Chengdu Moves Dates

And this month’s Worldcon drama is…

That Chengdu has moved dates and will now take place in October. There is good and bad to this.

Apparently some people have been shocked, Shocked! that a Worldcon could do this. Fannish memories are very short. When did DisCon 3 take place again?

On the plus side, the additional two months will give the convention committee, which is clearly struggling, more time to get their act together. Some things do need to be done at the traditional times, and thankfully they have managed to get a means of buying memberships up on their website. By the time you get to read this it will probably be too late to buy a WSFS Membership and get nominating rights to the Hugos, but you folks will all be well up on that, I expect. Here’s hoping the ballot opens on time.

The extra time will also give people more time to get visas, though whether it will be possible to get one at all remains to be seen.

Hopefully no one lost out over hotel bookings. Kevin had one, but with the uncertainty over visas he made sure it was cancellable. I’m expecting other people did the same. And there’s no point booking a non-refundable flight until you have a visa.

On the downside, things are clearly a bit chaotic. The convention website doesn’t seem to have the date-change announcement on it anywhere. The announcement went out on Twitter and Facebook.

The most interesting thing about the whole affair is the number of Chinese fans who expressed surprise and disappointment. Clearly they were as much taken aback by the whole thing as Western people were. Naturally several of them assumed that WSFS had control over what was going on, and might be able to exert influence over the Chengdu committee. Some even asked why WSFS had allowed this. Ha! The WSFS Board, being non-existent, was unavailable for comment.

There are clearly translation issues with understanding why the Chinese fans were so upset, but they do seem to have more inside knowledge of what is going on in Chengdu. In particular there is concern about whether the proposed new venue will be finished on time. The whole situation is terribly opaque. I’m rather glad that I have no plans to attend in person.