s great.

    Also thanks to Stuart. We do want to cover radio dramas, especially since the Retro Hugos always tend to neglect them.

  13. @Cora Buhlert: This is awesome; thanks for taking this on. They made the right choice, IMHO, both in skipping the retros (YAY) and working with you to do something much more interesting. 😀

  14. Pingback: Cora’s Adventures at Flights of Foundry, the Obligatory 2021 Birthday Post and Some Other News | Cora Buhlert

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