Jump to content

China WorldCon 2023


Werthead
 Share

Recommended Posts

After a great deal of politicking and sabotage attempts (including one by the opposing bid), it's now been confirmed that the 81st WorldCon will be the first take place in China. The city of Chengdu will host the event, barring further shenanigans.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably the start of a whole new era for WSFS. The organizers are planning for an attendance of 100,000 50,000 (though many of those would be day passes, not emmbers), I read somewhere, which would be something like 13-15 times the largest Worldcon attendance ever. More importantly, it 's entirely possible there will be another Chinese bid timed for 2027, which will almost certainly win if even a fraction of the hoped-for attendees cast ballots in site selection. We could easily be seeing Worldcon rotating between North America, China, and then "other" (Europe, Oceania, other Asian countries like Japan) for the forseeable future.

I suspect the 2025 Hugo Awards are going to look very, very interesting as well.... and maybe the 2024 and 2025 Business Meetings too.

ETA: Ah, and I see people are already grumbling because Sergei Lukyaneno is one of the GoH's, who happens to be an outspoken Russian nationalist who has been stridently for various military interventions in Crimea, Georgia, etc. 

Edited by Ran
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ran said:

Probably the start of a whole new era for WSFS. The organizers are planning for an attendance of 100,000, I read somewhere, which would be something like 13-15 times the largest Worldcon attendance ever. More importantly, it 's entirely possible there will be another Chinese bid timed for 2027, which will almost certainly win if even a fraction of the hoped-for attendees cast ballots in site selection. We could easily be seeing Worldcon rotating between North America, China, and then "other" (Europe, Oceania, other Asian countries like Japan) for the forseeable future.

I suspect the 2025 Hugo Awards are going to look very, very interesting as well.... and maybe the 2024 and 2025 Business Meetings too.

ETA: Ah, and I see people are already grumbling because Sergei Lukyaneno is one of the GoH's, who happens to be an outspoken Russian nationalist who has been stridently for various military interventions in Crimea, Georgia, etc. 

Can we boykott all Americans who supported the pointless war on terror at any point and anyone who cheered when Osama bin Laden was executed extrajudicially and his corpse dumped into the ocean? I'm not kidding I would approve of not making Lukyanenob GoH but it should be done systematically.

Edited by Luzifer's right hand
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

Can we boykott all Americans who supported the pointless war on terror at any point and anyone who cheered when Osama bin Laden was executed extrajudicially and his corpse dumped into the ocean? I'm not kidding I would approve of not making Lukyanenob GoH but it should be done systematically.

To be fair, American editor/publisher Toni Weiskopff got dropped as GoH (a first in Worldcon history) due to a belief she was unresponsive to issues with the Baen's Bar forum including a lot of far right/alt right types. IIRC, her argument was it was  a free speech issue and in any case she didn't and couldn't be expected to actively manage the forum, but people weren't sympathetic.

But I think people can boycott whoever they please, really. I fully expect that Worldcon is going to become overtly more political and we're going to see more of these arguments about who should or should not be a GoH, a program participant, etc.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the arguments against going to China (or Saudi or anywhere else) have merit. Many people angrily saying they refuse to go to China because they have been outspoken critics of the regime and fear arrest, or know the government would discriminate against them if they were Chinese because of their sexuality etc.

The problem I have with that is that it was known that China's application was going to happen at least as early as 2018, which means they could have had at least three full years and three WorldCons worth of debate about rules changing, introducing eligibility for countries wanting to bid etc. But people did jack shit, and as recently as a few months ago there was laughter over the idea China was in with even a shot of winning the bid and it'd be Saudi all over again.

Of course, the various criteria people have floated have the drawback that you could arguably apply them to disallow hosting another convention in the United States, depending on how stringent you want to be. You could draw the line that the country has to have an election system of some kind, but then that would rule out China but would permit Iran or Russia to make a bid. And so on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

China has an election system, even if the party has the thumbs on the scale.

