Poles Petition Chengdu Worldcon to Drop Lukyanenko as GoH

Polish fandom has initiated an online petition to the Chengdu Science Fiction Association that calls on them to rescind Sergey Lukyanenko’s invitation as a 2023 Worldcon guest of honor. The “Open letter to the Board of Worldcon 2023” at Avaaz.org currently has 409 signatures.

At the link is this English version, followed by copies of the test in Chinese Simplified, Polish and Russian.

Fantasy and science-fiction – whether it be an optimistic vision straight from Star Trek, or Gibson’s dystopian cities – often constitute a reflection of our own world. It tells us about the future we want to see and how to achieve it. Not all opinions on that matter can be left outside when entering a convention space.

Sergei Lukyanenko appears on Russian TV and fantasizes about beating Ukrainian children until they learn to love mother Russia. He smiles when his conversation partner speaks fondly of genocide. This man is the guest of honour of the most important, theoretically, meeting of our community – he’s the guest of honour of next year’s Worldcon.

We, the Polish fandom, can see what’s happening across our border. We do not agree with honouring a man who enthusiastically applauds the bombardment of Ukrainian cities and crimes committed by Russian soldiers. Appearing on Russia Today is tantamount to legitimizing the invasion of Ukraine.

We’re calling on the organisers of Worldcon 2023 to rescind the status of guest of honour from Sergei Lukyanenko, and we’re asking the international community of fans to help us in exerting pressure on that matter.

Lukyanenko Comments on RT Host Anton Krasovsky’s Controversial Remarks

Russian news outlet Rise has posted Sergey Lukyanenko’s reaction to shocking statements RT presenter Anton Krasovsky made earlier this month while the sff author was being interviewed on his program. (See “During Lukianenko’s Appearance on Russia’s RT, Presenter Calls for Drowning Ukrainian Children”.)

On the air, after Lukyanenko said that when he was 12 years old he came to Ukraine, and even then his peers told him that “Ukraine was occupied by Muscovites,” Krasovsky said “They should have been drowned in the Tysyna (river). Just drown those children, drown them.” Alternatively, he said, they could be shoved into huts and burned. Lukyanenko merely replied, “In Russia [they] traditionally used rods. They are better than the river.” 

However, Sergey Lukyanenko, told the Russian news outlet Rise on October 23:

“I immediately expressed my opinion on this matter. Anton spoke, of course, very provocatively. I understand that this is such a journalistic technique. But it seems to me that such statements should not be allowed even within the framework of a provocative statement. Let it be on his conscience.”

(“Писатель Лукьяненко предположил, что призыв Красовского топить украинских детей был «журналистским приёмом” — “The writer Lukyanenko suggested that Krasovsky’s call to drown Ukrainian children was ‘a journalistic technique’”.)

Krasovsky was suspended by RT for his statements. However, The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis says RT’s editor-in-chief already is laying the groundwork for his return (“RT Boss Margarita Simonyan Hints She’ll Reinstate Host Anton Krasovsky, Who Suggested Drowning Ukrainian Kids”.)

Lukyanenko is a guest of honor of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon.