WorldCon Chengdu

So, Worldcon happened, and the sky did not fall.

Prior to the event, all sorts of fannish conspiracy theories were floating around, from the Chinese packing the Business Meeting and throwing out the WSFS Constitution, to all of the Hugo winners being Chinese, and to the whole event being a vehicle for Chinese Government propaganda.

Needless to say, none of this transpired. I didn’t go, because there was little chance of my getting a visa, and because it clashed with BristolCon. Those Westerners who did go seem to have had a wonderful time. That includes Kevin, who will hopefully get around to sharing his experiences when he’s had a chance to recover from the travel and catch up with having been offline for over a week.

One person who has been blogging enthusiastically about the event is Nicholas Whyte. His report on Doctor Who fandom in China is particularly heartwarming.

The Hugo winners were duly announced. There were a few Chinese winners, which was lovely, but the majority of awards still went to Westerners. I was particularly pleased with the fan awards. Richard Man joins the stellar list of Hugo winners who are members of the Bay Area Science Fiction Association, and is a brilliant photographer. Chris Barkley has been working his socks off for Worldcon for many, many years and also thoroughly deserves the award. And Best Fanzine was won by a Chinese publication. I know nothing about the fancast winner, but they’ve joined Chris in recusing themselves from the awards in future years so they are clearly good people.

On the professional side I’m delighted that Neil Clarke has finally won Best Editor: Short Form. The Graphic Story category has attracted a lot of attention because it is a very European production. The writer, Bartosz Sztybor, is Polish, and the Hugo Awards page on Farcebook has been getting a lot of happy attention from Polish fans. Naturally everyone in the UK is delighted that Adrian Tchaikovsky won Best Series, and so are the giant spiders.

I have no idea when we will get the full voting breakdown. The few SMOFs who attended the convention were rushed off their feet. Dave McCarty will get round to it eventually. The full list of winner is available here.

The Business Meeting also happened. Attendance was fairly low, but there were some Chinese fans present and interesting things happened. Kevin has posted the videos, but I don’t have time to watch them. As far as I can gather, nothing terrible happened. And even if it did, we can deal with it in Glasgow.