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My Worldcon Site Selection ballot went in the mail last week, with DC17 in first place. Many factors went into my vote, but the bottom line for me came down to the committee. The DC17 bid committee is gob-smackingly large, but that’s because it’s composed of bunches of next generation convention runners working with experienced oldpharts. I imprinted on a multi-generational fandom, developing close friendships with Walt Willis, Chuch Harris, James White, Vin¢ Clarke, and others when they were in their 60s and 70s and I was in my 30s and 40s. Now that I’m in my 60s, I love that my circle of friends has grown to include fans in their 20s and 30s as well as those in my age group and older.

That’s the personal side of it. From a fannish perspective, I’m glad (and relieved) to see the younger fans on the DC committee -- and those I’m working with on MidAmeriCon II -- eagerly learning about fannish traditions and sensibilities, and carrying the things I love about fandom forward into the future. And I'm glad to see the depth of experience present as well.

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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
coth
Jul. 29th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC)
It's a very good set of reasons to vote for DC. I have voted for Helsinki first for similar reasons relating to European fandom, and DC second.

At this stage we're planning to be at Worldcon in 2017 providing it is in Helsinki or Washington. Japan is an outside possibility - desirable, but more difficult by both date and cost. Montreal is downright awkward as it ends after the start of the school term.

Looking forward to it whatever happens.
gerisullivan
Jul. 29th, 2015 04:55 pm (UTC)
Your vote makes a lot of sense as well. I thought Helsinki was the strongest of the bids when it was bidding for 2015, and was among the Americans who really liked how having back-to-back London and Helsinki Worldcons would benefit European fandom. This time around, I do wish they'd announce who will be chairing the Worldcon should they win. Kevin Roche's announcement during the Helsinki portion of the Westercon Fannish Inquisition that it was still under discussion because of the "sudden influx of life" situation that caused both Eemili Aro and Crystal Huff to cancel their Westercon trip left rather more warning bells ringing in my head than I'd prefer.
netmouse
Jul. 30th, 2015 03:39 am (UTC)
That is definitely worrisome. I have supported Helsinki in the past, but would be thrilled if DC won it. I'm not in the voting pool, but If DC won it we would definitely go, whereas Helsinki is something we'd really like to do that will depend heavily on finances.
coth
Jul. 30th, 2015 08:31 am (UTC)
That would worry me too, but not enough to change my voting preference. I think international fandom will cope.

This is one of those years when the good of the series and the good of the year are in conflict. I'd love to go to a single-site Worldcon with the Washington bid's credibility and location. But I think it is more important in this decade that we continue to include the world in running Worldcon, and I particularly support a bid by a non-Anglophone country with conrunning credibility. Finland has the large domestic congoing and conrunning fandom that might give it legs as a Worldcon-running country if it got the bug, and that would be a good thing.

Unfortunately I don't actually think that Helsinki will win this year, and although that will be alright too, I think it will be a pity for the reasons given above.
kevin_standlee
Jul. 29th, 2015 03:47 pm (UTC)
And yet yesterday I had people insisting that Worldcon is nothing but Old White Men, and that in a couple of years, Worldcon will be held in someone's living room because nobody will care about it and only ten Old White Men will be attending. When I pointed out that the reason Worldcon trends older is because people are more likely to stay in it rather than just come for a few years when they're young, then go do something else instead, I got scoffed at. (I reckon that this is because "anyone older than me is an Old Person and Should Die Already," or what I called the "Logan's Run Fallacy," which in itself marks me as an Old Man.) I continue to apologize to people in the generation before me for my intemperate remarks about the Death of Fandom and the Greying of Worldcon.
quadong
Jul. 29th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC)
I think the first Worldcon panel I ever went to was about the graying of fandom. What stuck with me is the comment that people were lamenting the graying of fandom in the 50s. (Maybe you were there and said that, for all I know; I didn't know anyone yet.)

