Worldcon is the "world science fiction convention." It's been around in one way or another since 1939 and is typically hosted at a different existing convention every year. (The Hugo awards are voted on by Worldcon members.) Last year it was in London; this year in Spokane. To get the event hosted at your convention, there is an elaborate bidding process. There is a long tradition of hoax con bids (which sometimes take on a life of their own, as in this Westercon story). The latest in the tradition: Nightvale Worldcon. If you have further questions regarding the bid, please contact the Help Desk with your bloodstone. [more inside]
In "These Aren't the Droids" Neko Case (previously) and Kelly Hogan (previously) imagine a future designed by teenaged fanboys, and Ellie Kemper plays the unlucky wife of a Stromtrooper. [SLYT] [more inside]
How well do you know (American) sexual harassment law as it relates to conferences? Attorney and Popehat blogger Ken White has created a short quiz to find out. [more inside]
Drop Kicker is a blog that investigates products on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that look scientifically implausible, outright impossible, or completely scammy
Why has there been only one non-white Worldcon chair? Because science fiction fandom is not welcoming to non-white people, because con-running has not done enough to address its own lack of diversity, because people would rather believe that fandom is inclusive than force it to become inclusive.Jonathan McCalmont writes on institutional racism in the science fiction fandom.
SF conventions, and snapshots of SF conventions, go back a long time. Here's Midwestcon 2, put on by the Cincinnati Fantasy group in June 1951; shots include a haunting image of Henry Burwell, publisher of Atlanta zine Science Fiction Digest, and an already-old E.E. "Doc" Smith. From Retronaut, an unnamed 1980 con in LA. From the Mills photo archive, con costumes from the late 60s through the 80s. Forrest Ackerman, editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, in "futuristic costume" at the first WorldCon in 1939. This last from the endless compendium that is the MidAmerican Fan Photo Archive.
Starting from a proposal by vito_excalibur, the Back Up Project tries to intervene in sexual harassment at fan conferences. [more inside]
The Open Source Boob Project. At Penguicon, we had buttons to give away. There were two small buttons, one for each camp: A green button that said, "YES, you may" and a red button that said "NO, you may not." And anyone who had those buttons on, whether you knew them or not, was someone you could approach and ask: "Excuse me, but may I touch your breasts?" Once taken online, the grand flurry of reactions have been decidedly mixed. [more inside]
Mad About the Boys "Until he fled the country in January, accused of embezzling more than $300 million, Lou Pearlman was famous as the impresario behind the Backstreet Boys and 'NSync. Turns out his investors weren't the only victims, colleagues reveal: Pearlman's passion for boy bands was also a passion for boys."
"The fraud, the huckster, the salesman are not new phenomena in America; what is new is that they now so strongly control every estate of our society." For the last few days, I've been reading the Progressive Review's Undernews, a sort of progressive news blog-by-e-mail -- and frankly, it's amazing. One of today's articles blew my mind: it's a spot-on encapsulation of What's Wrong with America Today. (Scroll down to "Derivative America and the Enron Generation." This link is to the "Latest Issue" page. Tomorrow I think it will be archived here.) Seriously, read it now. It's worth it.