Statement by Chengdu Worldcon Hugo Administrator

Dave McCarty, Chengdu Worldcon Vice-Chair and co-department head for the Hugos, wrote on his Facebook page today that the 2023 Hugo nominations “should be ready before the end of February.”

So, an item that seems of some import to folks.

The Hugo administration team for Chengdu (of which I am the administrator) is still in the process of testing the nomination page for Chengdu. It will be at least a week or maybe 2 before we’re ready to open, but it should be ready before the end of February. We will not open until we are sure the page and database are ready. If we have to delay a bit more than this, we’ll let you know.

With our dates in October, nominations will stay open through the end of April, so the amount of time for nomination will hopefully be around the usual amount even if we’re starting a little later.

We’ll be closed in May to do our magical administration stuff and prepare the ballot announcement.

Voting on the ballot will happen in June through at least the end of August.

Emails with instructions for logging into the nominations page will be sent to everyone with WSFS rights to nominate shortly before nominations open up.

A paper ballot will be released shortly after nominations on the web open up.

So if this item is of “some import” to you, try not to shiver with antici– SAY IT –pation as you continue to monitor McCarty’s Facebook page.

When Should Fans Expect the 2023 Hugo Nominations to Open?

Just ten days before the January 31 deadline for people to join and be eligible to nominate for the 2023 Hugo Awards, the Chengdu Worldcon announced it finally had the capability to take credit card payments for memberships. Now that the convention has enjoyed that rush of business, the question is when will the members be able to start voting?

Dave McCarty, co-department head for the Hugo Awards, told the audience at Smofcon 38’s Chengdu Worldcon Presentation that “Regarding Hugo voting… there should be an email blast going out to people with all the information about nominating and your information about logging into the website. That should go out slightly before the website opens up for people to nominate, so that should be sometime in mid-January.” 

Of course, that date has come and gone. Indeed, up til now, members have not received any email contact from the committee since they won the site selection vote.

And although there’s no sign this is likely to happen, if online voting opened tomorrow it would already be starting later than it has any time in the past 15 years.

YearWorldconOnline Nominations Available
2022Chicon 8Jan 16 2022
2021DisCon IIIJan 26 2021
2020CoNZealandJan 5 2020
2019Dublin 2019Jan 10 2019
2018Worldcon 76Feb 3 2018
2017Worldcon 75Jan 9 2017
2016MidAmeriCon IIJan 28 2016
2015SasquanJan 16 2015
2014Loncon 3Jan 8 2014
2013LoneStarCon 3Jan 28 2013
2012Chicon 7Jan 3 2012
2011RenovationJan 3 2011
2010Aussiecon 4Jan 1 2010
2009AnticipationJan 18 2009
2008Denvention 3Jan 3 2008

Pixel Scroll 2/1/23 By Scrollthar’s Pixel

(1) HUGO I.O.U. The Chengdu Worldcon’s Chinese-language website added a post today with the (computer-translated) headline: “The 2023 Hugo Award call for nominations is opening soon”. But there’s only a headline, no article – plus a playable 15-second audio sound effect.

No corresponding post was made to the convention’s English-language website.

(2) SPSFC UPDATE. Rcade’s Team ScienceFiction.news, in the midst of the second Self-Published Science Fiction Competition, is “Announcing Our SPSFC Semifinalists”. The titles are revealed at the link.

Each of the 10 teams judging the Self Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC) chooses three books from their allotments to be semifinalists.

After two months of reading, the ScienceFiction.news team has selected these three books as tribute. They will be sent to the Capitol, where they will engage in ferocious battle against the 27 books chosen by other teams until only one book remains standing.

Even a young adult book can be sent into battle in the SPSFC Games….

(3) TODAY IN HISTORY. The US space shuttle Columbia broke up on its way back to Earth on 1 February 1, 2003. It had been in use since 1981. 

In the BBC’s “Witness History – Columbia space shuttle disaster”, Iain Mackness spoke to Admiral Hal Gehman who was given the job of finding out what went wrong. The admiral’s report led to the ending of the American space shuttle program in 2011. 

The BBC World Service first broadcast this episode in 2019. 

(4) OMERTA IN THE CINEMA. Dayten Rose chronicles the “Spoiler Alert History: No Alarms and No Surprises, Please” at Tedium.

…When “spoiler warnings” got out of hand

Alfred Hitchcock got what he wanted.

On set, he had a reputation as a manipulator. That’s according to Diane Baker, as quoted in Tony Lee Moral’s Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie, alongside other accounts of his abusive relationship with Tippi Hedren.

Out of context, Hitchcock’s obsession with preserving the secrecy of Psycho looks a lot like a publicity stunt. He bought as many copies as he could of the novel he had adapted; he hired the famously non-controversial (sarcasm) Pinkerton security guards to bar late entry to the film; there were no private screenings; there were no pre-release interviews.

In the context of Alfred Hitchcock, his controlling air set a dangerous precedent for the future of Hollywood. The modern media embargo is the crater left behind by his meteoric ego….

(5) DIRECT FROM KRYPTON TO YOUR HEART. “Superman in Starring Role as DC Studios Unveils Strategy” reports the New York Times.

Superman is returning to theaters — only now, along with saving the world, he has to prove that Warner Bros. has finally, without question, it means it this time, found a winning superhero strategy.

DC Studios, a newly formed Warner division dedicated to superhero content, unveiled plans on Tuesday to reboot Superman onscreen for the first time in a generation, tentatively scheduling the yet-to-be-cast “Superman: Legacy” for release in theaters in July 2025. James Gunn, known for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is writing the screenplay and may also direct the movie, which will focus on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.

“He is kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old-fashioned,” said Peter Safran, chief executive of DC Studios, a title he shares with Mr. Gunn.

Moreover, “Superman: Legacy” will begin a story that will unfold (Marvel style) across at least 10 interconnected movies and TV shows and include new versions of Batman, Robin, Supergirl, Swamp Thing and Green Lantern. Those marquee DC Comics characters will be joined by lesser-known personalities from the DC library, including Creature Commandos and Booster Gold, a time traveler. One of the shows will explore Themyscira, the mythical island home of Wonder Woman.

The 10 projects will roll out over four to five years — at which time a second batch of related films and shows will be announced, expanding the “Superman: Legacy” saga to nearly a decade and perhaps helping David Zaslav, the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, to keep a promise to Wall Street about growth….

(6) MIC DROPS OF KNOWLEDGE. Jean-Paul L. Garnier advises writers about “Mic Technique for Live Readings and Panels” at the Dream Foundry.

