Chengdu Worldcon Committee Names Yalow as Co-Chair; Adds Overseas Staffers

The 2023 Chengdu Worldcon committee tweeted April 24 that it has named Ben Yalow one of three co-chairs of the convention. They have also appointed Dave McCarty, Donald Eastlake III, Randall Shepherd as Vice-Chairs.

 In addition, Bill Lawhorn has become a co-division-head.

A number of other overseas fans – Colette Fozard, Nicholas Whyte, Tammy Coxen, Pablo Vazquez, and Dave McCarty – were previously announced as part of the committee in a handout distributed at the DisCon III business meeting.

Here is the committee’s latest organization chart:


Ben Yalow, Hongwei He, Chen Shi


Haijun Yao, Xiaolan Liang


Tong Xia, Yating Wang, Yao Chen, He Huang, Feng Yang, Zhenyu Jiang, Yue Sun, Zi La, Dave McCarty, Donald Eastlake, Randall Shepherd


Colette Fozard, Nicholas Whyte


Division Head: Yating Wang, Bill Lawhorn


Division Head: Yue Sun


Division Head: Yuxi Tan


Division Head: Tong Xia


Division Head: Yao Chen


Division Head: Shuang Liang


Division Head: Zhengyu Jiang, Dave McCarty


Division Head: Xue Yao


Division Head: Chi Yao


Division Head: Liu Yang


Division Head: He Huang


Division Head: Feng Yang


Division Head: TBA

Many of the overseas committee members were part of the international array of visiting writers and Worldcon runners who attended the 5th China (Chengdu) International Science Fiction Conference in 2019, including then-DisCon III co-chairs Colette Fozard and William Lawhorn, then-Chicago bid co-chair Dave McCarty, plus Ben Yalow, and Pablo M.A Vazquez who was there as a winner of the Shimmer Program’s Two-Way Exchange Fund.

Below is the handout distributed in December.

[Thanks to Michael J. Walsh for the story.]

Barkley: DisCon III,
The Fourth Day

To Be Fair, I Was Left Unsupervised: A Disjointed Chronicle of 79th World Science Fiction Convention, DisCon III – December 19-20, 2021

By Chris M. Barkley:


(Author’s Note: As of this writing, I misplaced all of my notes for Day Four. The things I write about here may be a bit truncated, so please bear with me with this day’s events…)

I woke up relatively early (for a Worldcon), at around 8:45 a.m. Dapperly dressed in my Chelsea FC pajamas and socks, I decide to go down to the Information Desk for the latest Dis N’ Dat newsletter for the latest news and Programming changes.

Just as I exited the elevator, I encountered Laurie Mann and Dave McCarty in deep conversation. Mr. McCarty told me that he was on his way to the Site Selection Meeting and was particularly vexed because the contest between the Chengdu and Winnipeg bids was, as of this morning, in doubt.

 This was a little peculiar because under normal circumstances, the identity of the winning bid would have been leaked the previous evening by unknown sources and would have been circulating among the parties last night.   

But as I inferred from my earlier conversation with Ms. Mann and Mr. McCarty, this did not happen. By now, most of you may know that the statement from Kevin Standlee a few days earlier cast the election in doubt due to what was perceived by some as an infraction of the rules regarding the lack of valid addresses by those voting for the Chengdu bid. 

To my understanding of the matter, a majority of  the Chengdu voters used as email address because that is how they interpreted the use of that term in China 

Mr. McCarty, who is associated with the Chengdu bid, had no idea whether or not the disputed ballots would be allowed or not this morning.

Quickly realizing that either history, a controversy, or both was about to occur, I bolted to my room, got properly dressed, grabbed a tea and a protein bar and raced down to the Palladian Ballroom for the reveal.

The Site Selection Meeting had been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. but that passed by as the room slowly filled with interested parties.

[The rest of Chris’ report follows the jump.]

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DisCon III Business Meeting Keeps Lodestar, Best Series; Passes Controversial Resolution About Site Selection

The DisCon III business meeting today voted to retain the Lodestar Award and Best Series Hugo category. Both were up for a re-ratification vote before being permanently added to the WSFS Constitution.

The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book passed by an “easy majority”.  

The Best Series Hugo category passed in a close vote.

 The meeting also passed a controversial resolution advising the Site Selection administrator that he reclassify as “No Preference” votes those ballots lacking any of four pieces of information specified in the motion.

The motion was signed by two leaders of the Winnipeg in 2023 bid, bid chair Terry Fong, and vice-chair Jannie Shea.

Short Title: Required Site Selection Information

Resolved, That it is the sense of the WSFS Business Meeting that any Site Selection ballot that does not contain a Membership Number, Name, Signature, and Address that meets the country of origin’s requirements should be counted as “No Preference.”

When it came to the floor, however, Site Selection administrator Tim Szczesuil said he was requesting the meeting’s guidance. He pointed to the relevant part of the WSFS Constitution, rule 4.4.1, and said it was “somewhat ambiguous with respect to what is required of the voter.” The rule reads —

4.4.1: Site-selection ballots shall include name, signature, address, and membership-number spaces to be filled in by the voter. Each site-selection ballot shall list the options “None of the Above” and “No Preference” and provide for write-in votes, after the bidders and with equal prominence. The supporting membership rate shall be listed on all site-selection ballots.

