• Thoughts on the Chengdu Worldcon (extracted from the MT VOID, 01/27/23)

    From evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jan 29 06:41:54 2023
    Some of my thoughts on the Chengdu Worldcon, particularly as affecting memberships and attendance:

    1) Chengdu has finally enabled people outside of China to buy
    memberships, but given that happened only ten days before the
    deadline to be able to nominate for the Hugos, this will
    undoubtedly have some effect on the awards, and may affect
    memberships in general.

    2) Airfare to Chengdu from outside Asia was always expensive, but
    has gotten even more so.

    3) Chengdu changed their dates in mid-January. People *probably*
    had not bought plane tickets yet, but those who had are probably
    now stuck with their non-refundable tickets. They may be able to
    change them for a fee, but for those who had vacation time in
    August, but not in October, this won't help.

    4) Chengdu also changed the venue to one that isn't finished yet
    (which presumably is why they changed the dates). This does not
    fill people with confidence about the convention.

    5) They also claim one room in the new venue is named the "Hugo
    Awards Hall", ignoring that "Hugo Awards" is trademarked.

    6) All the above makes me think that the availability of a Hugo
    packet this year is somewhat iffy. Do they have the staff who know
    how to pull one together, and has time to pull one together, and
    can actually get buy-in from the nominees?

    Add to all those problems the previously existing ones:

    7) Many people are boycotting Chengdu because of the Chinese
    government's record on human rights.

    8) This is exacerbated by the Chengdu Worldcon choosing Guests of
    Honor who have supported the Russian invasion of and war crimes in
    Ukraine, or the Chinese imprisonment of the Uyghurs.

    9) Reports of tourists being arrested for posting negative comments
    about the Chinese government on social media while in China have
    made even more people decide to skip this one.

    10) COVID-19.

    I have not seen a breakdown by country of people eligible to
    nominate and/or vote for the Hugo Awards. I would hope that all
    the Chicon 8 members would nominate in order to make sure that the
    ballot is not determined by a relatively small number of Chengdu
    members. As for Site Selection, I suspect China will not bid for
    2025.

    --
    Evelyn C. Leeper

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  • From John Dallman@21:1/5 to evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com on Sun Jan 29 15:53:00 2023
    In article <1dd76b4f-789c-42aa-ba2e-2273c2b06872n@googlegroups.com>, evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com () wrote:

    As for Site Selection, I suspect China will not bid for 2025.

    I hope not, but that decision may well not be in the hands of Chinese
    fans. Given the conduct of the convention so far, I suspect there will be
    a substantial anti-Chinese vote for any future bids.

    --
    John Dallman
    "This isn't a supernova problem. It's a pointy-haired boss problem."

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Gary McGath@21:1/5 to eleeper@optonline.net on Sun Jan 29 20:08:02 2023
    On 1/29/23 9:41 AM, eleeper@optonline.net wrote:
    Some of my thoughts on the Chengdu Worldcon, particularly as affecting memberships and attendance:



    Good points, to which I'd add that getting a visa for visiting China is
    much harder than traveling to most of the Americas and Europe.

    --
    Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Mike Van Pelt@21:1/5 to John Dallman on Mon Jan 30 21:20:25 2023
    In article <memo.20230129155316.24676F@jgd.cix.co.uk>,
    John Dallman <jgd@cix.co.uk> wrote:
    In article <1dd76b4f-789c-42aa-ba2e-2273c2b06872n@googlegroups.com>, >evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com () wrote:

    As for Site Selection, I suspect China will not bid for 2025.

    I hope not, but that decision may well not be in the hands of Chinese
    fans. Given the conduct of the convention so far, I suspect there will be
    a substantial anti-Chinese vote for any future bids.

    Site selection (and other) voting is by membership of the convention,
    right? If the CCP wants to own WorldCon, at this point, they probably can.

