Guest Post: Ukrainian Fandom At Chicon 8

Borys Sydiuk

By Borys Sydiuk: Friends, on behalf of the Ukrainian Fandom I would like to thank everyone who supports us at this time.  

We have been hurt by those who bring politics to Worldcon, who use their platform to hate. Using any platform is inappropriate, using Worldcon is inconceivable.  

The support for Ukraine is invaluable, and luckily the entire civilized World stands for Ukraine against what we see as global evil Putin’s Russian Federation incarnates. 

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom represents one of the most progressive parts of  humanity, a passion that welcomes all, and we have standards, codes of conduct and live to learn. Fandom stands not only for celebration of imagination, thought and reflection, commentary and critique but through our organizations, a democratic, welcome inclusive  approach. 

Fans cherish human rights. 

World Science Fiction Conventions, Worldcon, although initially an American event, has seen fans working to make it a true international conference and festival in the 21st century. 

Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, China welcome the Worldcon for the first time. Uganda, Egypt, Israel and other countries are seeking the same. They will all be challenged by voters on their strength of human rights, and safety of all fans.  

We hope Chinese fans have a wonderful Worldcon next year. 

I dreamt to bring international Science Fiction events to Ukraine, and took part in the success team to bring European Science Fiction Convention, Eurocon, to Kyiv, twice – in 2006 and 2013. But you hardly know that Kyiv fandom was crazy enough to dream about Worldcon in Kyiv back in 1990.

We even formed a bid committee and were going to present our bid for Worldcon in Orlando in 1992. We failed to announce our bid for some reason. Well, that was a nice try and wonderful dream. But the dream is not over. 

The war will end sooner or later and peace will return to Ukraine, and someday we will host a Worldcon, trust me, it will be the greatest experience you will ever have. 

Unfortunately, we have not come to Chicon 8 in person, and we really miss this wonderful event. We are members, we are with you, you are with us. 

We have taken an advert in the souvenir book, reminding everyone of our plight. Thank you to those who helped.  

We asked fans to distribute ribbons.  They are yellow ones and blue ones.

Today we have two motions, resolutions in front of the WSFS business meetings. Thank you for allowing there be a process, which has welcomed us, even those who disagree would allow us to speak.  

We have two resolutions, non binding sentiments that are recorded.  

Short Title: Solidarity with Ukraine 

Resolved, that it is the spirit of the Business Meeting to offer solidarity with Ukrainian Fans, recognizing that Ukraine has been invaded by fascists. We encourage all to boycott those who would platform or champion the illegal invasion. The Business Meeting looks forward to a return of freedom and fandom to Ukraine.  

Ukraine is an ancient and wonderful land. Ukrainians are kind and welcoming people. Ukraine is a young country. Our fandom is growing, our love of literature, science fiction and space fight strong, our conventions pleasant. We ask for solidarity. 

Fans who allow the platform or champion of the illegal invasion, should know that this is not right. Fandom is about friendship. Not a space for fascists to gloat or goad. We have asked for a clear message, it supports a civilized and democratic approach to this matter. 

Short Title: Sergey Lukianenko

Resolved, that it is the spirit of the Business Meeting to show solidarity with Ukrainian fans and to condemn Worldcon 2023’s Guest of Honour, Sergey Lukianenko’s appalling utterances, calling Ukrainians Nazis and encouraging an illegal invasion of Ukraine. This is utterly unacceptable. Lukianenko should neither be platformed nor celebrated, and we ask the Chengdu 2023 committee, fans and members to refuse Sergei Lukianenko as your guest. it is shameful that he is honored by Worldcon.

We hope that Chinese Fans have a wonderful Worldcon in Chengdu. 

We are sad that we are forced to use this democratic process, to seek support against those who would politicize Worldcon, those who would champion the invasion of Ukraine, who in any other year would be in breach of codes of conduct. 

One of the most ugly supporters of the idea to demolish Ukraine and massacre Ukrainians is Sergei Lukianenko, a leading SF young adult author in Russia. He was born in Kazakhstan, his literary success made him the most influential SF writer in ex-USSR fandom. He always wanted the USSR back, he always hated independent Ukraine. He declares there is no such a country Ukraine and no such a nation Ukrainians. Ukraine and Ukrainians should be liquidated.

That a Worldcon Guest of Honor says such a thing is reprehensible. 

Why is no action taken, why no code of conduct, why does Worldcon bestow honor on a human who would wish such horror on others, is it more politics. 

Ukraine, a land that suffered from Nazism, whose current legitimate president is Jewish is accused to be a Nazi country by the Worldcon Guest of Honor. 