“The way it, to me, it could be read either as the ballot is required to have four items – I think it’s the name, the address, the signature, and the member number. Or it could be that the member has to include that information on the ballot.”

Potentially, the resolution can lead to ballots lacking any of the four items not having their preference for Chengdu or Winnipeg counted toward determining the winner.

Ben Yalow spoke against the resolution, saying he considered the rule “incredibly clear” that it was about the spaces for certain information which must be on the ballot, not what the voter must fill in.

The business meeting chair Don Eastlake turned over the meeting to another officer so he could go to the floor and speak in favor of the resolution, “I do not believe we should allow anonymous or semi-anonymous people who don’t provide enough information or don’t provide a name or haven’t signed [the ballot] to affect site selection…” Dave McCarty’s comment in support of the motion was that address information is needed “to be able to tell if they are real people.”

The site selection validation process doesn’t ever take time to test voters’ residence/mail address information and make a judgment about it. The two critical factors are that the voter must have a membership in the current Worldcon, and that the payment of the site selection voting fee must clear. However, a person could do everything required to become a member of the current Worldcon, DisCon III, and still fail a 2023 site selection voting requirement. For example, Eastlake pointed out a past practice that people who fail to sign their ballots do not get their votes counted, although they still get a supporting membership in the new convention.  

The business meeting passed the resolution 47-30. Because it is a resolution, it is not binding. However, since he requested it, File 770 has asked Site Selection administrator Tim Szczesuil to comment how he will apply the resolution.

OTHER BUSINESS. Kevin Standlee reports on his LiveJournal that the meeting ratified all nine of the constitutional amendments passed on from last year’s Worldcon. “These amendments were initially passed in Ireland, then technically rejected and then re-passed in New Zealand, in order to evade the problem that hardly any WSFS members could actually get to the meeting in Wellington.”

The nine items are E.3 to E.11 in the business meeting Agenda.

LoneStarCon 3 Main Business Meeting

Nearly all of the proposals to change the Hugos having been shot down yesterday at LoneStarCon 3’s Preliminary Business Meeting, only one was considered at Saturday’s Main Business Meeting.

The motion to transform the Best Fan Artist Hugo into something that could also be won by “musical, dance, jewelry and costuming artists” was rejected. Voters deleted the key phrase “any visual or performance medium” then passed the remaining changes that made explicitly eligible artists whose work has appeared in a “non-professional display (including at a convention or conventions).”

The intent seems to be adding to the black-letter rules something voters were already doing, considering the creators of work displayed in convention art shows. What “non-professional” means in this context is not clearly stated. Is that “Not For Sale” art, or is art offered for purchase okay too? Is the focus then on the artist — anything displayed in an art show is okay so long as the creator doesn’t work for a living as an artist? I expect that Hugo voters will be left to make up their own minds about this, as they are in so many other areas.

Two controversial motions governing World Science Fiction Society voting rights and the minimum cost of supporting memberships,  4.1.2, No Representation Without Taxation and 4.1.3, Keep Us Together, which had prompted Seanan McGuire and others to call for opponents to turn out at the Business Meeting, ended up being referred to a committee which will make recommendations at Loncon 3 in 2014.

Rachael Acks liveblogged the meeting and attempted to capture some of the arguments made on both sides, here.

The outcome of all the items on Saturday’s agenda is reported by Kevin Standlee here.

Meantime, Jo Rhett has criticized meeting chair Donald Eastlake’s handling of the YA Hugo proposal at the Preliminary Business Meeting in a post titled The preservation of White Male Privilege at WSFS. However, after seeing his post the alleged victim wrote on Twitter “I’m the lady in question from your entry, and my version of what happened differs significantly. Come find me, let’s talk.” And said in another tweet, “I’m just touchy because people are trying to use me as a symbol of #wsfs badness and I object to that.”

Also, Chris M. Barkley, who was sharply critical of the YA Hugo’s opponents generally, singled out Donald Eastlake for thanks in in an e-mail sent to a large number of people (and File 770)

To all those you have harassed, cajoled and went out of your way to humiliate Amy McNally and squash her new YA book proposal,

“Opinions are at best provisional hypotheses, incompletely tested. The more they are tested, after the tests are scrutinized, the more assurance we may assume, but they are never absolutes. So we must be tolerant of opposite opinions or varying opinions by the very fact of our incredulity of our own.”

— New York District Court Judge Learned Hand to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, circa 1919.

We all have opinions on the viability of a YA or Youth Book Hugo Award but we will never settle such an argument convincingly without actually testing it.

It is my belief that such a test, of two of three years, would not harm the integrity of the Hugo Awards, would be welcomed by the readers who nominate and vote on the Hugos and the YA community at large.

Change, through either growth or attrition, is the natural order of things. The pursuit of change is the primary drive of the fiction we all love. Indifference or denial of change can only lead to the death of fandom as we know it.

I encourage journeyman activists who want to foster continued change in Hugo Award categories and the WSFS constitution to press on with their efforts.

I also want to personally thank Donald Eastlake and Kevin Standlee for going out of their way to form a committee on this issue. I hope that this can be resolved in a more civil and courteous manner from this point forward.

In the meantime, I call on the Loncon committee and the winners of the 2015 Worldcon bid to strongly consider using their constitutional Special Award clauses for a YA Book award.