    --
    Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
    mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
    KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston

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  • From Scott Dorsey@21:1/5 to garym@mcgath.com on Mon Jan 30 22:34:24 2023
    Gary McGath <garym@mcgath.com> wrote:
    On 1/29/23 9:41 AM, eleeper@optonline.net wrote:
    Some of my thoughts on the Chengdu Worldcon, particularly as affecting memberships and attendance:

    Good points, to which I'd add that getting a visa for visiting China is
    much harder than traveling to most of the Americas and Europe.

    It depends. If you apply for a tourist visa and you're not famous and you don't have any friends with pull, they will take your passport for a couple weeks and make sure you haven't said too many bad things about China online
    and that you're probably an okay person. They'll also categorize you to
    decide how much you need to be watched in the country, and this takes some time.

    BUT... if you have friends with pull, it goes very very quickly. The editor
    of an audio magazine I write for wanted to visit a microphone factory. The factory also supplies the PLA so the factory manager made a call and my editor got a visa in a day.

    Scientific conferences usually arrange visas pretty quickly because they are usually run by people with pull.

    What you are seeing right now is that the Worldcon is being run by young
    people who don't have pull. Because of that they are having trouble getting relatively easy things done. You have to work with the right people if you want to get things done. And that includes bringing in members from out of
    the country.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Gary McGath@21:1/5 to Scott Dorsey on Mon Jan 30 17:41:53 2023
    On 1/30/23 5:34 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:
    Gary McGath <garym@mcgath.com> wrote:
    On 1/29/23 9:41 AM, eleeper@optonline.net wrote:
    Some of my thoughts on the Chengdu Worldcon, particularly as affecting memberships and attendance:

    Good points, to which I'd add that getting a visa for visiting China is
    much harder than traveling to most of the Americas and Europe.

    It depends. If you apply for a tourist visa and you're not famous and you don't have any friends with pull, they will take your passport for a couple weeks and make sure you haven't said too many bad things about China online and that you're probably an okay person. They'll also categorize you to decide how much you need to be watched in the country, and this takes some time.


    If I were foolish enough to attempt it, they'd probably say, "Sure, give
    this guy a visa. And make sure there's a 'welcoming committee' for him
    at the airport."

    --
    Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Gary McGath@21:1/5 to Mike Van Pelt on Mon Jan 30 17:47:56 2023
    On 1/30/23 4:20 PM, Mike Van Pelt wrote:
    In article <memo.20230129155316.24676F@jgd.cix.co.uk>,
    John Dallman <jgd@cix.co.uk> wrote:
    In article <1dd76b4f-789c-42aa-ba2e-2273c2b06872n@googlegroups.com>,
    evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com () wrote:

    As for Site Selection, I suspect China will not bid for 2025.

    I hope not, but that decision may well not be in the hands of Chinese
    fans. Given the conduct of the convention so far, I suspect there will be
    a substantial anti-Chinese vote for any future bids.

    Site selection (and other) voting is by membership of the convention,
    right? If the CCP wants to own WorldCon, at this point, they probably can.


    First there has to be a bid. The Worldcon site doesn't currently show
    any bids for future China conventions.

    https://www.worldcon.org/worldcon-bids/

    --
    Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Alan Woodford@21:1/5 to Gary McGath on Tue Jan 31 09:38:33 2023
    On Mon, 30 Jan 2023 17:47:56 -0500, Gary McGath <garym@mcgath.com> wrote:

    On 1/30/23 4:20 PM, Mike Van Pelt wrote:
    In article <memo.20230129155316.24676F@jgd.cix.co.uk>,
    John Dallman <jgd@cix.co.uk> wrote:
    In article <1dd76b4f-789c-42aa-ba2e-2273c2b06872n@googlegroups.com>,
    evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com () wrote:

    As for Site Selection, I suspect China will not bid for 2025.

    I hope not, but that decision may well not be in the hands of Chinese
    fans. Given the conduct of the convention so far, I suspect there will be >>> a substantial anti-Chinese vote for any future bids.

    Site selection (and other) voting is by membership of the convention,
    right? If the CCP wants to own WorldCon, at this point, they probably can. >>

    First there has to be a bid. The Worldcon site doesn't currently show
    any bids for future China conventions.

    https://www.worldcon.org/worldcon-bids/

    Don't forget, there is already another seated Worldcon after Chengdu...

