It’s Chicon 7

The winning bid for 2012 has now officially morphed into Chicon 7.

The Guests of Honor will be author Mike Resnick, artist Rowena Morrill, astronaut Story Musgrave, fan Peggy Rae Sapienza, and “industry” (it says on the website) Jane Frank.

Mike Resnick has been a dominant figure on the SF scene for many years — just how dominant you can tell from the list of accolades on the Baen site, which begins:

[He’s] the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short fiction; and when you add in novels and non-fiction, he’s fourth on the all-time list. He is the winner of 5 Hugos (from 31 nominations), [and] a Nebula (11 nominations)…

Rowena Morrill is a highly acclaimed artist with a career spanning over 20 years.

Story Musgrave was an NASA astronaut for over 30 years and flew on six spaceflights:

He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia…. He is a concept artist with Walt Disney Imagineering, an innovator with Applied Minds Inc. and a professor of design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA

Peggy Rae Sapienza chaired Bucconeer, the 1998 Worldcon, and has provided leadership at lot of other Worldcons. She assisted Nippon 2007 in many ways while serving as its North American agent. Her father, Jack McKnight, machined the first Hugo Awards in 1953. Peggy Rae was active in the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society in the late 1950s. She won the Big Heart Award in 1983.

Jane Frank has been a collector for decades and has run WoW-Art since 1991, selling illustrative genre art.

John Scalzi will be Toastmaster.

Update 09/05/2010: Aussiecon 4 later issued a very nice press release, which I have added after the jump.

The 70th World Science Fiction Convention, Chicon 7.
Dates: August 30 ? September 3, 2012
Site: Hyatt Regency Chicago
E-mail: [email protected]  

For Immediate Release

Chicon 7 Wins the 2012 Worldcon Bid, Announces Guests and Rates

In voting conducted at Aussiecon 4, Chicon 7 won the right to run the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention.  It will be held at the Hyatt Regency from August 30-September 3, 2012.

Chicon 7’s guests will be: 
Author Guest of Honor: Mike Resnick has published more than 60 speculative fiction novels and 250 short stories.  Resnick’s novels include Santiago, The Outpost, the Widowmaker series, and the Starship series. He has edited more than forty anthologies, often supporting new authors, and served as the Executive Editor of Jim Baen’s Universe and the science fiction editor for Benbella Books. He has written multiple columns dealing with the business of writing, with his dialogues with Barry Malzberg recently collected in The Business of Science Fiction, one of many non-fiction books he has published. Resnick has won five Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award as well as Japanese, French, Spanish, Polish, and Croatian science fiction awards.

Artist Guest of Honor: Rowena Morrill has been publishing speculative fiction art since 1977, shortly after she arrived in New York.  She has produced covers for more than 300 books and has published several collections of her own work, including the Hugo-nominated The Fantastic Art of Rowena, Imagine, Imagination, and The Art of Rowena.  She won the British Fantasy Award for best artist in 1984 and has multiple Hugo and Chesley nominations.  Her art has graced the covers of books by Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, C.J. Cherryh, Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Michael Moorcock, and more.

Astronaut Guest of Honor: Story Musgrave joined NASA as part of the sixth astronaut class in August 1967.  Prior to joining NASA, Musgrave served in the United States Marine Corps, worked as a mathematician and operations analyst for Eastman Kodak, and served a medical internship at University of Kentucky.  His first space flight occurred in April 1983, when he served as a mission specialist on the second operational flight of the space shuttle Columbia, where he participated in the shuttle program’s first Extra Vehicular Activity.  He subsequently made five more shuttle flights, becoming the only person to have flown missions on all five operational shuttles, spending nearly 1300 hours in orbit. He was the last Apollo astronaut to retire and prior to John Glenn’s return to space he held the record as the oldest person to flight into space. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003.
Fan Guest of Honor: Peggy Rae Sapienza chaired Bucconeer, the 1998 Worldcon in Baltimore. Prior to the Worldcon, she chaired Disclave in 1991 and SMOFcon in 1992. She also co-chaired the Cocoa Beach Nebula Awards in 2010 and will be chairing the Washington D.C. Nebula Awards in 2011 and 2012. Sapienza was instrumental in creating the style of exhibition concourse seen at many Worldcons. In addition to con-running, Sapienza has been active in the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Washington Science Fiction Association.  She has published several fanzines, including Etwas, Of Cabbages and Kings (and Baby Turtles), and Adventures on Earth.  In 1983, Sapienza and her late husband Robert K. Pavlat, received the Big Heart Award.

