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DC Worldcon 2021


Maltaran
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Whether it is August or December, I have been practicing my martini craft.  Not sure if I'm going to hotel or Air BnB or what yet, but planning on driving, so can bring along whatever spirits, mixers, shakers, tools, etc I want.  Want to host a cocktail tasting at some point and let us all hone our craft. 

Not sure about the parking situations, I assume it's ludicrous to pay hotel parking rates in DC, so if any of the more local people have better ideas, then do let me know.

Also, while this is somewhat premature without a date in mind yet, any of the Euros, especially the Dubliners, are hemming and hawing on price but see a reasonable Aer Lingus direct flight to Hartford, we can roll from Connecticut.  Or possibly willing to pick folks up at Newark (preferred, or JFK or Laguardia as other options).  

 

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Oh gosh, only just got caught up on the info that the main con hotel is out of business and closed.  Not sure what the ballroom capacity if any the second hotel has but that certainly adds an obstacle that I am sure the planners do not need to have to deal with in addition to all other Covid issues.  I feel so bad as I know they have been working long and hard to bring a con to the DC area.

I've got to be honest, even if they go ahead and have an in person con I really do not think I will be attending.  I just don't see myself being comfortable about getting on an airplane this year.

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On 3/24/2021 at 10:05 PM, mcbigski said:

Not sure about the parking situations, I assume it's ludicrous to pay hotel parking rates in DC, so if any of the more local people have better ideas, then do let me know.

Hotel parking, either self-park or valet, is indeed ludicrously expensive in the DC area, though the con may negotiate a discounted rate once it has a definite venue.

ETA: The Omni Shoreham's web site states that they only have valet parking. $35 for 0-4 hours; $55 for 4-24 hours. (Tax included.) A bit of web searching shows that there is a lot at 2631 Connecticut Avenue, a few blocks away from the hotel, with a rate of $22/day.

There are lots scattered about the city with lower rates, and one could theoretically drop all the passengers, luggage, and alcohol at the hotel and then relocate the car and take public transit back. But the big advantage of a hotel's garage, in most cases, is that you have the vehicle handy should you want to take an off-site expedition.

One thing I'm checking out is that a few of the DC Metro stations have a limited number of multi-day parking spaces in their lots and garages. These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Greenbelt station has between 15-17 of them, for instance, with a cost of $8.95/day. (All Metro lots are FREE on weekends and Federal holidays, so you would not need to pay at all for part of the con.) Plus, of course, the subway fare to/from the hotel when you want the car.
More info here: DC Metro Parking Lots

Edited by DaveAx
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  • 2 weeks later...

It looks like GRRM won't be attending Discon this year, as it's been struck from his appearances. Probably due to the change in date, since before it was struck it still listed it as being in August.

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On 4/13/2021 at 8:05 PM, Ran said:

It looks like GRRM won't be attending Discon this year, as it's been struck from his appearances. Probably due to the change in date, since before it was struck it still listed it as being in August.

I do hope the change in date is the reason and not due to any Hugo nominations. 

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On 4/13/2021 at 3:05 PM, Ran said:

It looks like GRRM won't be attending Discon this year, as it's been struck from his appearances. Probably due to the change in date, since before it was struck it still listed it as being in August.

While it may be nit-picking, I would note that choosing not to make an appearance, to me, equates to not being a program participant and still allows the option of being an attendee without such commitments.

 

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Just now, DaveAx said:

While it may be nit-picking, I would note that choosing not to make an appearance, to me, equates to not being a program participant and still allows the option of being an attendee without such commitments.

Interesting point. 

I am very dubious of his attending in any capacity, though. Maybe setting up somewhere to meet friends and colleagues outside of the convention spaces? I could see that.

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1 minute ago, Ran said:

I am very dubious of his attending in any capacity, though. Maybe setting up somewhere to meet friends and colleagues outside of the convention spaces?

