Volume 25, Number 01, Fall, 2007

LACon IV: WorldCon Report

By Fred Curtis Moulton

The Worldcon was held in the Anaheim Convention Center with additional function space in the Hilton and the Marriot. Since the Disney properties were within walking distance a lot of attendees arrived one or two days early to go to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. The con had arranged for discount tickets and I took advantage of the opportunity. The most memorable item was the Honda ASIMO robot presentation within California Adventure. Note the presentation is only at certain times and you need a ticket but the ticket is free and it is given to you just before you walk in. It was an interesting presentation.

As is usual with a Worldcon there was more to do and people to talk to than there was time. It was good to meet various LFS members and friends. Some of the LFS members I met at Worldcon included Joseph Martino, Fran Van Cleave, Kent Van Cleave and Steve Gaalema. (Forgive me if my memory has slipped and I forgot to mention you.) I was able to spend some time speaking with David Lloyd in the Hilton bar before the Prometheus Awards ceremony and we had a great discussion. The Worldcon had a few minor glitches at times but overall the con went well without a catastrophic failure.

The Prometheus Awards ceremony was in the room and at the time we were told preliminarily and went fine. Patrick Nielsen Hayden accepted for Ken MacLeod. Patrick who was the editor for Learning the World, read his own statement and then Ken’s. Fran Van Cleave read a statement for the Special Award for Serenity. David Lloyd was there to accept his Hall of Fame award and made a very fine and entertaining statement. More about the Prometheus Awards ceremony will be in the newsletter. After the ceremony we adjourned to the bar. We had about 8 or 9 people who were either LFS members or friends and David Lloyd joined us for a while.

Special thanks to Fran for assisting with the ceremony. Also thanks to everyone who helped tracking down contact info for the award winners.

Locus Magazine noted the Prometheus awards results on its online site and there was a Locus photographer who took photos so hopefully there will be photos in the print publication. Mention of the Prometheus Awards also was found on Emerald City. Emerald City (which unfortunately recently ceased publication) had extended commentary on and links related to the Worldcon including Harlan Ellison’s grabbing of Connie Willis. I was at the Hugo awards and I saw it just like everyone else in the auditorium and all I can say right now is that Harlan should grow up. [Other online publications that mentioned the Prometheus Award include the blog Liberty and Power, Reason Magazine’s Hit and Run, and Forbidden Planet International. The two first sites included some commentary by readers of the blogs, several of whom expressed surprise at MacLeod winning, as he was not a “libertarian,” while other readers seemed shocked that a movie and comic book received attention from a literary award—editor] One highlight of the Hugo Awards was a special award given to Betty Ballantine for her years of work.

Ken MacLeod did not win a Hugo but did receive the Seiun Award for Short Fiction for one of his pieces of short fiction, which had been translated into Japanese. The LFS badge ribbons worked very well. We got one new Basic member at $25 due to his seeing me wearing the badge ribbon and since the ribbons only cost about $50 and we have most of the order left it seems to have been a good deal. I will work on distributing them to various people who will be going to cons in the future.

Denver won for 2008. So Worldcon is August 6-10 2008 in Denver. There are many theories about why Denver won. Some people thought that Chicago had the upper hand and some thought Denver. Based on my limited knowledge and some informal discussions I heard I was thinking that Denver was a stronger bid than many people realized. Personally I think that there were many reasons for the outcome, one of which is not realized by many people, which is that Denver was bidding for a non Labor Day date. This is the main reason I supported them as my second choice. Of course my first choice was Hollister but that was eliminated in the first round. Still as far as anyone can recall the Hollister in 2008 received more votes than any other hoax bid in Worldcon history.

I spoke with representatives of The Eaton Collection of Science Fiction which is a Special Collection housed at the University of California, Riverside. They are interested in received our LFS newsletter as well as getting a complete set back issues for their collection. I am looking forward to Nippon 2007.

Also just as a heads up the Heinlein Centennial seems to be gaining a lot of momentum. It will be in Kansas City, Missouri, July 6, 7, 8 2007. I plan to attend. Please remember that the Heinlein Society and the Heinlein Centennial are two different organizations. Fortunately it appears that the tensions between the two organizations are diminishing.

(All photographs courtesy Kent Van Cleave.)

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