CoNZealand – Day 3

Yesterday morning I was up early for a translations panel because I’d promised the moderator, Kalin from Bulgaria, that I’d be available. I went straight back to bed afterwards.

Much of the rest of the day was taken up with fannish drama, and trans drama. I’m not sure which is worse.

The big event of the day was the Site Selection results announcement. To the suprise of no one who knows anything about Worldcon, Chicago beat Jeddah by 517 votes to 33. Yasser Bahjatt has been taking the whole thing remarkably well, all things considered. He’s also announced that he’s rolling the bid forward to 2026. Currently that’s unopposed, but I don’t expect it to be for long. Yasser seems to think that a large part of the value of the bid is to draw attention to Arabic SF&F in translation, which is surely a good thing.

In other bid news Nice has formally postponed their bid. While their statement in the Question Time session this morning talked only about COVID-19, I understand that they have also lost their venue because the newly elected Mayor of Nice has vowed to demolish it and build a new convention centre.

But, as one bid vanishes, new ones take their place. A group of Australian fans has launched a bid for Brisbane in 2025 (opposing Seattle). I’m really sad for the Seattle folks, because I seem to end up opposing their bids all the time, but I can travel to Brisbane and I can’t go to Seattle so I know who I am supporting.

Recordings of panels are now starting to turn up on the CoNZealand website. I watched the Masquerade over breakfast (it is quite short) and the Modern Criticism panel over lunch. Those were both on the big screen TV (giant Gary Wolfe with giant wine glass). However, I have discovered a very easy way to watch panels. If you have an iPad, download the app for The Fantasy Network. Log in with your CoNZealand email address, and everything is there.

Well, not quite everything, because panels are slow appearing. I gather that the automatic system for saving and uploading panel recordings doesn’t work, and CoNZealand staff are having to do it manually, which is slow and labour-intensive. Much sympathy to them.