There are five days to go until the Hugo-voting deadline. I’ve read, watched and listened most of the things I’m going to, but there are still some odds and ends to deal with. Once I’ve ploughed through them, I’ll post my final Hugo-ballot here. I’ll be posting some more reviews of the Hugo-finalists as well during these last days before the voting deadline, and maybe after that as well. After all, it’s OK to be psyched up about the Hugos until the results are announced.
However, there’s one thing I’d like to say about the Worldcon vote that really matters — that is the site selection for 2017.
Arguing about the Hugos is important up to a point, but who cares if one of the the better Puppy nominees (such as Kary English or the Lego Movie) gets a trophy? Nobody is going to lose their sleep over it for more than a couple of nights, I hope. There’s something much more at stake with the site selection. It’s a disaster of epic scale if Helsinki won’t get to hold a Worldcon in 2017.
A few facts to consider:
Five last countries that have hosted a Worldcon: United States (2015), United Kingdom (2014), United States (2013), United States (2012), United States (2011). Next year, the Worldcon will be in United States. In case the bid for Washington DC in 2017 (that is sort of a favorite at the moment, I guess) is successful, that’s third United States year in a row, and given the fact that there are only US bids for 2018 at the moment, it’s quite probably going to be four years of back-to-back United States Worldcons and seven United States Worldcons in eight years. That’s a lot of United States in one paragraph.
Competing for the 2017 Worldcon location, there are also bids for Montreal (in Canada) and Shizuoka City (in Japan). After 2000, the Worldcon has been in Canada twice (2009, 2003) and in Japan once (2007). Now, I’m sure that all proposed locations would hold a wonderful convention, but Helsinki would certainly be something new.
Apart from Nippon 2007, Worldcon was last held in a country where the official language is something else than English 25 years ago. Prior to that, the last time was 45 years ago. Prior to that, it never happened. In 2017, we’ll have our 75th Worldcon, and I think it’s about time it saw some World.
Finland and the whole of Scandinavia is also the home of one of the most vibrant SFF communities in (un-English) Europe and it’s used to hosting successful SFF events, such as this year’s Archipelacon (listen to Gary K. Wolfe enthuse about it here) and annual Finncon events which usually have thousands of people attending.
Finland also being the home of the Moomins might be even a more persuasive fact for Helsinki in 2017. Who can honestly not be persuaded by roundish fairy tale characters with large snouts that make them resemble hippopotamuses (as Wikipedia characterize them)?
Helsinki already got the most first-place votes in 2013, when the venue for this year’s Worldcon was decided, but unfortunately lost to Spokane in the end because of the preferential voting mechanics. Even if you happen to support some other of the bids, I encourage everyone to consider placing Helsinki second.
There’s still plenty of time to purchase the supporting membership and pay the site selection fee (which then becomes a supporting membership of the 2017 Worldcon, wherever that is) which make you eligible to vote for Helsinki (or any of the other bids).
- Helsinki in 2017
- File770 has compiled links to the voting directions in different languages
- George R.R. Martin’s blog post reminding us about the Hugo deadline and endorsing Helsinki
- Discussion about Worldcon locations in Jonathan McCalmont’s blog (especially the comments thread is worth reading)