Yesterday at the Circus

I didn’t get around to posting about the WSFS Business Meeting last night because there was some absorbing cricket going on. Western Storm fell agonisingly short of topping the league, but they are through to Finals Day. I’ll be there to follow the action.

The other reason I wasn’t paying much attention is that, for the first time in ages, the meeting was mostly quiet and routine.

All of the motions passed on from Helsinki were ratified quickly. That includes the official naming of the YA Award as the Lodestar.

The one potentially contentious new motion — the one about remote participation in the Business meeting — was referred to a committee very quickly. The other motions up for consideration were mostly passed swiftly. The only significant debate was around the exact cut-off point for the runners-up list of people who got close to being Hugo finalists. That probably only happened because it was the last motion and the Business Meeting regulars were bored with the lack of action.

There is still a contentious motion to be discussed. It is the one about redefining the division between Professional and Fan in the Artist categories of the Hugos. This one has been postponed to today so as not to clash with a meeting of the Association of Science Fiction Artists.

Possibly the biggest news of the day was that the Business Meeting was not chaired by a man for the first time in 60 years. Tim Illingworth, who is the official Chair for this year, recused himself during the debate on the YA Award because he was on the committee that set up that award. His place was taken by his deputy, Jesi Lipp, who uses they/them pronouns. Jesi will also be the main Chair for next year’s Business Meeting in Dublin.

Site Selection voting has concluded and, while the results are not official until ratified by today’s Business Meeting, there is very little doubt as both elections are uncontested. Congratulations are therefore in order for Layton, Utah, which will host next year’s NASFiC, and to Wellington, New Zealand, which will host the 2020 Worldcon.