As an author, you will probably find yourself reading live at events at some time or another and it’s important to make yourself heard by your audience Paying attention to how a microphone works can greatly enhance your performance, and the audibility of your reading. After all, you are there to share your work with an audience, so it is worth doing what you can to make sure that they can hear you well and enjoy the performance without straining. It can be the difference between coming off as a professional rather than an amateur….

(7) MEMORY LANE.

1958 [Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

A bit of bookkeeping: though I called this series First Paragraphs last Scroll, but I’m renaming it Beginnings as I want to quote more than the first paragraph if need be. Such will be the case with the selection tonight if the beginning of Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time

This rather short novel, which is my favorite work by him, won a Hugo at Solacon.  I think it’s the only work I’ve read that takes place in a single location, but it really does strongly resemble a theater piece. 

It was published originally in two parts by Galaxy Magazine in March and April 1958 issues with illustrations by Virgil Finlay. 

Ace Books published the first paperback edition in 1965, and Gregg Press would eventually do a hardcover edition which I know I owned at some point. 

My name is Greta Forzane. Twenty-nine and a party girl would describe me. I was born in Chicago, of Scandinavian parents, but now I operate chiefly outside space and time—not in Heaven or Hell, if there are such places, but not in the cosmos or universe you know either. 

I am not as romantically entrancing as the immortal film star who also bears my first name, but I have a rough-and-ready charm of my own. I need it, for my job is to nurse back to health and kid back to sanity Soldiers badly roughed up in the biggest war going. This war is the Change War, a war of time travelers—in fact, our private name for being in this war is being on the Big Time. Our Soldiers fight by going back to change the past, or even ahead to change the future, in ways to help our side win the final victory a billion or more years from now. A long killing business, believe me. 

You don’t know about the Change War, but it’s influencing your lives all the time and maybe you’ve had hints of it without realizing. 

Have you ever worried about your memory, because it doesn’t seem to be bringing you exactly the same picture of the past from one day to the next? Have you ever been afraid that your personality was changing because of forces beyond your knowledge or control? Have you ever felt sure that sudden death was about to jump you from nowhere? Have you ever been scared of Ghosts—not the storybook kind, but the billions of beings who were once so real and strong it’s hard to believe they’ll just sleep harmlessly forever? Have you ever wondered about those things you may call devils or Demons—spirits able to range through all time and space, through the hot hearts of stars and the cold skeleton of space between the galaxies? Have you ever thought that the whole universe might be a crazy, mixed-up dream? If you have, you’ve had hints of the Change War.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 1, 1884 Yevgeny Zamyatin. Author of We, a dystopian novel. He also translated into Russian a number of H.G. Wells’ works and some critics think We is at least part a polemic against the overly optimistic scientific socialism of Wells. The Wiki writer for the Yevgeny Zamyatin page claims that We directly inspired Nineteen Eighty-FourThe Dispossessed and Brave New World. No idea if this passes the straight face test. What do y’all think of this claim? (Died 1937.)
  • Born February 1, 1908 George Pal. Animator, film director and producer. Let’s see…  Destination MoonWhen Worlds CollideThe War of the WorldsConquest of Space (anyone heard of this one?), The Time MachineAtlantis, the Lost ContinentTom ThumbThe Time MachineAtlantis, the Lost ContinentThe Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm7 Faces of Dr. Lao and his last film being Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. Can we hold a George Pal film fest, pretty please? (Died 1980.)
  • Born February 1, 1942 Bibi Besch. Best remembered for portraying Dr. Carol Marcus on The Wrath of Khan. Genre-wise, she’s also been in The Pack (horror), Meteor (SF), The Beast Within (more horror), Date with an Angel (romantic fantasy) and Tremors (SF). She died much, much too young following a long battle with breast cancer. (Died 1996.)
  • Born February 1, 1942 Terry Jones. Co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Gilliam, and was sole director on two further Python movies, Life of Brian and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. His later films include Erik the Viking and The Wind in the Willows. It’s worth noting that he wrote the screenplay for the original Labyrinth screenplay but it’s thought that nothing of that made it to the shooting script. (Died 2020.)
  • Born February 1, 1946 Elisabeth Sladen. Certainly best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who. She was a regular cast member from 1973 to 1976, alongside the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), and reprised her role down the years, both on the series and on its spin-offs, K-9 and Company and The Sarah Jane Adventures. It’s not her actual first SF appearance, that honor goes to her being a character called   Sarah Collins in an episode of the Doomwatch series called “Say Knife, Fat Man”. The creators behind this series had created the cybermen concept for Doctor Who. (Died 2011.)
  • Born February 1, 1954 Bill Mumy, 69. Well I’ll be damned. He’s had a much longer career in the genre than even I knew. His first genre role was at age seven on Twilight Zone, two episodes in the same season (Billy Bayles In “Long Distance Call” and Anthony Fremont in “Its A Good Life”). He makes make it a trifecta appearing a few years later again as Young Pip Phillips in “In Praise of Pip”. Witches are next for him. First in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie he’s Custer In “Whatever Became of Baby Custer?” Then in Bewitched he’s Darrin the Boy  in “Junior Executive”. Ahhh his most famous role is up next as Will Robinson in Lost in Space. It’s got to be thirty years since I’ve seen it but I still remember and like it quite a bit. He manages to show up next on The Munsters as Googie Miller in “Come Back Little Googie” and in Twilight Zone: The Movie In one of the bits as Tim. I saw the film but don’t remember him. He’s got a bunch of DC Comics roles as well — Young General Fleming in Captain America, Roger Braintree on The Flash series and Tommy Puck on Superboy. Ahhh Lennier. One of the most fascinating and annoying characters in all of the Babylon 5 Universe. Enough said. I hadn’t realized it but he showed up on Deep Space Nine as Kellin in the “The Siege of AR-558” episode. Lastly, and before Our Gracious Host starts grinding his teeth at the length of this Birthday entry, I see he’s got a cameo as Dr. Z. Smith in the new Lost in Space series. 
  • Born February 1, 1965 Brandon Lee. Lee started his career with a supporting role in Kung Fu: The Movie, but is obviously known for his breakthrough and fatal acting role as Eric Draven in The Crow, based on James O’Barr’s series. Y’ll know what happened to him so I’ll not go into that here except to say that’s it’s still happening as it just happened again and damn well shouldn’t be happening, should it? (Died 1993.)

(9) THE PITS. SYFY Wire cheers as “NBC Keeps The Sci-Fi Sinkhole Open! Time Travel Mystery Series ‘La Brea’ Renewed For Season 3”.

NBC will once again head down the primordial rabbit hole in a third season of La Brea, the network has announced….

Described by NBC as an “epic family adventure,” La Brea revolves around a group of characters fighting for their survival after a mysterious sinkhole in downtown Los Angeles sends them to a primeval land forgotten by time. A second storyline takes place “above ground,” where those who did not fall into the strange pit attempt to solve the mystery of what caused it to open up in the first place. The story has only gotten more ambitious and sci-fi as its unfolded, with everything from future conspiracies and time travel now playing a part in the narrative.