Any rules change to exclude China would almost certainly have dinged the US as well, and while I'll praise those who are consistent in their opposition to having Worldcon in both countries, it's obviously a non-starter.

I don't know, when I was at Dublin and Belfast, the people I spoke to took it pretty seriously. I myself wasn't sure it'd go forward just because I didn't think that the organizers had drummed up much support back home, and seemed focused on trying to convince Western fandom. Ultimately, that largely failed and instead they turned to drumming up support from home, where there's an extremely vibrant SF fandom that also happens to be very patriotic and are willing to dent their meager allowances and salaries to be able to make this happen.  Little did I know how quickly that would coalesce once hurdles were jumped and the final deciding vote came to the fore. 

But regardless of who hosts Worldcon, people can of course vote with their feet and simply not attend, and I'm sure relatively few will from the US and so on. I don't think there's anything wrong with the fact that the people who say they won't go didn't try to organize for Winnipeg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And part of the problem is that as much as you might dislike a country's government, it's not fair to punish their fans. I perhaps naively believe that our passion for spec fic at least theoretically makes us part of the same Worldcon community. Plus, the US has a LOT to answer for and yet US fans get to control Worldcon as much as they like. Anyways, thanks to virtual components going forward, we can attend virtually and still participate. 

And Ran, I thought the Chair said he expected 10,000 attendees during the Business Meeting, but perhaps I misheard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

If I am in Asia (as I am now) then I will happily attend this. They have worked hard to win this bid and I congratulate them. The Chinese people and fans are not representative of their government any more than we would have said that all US fans were theirs, and one of the best ways to exchange values is to witness cultures and countries first-hand.

Edited by Toft
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/20/2021 at 5:54 PM, Ran said:

Reading further, I think they seem to expect 10,000 members and 40,000 people with day passes or equivalent. That sounds more reasonable (but still extraordinary!)

Even half that number of members, if the majority are local, would be more than sufficient to ensure that a bid for an Asian location in 2025 would be an instant winner. 

As Eefa pointed out to me in conversation at this year's Worldcon, China is the world's largest sf market, and the rest of Asia is not far behind. Having Worldcons there on a more regular basis seems quite likely, now that fans over there have grasped the bidding mechanism.

A friend who recently left China after 2+ years of working on game development there noted that:

When groups of people in China decide they want to do something, they go in hard and at scale. I got lots of up close views of that, which was absolutely fascinating and occasionally terrifying. Like watching the entirety of China get into larping over the course of less than a year, and taking it from new concept to two billion dollar industry at terrifying speed.
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be very innocent here but I suspect China wouldn't bid for the 2025 Worldcon.  Winning 2023 has shown that they can easily win a bid in the US, so why would they feel they have to take advantage of hosting?

Up to now, they have followed the procedures like everyone else.  If they wanted to bid for 2025, they would need to get a bid organised very soon.  I know Winnipeg bid very late for 2023 but Winnipeg did lose.  And COVID made bidding for a convention very unusual in 2021.  I don't think the same will apply going forward.

To me, they will host 2023 and see how it works out.  If they deem it a success, look to bid again later on in the decade.  I think we overestimate Worldcon's appeal if we think " major shenanigans" will be afoot.

PS: Of course, right now, only Seattle is bidding for 2025 (AFAICT).  If they pulled out for some reason, that changes the story.

Edited by Padraig
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/13/2022 at 3:50 PM, Padraig said:

I may be very innocent here but I suspect China wouldn't bid for the 2025 Worldcon. 

I think you're right, which is why my post referenced "...a bid for an Asian location in 2025...," not specifically one for China.

But I do think there will be more Worldcons in Asia, overall. My bet at this point is that the next Asian bid -- India, Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan are all possibilities -- will be for 2027, when the only current bidder is Tel Aviv. That would give us a competition between two countries that are neither European nor North American. And it would offer an alternative to those whose politics make an Israel-based Worldcon unacceptable. (While I strongly suspect that LA will win over Jeddah for 2026, it would certainly be an interesting turn of events to have two back-to-back Worldcons in the Middle East.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...