Agent Guest of Honor: Jane Frank was introduced to science fiction in high school when a blind date decided to augment her reading.  She began not only to read science fiction, but became interested in the world of artists, building a sizable personal collection of science fiction art and founding the agency Worlds of Wonder to represent more than twenty speculative fiction artists.  Frank has loaned artwork and co-curated art exhibits at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, the University of Maryland Art Gallery, and Rockville Arts Place.  She has published several art books including The Frank Collection: A Showcase of the World’s Finest Fantastic Art and Great Fantasy Art Themes from the Frank Collection, the Hugo-nominated The Art of Richard Powers, and The Art of John Berkey.  Her most recent book is A Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.  A follow-up work dedicated to gaming artists is scheduled for publication in 2012.
Toastmaster: John Scalzi is the author of the popular blog Whatever. He has written a number of science fiction novels, including the Hugo-nominated Old Man’s War, the Norton-nominated Zoe’s Tale and the upcoming Fuzzy Nation. When he’s not writing novels, he’s the President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the creative consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series, and a columnist for the He has won Hugo Awards for Best Fan Writer and Best Related Work for his collection Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, a collection of Whatever columns.
Initial attending membership rate is $155.00 through December 31st, 2010.
E-mail questions and comments to [email protected] or send to Chicon 7, PO Box 13, Skokie, IL 60076.
“Worldcon,” “WSFS,” “World Science Fiction Convention” and “World Science Fiction Society” are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

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14 thoughts on “It’s Chicon 7

  1. I’m guessing we’ll be changing the title of Jane Frank’s position to either Agent or Artist Agent.

  2. Many Worldcons have had an editor guest; we decided to honor someone who has contributed to the industry in another capacity.

    If Dave says we change the category to something else now, I can change it. The web site came together quickly. 😉

  3. Given Resnick’s public statements about the insignificance and backward looking attitude of the Worldcon, I’m more than a little surprised to see him chosen as GoH for one. And that he accepted.

  4. I’m not sure that I would agree that Resnick has ever said that Worldcons are insignificant. He has attended most of them since the mid sixties. His reaction, on Facebook,to being named Pro GOH was that “[a]s far as I’m concerned, that’s the highest honor someone in my profession can aspire to.”

  5. @Taral: I am pretty sure Mike Resnick has wanted to be a Worldcon guest of honor for a very long time. What’s more, I think he deserves the honor as much as anyone. And I don’t hesitate to say that, despite being staggered by some of his public statements about the Worldcon over the past year (and having invested 6 weeks writing an answer to some of them).

    While a prerequisite for becoming a Worldcon pro guest of honor is having a long track record of artistic accomplishment, it also takes the support of a community of conrunners. Resnick has had a solid connection with Chicago fandom going back years, and there’s a mutual loyalty there — nothing that would be deterred by some criticism of the Worldcon. Particularly when you take into account that he is far from the first to levy those criticisms (whether they’re accurate or not.)

    Taken as a whole, Chicon 7’s slate of guests is brilliant. Peggy Rae Sapienza is a great choice as fan GoH — few fans have such a rich history in so many realms of fanac. Adding an astronaut and an artists’ agent to the pantheon are inspired choices — a real creative commitment to raise Worldcon’s appeal beyond the community who already know about it.

  6. If you will go back and look at my statements, I have never professed anything but love for the Worldcon — which does not vanish because I have criticized some recent trends that I think have clearly harmed the Worldcon. I have been saying in print and aloud for more than 45 years that the Worldcon is the highlight of my year, and if I have crtiticized some aspects of it recently, it is because I want to make sure it lasts longer than I do. Go back over half a century of my writings and you won’t find anything that contradicts what I have said right here.