    Although that is in an evil non-US country with a government to the left of
    Joe B!

    Alan Woodford

    The Greying Lensman

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  • From WolfFan@21:1/5 to Alan Woodford on Wed Feb 1 08:41:26 2023
    On Jan 31, 2023, Alan Woodford wrote
    (in article<c5ohthhh99inudgv99vqe09j84lse9jor8@4ax.com>):

    On Mon, 30 Jan 2023 17:47:56 -0500, Gary McGath<garym@mcgath.com> wrote:

    On 1/30/23 4:20 PM, Mike Van Pelt wrote:
    In article<memo.20230129155316.24676F@jgd.cix.co.uk>,
    John Dallman <jgd@cix.co.uk> wrote:
    In article<1dd76b4f-789c-42aa-ba2e-2273c2b06872n@googlegroups.com>, evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com () wrote:

    As for Site Selection, I suspect China will not bid for 2025.

    I hope not, but that decision may well not be in the hands of Chinese fans. Given the conduct of the convention so far, I suspect there will be
    a substantial anti-Chinese vote for any future bids.

    Site selection (and other) voting is by membership of the convention, right? If the CCP wants to own WorldCon, at this point, they probably can.

    First there has to be a bid. The Worldcon site doesn't currently show
    any bids for future China conventions.

    https://www.worldcon.org/worldcon-bids/

    Don't forget, there is already another seated Worldcon after Chengdu...

    Although that is in an evil non-US country with a government to the left of Joe B!

    That doesn’t cut down the list very much. Joe B ain’t particularly far left. Indeed, he strikes me as being close to the late Baroness Margaret
    Hilda.


    Alan Woodford

    The Greying Lensman

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Alan Woodford@21:1/5 to WolfFan on Wed Feb 1 15:16:16 2023
    On Wed, 01 Feb 2023 08:41:26 -0500, WolfFan <akwolffan@zoho.com> wrote:

    On Jan 31, 2023, Alan Woodford wrote
    (in article<c5ohthhh99inudgv99vqe09j84lse9jor8@4ax.com>):

    On Mon, 30 Jan 2023 17:47:56 -0500, Gary McGath<garym@mcgath.com> wrote:

    On 1/30/23 4:20 PM, Mike Van Pelt wrote:
    In article<memo.20230129155316.24676F@jgd.cix.co.uk>,
    John Dallman <jgd@cix.co.uk> wrote:
    In article<1dd76b4f-789c-42aa-ba2e-2273c2b06872n@googlegroups.com>,
    evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com () wrote:

    As for Site Selection, I suspect China will not bid for 2025.

    I hope not, but that decision may well not be in the hands of Chinese >> > > > fans. Given the conduct of the convention so far, I suspect there will be
    a substantial anti-Chinese vote for any future bids.

    Site selection (and other) voting is by membership of the convention,
    right? If the CCP wants to own WorldCon, at this point, they probably can.

    First there has to be a bid. The Worldcon site doesn't currently show
    any bids for future China conventions.

    https://www.worldcon.org/worldcon-bids/

    Don't forget, there is already another seated Worldcon after Chengdu...

    Although that is in an evil non-US country with a government to the left of >> Joe B!

    That doesnt cut down the list very much. Joe B aint particularly far
    left. Indeed, he strikes me as being close to the late Baroness Margaret >Hilda.


    You know that, I know that, but some of the folks here would apparently have
    us believe he is not far to the right of Kim Jong-un! :-)

    Alan Woodford

    The Greying Lensman

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  • From Tim Merrigan@21:1/5 to All on Wed Feb 1 09:58:25 2023
    On Wed, 01 Feb 2023 08:41:26 -0500, WolfFan <akwolffan@zoho.com>
    wrote:

    Although that is in an evil non-US country with a government to the left of >> Joe B!

