Well that crept up on me. It is all too easy to miss the excitement when you don’t have to travel to the convention. But Worldcon does start tomorrow, and I have panels. The schedule that I was given is as follows:
- Wednesday 15th 16:00, Kress Room: Fanzines and Meta Fandom
- Thursday 16th 10:00, Kress Room: Planning and Running a Virtual Fan Event
- Saturday 18th 10:00, Calvert Room: What Do We Look for in a Fanzine?
Those time are for Washington DC. For UK times add 5 hours.
The first two of those are definite. The Saturday one may not happen for me because it has not been scheduled as a virtual event. I don’t know how that managed to fall through the cracks, but watch this space.
Of course I will also be online on Saturday night because I have a Hugo to lose. I shall be sad for my CoNZealand Fringe pals, but Related Work is a very tough field this year.
By the way, I see that Twitter is busy discussing accessibility issues again this year. This is not good, obviously, but it is hard to see what can be done.
Worldcon facility contracts are a big deal and are generally signed soon after a Worldcon wins site selection. If the facility isn’t accessible at the point, there’s very little you can do.
So we should only be picking sites that are accessible. And people do ask questions about this at bidder presentation sessions, but there are lots of other things that people care about in terms of site selection. In any case, the bidders have probably taken the facility’s world about it being accessible, and haven’t sent a team of experts to inspect it.
OK, so maybe all bidders should be more responsible and ensure that their facilities are accessible before they start. But finding a local facility that is the right size and affordable is really hard, and fan groups are unlikely to decide not to bid if their accessibility isn’t up to scratch.
Besides which, they don’t have to care, in that they are only in this for one year, and if they screw up it doesn’t matter because it will be Worldcon that gets the bad rap, not the people who failed to run it well enough.
The bottom line is that accessibility is never going to be done right except by good fortune, or because we have a group of people who are responsible for running Worldcon year after year and see such issues as important.