Aussiecon Four

This might take a little while, so bear with me. The World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, is the world's longest running sf convention, having been held annually since 1946 (plus for three years prior to WW II). The convention brings together fans, writers, readers, artists, publishers and anyone else who has an interest in the science fiction and fantasy genres. The emphasis of the convention is on the literary side although all other forms, such as film, television, and comics, are included.

One of the main aims of any Worldcon is to present the annual Hugo Awards, which celebrate professional and non-professional achievement from the previous year in sf and fantasy. These are the major reader-based awards in the sf field and are highly regarded by sf professionals.

The Worldcon has been held three times in Australia - Aussiecon in 1975, Aussiecon Two in 1985, and Aussiecon Three in 1999 - and now an attempt is being made to host the convention here again, in 2010; hence the title of this post. The site of a particular year's Worldcon is decided at the convention held two years previously. It follows, therefore, that whether or not Australia will be granted the right to host the convention will be determined at this year's Worldcon, Denvention, being held in Denver in early August.

How the hosting site is decided is a long and complicated process but, in essence, it comes down to a ballot of candidate cities who are bidding for a year, with votes being cast by members of the current year's Worldcon. To appear on the ballot bidding committees have to fulfil a number of criteria, the main aim of which is to ensure that the committee knows what they are getting into, have the level of expertise to run the Worldcon in the accepted manner, and have all legal and contractural paperwork in place to ensure the whole thing doesn't go belly-up. The Australian committee, of which I am the Chair, has met those criteria and we now appear on the Site Selection Ballot. We are, actually, the only site bidding for 2010, so our chances of being the hosts in that year look promising.

Which brings us down to the actual voting procedure. As hinted at above, voters must be members of the convention at which the vote is taken. There are two types of membership for all Worldcons: attending - which allows you to actually attend the convention, take part in any activities, receive all the publications and paperwork, and vote for both the Hugo Awards and Site Selection; and supporting which provides all of that apart from the right to attend. If you like, they can be thought of as full or part memberships. Needless to say, we'd like as many people as possible to vote in the site selection ballot. It will cost you an extra fee to vote, but that fee converts directly into a supporting membership of the winning convention, whether you voted for them or not. Voting, generally, also gives you a slight discount on the conversion of a supporting membership into an attending one. Joining the Denver convention and voting in the Site Selection Ballot is the simplest and best way to ensure the Worldcon comes back to Australia in 2010. From there it's just a matter of converting to an attending membership, and planning a trip to Melbourne in early September 2010. Couldn't be simpler.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 16, 2008 3:08 PM.

2008 Byron Bay Writers' Festival was the previous entry in this blog.

Combined Reviews: Saturn Returns by Sean Williams is the next entry in this blog.

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