    That doesnt cut down the list very much. Joe B aint particularly far
    left. Indeed, he strikes me as being close to the late Baroness Margaret >Hilda.

    He's left for an American politician who has any chance of being
    elected president.
    --

    Qualified immunity = virtual impunity.

    Tim Merrigan

    --
    This email has been checked for viruses by AVG antivirus software.
    www.avg.com

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  • From Melita Kennedy@21:1/5 to evelynchim...@gmail.com on Tue Feb 7 11:08:47 2023
    On Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 9:41:55 AM UTC-5, evelynchim...@gmail.com wrote:
    Some of my thoughts on the Chengdu Worldcon, particularly as affecting memberships and attendance:

    (clipped)

    5) They also claim one room in the new venue is named the "Hugo
    Awards Hall", ignoring that "Hugo Awards" is trademarked.

    --
    Evelyn C. Leeper

    Trademarks are country-based so it's tactless but not a trademark violation.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Scott Dorsey@21:1/5 to alan@thewoodfords.uk on Fri Feb 10 16:00:45 2023
    Alan Woodford <alan@thewoodfords.uk> wrote:

    Don't forget, there is already another seated Worldcon after Chengdu...

    Although that is in an evil non-US country with a government to the left of >Joe B!

    Dr. Johnson describes them as being in a state of 'lapsed nationhood' and possessed of no real government of their own.
    --scott


    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Scott Dorsey@21:1/5 to All on Sat Mar 18 02:06:44 2023
    For amusement, here is the site of the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum.
    You can see in this photo that clearing has begun but nothing else has
    happened yet... presumably this photo is from many months back. Ignore
    the misaligned maps.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Jinlong+Lake/@30.6807329,104.3673104,638m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m7!3m6!1s0x36ee2dd1accc8d13:0xd6c61f05c44b8660!8m2!3d30.6771244!4d104.3708262!10e4!16s%2Fg%2F11pqwl5p0c

    Keep an eye on this and see!

    I have been talking to some Chinese fans recently who are feeling as if they are losing control of the convention, with the publicity being contracted out to a large corporation that isn't fan-run and of course the real estate and construction interests involved with building this new museum. The municipal government is very much supporting the convention but there is such a thing as too much support too.
    --scott


    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Gary McGath@21:1/5 to Scott Dorsey on Sat Mar 18 08:05:02 2023
    On 3/17/23 10:06 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:

    I have been talking to some Chinese fans recently who are feeling as if they are losing control of the convention, with the publicity being contracted out to a large corporation that isn't fan-run and of course the real estate and construction interests involved with building this new museum. The municipal government is very much supporting the convention but there is such a thing as
    too much support too.

    It's already clear that the Chengdu convention is a failed Worldcon.
    Veterans of Nolacon 2 will be able to point at it and say, "Hey, our con
    wasn't _this_ bad!"

    --
    Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Scott Dorsey@21:1/5 to garym@mcgath.com on Sat Mar 18 14:26:38 2023
    Gary McGath <garym@mcgath.com> wrote:
    On 3/17/23 10:06 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:

    I have been talking to some Chinese fans recently who are feeling as if they >> are losing control of the convention, with the publicity being contracted out
    to a large corporation that isn't fan-run and of course the real estate and >> construction interests involved with building this new museum. The municipal
    government is very much supporting the convention but there is such a thing as
    too much support too.

    It's already clear that the Chengdu convention is a failed Worldcon.
    Veterans of Nolacon 2 will be able to point at it and say, "Hey, our con >wasn't _this_ bad!"

    I wouldn't call it failed yet. It's going to be weird, and it's not going
    to be like US worldcons, but my bet is that it will happen, that a lot of people will attend (mostly locals) and that they will have a good time.
    They'll see a few common Worldcon things and they'll miss out on others,
    but I'm suspecting it won't be all THAT different than the Helsinki worldcon where they tried hard to do as much as possible local-style.... and Helsinki worked out weirdly but okay.

    I also suspect it will cost a huge amount more money than expected and
    alienate many local fans, but then again so did Nolacon 2...
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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