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Zorral

Jeddah: World Con 2022?

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This is absurd. Never in a million years will Jeddah win site selection. There's no reason to throw the rules out the window to remove it from the site selection ballot when it will not win. And the idea that Anne Smith Spark has somehow "raised the issue" as if no one has thought about it is equally absurd. People have pointed out the problems with it for months.

This feels like a publicity stunt by Smith Spark that, sadly, well-meaning authors and fans are needlessly buying into. If they would like to advocate for some sort of filter for who gets on site selection, show up at the WSFS Business Meeting and make the proposal.

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Posted (edited)

So is the 2022 choice really just between Chicago and Jeddah?

Well, I guess it is, seeing this on Glyer's site:

http://file770.com/writers-circulate-letter-of-concern-about-saudi-worldcon-bid/

OTOH, Saudi has cancelled the Haj this year for anyone but  a 1000 Saudis.  And maybe, forever, as the Haj is responsible even in the best years for spreading contagionous disease, of which a lot of people die,  and even trampling people to death.
 

 

Edited by Zorral

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Yes, these are the only two bids when ConZealand announced the accepted bids.  File 770 posted about it in February. 

The letter makes it clear that Smith Spark and the signatories expect ConZealand to strike the bid from the ballot, which is in violation of the WSFS rules. It's worth reading the comments to this news at File 770 where people point out the deficiencies in the thinking behind this letter, such as the fact that it appears as if only 6 signatories are members of ConZealand -- the most direct way to oppose the Saudi bid is to vote for the Chicago bid, and the most direct way to make sure this does not happen again is to be a member and attend the business meeting to make proposals that provide for a body to filter out bad site selection bids or for WSFS to skip winners who fail some sort of benchmarks -- and the fact that they address only one co-chair and skip the other (a woman, a particular irony given their remarks about Saudi Arabia).

It's just wildly silly.

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I remember a lot of bemusement when they first announced their bid. I wonder if they're just trying to get a bit of attention for their local SF scene without having any expectation of being in with any chance of being selected.

1 hour ago, Zorral said:

So is the 2022 choice really just between Chicago and Jeddah?

At the moment I think 2023 is between Memphis and Chengdu, China (after Nice recently dropped out). I think the Chinese are a bit more serious about it than the Saudis are but it still seems likely it'll be another American Worldcon.

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Yeah, Chengdu has made more of a serious campaign but many of the objections to SA can be made about China. I don't think it'll happen.

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

I'd seen references to this some days back and, well, I couldn't quite believe that that the 2022 WC's location was down to Chicago and Jedda. Evidently it is a true story!

It's not "down to" in the sense that they're the finalists after others have been excluded in earlier rounds - there never were any others. It's not uncommon for there to be only one serious bid for a given year.

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Yeah, the Chicago bid was the only one since at least 2017, until Jeddah announced and submitted this year. I think there's long been a sense of inevitability about Chicago getting the Worldcon, which I guess the (enthusiastic but very inexperienced) Jeddah people somehow read as an opening.

As noted at FIle 770, there's 15 members registered from Saudi Arabia. There's not going to be a flood of votes for the site. It'll be wildly trounced. I don't really understand who or what purpose this open letter is meant to serve giving that site selection voting closes in like .... 3 hours or something.

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So the writer and signatories to this letter have their jockeys all in a wad over what is in reality a nothing?

That's hilarious.  

I guess? :cheers:

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

Yeah, Chengdu has made more of a serious campaign but many of the objections to SA can be made about China. I don't think it'll happen.

I suppose there's a possibility that lots of Chinese voters could join DC next year so they can vote in site selection, but I'm not sure whether there's that level of commitment.

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With how America is going neither of those options feels super safe for me to want to travel to at the moment, but I'd still be voting for Chicago if we'd remembered to buy our membership to ConZealand before covid said no. It's a bit of a cursed run with this taking out the non US one then back to back to bunch of US as the best case.

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Well naturally I hope for Chicago.

Btw there is another thread in the BWB Forum above about this same Worldcon.

 

8 hours ago, williamjm said:

At the moment I think 2023 is between Memphis and Chengdu, China (after Nice recently dropped out). I think the Chinese are a bit more serious about it than the Saudis are but it still seems likely it'll be another American Worldcon.

Yikes, Memphis is not the easiest city to get to for even people in the US. There are really limited flight options between Chicago and Memphis, for example.  The one time I went there I ended up flying to Nashville and then driving to Memphis which was not convenient.

