Still Paris, Still 2023 — New Bid Committee

worldcon in franceA new bid to hold the Worldcon in France in 2023 launched this week and its representatives will be making a presentation at the Utopiales festival in Nantes this afternoon.

In addition to a website, the bid is present on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Committee member Albert Aribaud opened their campaign saying:

Worldcons are an old tradition. But in 75 years of history, none has ever come to France.

Today, we feel it is time to correct this oversight and to write a new page in the history of world SF.

Their FAQ says the new initiative was put together in late August by Albert Aribaud, Sybille Marchetto, Alex Garcia, Patrick Moreau, Georges Bormand, Alain Jardy, René Walling, Jean-Louis Trudel, Jean-Marc Lofficier, Benoît Robin.

It supersedes the Paris bid publicized at Loncon 3, which suffered because only two UK fans were there in support after its four French members got called away by a variety of work and personal reasons. That bid committee dropped out shortly after Loncon.

The FAQ also explains they are staying with 2023 partly to allow more lead time, but also because if they pursued a 2021 Worldcon it would be voted for at the 2019 Worldcon. Dublin currently is the only bidder for 2019, and that might bring into play the rule requiring at least 800 km between the Worldcon site administering the vote and any city being voted upon. They say: “Since Paris would be the most likely venue for a Worldcon in France and that the Dublin-Paris distance is slightly under 800 km, it could be a point of dissent.”

They have also ruled out 2022:

There already is a very strong American contender (Chicago) for that year which a first-time bidder would be quite unlikely to beat. Considering the amount of work that goes into a bid, it just makes more sense to pick a date that offers better odds for winning.

Worldcon In France is a pending non-profit association.

Paris in 2023 – Dead or Alive?

Paris in 2023 Worldcon bid chair Cécile Reyer says the bid is off again.

Reyer initially announced the Paris bid would launch at Loncon 3, followed by a last-minute cancellation citing a family emergency. Then, during Loncon 3’s Fannish Inquisition, UK bid agents Jonathan and Sharon Lewis-Jones declared the Paris bid had launched after all and they were representing the bid at a table in the Fan Village.

Reyer says in her latest statement:

Due to a circumstances beyond our control the Paris in 2023 Bid Committee were unable to attend Loncon3 and for this we must apologize.

We wish to thank everyone who came and visited the information table in the Fan Village and showed support for our bid and to our UK Agents who represented us at the convention.

After much consideration the committee has made the difficult decision to withdraw our Worldcon candidacy at this time, and we hope to be able to re-launch our bid at a future date.

The latest fluctuation in the status of the bid reportedly is powered by a backlash among French fans who don’t want a Worldcon in France, hot tempers, and resignations from the bid committee.

What little evidence of French fannish opinion I’ve tracked down so far sounds skeptical but even-tempered.

Georges Bormand of Monde de la SF said he was surprised to discover at Loncon 3 “a booth run by the mysterious Irish who are behind the project” (English wording via Google Translate) and felt the bid’s presence in London was “premature.”

Then, a writer signing himself Hervé speculated on the French rec.arts.sf.narkive about “people who want to organize a convention of several thousand people who can not travel to London!” (again, English via Google Translate).

Bid agent Jonathan Lewis-Jones wonders, “Could this be the shortest running Worldcon bid in history? I hope not, they are good people, with a fantastic idea. I just hope they dust themselves off and go for it.”

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for his assistance.]

Paris in 2023 Launch Delayed

The Paris in 2023 worldcon bid will not launch this weekend at Loncon 3. The bid’s website announced that a “family emergency effecting one of our committee members and consequential logistical problems” prevented participants from attending.

In addition, UK fans Jonjo (Jonathan Lewis-Jones) and Sharon Lewis-Jones have informed File 770 they no longer are part of the bid committee.

Paris in 2023 Worldcon Bid Announced

Paris in 2023

Paris in 2023

It’s official: a committee of French and UK fans are bidding to host the 2023 Worldcon in Paris.

Interest in the idea of a Worldcon in France has been growing since 2009 and last year its proponents started sending up trial balloons in social media, hints that a bid was on the way.

Now the chair of the bidding committee, Cécile Reyer, has sent a press release saying they intend to launch at Loncon 3, just two weeks away:

I am pleased to announce the formation of Paris in 2023, a Worldcon bid to host the 81st World Science Fiction Convention in Paris, France in 2023. We will be launching our bid at this year’s Worldcon, Loncon3 in London, where we will have information table in the Fan Village.

We strongly believe that Europe has the fannish resources and facilities to host more Worldcons, and with Loncon 3 being held in London this year together with bids for Helsinki in 2017, and Dublin in 2019 we feel that France would be an ideal location for 2023.

Our vision is to run a family friendly Worldcon and we have chosen the dates of Thursday 3rd August to Monday 7th August 2023, and have preliminarily selected the convention  facilities at Disneyland Paris as a possible venue to host the convention.

At this early stage in our bid the committee comprises a small group of Anglo-French fans, but as time goes on we wish to grow and add international expertise from fans from all over Europe, the USA and the rest of the world.

Paris in 2023 will be voted on at the 2021 Worldcon, the location of which has yet to be determined. Further information about our bid can be found on our website at:

The members of the bid committee are: Chair: Cécile Reyer (France); General Committee: Léandre Boulez (France); Clarisse Lamarque (France); Pierre Messiaen (France); Jonjo (Wales); and Sharon Lewis-Jones (England).

There’s precedent for the idea of holding a Worldcon at Disneyland Paris, mixing Mickey Mouse and Hugo Gernsback. Three worldcons have been held across the street from Disneyland (L.A.con II, III and IV), and the Orlando in 2015 bid wanted to host the con in a DisneyWorld hotel.

I suppose the only obvious misstep in this launch is that the French language webpage is “still under construction.”

The bid also has a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Update 08/15/2014: Jonjo (Jonathan Lewis-Jones) and Sharon Lewis-Jones asked me to report they are no longer part of the bid committee.

Paris Moves To 2023

Attention passengers on the main timeline! Please update your histories of Worldcons that haven’t happened yet to reflect that Paris is now bidding for 2023.

The Paris in 2019 Worldcon bid page first appeared online last spring, followed by manifestations on Twitter and Facebook. Inquiries were answered by UK fan David Steere, who said the bid would launch at Loncon 3.

Then, just a few days ago, plans to move the bid to 2023 were mentioned on Facebook’s Eurosmof forum. Dave Langford asked for more details and was told by Jonathan Lewis-Jones, “Expect a press release shortly before Loncon3.”

The bid’s apparent British connection reminds me of those alternate histories set in Anglo-French empires, like Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy stories.

Now there is a Paris in 2023 Twitter account. European fans have been responding favorably. Crystal Huff wrote to me:

The Paris in 2023 bid has posted their first tweet, which many people replied to in French. I’m kinda proud of the fact that the Finns were the first to do so.

Since 2009 there has been a Facebook club, Pour l’organisation dune WorldCon SF en France, and in April 2013, Bernard Henninger collected 33 names of fans willing to support a French Worldcon. Henninger wrote again last August that the idea created a stir at the 2013 Eurocon in the Ukraine – including a show of interest from Finnish fan Eemeli Aro.

Fandom may get more solid indications about who is leading the Paris bid at this year’s Worldcon, and how French fans are participating in it.

Meantime, the Dublin in 2019 committee must be pleased to see that, at least for the moment, their bid is uncontested.