Psychological Distance

The day after Aussiecon 4 ended, Renovation, the 2011 Worldcon, issued a press release drawing attention to the “changing of the guard.”

“With four of the last six Worldcons held outside the U.S., it’s great to bring Worldcon to Reno for the first time,” said Patty Wells, Renovation’s chair. “We hope to welcome back many fans who may have missed the last couple of conventions as well as reach out to new fans who have never been to Worldcon.”

I hadn’t thought that 2009’s “outside the U.S.” Worldcon was really that far away, Montreal being a mere 331 miles from the center of the publishing universe in New York. But when I said so several fans answered that the requirement of crossing the U.S. border was a more important deterrent than the trivial distance involved. (We had this discussion before Peter Watts’ border experience — I wouldn’t have to be convinced now.)

How many fans will feel that a Worldcon held in Reno is psychologically less far away than the geographically-nearer Worldcon in Montreal?

The full press release follows the jump.

Renovation, The 69th World Science Fiction Convention Reno, Nevada, USA – August 17-21, 2011

[email protected]

Postal queries to: RCFI, PO Box 13278, Portland, OR 97213-0278


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reno, Nevada, USA – Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, has taken over from Aussiecon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, as the current Worldcon.

The official transition occurred at the Aussiecon closing ceremony held in Melbourne, Australia on Monday, September 6, 2010. Patty Wells, Renovation chair, invited professionals and fans to come together in Reno in August 2011 to celebrate science fiction in all its forms as well as catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Worldcon is one of the largest global events run purely by volunteers. Renovation expects to welcome around 4,000 attendees for the five days of the convention including writers, artists, editors, publishers, filmmakers, musicians and fans. Particular recognition will be given to the Guests of Honor – author Tim Powers, editor Ellen Asher, artist Boris Vallejo and publisher and fan Charles N. Brown. The event will also make a significant contribution to the local economy with a positive economic impact estimated to be over $6 million dollars.

Over 150 volunteer staff are already working to make the event a success with many more to be recruited over the coming months.  This volunteer effort to coordinate and put on Worldcon is the biggest example of science fiction’s unique economy of goodwill.

Renovation’s program continues to take shape and will include over 400 hours of panels, talks, readings, workshops and autograph sessions. Each evening of the convention will feature a highlighted major event including themed Music and Art Nights as well as the traditional Masquerade and Hugo Award Ceremonies. Alongside these events, Renovation will also host a substantial Art Show and a Dealers’ Room where members can buy books, prints, jewelry, models, craft work and more.

To quote Patty Wells, “with four of the last six Worldcons held outside the US, it’s great to bring Worldcon to Reno for the first time. We intend to put on a unique event with a program and exhibits that reflect our theme of New Frontiers. We have wonderful hotels and facilities and we’re an easy drive from the Bay Area.  Reno is also a very affordable location to visit. We hope to welcome back many fans who may have missed the last couple of conventions as well as reach out to new fans who have never been to Worldcon. We hope to see you in Reno.”


More details and memberships for Renovation can be found online at We encourage your input to help us create a memorable Worldcon.

For direct press questions or requests to be removed from the Renovation press release mailing list, e-mail [email protected]. Direct general queries go to [email protected].

“World Science Fiction Society”, “WSFS”, “World Science Fiction Convention”, “Worldcon”, “NASFiC”, “Hugo Award”, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

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3 thoughts on “Psychological Distance

  1. Cheryl also had some issues in New Zealand because of issues arising from her barring from the US. And she had problems with security getting her Hugo out of Australia.

  2. “Reno is also a very affordable location to visit.”

    Ah, they’re still parroting this rubbish from the Reno tourism bureau, are they?

    For amusement’s sake I went to the London in 2014 bid site, picked the first hotel on the list (Ramada Hotel and Suites London Docklands), and plugged in Renovation’s dates into the hotel’s reservation form. The Ramada’s “Guaranteed Best Available Rate” (available to anyone with a web browser, that is, and not a convention-negotiated rate) for double occupancy is £89 per night. At current exchange rates that’s US$139.

    Versus Reno’s $149 and $151 rates. Very well, how do the locations compare?

    London’s a world-class city and staying there is notoriously expensive. The facilities are on the Docklands Light Rail which (via the London Underground) gives reasonably cheap and rapid access to all that London has to offer.

    Renovation will be close to…..a freeway! A minor airport! A smelly gambling den! Acres of free parking! Awesome!!

    How does the Renovation concom square “a very affordable location to visit” with “more farking expensive than London, England”? Or are they too busy drinking the tourism bureau’s complimentary koolaid?

    (Don’t get me wrong–I am planning on attending Renovation, and I expect I’ll have an excellent time, but that’s purely because of the many excellent people working on and attending it. But the choice of location? What on earth possessed them?!)

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