I also think that many people believe fandom is barrelling towards death because they observe everyone around them is getting older. Well, yeah, no one is getting any younger... obviously. More subtly, if you pick most of your fannish friends in your teens or 20s and don't add new ones after that, then your personal fandom ages at one year per year. Even if you *do* add new ones, unless you dispense with the old ones, you will always tend to observe your group of friends getting older with time. Maybe we should encourage people who are loudest about the graying of fandom work registration so that they can see a good cross section of the overall fannish population?
filkerdave
Jul. 29th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
Fandom has been complaining about the greying of fandom as long as I've been in fandom.
kevin_standlee
Jul. 30th, 2015 12:03 am (UTC)
I was born in 1965 and attended my first SF convention (the 1984 Worldcon in Anaheim) the weekend I turned 19 years old.

Your point about "personal fandom" is very good. The "graying of fandom" complaint comes from all age groups, I think.
netmouse
Jul. 30th, 2015 03:50 am (UTC)
Do you suppose we get some numbers from registration about the gender make-up, at least (rough guess based on gendered names?)? (It might be really valuable to gather info about that and other types of diversity some year soon, in an opt-in fashion of course, especially since it's pretty impossible to guess at non-binary gender identities based on names...)
kevin_standlee
Jul. 30th, 2015 03:09 pm (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with Worldcon collecting demographic information; however, few if any of them ever do so. I suspect that anecdata and speculating without information is much more fun that boring old facts.
quadong
Jul. 30th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
A valid reason not to do it is that you might expect the reply rate to be low. It's really hard to gauge the average age of a convention if fewer than half of people tell you their age, especially if you suspect an age-related reporting bias.

We have been asking for people's ages and genders on Minicon registration forms for a few years now. (Against my preference, for the record. I generally prefer collecting less information.) I don't know what the reply rate is. I can find out if it would be interesting.
quadong
Jul. 29th, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
I voted DC second. I put Helsinki first because I think Worldcon should be out of the US more often and I didn't know about the "sudden influx of life" business. Japan went last because I could never detect any effort on their part to campaign (I'm pretty sure that I don't have a single flyer from them, as compared to many each from the other three bids).
filkerdave
Jul. 29th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
Helsinki for me as well!
malkingrey
Jul. 29th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
I don't have a say in the voting (budgetary constraints this year left us unable to purchase even a supporting membership), but I'm hoping for Montreal on the grounds that it's someplace actually close enough for us to reach in a couple of hours by car.

(Also, I really like Montreal.)
netmouse
Jul. 30th, 2015 03:43 am (UTC)
Montreal just hosted the Worldcon in 2009 ("just" on a worldcon scale, in which most cities only have it come back 'round to them every ten years if that, and with a widening of possible sites worldwide, that gap should get longer). I honestly think it was antisocial of them with regard to the rest of the world to bid for it again so soon, even if it is a different committee.
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous)
Jul. 30th, 2015 01:35 am (UTC)
I picked DC over Helsinki, but it was close; I was on the 2015 committee. Japan came last. Montreal lost out because its committee seems lame and mostly running on one person. Honestly, I would be happy with anyone but Japan, though I probably can't afford to go to Helsinki.
smofbabe
Jul. 30th, 2015 04:04 am (UTC)
I saw another rationale for voting for DC online yesterday: that the Wardman Park location and facilities are matchless for Worldcon and so it is a very popular site with conferences that can bid much longer in advance than we can. This is therefore likely to be the only year we can get that location, whereas it's much more likely that the other bids can bid again in other years.
kalimac
Jul. 30th, 2015 12:07 pm (UTC)
Mixed feelings. I'd feel sorry for Helsinki if they lost again. But DC is such a good bid.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 26th, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
Tough choice year
Two excellent bids whose committees put a lot of blood sweat and tears into them. No matter whether DC or Helsinki won, I knew I was going to feel more sorry for the loser than happy for the winner.
:(
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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