“This story is about this family that’s been separated. Half the family falls into the sinkhole, while the other half stays behind in modern Los Angeles,” creator and showrunner David Appelbaum told SYFY WIRE after the series premiere. “And what was really important for the storytelling is that you have ways to connect these two stories. Even though they’re separated, we find different ways that we can connect the story. In this search for how do we tell it in a unified story, that was really the genesis of [the series] idea.”…

However, Deadline thinks they might not get a full season: “NBC’s ‘La Brea’ Likely To End With Abbreviated Season 3 As Networks Start Building Strike Contingency”.

… I have learned that the pickup is for six episodes and that it was influenced by the possibility of a writers and/or directors and actors strike, with this likely being the show’s final chapter. Filming is slated to begin in March in Australia.

With the current WGA contract expiring May 1 and the DGA and SAG-AFTRA contracts up June 30, a potential work stoppage could impact the start of production on the new broadcast season, leaving the networks without fresh episodes of scripted series for the first few weeks of the fall.

Possibly with that in mind, I hear NBC approached the cast of La Brea about doing a short third season. Because the series regulars have a 10-episode minimum guarantee (meaning that they have to be paid at least 10 episodic fees a season regardless of how many episodes are produced), the network and sister studio Universal Television asked the cast to reduce their contractual minimum guarantees to six episodes, sources said. In exchange, I hear the actors were offered a release from the show after Season 3 — which they took — making them available to take other jobs. (A typical broadcast series regular contract is for six seasons.)…

(10) RARE EARTHS. In case you weren’t around in 1977 and would like to know… “Star Trek: Leonard Nimoy explains How Television Works – 1977 vintage tech electronics”.

The following film is an excerpt from a rare 1977 documentary on How Television Works, featuring Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy as the narrator and presenter. The film is in full color with animation and excellent vintage footage of early television technology, including early video tape recording (VTR) machines. The original film is about 22 minutes long. We have obtained a 16mm print and will preserve it. This is a 7 minute excerpt highlighting Leonard Nimoy’s narration of the technology behind early television up to the 1970’s.

(11) WHAT PEOPLE WATCHED IN JANUARY. Here are JustWatch’s Top 10 lists for the month of January.

Rank*MoviesTV shows
1Everything Everywhere All at OnceSeverance
2M3GANThe Peripheral
3NopeThe Rig
4Jurassic World DominionDoctor Who
5AvatarWestworld
6InterstellarStargate SG-1
7Spider-Man: No Way HomeQuantum Leap
8Strange DaysThe X-Files
9Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindWar of the Worlds
10VesperThe Handmaid’s Tale

*Based on JustWatch popularity score. Genre data is sourced from themoviedb.org

(12) DARTH’S BROTHER HAL. ScreenRant tempts readers to click through with its take that “2001 As Directed By George Lucas Is A Very Different Movie”.

…In 2001: A Space Odyssey Directed By George Lucas?, Kubrick’s famously glacial and brooding movie about a mission to Jupiter is transformed into a whiz-bang action movie. In this version of 2001, Dave Bowman has commandeered one of the Discovery One’s shuttles for an all-out battle against psychotic computer HAL 9000, climaxing in a moment that would make Luke Skywalker proud….

Made me smile, but not laugh out loud: “’2001: A Space Odyssey’ directed by George Lucas”.

(13) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In Stalled, a man goes to a public restroom — and gets trapped in a time paradox.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Danny Sichel, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day by Ingvar.]

Pixel Scroll 1/26/23 First, They Came For The Pixels, But I Was Not A Pixel, So I Scrolled Nothing

(1) REVISED 2025 WORLDCON BID DEADLINE. The Chengdu Worldcon has recalculated the deadline for 2025 Worldcon bids to file in order to appear on the printed ballot. They tweeted:

According to Section 4.6.3 of the WSFS Constitution, the new deadline for any bidding party to have its name appearing on the printed ballot for the 2025 Worldcon Site Selection is April 21, 2023. For any inquiry, please contact [email protected]

(2) TWO DC TV SERIES WHACKED. “Doom Patrol, Titans canceled at HBO Max after four seasons” reports SYFY Wire.

The DC TV slate is getting thinner by the day. Both Doom Patrol and Titans have been canceled at HBO Max, with each DC-based series set to end for good when their current seasons are done. 

Reported at the same time, news of each cancelation on Wednesday elicited a rapid followup tweet from James Gunn, the recently-hired co-CEO (alongside Peter Safran) of the rebranded DC Studios. Gunn clarified that the move to end both Doom Patrol and Titans was decided before he was elevated to the studio’s top position, while Deadline reported that each show is building toward planned ending episodes aimed at delivering series finales that won’t close things out with any cliffhangers….

(3) EKPEKI Q&A. Kristy Anne Cox, in Strange Horizon’s “Writing While Disabled” column, speaks with Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki: “Writing While Disabled By Kristy Anne Cox, By Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki”.

KAC:  So, how do you fit into the Disabled community? 

ODE:  I only started to refer to myself as Disabled after publishing my novelette “O2 Arena,” so I’m approaching the Disabled community in baby steps. Though, I’ve been Disabled all my life. Regarding speculative fiction, my current story, which was nominated for the Hugo Award, the Nebula, and the BSFA, is the first where I’ve identified as Disabled.

KAC:  Yeah. I mean, that’s common for Disabled people like us, right? Some of us use the word Neurodiverse instead. You may not even understand you are Disabled until you get your diagnosis—and depending on which disability you have, you may or may not have access to a Disabled community. 

Chovwe, do you mind if I ask you what disabilities you have? I do that so our Disabled and Neurodiverse readers can relate their experiences to yours.

ODE:  Sure. Since birth, I have had chronic sinusitis—it’s a respiratory illness. I have perforated ear drums from the sinusitis infection, which means I’m hearing impaired. It’s all connected, like a network of disabilities springing from one. 

That’s respiratory and hearing. Then, because of my chronic sinusitis, I am more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, so I had pneumonia and tuberculosis somewhere along the line. It sort of leaves your lungs a little scarred, you know? I have weaker lungs, and an entire network of respiratory problems.

From my tuberculosis, I got damage to my spine, so I have chronic back pain, too. Chronic sinusitis, hearing loss, chronic back pain, and general breathing difficulties—that’s about it for now.

KAC:  I mean, that’s enough, right? Well, I welcome you into my Disabled communities….

(4) HARPERCOLLINS STRIKE NEWS. “HarperCollins, HarperUnion Move to Solve Labor Dispute with Independent Mediator” – details at Publishers Weekly.

