Saturday, August 22, 2015

More World to Worldcon

The members of this year’s Worldcon have voted. The votes have been counted, and the result is clear: Helsinki will host the 75th World Science Fiction Convention, on August 9–13, 2017.

The result will be officially announced (along with the convention’s name, membership rates, and the Guests of Honor) at the Saturday morning business meeting (8 PM Finnish time), but the vote count is not contested and there is no doubt about the result. Helsinki got 52 % of the first place votes, and therefore won the election in the first round.
The Helsinki bid was an amazing international effort of people all over the world who supported Helsinki and the idea that a convention called ‘Worldcon’—no matter how it got the name or how American it’s traditionally been—should travel around the world so that more sf lovers could participate. I was positively surprised at how many voters shared this view, rather than the traditional “I want a Worldcon I can drive to” one. I’m pretty sure this will be one of the most international Worldcons ever (and it is only the fourth time Worldcon will be held in a country whose main language isn’t English). Congratulations to the bid and especially the future Worldcon chairs Saija Aro, Crystal Huff, and Jukka Halme—you’re up to your necks in it now (although quite happily so, I’m sure)!

Worldcon is a wonderful event that always brings hundreds of authors and thousands of other sf fen together, and I’m glad many new people get to experience it in a couple of years. And when the opportunity rises (as it will), participate—Worldcon is a group effort. It's not a trade show to sell stuff to consumers, it’s what we all together make it to be. Worldcon is a convention for sf fen, organized and paid for by its members, so don’t miss this opportunity to take part in something unique!

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