All I’m Going to Say About the Call to Unseat the Chengdu Worldcon

Statement regarding the Open Letter to Unseat the Chengdu Worldcon Committee

  1.  I protested this bid from the beginning because I did not and still do not believe that Science Fiction Fandom should be seen as endorsing the genocide of the Uighurs being conducted by the Chinese government.  The Chinese Government uses its market power to enforce censorship on Hollywood, the NBA and the International Olympics;  their use of sport to polish their image and distract from atrocities is referred to as “sports-washing”.  The Chinese Government has extended that strategy to include literary festivals, particularly Science Fiction, as the government has identified Science Fiction as a literature that can be used to engender and support social change.  The Chinese Worldcon is a cynical ploy by the Chinese Government to “Fan Wash” the genocide and other atrocities they are committing.
  2. I am well aware of the fact that the WSFS constitution and by-laws offer few, if any, “legal” means for unseating a sitting Con committee.  This does not change the fact that hosting and attending a Worldcon in China at this juncture – especially now that they have selected an anti-western GoH (not to mention the lousy position taken by Cixin Liu regarding the Uighurs) and many Chinese authors have endorsed Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.
    I do not believe that there is a moral equivalency between Western Democracies and an Asian Dictatorship.  There is much to find fault with Western Democracies, but their citizens are still free to voice their opinions and engage in political actions that are designed to mitigate and/or eliminate those faults.  No such freedoms or rights exist in China.
  3. I do not believe that the Chinese Fans involved in putting on the Chengdu Worldcon are Free Actors;  at the very least they must curtail their opinions and feelings in ways that prevent attention being drawn to their actions by representatives of the Chinese Government.  Regardless, ANY vote conducted under a Dictatorial Regime is suspect on the face of it.
  4. I do not believe that the final ballots submitted by Chinese voters are legitimate votes;  I believe they were arranged and/or encouraged by Chinese Government actors;  I do not agree that the decision to allow those ballots to be counted was the correct decision.  I strongly suspect that there was plenty of evidence supporting these suspicions and that the formal destruction of the ballots was used to prevent any further investigation.   At the very least the entire incident of those last minute ballots was handled in a manner that will remain forever suspect.
  5. Science Fiction Fandom has now found itself drawn into two major conflicts that involve the intrusion of the mundane world into the relatively closed  community of Fandom.  As SF grew, this was inevitable, but just as Fandom failed to properly recruit and educate a new generation of Fans, so too has it failed to take steps to protect itself, its institutions and mores in the face of greater (and involuntary) involvement with the mundane world.  Clearly, these kinds of things – puppy kerfuffles and questionable convention location selection will continue to plague the community until it is either overwhelmed and disappears or takes direct action to control the dialogue.
  6. I believe that the Chengdu convention Committee should be unseated and I further believe that anyone who can exercise their own free will should boycott the event.

 

Related articles

Amazing News

FANTASTIC FICTION at KGB reading series, hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present: Brian Keene is the author of over thirty novels, most recently Entombed and An Occurrence In Crazy Bear Valley. He also writes comic books for DC and Marvel, and continues work on his ongoing comic book series The Last Zombie. Several of […]

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.