Congratulations, Montreal!

One of the things that has always driven me crazy about Worldcons is that none of them ever made good use of the huge number of top writers who were going to be on program. It always used to be that a Worldcon web site would promote the Guests of Honor, but to find out who else was attending you had to trawl through the online membership list. Montreal has done something different. There is a preliminary list of program participants online, some 6 months before the convention.

Doubtless there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not everyone who wants to be on program will be listed. I’m sure more people will be added as time goes on. And doubtless one or two will unfortunately have to drop out. That’s the way of the world. But the annoyance caused by that pales into insignificance compared to the PR value of having all those other names up there.

So sure, they have Neil Gaiman, Élisabeth Vonarburg, Ralph Bakshi, Julie Czerneda, Tom Doherty, David Hartwell and Taral Wayne; but they also have David Brin, Pat Cadigan, Ellen Datlow, Andy Duncan, Hal Duncan, David Louis Edelman, David Gerrold, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Joe Haldeman, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Lake, David Levine, Louise Marley, David Marusek, Sean McMullen, L.E. Modesitt, James Morrow, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Robert Sawyer, Robert Silverberg, Charlie Stross, Cecilia Tan, Harry Turtledove, Robert Charles Wilson and doubtless a whole host of others whom I missed on a quick scan through, with more to be added later. And to someone who has never been to a Worldcon before, that’s a whole big pile of “how cool is that!”.

As someone who wants to see more people attend Worldcon (and I acknowledge that there are those who would much rather see it shrink), that makes me very happy indeed.

Oh, and I am apparently on the list.

14 thoughts on “Congratulations, Montreal!

  1. I find it amusing that I’m who I am and yet I found out from your blog rather than my colleagues. needless to say I immediately sent them kudos and asked someone with access to add it to the What’s New in the main page sidebar.

    Thank you! ( : (for the second time today)

  2. Given that this wasn’t announced on any of their various feeds or sites, and with that whole staff site menu alongside, I can’t help wondering if this wasn’t supposed to be public yet.

    (And where did they find a recent photo of me? Even I don’t have a current photo of me!)

  3. Wanted to go. Got hassled about going by Neil, amongst others.

    Can’t afford to go. The business can’t pay for me to go, and can’t afford for me not to be here.

    Don’t even have a passport.


  4. You give me new faith in Google Alerts! *takes notes*
    Hmm. I wish I could copy yours, it would make my searches for the “Who’s Talking About Us” list easier.

  5. Uh, no, it really isn’t supposed to be live yet. The bios and photos are of folks who have Submitted participation forms, not the ones Programming will have room for on the schedule. We have over 220 prospective panelists, and we need a translated bio for everyone, so the page is for getting a head start on the translations.

    Disclaimer: I have no spies in Programming Division, so the page falls short of a ‘preliminary list of programme participants,” and Anticipation can’t guarantee any one will be there.

    When Programming comes out with their preliminary list, the page will become official.

    That said, we do got us some big names.

    I’ve just started read Marusek’s “Counting Heads,” inspired by his bio. And Petréa, that’s the photo of you I took at Denvention.

  6. I don’t think that their publication of names was a smart move at all. The page only lists people who have asked to be on the program, according to the web master for Anticipation. See LJ comment I pasted below. Note: it was a comment left on the LJ entry that you linked to as your reference.

    Having worked on lots of programming teams before (including a Worldcon programming team), I can state that there are an astonishing number of people who ask to be on programming that will not end up on any panels for one reason or another. Publishing the name of everyone who asks would be disastrous. By making this process public, it does not allow programming staff or participants to save any face if there are negative responses by either party. It leads to uneducated speculation by outside observers. I believe that Montreal’s overt openness will negatively affect their ability to reassure program participants that their privacy will be maintained in the future.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe that publishing the list of participants as early as possible is very beneficial. However, I believe that at least some filtering and selection by programming staff is warranted first.
    [info]darth_gofer wrote:
    Feb. 3rd, 2009 08:56 pm (local)
    Programme Participants page
    No, we haven’t actually posted the page yet.

    Yes, you filled out the form.

    Right now, the page is only applicants, not the folks whom Programming will be able to fit in the schedule. I don’t have any insight into who the preliminary participants will be.

    But keep your fingers crossed.

  7. Mike:

    Thanks for the clarification. But like I said, I first saw it in a Google Alert. That’s kind of public.


    I think we are basically in agreement. Being able to advertise your participants ahead of time is a good thing. Accidentally doing so when they are not confirmed isn’t. When I wrote the post above I was under the impression that the page was official.


    I’m not sure what you are insinuating there, but I’d be grateful if you could explain.

  8. This is a cock up.

    No programming has been done. I repeat, no programming has been done. That page will be coming off the public site as fast as I can.

    See Mike’s comment above.

    We have a list of volunteers and we are prepping them as fast as possible so we can go live, but No Programming Has Been Done.

  9. It was Google Alerts that popped it up for me in the first place. (Why, yes, I have a Google Alert set up for my name–don’t all authors?)

    I’ve updated all of the places I posted it with the LJ note from Anticipation.

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