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.