Late Night Open Thread: The Worldcon

It’s been a solid quarter-century since I gafiated — drifted away — from sf fandom. (And even then, I was a dedicated fanzine fan who went to a few cons every year, just to see my friends in person.) So it was a pleasant surprise to see a photo of this year’s Hugo winners; I can imagine any number of puzzled fans, back in my day, complaining ‘Why are the winners standing behind their… dates?’

And in those long-departed days, the ‘Worldcon’ was not much more inclusive than baseball’s World Series — the sf ‘world’ we shared was the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia / New Zealand, and some token Europeans. Pretty much English-monolingual, and almost entirely white. But yesterday:

From what little I’ve seen on social media since then, the Chengdu fannish community has put on regional conventions, and there’s obviously a solid readership base in China. The 2023 attendees may end up being mostly Mandarin speakers — Murphy the Trickster God only knows what China’s leadership will be like, even leaving aside the pandemic — but it won’t be the end of sf/f culture if ‘American’ isn’t the default setting for once.

Things do get better, even in ways we may never have expected…

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