A Look At Up-Coming Worldcon Bids

Following Chengdu, we stated that we felt that Worldcon Bids need to be subjected to greater scrutiny, especially when it comes to the Q&A sessions (previously referred to as the “Fannish Inquisition”) that are often conducted at conventions where a bid team makes an appearance (promoting the bid – Fan tables, flyers, demonstrating their Fannishness by working on the con, etc.).

That call can be found here.  It might also be instructive to take a look at the issues raised prior to Chengdu’s win here, as an example of the kinds of things that are often overlooked during the bidding process and should not be.

We also stated that we were in the process of developing a resource that would tap in to various Human Rights organization’s evaluation of various countries concerning issues of import to fans.  A portion of that will be included here as well.

However, since there still seems to remain a fair amount of confusion and misinformation about the Worldcon Bidding process, we’ll first go to the source:

You can find all of the relevant information yourself at the official website for the World Science Fiction Society, which is the organization that serves as an umbrella  for all Worldcon activities.

The right to host a Worldcon is “bid” for by any group that wishes to do so.  There are no prior restrictions, no eligibility requirements.  A group of fans decide they want to host a Worldcon, they put a bid team together, review the rules and announce their intentions.  That’s it.

Bids do not need any sort of “pre-approval” to announce a bid. Bids only become seated Worldcons upon selection by the members of the Worldcon two years before the year indicated.”

What this means is that those who vote for a bid, are solely responsible for determining that bid’s eligibility and suitability.  Which means, in turn, that every voter really needs to do their homework, not just on the capabilities of the bidding team, not just on the desirability of a particular geographic location, but also on the suitability of the hosting location, which should be a location that allows Fans to express their own culture, even as it becomes familiar with new ones.

Bidding itself is a multi-year process.  The vote for a particular year’s bid takes place two years prior to the year that possible Worldcon will be held.  This year, 2024, voting will take place for the 2026 Worldcon location.  Several years of bid promotion usually take place prior to the vote, which offers potential voters plenty of time to look under the hood.

The following is a list of the current bids, both active and on hiatus, preceded by a statement regarding bids from WSFS:

“The appearance of a bid on the ballot for a given year’s election does not imply endorsement by WSFS or by the administering Worldcon. The selection of sites is entirely up to the members of Worldcon who vote on Worldcon site Selection.”

 

2026 Worldcon Bids

2027 Worldcon Bids

2028 Worldcon Bids

2029 Worldcon Bids

2031 Worldcon Bids

2073 Worldcon Bids

 

The links provide access to the bid’s website with additional, event-related information.  Q&A links are formal responses, from the bid team, to questions asked by fans/potential voters, of that bid.  Progress Reports are regular publications produced by the Bid team to inform potential voters and attendees of developments during the process of putting the bid together, as well as being produced by a sitting Worldcon in the months leading up to the event itself.

Bids listed above with strikethru are active bids that are in hiatus or suspended for one reason or another at the present time.

You can learn more about memberships, pre-supporting memberships and bid voting rights on the WSFS website and the Worldcon website.

The bids that will be voted on this year (and note, there is always a possibility for a “write-in” bid when actual voting takes place) are for Los Angeles, California, United States.  At this time, neither Nice, France, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia or Cairo, Egypt, are actively campaigning – but they could still appear on the ballot, so looking into them for this year or future years would not be a wasted effort.

In terms of diversity, inclusion, freedom of expression, women’s rights, LGBTQI rights, electronic privacy and rule of law, California is deemed to be a “blue” state, one which, for example, has passed legislation protecting LGBTQI expression, protecting women’s bodily autonomy –

LGBTQ+ Discrimination Rights (State of California)

Legal Right to Abortion

California is considered one of the most ADA compliant states in the union.

The US DOJ reported on Hate Crimes in California in 2022, showing that there has been an increase of 64% in all hate crimes since 2020 (1,340 to 2,201), with the majority being in Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry, Sexual Orientation, Religion and Gender Identity.  The DOJ summary  for the entire country also shows an increase from 2021 to 2022.

California has passed a “landmark” Bill addressing a digital “Bill of Rights”. insuring open access and more  disclosure.

When it comes to Freedom of Expression – “Since 2021, California’s state legislature has introduced and successfully passed into law several first-of-their-kind policies that have shifted the landscape for free expression in the state – and even for the country at large.”

This is the kind of background information that voters should be looking into and gathering for each Worldcon Bid being considered.

Based on the preceding and with the caveat that things change all of the time, the city of Los Angeles and the state of California looks to be a location that is generally supportive of Fannish concerns.  There are racial issues that are of concern, but there are no laws on the books that lend cover to or enshrine such discrimination.  Someone who might be victimized has legal recourse and, seemingly, a receptive climate.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at another potential bid.

CALENDAR AID FOR THE CALENDAR CHALLENGED

2024 Worldcon – votes on 2026 Worldcon location (which will award Hugos to works from 2025)
2025 Worldcon – votes on 2027 Worldcon location (which will award Hugos to works from 2026)
2026 Worldcon – votes on 2028 Worldcon location (which will award Hugos to works from 2027)
2027 Worldcon – votes on 2029 Worldcon location (which will award Hugos to works from 2028)
2029 Worldcon – votes on 2031 Worldcon location (which will award Hugos to works from 2030)
2071 Worldcon – votes on 2073 Worldcon location (which will award Hugos to works from 2072)

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