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Think more about this, Smith Sparks' swipe at Kevin Standlee, suggesting he was taking a "pop" at the anti-Puppies who worked hard to make EPH (which killed slating and drove the Puppies out), is so absurd.

I know people have their issues with Standlee's devotion to the WSFS business meeting rules of order, but he's basically an institutionalist who has worked very hard to make as smooth and equitable as possible the function of the business meeting. More saliently, though, he spent many, many hours patiently explaining how things worked to those who opposed the Puppies, and advised on their proposals to make them as bullet-proof as possible in getting through the business meeting. He basically was one of the "anti-Puppy" forces!

(Also, as others at File 770 say, I can't even see what in his reply can be even construed as a swipe at the anti-Puppies...)

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It is a bit odd seeing where people are drawing lines. Seanan McGuire noted she would have not been able to go to Nice because she opposes anti-Roma prejudice which is allegedly strong in France, but then you have to start looking at both cultural and governmental prejudice or activities which would make holding WorldCons in the USA, UK or Ireland (where abortion was still illegal when the Irish bid was first announced, and gay marriage had only just gone through) problematic. Any law or wording you could use to stop WorldCons being held in Saudi Arabia or China could also be used to apply to other countries, including ones where WorldCons have been held before with no issue.

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23 minutes ago, Werthead said:

It is a bit odd seeing where people are drawing lines. Seanan McGuire noted she would have not been able to go to Nice because she opposes anti-Roma prejudice which is allegedly strong in France, but then you have to start looking at both cultural and governmental prejudice or activities which would make holding WorldCons in the USA, UK or Ireland (where abortion was still illegal when the Irish bid was first announced, and gay marriage had only just gone through) problematic. Any law or wording you could use to stop WorldCons being held in Saudi Arabia or China could also be used to apply to other countries, including ones where WorldCons have been held before with no issue.

China is in the middle of commiting an actual genocide right now, I think.

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25 minutes ago, bms295 said:

China is in the middle of commiting an actual genocide right now, I think.

More worryingly, China is fully capable of simply buying 500 memberships to the relevant WorldCon and getting people to vote for Chengdu. They've also not been shy in getting influential SFF fans behind the bid by paying for them to attend conventions in China and convince them it's important to get China involved as a source of future SFF fandom.

I'm still bemused why the Chinese government is paying any attention to WorldCon at all, but they are. As criticisms grow, they may even feel more inclined to get more international events held in their country to give it a veneer of respectability.

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54 minutes ago, Werthead said:

It is a bit odd seeing where people are drawing lines. Seanan McGuire noted she would have not been able to go to Nice because she opposes anti-Roma prejudice which is allegedly strong in France, but then you have to start looking at both cultural and governmental prejudice or activities which would make holding WorldCons in the USA, UK or Ireland (where abortion was still illegal when the Irish bid was first announced, and gay marriage had only just gone through) problematic. Any law or wording you could use to stop WorldCons being held in Saudi Arabia or China could also be used to apply to other countries, including ones where WorldCons have been held before with no issue.

I don't object to Saudi Arabia being on the ballot, but I'd certainly be drawing conclusions about how valued the attendance of people like me is if they won. I think I'd also draw a distinction between "don't want to give the country legitimacy through my attendance/support political actions I condemn" as is the case in that Seanan McGuire example and "literally existing in this country as myself warrants legal punishment up to and including the death penalty" which applies in the objection to Saudi Arabia.

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39 minutes ago, Werthead said:

It is a bit odd seeing where people are drawing lines. Seanan McGuire noted she would have not been able to go to Nice because she opposes anti-Roma prejudice which is allegedly strong in France

And specifically the French Riviera that she has issue with, apparently. I think antiziganism is fairly widespread through most of France, so it seems a bit odd.

39 minutes ago, Werthead said:

, but then you have to start looking at both cultural and governmental prejudice or activities which would make holding WorldCons in the USA, UK or Ireland (where abortion was still illegal when the Irish bid was first announced, and gay marriage had only just gone through) problematic.

Indeed. I feel like seeking moral purity in any country is going to be pretty tough...

39 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Any law or wording you could use to stop WorldCons being held in Saudi Arabia or China could also be used to apply to other countries, including ones where WorldCons have been held before with no issue.

Also true.

It's a tough one to come up with a straightforward rule for how to limit which countries can host bids. Which may be why just leaving it to the WSFS to decide who hosts is best, as it currently does.

 

 

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