In a company-wide memo sent on January 25, HarperCollins announced that it has reached an agreement with its employee union to have a mutually-agreed-upon independent mediator take over labor negotiations. With more than 200 union employees on strike since November 10, the company said that it hopes a mediator will be able to clear “a path forward” for employees to return to work.

“We entered negotiations eager to find common ground, and we have remained committed to achieving a fair and reasonable contract throughout this process,” reads the memo from HC’s v-p of human resources, Zandra Magariño. “We are optimistic that a mutually agreed upon mediator can help find the solutions that have eluded us so far.”

The memo seemed to strike a different tone than the open letter from CEO Brian Murray published early last month, in which he argued that the union’s demands for livable wages “failed to account for the market dynamics of the publishing industry” and the company’s “responsibility to meet the financial demands” of its business stakeholders. In contrast, Magariño’s memo said that HarperCollins is “optimistic that a mutually agreed upon mediator can help find the solutions that have eluded us so far. HarperCollins has had a union for 80 years, with a long history of successful and fair contract negotiations. The company has the exact same goal now, and is actively working to achieve it.”

The union confirmed the mediator on Twitter, and in its own press release, this morning. “We are hopeful the company will use this opportunity to settle fairly and reset our relationship,” it wrote, adding: “This means our pressure campaign is working. The strike will continue until we reach a fair contract agreement. Please continue to hold the line.”

(5) A DUEL OF WITS WITH AN UNARMED OPPONENT. Camestros Felapton continues his explorations of Larry Correia’s In Defense of the Second Amendment.

…Larry Correia will get to the “tired proposals” that he believes can’t work in Chapter 4 but logic is not going to play a big role.

Chapter 1 “Guns and Vultures” sets out Correia’s broad argument and covers briefly several of the themes that he will discuss at greater length in later chapters. Numerous points are made but I think it is reasonable to say that the overarching theme of the chapter is about who the true victims of American gun violence are from Correia’s perspective….

Which is to say, gun owners.

Imagine a public debate on transport policy, with a focus on increased pedestrianisation of town centres. Fewer cars, fewer accidents, safer streets and a more congenial place to shop or visit a library. Not everybody will be in favour of such a plan and maybe a guy write a book about why we should actually have more cars in town. After all, you can’t get run over by a car when crossing the road if you are already in a car! We’ll call this author Lorry Career….

(6) IS THE ORVILLE MEETING A MALIGN FATE? In ScreenRant’s news about the series, never is said an encouraging word: “The Orville Season 4 Gets Bleak Update From Hulu Exec”

…Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment president Craig Erwich gave a bleak update for The Orville season 4. The popular Star Trek-inspired science-fiction comedy follows Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) as he leads the crew of USS Orville on adventures across the galaxy. Although season 1 faltered, garnering middling reviews from critics and audiences alike, The Orville rebounded with season 2 and 3, both scoring 100% Fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

Erwich recently spoke to TVLine and gave a bleak update regarding The Orville season 4. The executive did not share any new details, avoiding any confirmation that The Orville will return. Instead, Erwich praised the work MacFarlane had done on the latest season. Read all of what Erwich said below:

We don’t have anything to share right now. It’s a great show and I know that the fans loved having it back in their lives. And Seth [MacFarlane] did a great job, uniquely as he can, in front of and behind the camera. But we don’t have anything to share right now.

CinemaBlend says another cast member finds waiting is hard: “The Orville’s Penny Johnson Drops Humorously Relatable Video About Waiting For Season 4 Renewal At Hulu”.

Meanwhile, Seth MacFarlane has been building up his positive karma: “Seth MacFarlane adopts the rescue cat Arthur after feline was dumped at a shelter with a broken leg” at Daily Mail Online.

… ‘POV: you are a black cat with a broken leg dumped at a vet clinic to be euthanized but you were finally rescued by the amazing team @perrys_place-la. Then you waited 7 months to find your forever home and now you live with the legend @macfarlaneseth.’  …

(7) WASH ME. RadioTimes did a roundup about “Doctor Who fans think they’ve spotted a key change to the TARDIS”.

Doctor Who fans are always searching for clues about possible developments in the Whoniverse – and it looks like some eagle-eyed viewers have spotted a change to the TARDIS during filming for the show’s 14th season.

Yesterday (Tuesday 24th January) Twitter user Darren Griffiths posted some snaps he had taken when he stumbled upon the set of the sci-fi show while “wandering along a coastal path in Welsh Wales”, and other fans were quick to point out some interesting alterations to the iconic Police Box.

One commenter noted that “the windows are dirty at the bottom”, while Griffiths himself added that “the Police Box sign at the top was also dulled down”. Meanwhile, fan page The Post Monument wrote, “I like how they’ve aged the TARDIS.”

Quite why the TARDIS has been given a new weathered look is not immediately clear – and it remains to be seen whether this will be a specific plot point or just an altogether new look for the Doctor’s trusty vehicle – but it is sure to cause all sorts of speculation amongst the fanbase as they wait for the show to return for its 6oth anniversary celebrations later this year.

(8) AFTER THE AFTERLIFE. “Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd set for roles in Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel” reports Yahoo!

…A source told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre column: “Studio bosses are taking a classic franchise, setting it in a new location but keeping the magic of the original. It’s going to be brilliant.

“’Ghostbusters’ has always been synonymous with New York, but to mix things up this time the team was thinking of other great cities with a haunted history.

“London is perfect. It gives so much license to look back at classic landmarks and British history, but still in an urban setting.

“The plans look very cool, and getting the original stars interested wasn’t difficult. They all love the movies and look back at them very fondly.”

The news comes a month after it was announced Gil Kenan will be directing the sequel, with ‘Ghostbusters Afterlife’ filmmaker moving into a writer-producer role….

(9) SAL PIRO OBITUARY. The president of the Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club died January 24. Deadline paid tribute: “Sal Piro Dies: Original ‘Rocky Horror’ Role-Playing Superfan And Subject Of Upcoming Movie Was 71”.

Sal Piro, who played a pivotal role in creating the audience participation routines that turned The Rocky Horror Picture Show into a multi-decade, world-wide phenomenon, died at his home in New York City Jan 21.

His death was announced by The Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club, which he founded in 1977 and served as its president until his death, becoming a major figure in creating the movie’s cult classic status.

“Sal was the defacto face of Rocky Horror fandom for decades,” the fan club said in a tweeted statement. “He will be sorely missed.”

Opening to terrible reviews in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show soon became a staple of the midnight movie screenings at New York City’s Waverly Theater in Greenwich Village. Surprisingly, the film quickly drew the devotion of young fans, including Piro, who shouted humorous responses to much of the film’s dialogue. As the responses became more elaborate into a sort of viewing ritual, Piro helped shape a floor show of audience members playing out the movie beneath the screen….