We have asked for the World Science Fiction society to speak with us, to say that this is shameful, and wrong and to ask, not tell, but ask politely, democratically and state that when a Guest of Honor goes wrong, fans, members and committee take responsibility and refuse them. 

No one wishes this badness on the Chengdu committee, yet we must clearly show that this behaviour is unacceptable and especially in this Guest of Honor. 

Silence is not acceptable.  Thank you for your support.  

After the business meeting we will do what fans do, and enjoy a sociable moment, a toast to Ukraine. 

We  are grateful to Tammy Coxen for hosting her Tammy’s Tastings (*). 

We are grateful to Phoenix for their artistic representation of the canine space endeavours, helping to raise funds through art for Ukrainian charity of merit.  

We appreciate that James Bacon, Erin Underwood, Chris Garcia, Kelly Buehler, Frank Kalisz, Mike Glyer, Ian Stockdale, Dave Farmer, and Chuck Serface have cosigned the resolutions.  Thank you to them. 

Many others support us. Thank you. 

As fans, we can dream of welcoming you all to our sovereign nation, to host you all here in better times here, we hope still hope for a Worodcon here and we wish you a wonderful time in Chicago. 

We are virtually with you as you are with us. We are all human beings standing against the modern Mordor called Russia by mistake. And we will definitely win.   

(*) Tammy’s Tastings: Toast to Ukraine takes place at Chicon 8 on Friday, September 2nd, from 1:30 pm to 4 pm – Room 3276

Below is a gallery of photos taken this week in Chicago with examples of the city’s support for Ukraine.

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9 thoughts on “Guest Post: Ukrainian Fandom At Chicon 8

  1. I agree that Chengdu should drop Lukianenko. Or more precisely, the nasty political consequences to the committee if they dropped him would likely be serious. I can’t blame the committee much if they don’t want to risk it. This is why people should stay clear of the 2023 Worldcon. It’s not the committee’s fault, but a Worldcon in a country without free speech is a mistake.

    On boycotting anyone who “platforms” the invasion: This is too vague and broad. I don’t know what platforming an invasion means. Is the resolution calling for a boycott of any website or hosting company that allows Russia a voice?

  2. Excellent. As Borys has said, Kyiv hosted 2 Eurocons : in 2006 (and thereat, I Chaired my 1st ESFS Meeting) and 2013 (wherein I Chaired my last one) and we in fandom need to clearly show our continuing support for them.

  3. I, too, support at least the latter Resolution (and while I may be the only one in the Czech fandom who knows or cares about the WSFS BM goings-on, I can vouch that the rest would agree with its spirit and firmly #standwithUkraine – maybe I should have shared that story about the boycott of Mr Lukyanenko here, which led to him trading insults with our bestselling SF writer, when it still had some news value.)

    As I’ve said before, I will attend the first available con in Ukraine as soon as the war is over (and the ESFS should support it through the rarely-used article 8 of its Statutes about bestowing the title of an “European Science Fiction Conference”).

  4. yAaand Alex Acks reports both passed without amendment!

    And yes, I’m kinda looking forward to the geyser of bile from Mr L.

  5. The picture of the drink for the toast is intriguing. I understand how to float one liquor on top of another through their specific gravity and careful pouring, but please, what are the two ingredients? I would happily serve this Ukrainian toast to guests on any occiasion!

  6. @Jon DeCles

    For that picture, the particular ingredients were Combier Blue Curacao and Ungava gin, which is yellow.

    I tried a lot of different combinations of ingredients to get a shot that would layer nicely. Galliano and Blue Curacao do pretty well. But the problem with that and other similar things was that there would always be some mixing in the middle that would look green AND if you looked down on the drink from the top, it just looked green.

    The Ungava gin (which is Canadian, BTW) is a full strength spirit with no sugar, which means it is much lighter/lower viscosity than a liqueur, so it gave me by far the cleanest separation of layers, and didn’t appear nearly so green. Unfortunately, I then forgot my bottle of Ungava at home when I was packing for Chicago, so I did not actually get to pour any of the shots at the con!

    But if you’d like to mix along at home, here are the recipes for the two cocktails I was pouring:

    Golden Grain
    1 oz vodka
    1/2 oz Limoncello
    1/2 oz Liquor Strega
    3/4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
    1 dash orange bitters
    Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe or martini glass.

    Blue Sky
    2 oz blanco tequila
    3/4 oz blue curacao
    3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
    1/4 oz simple syrup
    pinch salt (or do a salt rim on the glass.
    Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe or martini glass. (Yes, it’s just a blue Margarita.)

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