For the record, yesterday I registered my Supporting Membership with Worldcon75 – the FIRST EVER WORLDCON HELD IN FINLAND!
I also wish to go on record as stating that I do so specifically to support the convention; being eligible to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards is a nice bonus, but not necessary for my continued participation..
It is extremely unlikely (as close to 0 probability as you can get without going over) that I will be able to attend (and this is much regretted)
I also wish to go on record to state that I willingly ponied up the extra dollars to receive paper publications from the convention. I’m a paper guy and don’t begrudge the committee an extra few dollars that will probably cover most, though not all, of the postage to mail stuff to me.
I make these points specifically because there are far too many people these days who are under the mistaken impression that there’s no difference between a Worldcon and a gate show, that people only sign up to receive the Hugo Voter’s packet (never a guaranteed thing and certainly not assured at this early date) and can’t understand why the most important convention of the year doesn’t pay celebrities enormous appearance fees to make the event attractive to “more fans” and isn’t attended by hundreds of thousands.
I do this every year because I believe in and support the institution of traditional Fandom. Because I have taken the time to learn about the history of fandom, the culture of fandom, the ideals of fandom, its goals and its community and, over the course of the past 42 years of active (and inactive) involvement, I’ve yet to see, read or hear anything that would disabuse me of the notion that it is an inherently good, fun, rewarding and important thing.
Trufandom is about people. People who are enthusiastic in their sense of wonder, their optimism about the future, their desire to value based on merit, their willingness to volunteer their time and energies in the service of others and their desire to work towards making a reality of the wonderful things that science fiction promises us.
On a related note, John Scalzi has some very insightful things to say about the convention’s intention to award (committee award) a Hugo for Best Series.
Personally, I think this expansion of the award unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental: it’s my impression that we had more new ideas per year when publishing (marketing) wasn’t so hellbent on creating and then filling pipelines (on the other hand, I am pleased to see the very next Chtorr novel coming at me real soon now) – and with all due deference and understanding to authors who are making a living by sticking to a setting and characters they know their readers want (which is generally a good thing). Comfortable and familiar are NOT words that should be part of the lexicon in the science fiction field, or at the very least, not relied upon too heavily.
But that’s my personal take, expressed with the full knowledge that it isn’t a majority view (as expressed by WSFS members), and with the understanding that I’ll accept, enthusiastically, the ratification decision next year. I will not be running out to start a Sad Pangolins movement if I don’t get my way, because that’s not the way Fans do things.