(10) MEMORY LANE.

1996 [Compiled by Cat Eldridge.] Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife

Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife which won the Mythopoeic Award for Novel of the Year is without doubt one of my favorite novels. 

It was supposed to be based off one of Brian Froud’s faerie paintings which is on the British cover of the first edition of the novel, as opposed to the Susan Sedden Boulet art for the American first edition. What you see below is Froud’s original artwork.

Of the books that wound up comprising Froud’s Faerieland series—Charles de Lint’s The Wild Wood, Patricia A. McKillip’s Something Rich and Strange, and Midori Snyder’s Hannah’s Garden, the first two, plus this in the British edition, got his artwork. 

Maggie Black is the artist who’s the central character in this novel and an amazing woman she is. She’s a poet, who comes to the Southwest desert upon learning that a friend, Cooper, has left his estate to her. I won’t say more as some of you may not have read it yet.

Here’s my extended quote from The Wood Wife as she prepares breakfast shortly after getting there. 

Maggie woke early, with a wrenching sense of dislocation. She stared at the water-stained ceiling above her and tried to recall just where she was. On a mountainside, in Davis Cooper’s house. The sky outside was a shade of violet that she’d never quite seen before.

She got up, washed, put her bathrobe on and padded into the kitchen. She’d always been an early riser; she felt cheated if she slept too late and missed the rising sun. She cherished the silver morning light, the stillness, the morning rituals: water in the kettle, bitter coffee grounds, a warm mug held between cold hands, the scent of a day unfolding before her, pungent with possibility.

As the water heated, Maggie unpacked the bag of provisions she’d brought along: dark Dutch coffee, bread, muesli, vegetables, garlic, a bottle of wine. In the small refrigerator were eggs, cheese, fresh pasta from Los Angeles, green corn tamales from downtown Tucson. The only strange thing about the unfamiliarity of this kitchen was the knowledge that it was hers now, these pans, these plates, this old dented kettle, this mug decorated with petroglyph paintings. For years she’d been travelling light and making herself at home in other people’s houses. Having an entire house of her own was going to take some getting used to.

She made the coffee, grilled some toast, and sat down at the kitchen table with yesterday’s edition of the Arizona Daily Star, too unsettled to actually read it. Davis’s kitchen was the heart of the house, with a rough wood table in the center that could have easily seated a family of twelve and not just one elderly poet. The kitchen hearth held a woodstove—the winter nights were probably cold up here. Fat wicker rockers were pulled close to it, covered by faded old serapes. The walls were a mottled tea-colored adobe with shades of some brighter tone showing through and wainscotting up to waist-height stained or aged to a woodsy green. The window frames were painted violet, the doors were a rich but weathered shade of blue. Mexican saints in beaten tin frames hung among Davis’s pots and pans; folk art and dusty tin milagros hung among strings of red chili peppers, garlic, and desert herbs. The windowsills were crowded with were crowded with stones, geodes, fossils, clumps of smoky quartz, and Indian pottery shards.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 26, 1918 Philip Jose Farmer.  I know I’ve read at least the first three Riverworld novels (To Your Scattered Bodies GoThe Fabulous Riverboat and The Dark Design which are all stellar) but I’ll be damned if I recognize the latter ones. Great novels those are. And I’ll admit that I’m not familiar at all with the World of Tiers or Dayworld series. Anyone read them? I know, silly question. I do remember his Doc Savage novel Escape from Loki as being a highly entertaining read, and I see he’s done a number of Tarzan novels as well which I admit I’ve not read. Who here has? (Died 2009.)
  • Born January 26, 1923 Anne Jeffreys. Her first role in our end of things was as a young woman on the early Forties film Tarzan’s New York Adventure. She’s Jean Le Danse (note the name) around the same time in the comedy Zombies on Broadway (film geeks here — is this the earliest zombie film?). And no, I’ve not forgotten she had the lead role as Marion Kerby in the Topper series. She also had one-offs in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Fantasy Island and Battlestar Galactica. (Died 2017.)
  • Born January 26, 1928 Roger Vadim. Director, Barbarbella. That alone gets a Birthday Honor. But he was one of three directors of Spirits of the Dead, a horror anthology film. (Louis Malle and Federico Fellini were the others.) And not to stop there, he directed another horror film, Blood and Roses (Et mourir de plaisir) and even was involved in The Hitchhiker horror anthology series. And Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman is at least genre adjacent… (Died 2000.)
  • Born January 26, 1929 Jules Feiffer, 94. On the Birthday list as he’s the illustrator of The Phantom Tollbooth. Well, and that he’s also illustrated Eisner’s Spirit which helped get him into the Comic Book Hall of Fame. Let’s not overlook that he wrote The Great Comic Book Heroes in the Sixties which made it the first history of the superheroes of the late Thirties and Forties and their creators. 
  • Born January 26, 1943 Judy-Lynn Del Rey. After first starting at Galaxy Magazine became an editor at Ballantine Books, and eventuallywas given her own imprint, Del Rey Books, Dick and Asimov were two of her clients who considered her the best editor they’d worked with. Wife of Lester del Rey. She suffered a brain hemorrhage in October 1985 and died several months later. Though she was awarded a Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor after her death, her widower turned it down on the grounds that it only been awarded because of her death. (Died 1986.)
  • Born January 26, 1949 Jonathan Carroll, 74. I think his best work by far is The Crane’s View Trilogy consisting of Kissing the Beehive, The Marriage of Sticks and The Wooden Sea. I know de Lint liked these novels though mainstream critics were less than thrilled. White Apples I thought was a well crafted novel and The Crow’s Dinner is his wide ranging look at life in general, not genre at all but fascinating.
  • Born January 26, 1966 Stephen Cox, 57. Pop culture writer who has written a number of books on genre subjects including The Munchkins Remember: The Wizard of Oz and BeyondThe Addams Chronicles: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Addams FamilyDreaming of Jeannie: TV’s Primetime in a Bottle and The Munsters: A Trip Down Mockingbird Lane. I’ll admit to being puzzled by his Cooking in Oz that he did with Elaine Willingham as I didn’t remember that much for food in the Oz book until I started doing the current essays on food in genre literature and discovered there indeed was! 

(12) WHO NOVELS IN 2023. “Doctor Who Target books add 5 new novelisations for 2023” noted RadioTimes.

…Each of the authors for the 2023 Target books are the original screenwriters of the TV episodes so fans can expand their Doctor Who collections with these new, iconic novelisations….

(13) ONLINE ECONOMICS DISTILLED. Cory Doctorow calls it “The ‘Enshittification’ of TikTok” at WIRED.

