Around 5:30 the psychic link that I share with Kevin woke me up and I reached for my iPad to see what he was tweeting. (You may think I’m mad, but it happens a lot.) What he had for me was the results of the 2015 Worldcon Site Selection. Spokane overcame Helsinki by 645 votes to 610 on the third round of balloting.
Helsinki had a lead after the first ballot, and kept it once the joke votes had been re-distributed. However, when Orlando was eliminated and their votes were redistributed Spokane came out a narrow winner.
I should note that these results are unofficial, pending ratification at today’s WSFS Business Meeting. However, Kevin was at the count, so unless there’s some major complaint that no one has heard about yet I’m pretty confident those numbers are final.
Helsinki did extremely well. My view was that they needed to win the second preferences of the Orlando voters. It seemed likely that Orlando would finish third, and as their location was roughly midway between the other two it would be interesting to see how things panned out. Of course most Orlando voters probably live west of Florida, so Spokane is probably nearer to them. And many Americans are still very wary about traveling outside of their country (lots of them don’t have passports). So it goes.
I’ve heard nothing from Jukka & Eemeli about possible future bids, and I don’t expect to until after they have got home and had a chance to talk things over with other Finnish fans. However, I’ve also seen people online calling for the 2015 Finncon to be something special for all of those people who can’t, or don’t want to, go to Spokane.
As I understand it, there is no set location for 2015 yet. Turku is next in the rotation, and they have run a Eurocon before now, but 2011 was not their finest hour. Tero will doubtless have something to say about plans in good time. Despite the Worldcon plans, I don’t think it is automatic to expect Helsinki to bid, as they hosted Finncon this year and may be thinking of 2017 or 2018 for Worldcon. (They have already ruled out a 2016 bid, due to their close relationship with the Kansas City team.)
The 2015 Eurocon is, of course, due to be held in St. Petersburg, but as the news from Russia continues to get worse and not better I’m very concerned about that.
Anyway, wherever the 2015 Finncon is held, it would be nice to have something good happen there. I’ll be there, and Jeff VanderMeer has already said he plans to go. Anyone else?
The other thing worth noting is that despite the sterling efforts of the Helsinki team to arrange to carry ballots on behalf of people, I continued to run across Helsinki supporters who said they hadn’t voted because they could not do so online. It seems ridiculous to me that WSFS is unable to allow online voting for Site Selection when it does so for the Hugos, and when this year’s Worldcon allowed us to pay and be validated for site selection online, but not submit the ballot. We need to get with the 21st Century.