Some WSFS Issues

A couple of things to do with Worldcon have cropped up over the past week or so that I’d like to address.

Firstly people have been asking if WSFS will move the 2018 Worldcon out of the USA because of Trump. This is, of course, not up to WSFS. That Worldcon has been awarded to San José and can’t be taken away. However, I am on the Board of Directors for the San José event so I have a view. Being barred from entering the US myself, my view is somewhat biased.

The location doesn’t become a major issue for many months yet because hotel booking isn’t open. Lots of things could happen between then and now (up to and including Trump starting WWIII). But we are aware of the issue and will be discussing it at the next Board meeting. As Kevin has noted, 2018 is likely to be the only US Worldcon in a 4-year period, so it is by no means unfair to have it somewhere that only USians may be able to attend. That said, we do need to be aware of a potential financial disaster, and need to have contingency plans to hold the convention elsewhere. If it proves necessary, we’ll make a formal announcement, but despite my own travel woes I hope it won’t because I love my US friends dearly and would like them to get their country back.

The other thing that has raised its head is the issue of being a “Hugo nominee”. As most of you will know, that phrase is fairly meaningless because anyone can nominate themselves and therefore become a “nominee”. The important word is “finalist”, and you can only call yourself a “Hugo finalist” if you get on the final ballot.

It is worth noting that WSFS only notifies people of their receipt of a nomination by issuing the voting data. That will show you the top 15 nominees in each category (plus a few in the case of ties). If someone claims that they got email from WSFS informing them that they were nominated they are either fibbing or they are referring to the email you get confirming who you voted for, which means they nominated themselves.

And finally, if you get an email from someone claiming to represent the “Worldcon PR Department” then it is almost certainly a fake. Kevin or I, and a few others folks, may write to people on behalf of WSFS, but never on behalf of Worldcon because each Worldcon is an independent entity.