… This is enshittification: Surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they’re locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they’re locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit. From mobile app stores to Steam, from Facebook to Twitter, this is the enshittification lifecycle.

This is why—as Cat Valente wrote in her magisterial pre-Christmas essay—platforms like Prodigy transformed themselves overnight, from a place where you went for social connection to a place where you were expected to “stop talking to each other and start buying things.”…

… By making good-faith recommendations of things it thought its users would like, TikTok built a mass audience, larger than many thought possible, given the death grip of its competitors, like YouTube and Instagram. Now that TikTok has the audience, it is consolidating its gains and seeking to lure away the media companies and creators who are still stubbornly attached to YouTube and Insta.

Yesterday, Forbes’s Emily Baker-White broke a fantastic story about how that actually works inside of ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, citing multiple internal sources, revealing the existence of a “heating tool” that TikTok employees use to push videos from select accounts into millions of viewers’ feeds.

These videos go into TikTok users’ For You feeds, which TikTok misleadingly describes as being populated by videos “ranked by an algorithm that predicts your interests based on your behavior in the app.” In reality, For You is only sometimes composed of videos that TikTok thinks will add value to your experience—the rest of the time, it’s full of videos that TikTok has inserted in order to make creators think that TikTok is a great place to reach an audience….

(14) CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST A ‘RICK AND MORTY’ PRODUCER. “Adult Swim Severs Ties With ‘Rick And Morty’ Co-Creator Justin Roiland After Domestic Violence Charges; Voice Roles Will Be Recast”Deadline tells about the case and his fate.

Justin Roiland, co-creator, executive producer and star of Adult Swim’s flagship animated series Rick and Mortyis no longer in business with the Warner Bros Discovery brand on the heel of serious domestic violence allegations against him coming to light earlier this month.

“Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland,” a spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

Following Roiland’s exit, Rick and Morty will continue, with the title roles, which had been voiced by Roiland, recast.

Co-created by Roiland and Dan Harmon, the hit series received a massive 70-episode order in 2018 when Adult Swim also signed new long-term deals with Roiland and Harmon. The show, which has been renewed through Season 10, has completed six seasons, with four more to go as part of the pickup.

Roiland is also co-creator/executive producer and voice cast member of Hulu’s animated series Solar Opposites as well as a performer on the streamer’s animated comedy Koala Man. News on his involvement in those shows would be coming shortly, I hear.

Roiland has been charged with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit by the Orange County District Attorney’s office. The incident in question against a Jane Doe allegedly occurred in January 2020, according to a May 2020 complaint. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in October 2020. The semi-sealed case was kept out of the public until a hearing January 12, 2023. Roiland, who was present, also is required to attend a scheduled April 27 hearing….

(15) COLLABORATIVE MEAL. Kelsea Yu, a Taiwanese Chinese American writer, posts abut food in “Huǒguō” at Sarah Gailey’s Stone Soup.

…It’s loud and chaotic. Everyone talks over one another. Spoons cross, sauces are passed around, broth occasionally splashes out, and at any given time, some people are eating while others are serving food or adding ingredients to the pot.

It’s the kind of meal that requires participation, collaboration, consideration. The kind you can’t have alone, because then it would just be soup. It’s like stone soup, except no one’s reluctant to share.

It’s the kind of meal that helped me learn the value of how we care for each other….

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. SYFY released a sneak peek of the first five minutes of its forthcoming series The Ark.

The Ark takes place 100 years into the future when humans must go on missions to colonize other planets. But what would you do if you woke up from cryogenic sleep to your spaceship suffering disaster? Watch the first five minutes of the premiere episode of The Ark. Watch the premiere of The Ark, February 1 at 10/9c on SYFY.

(17) VIDEO OF LAST WEEK. “Kenan Thompson Does an Interview as Science Fiction Writer Pernice Lafonk” on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Kenan Thompson talks about former Saturday Night Live intern Aubrey Plaza returning to host the show before leaving the set and coming back as his alter ego, science fiction writer Pernice Lafonk.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John A Arkansawyer, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

Chengdu Worldcon Calls for Program Topics, Invites Business Meeting Submissions

The Chengdu Worldcon’s Chinese-language website has added posts inviting people to recommend program topics and telling members how to submit items to the business meeting. At this time the English-language site has not published corresponding posts.

Computer-translated texts of the two posts follow – which may be imprecise.


“2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention Theme Salon (Program) topic collection activity open!”

[Description of Chicon 8 program omitted]

…In the program of the 2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention, there will be more than 200 events involving more than 800 Issues. The types of topics include but are not limited to literature, science, film, art, manga, animation, clothing, rice circle culture, music, games, new media, parties, podcasts, community organizations, writing, miscellaneous; The forms include but are not limited to small seminars (Panel), interview (Interview), signing (Autographing), reading (Reading), and Table Talk, combining international elements and local characteristic elements to achieve diversified and wonderful interaction.

At present, we have received more than 100 questions from overseas members, and now, the 2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention Process Activity Department is collecting questions for Chinese science fiction fans. Sci-fi fans come and show off your sci-fi ideas! In the 2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention Program, you are the organizer and creator, come and leave your wonderful imagination world!

Participants: All fans (individual or group participation)

Deadline for submission: March 31, 2023

Submission method: Fill in the questionnaire below

Contact Inquiry Email:

[email protected]

Note: This activity is the first phase of the collection, and if there is any adjustment according to the collection situation, the notice of the Executive Committee of the 2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention shall prevail.


“Call for issues for business meetings open! We invite you to optimize the Charter of the World Science Fiction Association”

According to the World Science Fiction Association Bylaws, only World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) members can participate in proposals, including:

1. Supporting member of the 2021 World Science Fiction Convention in Washington

2. Supporting member of the 2022 World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago

3. 2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention newly registered support member

To participate in the topic proposal of the affairs meeting, you must log on to the official website www.chengduworldcon.com purchase the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) support member to obtain the corresponding benefits.

If two or more members jointly initiate the issue, the member must provide the membership number and send the issue to the designated email address

[email protected]。 After the proposed topics are reviewed and approved by the panel of the conference, they will become the official topics of the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention Affairs Conference, and will be debated and resolved during the conference.

The Council proposed a deadline of 30 days before the opening of the World Science Fiction Convention.

The business meeting is expected to last for 4 days and is divided into preparatory meetings, issue debate resolution meetings, financial reporting meetings and 2025 site selection results announcement meetings.

Proposed amendments to the Existing Rules shall take effect immediately after they are voted on at the Panel; The proposed amendments to the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Association shall be voted on again at the World Science Fiction Convention Conference of the following year after being voted and passed at the affairs meeting of the World Science Fiction Convention in the following year.


