A Worldcon in December

Vaccines for COVID-19 are finally starting to be rolled out in some countries, but it will be a very long time before everyone can be inocculated, and before we know how long it is efffective. Events trying to plan for 2021 are still in a very difficult position.

In view of this, the 2021 Worldcon, DisCon III, is giving people a choice. They can run a primarily virtual event on their expected dates; or they can move to mid-December when they believe that an in-person event will be safe to hold. You can register your opinion here.

Obviously I voted for a virtual event, because I cannot travel to the USA, so I can only attend Worldcon if it is virtual. I’m sure that is the case for many other people too.

On the other hand, I know that most Worldcon regulars view the event as an opportunity to meet up with friends, and thus for them an in-person event is the only option that fits the bill.

The obvious solution is to run some sort of hybrid event, and DisCon III has held out the possibility of some online programming even if they move to December. However, they haven’t specified what form that will take. And at SMOFcon over the weekend there was a substantial core of people who were dead set against running hybrid conventions.

I don’t want to go into the hows and whys of hybrid cons now. I’ll save that for this month’s Salon Futura. I will note that we are committed to running a hybrid event for Westercon 74. Also, if you are someone who cannot attend Worldcon regularly in person, but would like the opportunity to do so virtually, please fill out the DisCon III survey and let them know.

The way in which big conventions this year have become genuinely international has been a delight. It would be a shame if major events such as Worldcon and World Fantasy forgot that and went back to being conventions only for those who can afford to attend in person. Of course if they do then the future of fandom will shift to events such as FIYAHCON and FutureCon, because the future will happen, regardless of whether people want it to or not.

I believe that the deadline for responding to the DisCon III poll is 5:00pm EST today. Sorry about the short notice.