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Changing my Role for Worldcon 75

I have a sad announcement to make.

I have loved my work on the Helsinki Worldcon bids and the resulting convention, Worldcon 75, over the past four years. It has been an amazing experience to collaborate with fantastic people from all over the world.

However, my family and my career must take priority over this project. It has become clear that these priorities are no longer compatible with my role as co-chair of Worldcon 75. With deep regret, I offered my resignation as co-chair today to the Board of Maa ja ilma ry, Worldcon 75’s organizing body, and they have accepted it.

I will still be a part of this team, creating a great Worldcon, just in a smaller role. I hope to see you all in Helsinki in August, if not before!

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2015 Reading

My title is a lie, actually — this is a list of books I’ve read since Readercon in July of 2015, and it’s only the ones that are Hugo-nominable. If it didn’t come out in 2015, it doesn’t make this list because I want to focus on what can be nominated for a Hugo right now.

The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord

Half-Resurrection Blues & Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

Lex Talionis by RSA Garcia

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Just City by Jo Walton

Updraft by Fran Wilde

House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal

Pocket Apocalypse and Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Time Salvager by Wes Chu

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Only Ever Yours & Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Last First Snow by Max Gladstone

Uprooted by Naomi Novick

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

Cold Iron by Stina Leicht

Chimera by Mira Grant

Revision by Andrea Phillips

The Sin-Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Stand Still Stay Silent by Minna Sundberg

Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi (short story “Skywalker” is Hugo-nominable)

The Otherling & other stories by Anne Leinonen (short story “The Skinner” is Hugo-nominable)

Angels & Exiles by Yves Meynard (short story “The Song of the Mermaid” is Hugo-nominable)

Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson (short story “Men Sell Not Such in Any Town” is Hugo-nominable, I think?)

Stories For Chip (full of short stories that are Hugo-nominable)

Octavia’s Brood (full of short stories that are Hugo-nominable)

Queers destroy SF (full of short stories that are Hugo-nominable)

 

I don’t want to get into any reviews or details, at this point, because I don’t really have the time and I don’t know if I’m up for it. I read all of these things, however, and thought they were magnificent and (so far as I’m aware) Hugo-nominable.

 

Other things & stuff:

Maija Peitikainen and Petri Hiltunen did the bid art for Helsinki in 2017, Hugo-nominable under fan artists.

Christopher Jones does amazing work for art for Convergence and is Hugo-nominable.

Nisi Shawl, Bill Campbell, and Carl Engel-Laird are all Hugo-nominable editors, so far as I can discern.

The Finnish fanzine MARVIN (published sometimes in Finnish and sometimes in English) is Hugo-nominable this year. This is the same crew of people who brought us the brilliant and needed articles about the shortage of evil villain bases of operation. We may need to rent co-working space in future, apparently.

 

 

Okay, I lied again, because I don’t want to lose track of what little I managed to track reading this year…

Things I read that aren’t 2015 Hugo-nominable, but that I still tracked:

(The Younger Gods, Michael Underwood, 2014)

(First three novels in the Ex Libris series by Jim C. Hines)

(How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ)

(Too Like the Lightning & Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer — 2016 books)

(Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny)

(Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang)

(A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan)

(Omens & Visions by Kelley Armstrong)

(Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie)

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Convention Terminology

A friend of mine recently said something along the lines of, “hey, I go to conventions, and I still don’t understand more than half the lingo!”  I care a lot about making conventions inclusive and accessible, so this seems like a great opportunity to share some intel.  Here are some terms we came up with that might need explaining…

Dictionary picture

A dictionary by any other name …

the 5-2-1 rule – This is a somewhat infamous guideline for attending conventions.  The idea is that you get at least 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower every day during the convention.  You can’t make up for a lack in one category by doing extra in another; 3 meals will in no way forgive a lack of shower or having fewer than 5 hours of sleep at con.  Please follow this guideline if you go to a convention.  You, and everyone else around you, will have a better time than if you don’t observe the 5-2-1 rule.

code of conduct – A code of conduct is a set of expectations for behavior at the convention, usually written and adopted as policy of the convention by its staff or leadership.  It should be communicated to all attendees well in advance of the convention and it should be applicable to all members (including staff, leadership, guests, etc.).  Ideally, a code of conduct includes specificity on how unacceptable behavior is defined, clear information on what to do if unacceptable behavior is witnessed or experienced, and what might happen upon the convention receiving a report of said behavior.  In addition, many people have co-signed John Scalzi’s policy on codes of conduct, which is very related reading.

conchair – The conchair is the most common term for the person at the top of the leadership for a convention.  If there are multiple conchairs, they are called co-chairs.  An assistant conchair is considered the next level down on the org chart, and is sometimes called a “vice chair.” Continue reading

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Watering Worldcon

(A major concern people expressed about the Helsinki in 2015 bid was that it would be too expensive to have a Worldcon in Helsinki, so I thought I’d highlight some of the things that would be objectively more affordable about our bid for the 2017 Worldcon race.)

Helsinki is known for having impressively good tap water, free for the drinking.  I’m told that Helsinki’s tap water is judged better than Evian bottled water in a blind taste test.  It’s certainly been judged more pure than bottled water.  I can personally verify that it’s very tasty!

One of the surprising savings of having Worldcon in Helsinki in 2017 would be water.  Not the biggest savings available to us, over all, but the potential math surprised me on this, so I thought I’d post a note about it.

See, for a Worldcon, buying water in bottles can be very costly.  Even buying it in huge bottles, multiple gallons apiece, is expensive.  Four thousand people average 10,000 gallons of drinking water over the course of five days.  Not all of that liquid would be provided by the convention, of course, but a large portion of it traditionally is supplied by Hospitality or Member Services at Worldcon.  The facilities contract for Sasquan, in fact, requires that all food and beverages, including water, be purchased through the Spokane Convention Centre at their prices.  I called the facility, and was given a verbal estimate of $28 (including tax and fees) per 5 gallon water barrel.

This cost is, luckily, something that a Worldcon in Helsinki could avoid.  Drinking water that’s free would be a boon to any Worldcon, if possible, and Helsinki has this savings in the bank, amongst several others.

What are some of the other savings?  Coming up soon, I should at least post about

  • Free Public Transit to All Worldcon Attendees,
  • Cheapest Hotel Rates In Recent Memory,
  • Eligibility for Grant Monies, and
  • No Fees for Decorator and Tech Setup (unlike all American Worldcons).

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Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon Bid

The Finnish fandom had a rather large (to my eyes) meeting today to discuss several fannish things — Finncon in 2015, the Helsinki in 2015 Worldcon bid debrief, Acon in 2014, a possible new Finnish convention, and … bidding again for Worldcon.

More later, but the best upshot is … www.helsinkiin2017.org !  🙂

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