Chengdu Worldcon Announces Capability to Take Credit Card Payments for Memberships

The Chengdu Worldcon today told Facebook and Twitter users that they are now able to take credit card payments for new WSFS memberships and admissions, including virtual admissions. The link from the English language homepage, labeled “Login or Purchase Membership” will open the registration page.

File 770 would like to hear from people who are using this new capability successfully, as one commenter on Facebook said it did not work for him.

They also noted that the convention website has been updated with the new dates, venues – Science Fiction Museum, and hotels – Sheraton Chengdu Pidu.

Chinese Fan Response to Chengdu Worldcon Changes

The Chengdu Worldcon’s announcement of new dates and venues has provoked fans in China to raise their voices. Fans outside of China do not often get to hear these voices and need to listen to them when there is such an opportunity. 

The Chengdu Worldcon does not share Western queries, questions and concerns back to Chinese fans. Chinese fans cannot always see the posts here. Nor does the publicity service Chengdu Commercial Daily, linked by fans in Chinese social media, report Western concerns or Chinese grass roots opinions.  

Fans worldwide are well-meaning and want Chinese fans to have a great Worldcon. However, large commercial enterprises and real estate developments seem to have compelled a radical change in the original vision set by the Chinese Worldcon bidders.

Here are excerpts from Chinese social media. Obviously computer-produced translation is imprecise.

This is the Chengdu Worldcon’s announcement via Chinese social media, translated into English: “2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention | Information currently available | [Time and place]”.


