Real Alternate History: If Orlando had Won Worldcon for 2015

Alternate history: What would have happened if Orlando won the bid for Worldcon in 2015?

Eleven days from now Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction convention, will kick off in Spokane, Washington.

Had things gone a bit differently with the site selection voting, there’d be a little more time till the con and I’d be much more deeply mired in Puppygate, as we’d be preparing for Worldcon in Orlando Florida.

I had high hopes for Orlando in 2015.  We had a good crew working on the bid, a near perfect facility and a theme that I thought really captured the zeitgeist:  Science Fiction Is Bigger Than You Think.

I was pretty excited about some of our concepts too.  The facility allowed us to effectively separate things like the art show, the dealer’s room, gaming areas and the like from the rest of the convention and our plan was to open those areas up to the public (which I’m led to believe dealers and artists would have greatly appreciated).  I’d worked with the Orlando Convention & Visitor’s bureau before and knew that we could expect a decent turn out.

A booth selling day passes would have sat astride the door leading from the public spaces to the convention spaces and I like to think that a lot of fans who were in Orlando for things other than the con would have taken advantage of the opportunity.

Orlando being Orlando in September, I also think that a lot of fen would have taken advantage of the outdoor spaces.  We were also all looking forward to the potential for greater cohesiveness as the entire convention would have been held at this one facility, with little walking between venues.  My favorite conventions are those where most of the important stuff happens in the lobby…one giant, friendly, rambunctious cocktail party.

But the thing that’s really striking me hard this morning is whether or not fandom did me a favor by voting Spokane in.  If Orlando had won, I’d have been on the puppygate stage, rather than throwing rotten tomatoes and cabbages (maybe cabbages wrapped around rocks) from the front row seats.

I’d like to think that I’d have handled things as calmly and smoothly as the Spokane folks seem to have, though having been on the inside of a couple of Worldcons, I can tell you all with certainty that what the public sees is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  I have no doubt that there were many sleepless nights, many intense discussions and lots of high emotion, little of which has been evidenced (good on you guys!)

However. Given how I feel about what was done to the Hugo Awards this year, I’m pretty sure I would have been calling for war, hoisting the TANSTAAFL! flag, ordering the fixing of bayonets and setting the band to play the El Degüello.

Sometimes I don’t play well with others.

So maybe it’s a good thing that Worldcon is in Spokane, rather than Orlando, this year.

Good luck Sasquan!

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