Lisa got the tripod set up to record the meeting, not helped by the tech team moving the floor microphone around. It started on the head table, then moved to the floor, then out into the middle of the aisle, and in the end she had the choice of covering the head table with the camera or the floor microphone, but not both. In the end she mostly pointed the fixed camera at the floor microphone and shot other parts of the meeting with the handheld camera. If we're really lucky, we might someday get it all edited together.
Late this afternoon I took my computer down to the convention floor and uploaded the videos. To my dismay, after 90 minutes of uploads, YouTube rejected them. Then I realized the problem. While my personal YouTube account is cleared for longer videos, the Worldcon account is not. By then it was too late to try again; however, I've been able to hitch a ride on one of the people who bought wired access and have wired access in my room for the next few hours. I set the uploads going again while Lisa and I went out to dinner with Chris Carson, and much later in the evening after we came back from the parties, the uploads and processing were complete.
See this post for the videos, or go directly to YouTube:
The video is in two parts because our camera can't record more than about 45 minutes per file even if there is a larger memory stick in the camera. You don't have to change sticks, but you do have to stop and start the recording at least once every 45 minutes or it will shut itself off.
We would love to edit these two together and edit in the various hand-held close-ups, but decided it was more important to get the footage out there fast and deal with clean later.
It was a rather placid meeting, although it did take up nearly all of the 90 minute slot. Had there been more substantive business submitted this year, it might have been messy. The major points are as follows:
All of these items (Constitutional Amendments) will be debated and voted on Saturday. Debate time limits were set by the Preliminary Business Meeting. The Main Meeting can change debate times by a 2/3 vote. All of these constitutional amendments require a simple majority to pass. "Ratification" means that it passed at a previous Worldcon and needs to be passed again at this Worldcon. New constitutional amendments (YA Hugo below), if passed here, go on to next year's Worldcon for ratification.
- Best Fancast Hugo Ratification: debate time 10 minutes
- Best Semiprozine Hugo Ratification: debate time 10 minutes
- Best Graphic Story Hugo Re-Ratification: debate time 4 minutes. Unless Best Graphic Story is re-ratified at this meeting, the category "sunsets" and disappears at the end of this Worldcon
- Best Young Adult Fiction: debate time 15 minutes. An amendment I submitted at Friday's meeting that passed unanimously changed this motion's "sunset" clause from "can be repealed by a single vote two years after initial ratification" to "automatically disappears unless actively re-ratified four years after initial ratification."
I gave notice that I expect to propose similar active-sunset clauses on most new Hugo proposals in the future in favor of the easy-repeal clauses that we've included on things like the Best Editor split.
Resolutions were dealt with at the Preliminary Business Meeting:
- Yngvi is not a Louse: After a convoluted technical debate on whether to kill the motion as frivolous (it was agreed to let it stand), the resolution itself failed 26-36.
- HEROW Committee (studies the need for extended eligibility of non-US works) was continued by unanimous consent
- The Eligibility Extension Resolution (extends eligibility for works published outside USA) passed unanimously
Worldcons submitted financial reports. I'll skip these (they'll eventually end up on the Chicon web site, I think) except for what I think the most important: Nippon 2007 had initially reported a financial loss, but this year they made it more clear just how bad that loss was. At the moment, they still owe about JPY6.5 million (about US$84,000), and that's after a lot of the bills were paid for personally by Hiroke Inoue, chairman of N2007. Inoue-san spoke to the Business Meeting and explained that it is traditional for Japanese SF cons that lose money to be the personal responsibility of the Chairman, and that's proving to be a severe financial hardship, particularly with downturns in the Japanese animation industry where he works.
I know it was very difficult for Inoue-san to come before WSFS like this, and I led a round of applause congratulating him for facing us in what is undoubtedly a far more difficult situation for him that it would be for a comparable Western convention chair.
Vince Docherty noted that the surpluses of all of the past Worldcons still reporting surplus funds is roughly twice the amount owed by N2007 and let it hang there. I agree that the Worldcons with surpluses should be lining up help pay off the N2007 debt, and I think that it would be fair if we could work out an arrangement whereby the remaining debt was shared proportionately to the reportable surpluses and taking into account money the various groups have already donated to N2007.
Lisa and I were mildly annoyed that the meeting ran its full time slot because it takes time to take down the cameras, pack up the gear, work our way through the elevator queues, change out of our WSFS uniforms into Giants gear, and work our way back down to the street. We had tickets to the Giants game!