After joining hands with national fantasy fans to win the right to host the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention we’ve been thinking: The World Science Fiction Convention enters China for the first time, what should be done? In the world 7 stops away from the subway, Pidu is also worrying, what should the theme science fiction museum that is planned to be built for the citizens do?

~~~~~The gears of fate begin to turn ~~~~~

We hit it off with Pidu, and after many rounds of communication at home and abroad, we finally planned to plan and design this themed science fiction museum in accordance with the requirements of the World Science Fiction Convention to hold the World Science Fiction Convention.

This theme pavilion:

◎ Enough atmosphere, more than 3,500 people Hugo Award main hall, plus 200 theme salons, a large exhibition hall, a large amount of full.

◎ Beautiful enough, Zaha’s core design team (the main creator is a pure sci-fi fan, leaving a lot of sci-fi Easter eggs inside for everyone to explore).

◎ Sci-fi enough, from escalators to corridors, from restaurants to lounges, and even bathrooms will be full of sci-fi colors.

◎ Cost-effective, no venue fee, all the saved budget is used to reduce membership fees (Chengdu membership fees are about one-sixth of previous sessions).

With the support of the Science Fiction Museum, we also plan:

◎ Customize a sci-fi convention for science fiction fans that can last forever.

◎ Design sci-fi scenes that make sci-fi fans smile.

◎Relying on the science fiction convention to build a science fiction theme museum.

◎ Let the science fiction clubs of enterprises and schools have their own science fiction space.

◎ Finally materialize the community that the World Science Fiction Convention is proud of.

In order to achieve these goals and present a unique world science fiction convention, we need to “sci-fi” the construction, design, scene creation, and lakeside atmosphere of existing venues.

Within the scope permitted by the charter, after repeated discussions with the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) and obtaining consent, we postponed the holding of the conference by about two months, and scheduled the Hugo Awards ceremony for the highlight of the conference on the weekend, and the new conference time and venue information was changed to:

-Place- Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, Pidu District, Chengdu City (tentative name)

-Time- October 18-22, 2023 (The Hugo Awards ceremony is Saturday, 21st)

Next, we will continue to make full preparations for this grand event, and look forward to global fantasy fans actively participating in the theme salon topic collection, business meeting topic collection, volunteer collection and other activities to create a party belonging to global fantasy fans.

PS: Refund instructions. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the time change. After research, it was decided that all members who purchased offline tickets (Physical Admission tickets) after the official ticket purchase channel of the 2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention were launched, and if they needed a refund, please send an email to the assistant’s mailbox ([email protected]), and the assistant will be responsible for processing refund-related matters.

Chengdu Science Fiction Museum (the main structure has been topped out)

A user going by “Zi Mozi Natsuko” posted on Weibo: “#World Science Fiction Convention# #Ten Questions Worldcon81#”


Ten questions for the organizers of the 81st World Science Fiction Convention:
1. Chengdu Business Daily, as a news media organization that has nothing to do with science fiction, How did it make its marketing planning company the organizer and trader of this science fiction conference? And why are the conference event mailboxes and complaints pushed to the sci-fi world, which has nothing to do with the conference?
2. The publicity service of this World Science Fiction Convention is obtained by Chengdu Business Daily Marketing Planning Company. Is there a benefit transmission for this company to be so closely related to the contractor, and the project that is won by public bidding?
3. There are a large number of ready-made conference centers in Chengdu, why do we need to build new science fiction museums, and is it overspending the budget? Why unrealistically push a lot of commercial real estate projects related to science fiction conventions?
4. Why are almost all mature and professional science fiction-related institutions, companies and organizations in China excluded from the bidding, preparation and decision-making process of this conference? The World Science Fiction Convention is a gathering of science fiction fans, why has this conference not had any form of public communication with any domestic and foreign science fiction fans?
5. What is the reason for the rescheduling announcement? Why is the notice only published in English on the extranet, but not in China?
6. Why didn’t the conference recruit volunteers from all over the country despite the inconvenience of transportation and academic restrictions? Why are college student volunteers across the country required to pay for their own food, lodging, and all other expenses during the volunteer period? Why is there no transparent, open and fair process for selecting and training volunteers?
7. Why rush to announce a vote for the Hugo Award when nominations are about to begin? Has the issue of non-English works nominated for the Hugo Award been resolved?
8. After the hasty rebooking, why is there still no refund and refund channel? Why have a series of technical problems such as payment problems for overseas participants not been solved?
9. Why has no agenda plan or invited guests been announced so far? With only half a year to go before the opening of the conference, why is there no effective domestic and foreign publicity?
10. What departments and agencies provide funding for the conference? Is there any commercial sponsorship and benefit delivery? Is the use of the activity calculated compliant and legal, audited and publicized? Is there a reasonable and compliant use of crowdfunding funds from sci-fi fans at the time of bidding? If the crowdfunding balance is balanced, will it be refunded or will it be used for another purpose? Why are there a large number of hotels and attractions unrelated to this conference on the official website of the event and the event notice?

There are only six months left before the opening of this science fiction convention, but the actions of the conference organizers do not make us see any possibility of a successful conference. These questions are the common voice of science fiction fans across the country.


A use going by “Science fiction light year” has a view: “#2023 Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention#”.


What a coincidence. This morning, the Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention just announced on Twitter that it would be rescheduled from August 16-20 to October 18-22, and (finally) clearly modified the venue to the Science Fiction Museum of Jingrong Lakeside World Science Fiction Park in Pidu District, Over there today Chengdu News (Three-body advent? According to reports, the construction of the new venue, the Science and Technology Museum, is expected to meet the completion acceptance conditions and complete the installation of the World Science Fiction Convention on August 30 this year (Figure 1). The news on January 5 still said that the acceptance and installation of the exhibition was completed on July 30 (Figure 2).

In this way, it is really difficult not to suspect that the rescheduling of the conference is because the (newly modified) science and technology museum was not completed as scheduled.

Emotional news media than to Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention declaration vote to buy the membership of the membership of the conference news Ducling ah. According to the charter, the organizing committee was supposed to provide the ticketing members with a progress report on the progress of the venue organization on a regular basis, but it has not been received so far.

However, the address of the new century city of the high-tech zone (the official website is still this address) on the original declaration materials is not used, why is it so rigid to change to this new venue? Looking at the relevant news, Pidu District (the area where the new venue is located) has long been using the name of the Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention to “take advantage of the situation, strengthen the industry, and make the brand excellent” (reference: Web link), and Vanke, a major commercial real estate owner, also mentioned in the announcement of its Jingrong Metropolis real estate that the “World Science Fiction Convention” was held in Pidu District (reference: Web link)。 It can only be suspected that in fact, the organizing committee sold all members early in the morning, and used the venue as a bargaining chip for the exchange of government performance and commercial real estate interests.

The World Science Fiction Convention is originally a conference for science fiction fans, not a conference held by the national government, on the contrary, it has always been taboo about the participation of the government. As early as when the Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention obtained the right to bid, there were opposition voices from foreign science fiction groups at the announcement scene in Washington, USA, and there were a large number of non-compliant votes saying that the Chinese government was operating in the background (reference:Web link)。 This is good, and he and the government capital are doing a big deal and giving people a handle.

And because the organizing committee suddenly announced that it would be rescheduled from August to October, many of the student parties that were originally able to participate in the summer vacation (members of various university science fiction associations had previously applied for ticket purchase support for Chengdu) are now unable to participate, and there is no refund channel.

Today’s announcement of the Organizing Committee of the Chengdu World Science Fiction Convention proposed that members who purchased membership before the end of January 31 (only 10 days left) had the right to nominate Hugo Award works, but the problem that the official website could not accept overseas credit card payment could not be solved, and foreign science fiction fans have asked one after another.

This conference originally eliminated the interference factors of the epidemic and had the support of national science fiction fans, which is a conference that everyone is very looking forward to. But now, it feels like chicken feathers. The follow-up reactions of foreign science fiction industries and science fiction fans also need attention.


See Chengdu Science Fiction Museum Photo Gallery

ArchDaily’s January 19 article “Zaha Hadid’s, Under Construction, Chengdu Science Fiction Museum Will Host Worldcon 2023” has an 11-picture gallery showing what the venue is expected to look like when it is finished.  

The world’s largest science fiction event Worldcon will take place in the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Under construction, the 59,000 sq. m venue that will host the 81st annual World Science Fiction Convention and the Hugo Awards, is set to become a vibrant center of innovation and gathering place for the “leading incubator of science fiction writing in China”. In fact, the city of Chengdu, home to over 20 million residents, is transforming into an important global center of scientific innovation and research….

The article does not report on the percentage of work already completed.

Chengdu Worldcon Changes Dates to October 2023

The Chengdu Worldcon Twitter account announced today that the event is being rescheduled to October 18-22, and that it will be held at a different venue, using different hotels than originally announced.

The event will now be held at the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum in Jingrong Lake, Pidu District, Chengdu. The Sheraton Chengdu Pidu and Wyndham Grand Chengdu will be the new convention headquarters hotels.

The Chengdu Science Fiction Museum venue was described in a January 3 post on the Worldcon’s Chinese language website (“World Science Fiction Convention update: The main venue is taking shape, and Hugo Award nominations are about to open – the 81st World Science Fiction Convention in 2023”). “Nebula” alludes to the venue’s appearance, as shown in the photo above.

The main venue of the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention is… “Nebula”

On the shores of Jingrong Lake in the west of Chengdu, the construction of the World Science Fiction Park is accelerating, and a “nebula”-shaped science fiction museum is taking shape, which is the main venue of the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention. Inside the Science Fiction Museum, the Hugo Awards Theater, Forum Space and other exhibition and supporting functional spaces will be built.

…On the basis of the existing Jingrong Lake Talent Park, the World Science Fiction Park will be built around the lake area, with a total area of more than 1,000 mu. Along the lake, viewing nodes and play nodes related to science fiction and ancient Shu culture will be created, combined with science fiction works IP, presenting immersive interactive scenes….

The Chengdu Worldcon’s “Hugo X Academy”

A January 3 entry on the Chengdu Worldcon’s Chinese-language website describes plans to educate Chengdu Worldcon members about participating in the Hugo Awards voting process. The (computer-translated) headline reads: “World Science Fiction Convention update: The main venue is taking shape, and Hugo Award nominations are about to open – the 81st World Science Fiction Convention in 2023”.

…This is the first time that the World Science Fiction Convention has set foot on Chinese soil, considering that many Chinese fantasy fans are not familiar with the membership “gameplay”, the conference will specially launch the “Hugo X Academy” series of original interview programs to explain the nomination rules, popularize the voting process, and promote the rights and interests of members. In addition, science fiction celebrities, well-known bloggers and artists, directors, actors, etc. will be invited to share excellent examples….

Chinese science fiction in translation has made the ballot several times at Worldcons in other countries over the past few years. It’s reasonable to expect it to do very well in its original language in its home country. However, history shows that a push to educate prospective Hugo voters is a wise investment.

It will be remembered that nearly 900 Japanese members of Nippon 2007 were eligible to nominate works for the Hugos: more than enough to shape the ballot to their liking. But in 2007 not one single work written in Japanese, in translation from Japanese, published in Japan, or by a Japanese creator, made the ballot. And that despite in most fiction categories only a trivial number of votes being needed to become a finalist that year. (The tail-end Best Short Story finalist got there with 16 votes).

The 2007 Hugo nomination results were so contrary to what people hoped for from a Japanese Worldcon, and so contradicted their experience of non-U.S. Worldcons (see, for example, how the 2005 Hugo ballot was dominated by U.K. writers), to this day no one has been able to explain it, except to speculate about why Japanese members might have excluded themselves.

Therefore, the Chengdu Worldcon’s efforts to familiarize members with the award and their right to vote for it will help build a good foundation for the event.