At this point, it's too early to speculate on what will occur over the next eight months. So I'm simply not ruling out any possibilities and hoping that I'll get to see my old friends in person in December. Worldcon is the gathering of the tribe, even when said tribe is in the process of factionalization. And it's worth noting that Parris' connections to fandom essentially began in the DC/Baltimore area.

So I don't think it's impossible that George and/or Parris will attend as individuals, though there exist many factors other than recent events that could influence the final decision -- pandemic status, work demands, health, etc. Also, if there are motions before the Business Meeting regarding changes to Best Related Work eligibility, one or both of them might well opt to express an opinion in person, even if distance options for participation are available.

Side note: I'm reminded of Harlan Ellison's boycott of the con hotel when he was GoH at Iguanacon in '78. He was responding to the failure of Arizona legislators to approve the ERA, and stayed in a rented RV as a protest. Full details here: http://file770.com/just-an-innocent-question/

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Room reservations opened up at 1 PM EDT today. They are only accessible via a link on the con's website in the member area, and you must already have an ATTENDING membership prior to booking. Room cost is, after taxes, just under $200/night.

The con reports that they have arranged a discounted rate of $35/day for the valet parking at the hotel, but also warns that spaces will be limited.

Edited by DaveAx
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This was announced today on social media and by email to members:


Hello Members of DisCon III, 

Mary Robinette Kowal is the new chair of the 79th World Science Fiction Convention. The decision was made by BWAWA, the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, which is the host organization for this year’s Worldcon.

Mary Robinette Kowal is a former President of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and a four-time Hugo Award winner. She has a long history with conventions beginning with her career in theater and extending through science-fiction and fantasy. Prior to becoming president of SFWA, she ran programming for the Nebula Conference for six years in addition to stepping in to reinvent and manage the programming for 2018's Worldcon 76 in San Jose. Last year, she chaired the 2020 Nebula Conference which made the rapid and highly successful two-month pivot from in person to virtual.

“I’m excited to be working with DisCon III. One of my conditions before saying yes was that I wanted to speak to the Division Heads first. It will be a pleasure to work with such a dedicated, competent set of people,” Kowal said. “I believe that Worldcon begins with the fans in all our complex diversity. It is, at heart, about connecting with our community and celebrating our shared love of science fiction and fantasy.” 

The appointment of a professional author as Convention Chair of a Washington Worldcon has precedent. In 1974, the successful DisCon II was co-chaired by science fiction author and biologist Jack “Jay” Haldeman II.

"We knew we needed someone experienced to guide DisCon III across the finish line," BWAWA president Michael Nelson said. "Mary Robinette Kowal's background as the former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, her experience with crafting the 2018 Worldcon’s program, and involvement with the annual Nebula Conference brings an interesting new perspective, especially related to the challenges of making a hybrid convention experience. As Mary Robinette herself has said, ‘All pros start out as fans.’ She is the perfect embodiment of fandom's unique relationship with the creators of SF&F. After Mary Robinette met with many of the key members of the DisCon III convention committee, it was clear to everyone she would be a great fit for the convention."

Because Kowal is a finalist in two categories, DisCon III intends to keep a full firewall between the chair (and any other Hugo finalists working on the convention) and the voting and administration of the 2021 Hugo Awards. One of her conditions for considering the role was that the longstanding practice of an Independent Hugo subcommittee remain in place to isolate the Chair and other staff from Hugo Awards decisions. This separation will be further reinforced by the appointment of a vice-chair with independent authority to manage any needs of the division. Any questions about the Hugo Awards should be addressed to [email protected].
 
Thank you for continuing to be a member of DisCon III, and we look forward to seeing you in DC in December!


DisCon III is the 79th Worldcon, and the third to be held in Washington, DC. Previous DC-based Worldcons were held in 1963 (DisCon I) and 1974 (DisCon II). DisCon III will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from December 15-19, 2021.

DisCon III is sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc. (BWAWA, Inc.), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Maryland.
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