  7. @Mike Resnick: I believe you do love the Worldcon and the experience you have there, that case is proved beyond the shadow of a doubt. But you cannot be unaware of the controversy you’ve courted by the personal tone of some of your criticisms. For example, you wrote about the Anticipation committee in “Pros and Cons” (Baen’s Universe, October 2009), “If you believe their inflated figures, just under 4,000; I don’t know of anyone who attended and feels there were as many as 3,000.” It should come as no surprise when this kind of thing isn’t taken as an expression of love.

  8. I don’t see that comment as a problem of personal tone, or as an expression of anything other than seriously questioning the numbers. Isn’t that allowed?

  9. Dr. Musgrave is fairly fannish as astronauts go — certainly more than Skylab astronaut Dr. Joe Kerwin who spoke at MidAmeriCon because it was his turn in the barrel (a last-minute replacement for Dr. William Lenoir, who became unavailable) and was somewhat taken aback at the fannish enthusiasm for his (probably standard) here’s-what-the-space-shuttle-will-do speech.

    Examples include how when Dr. Musgrave’s shuttle flight crew was labeled the “F-Crew” in NASA nomenclature, in addition to the standard NASA beauty photo of the crew in flight suits holding their helmets, “F-Crew” became “F-Troop” and they also posed in the same position wearing old Army blues and holding period hats and weapons.

    Also when he did his very first EVA, since the orbiter flies “top-down” for most of the flight, with the open payload bay doors facing Earth, he floated between the orbiter and Earth. With his back to the orbiter, able to see only the Earth below him, he related how he stretched his arms fully straight out ahead of him and put his chin up, imagining himself, as he put it, “wearing a blue body stocking and a red cape” as he traveled at 17,500 miles per hour over the landscape below.

    He’ll fit right in at a worldcon.

  10. This will be my last post here for quite awhile. In answer to Mike’s comments, I don’t think I ever saw anything remotely resembling 3,000+ live bodies at Anticipation. If I was wrong, I’m wrong…but it in no way negates the problems I have been writing about. At a time when ComicCon went from 300 people to 130,000, and when DragonCon now regularly tops 40,000 while Worldcon attendance has been falling, when publishers and pros and attending other cons instead of worldcon and fans are following them, there -are- problems, and I’d like to see them addressed rather than ignored. I want Worldcon to remain relevant and important in the science fiction community, and based on the past few years I don’t think the SMOFs can just sit back and assume everything will work out. It can, but not without an acknowledgment of the problems and a serious effort to eradicate them.

    An awful lot of people are telling me that it’s good that Chicago invited me to be the GOH because it figures to be the last -big- worldcon. I would hate to think they’re right. As I said in other venues, I would like to be secure in the knowledge that Worldcon will outlast me.

  11. @Mike Resnick: After you showed at SF Signal that you can objectively talk about problems and solutions I couldn’t imagine what you thought there was to gain in the adversarial tone of your Baen’s Universe editorial. There are only a few hundred in the community of people who do the work of running Worldcons from year to year and you probably know nearly all of them. On a list of possible ways of getting people to do what you want, I’d have thought shaming them in a prozine editorial would rank at the bottom. The rest of what I have to say on this topic you’ve already read in Sowing Dragon’s Teeth.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that you would know how many warm bodies you had seen at a Worldcon, have you considered there would be a difference between the total number of people present for some part of Anticipation and the peak attendance on a given day of the convention?

    Let’s start by looking at the data from Smofinfo ( – an Excel spreadsheet) for a different con reporting attendance in a similar range, Interaction in 2005. Their total warm body count was 4,115. Their peak attendance was 3,692 — a difference of more than 400. If a person said, “I never saw anything remotely resembling 4,100 live bodies at Interaction” he’d be right about the math but wrong about any ethical implications for the number reported.

    Anticipation’s 3,921 reported warm bodies include several hundred memberships for a shorter term than the full run of the con — and 159 (returned tasters) were there for less than three hours. See Anticipation Membership Figures.

    Spreadsheet analysis aside, since no one is impressed with the membership count from Anticipation there seems little incentive for anyone to have made it up. Something else to think about, Anticipation has passed on more surplus money to future Worldcons than Boston got from 4 preceding North American Worldcons — they had to have sold a significant number of memberships or they wouldn’t be outperforming these other cons.

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