There has apparently been some confusion as to where the Business Meeting is because the pocket program lists all of the rooms that are in the "Point Square" complex as one building. The Business Meeting is in the Gibson Hotel, not the Odeon, and this has confused people. But people did make it to Stratocaster. There were a number of technical hitches in getting the room sound working, and consequently we started about fifteen minutes late, but Jesi Lipp dropped the gavel on their first WSFS meeting as Chair (Mx. Chairperson, to be precise) at 10:18, to a round of applause from the membership.
I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow description of the meeting. For that, try Corina Stark's Preliminary Business Meeting Liveblog or you can watch the two hour extravaganza at the Worldcon Events Channel 2019 WSFS Business Meeting Video Playlist, about which more later.
Refer to the 2019 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda for the references to what was on the docket for this year.
Items B1 and B2, Hugo Award eligibility extensions, both passed.
Item B3 (renumbered A1 because it was actually a Standing Rule amendment) passed and was made to take immediate effect. This will make a difference if we happen to go into Committee of the Whole.
Item B4 was postponed to be considered immediately after D7: both affect the "5 and 6" Hugo Award Hugo nominations system in different ways, and the meeting considered that it would be better to determine whether there is a desire to return to five Hugo Award finalists permanently before deciding whether to go back to five finalists for next year only.
Item D12, which would create a Best Translated Novel Hugo Award, was killed by being Postponed Indefinitely. This means it will not be considered at the Main Meeting. Translated works continue to be eligible in all Hugo Award categories as they currently are.
All other constitutional amendments (many of which are relatively small technical clarification amendments proposed by the Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee) survived the agenda-setting process and had debate times assigned to them. We start debating them on Saturday.
There are some likely-to-be-controversial proposals, both of which survived attempts to kill them by Postpone Indefinitely.
D7/B4, "Five and Five," would return the Hugo Awards to five finalists in each category instead of six. The vote to postpone indefinitely was close enough to require the only counted "serpentine" vote of the Preliminary meeting: the vote to postpone indefinitely was 46-30 in favor of killing the proposal. (It required 2/3.)
D13, Best Game or Interactive Experience, would add a new Hugo Award category by that name.
In addition, I think the following proposals may get a lot of discussion:
D8, No Deadline for Nominations Eligibility, would remove the requirement that you have to be an eligible Worldcon member by the end of the previous calendar year for nominating the current year's Hugo Awards.
D9, Non-transferrability of Voting Rights, would make changes in how Worldcon membership transfers work.
D11, Clear Up the Definition of Public in the Artist Categories Forever, makes changes in how we define public display in the Artist categories.
So when the meeting ended, Lisa and I had to take the equipment back to the hotel (after I helped Linda get the Business Meeting printer and papers up to her hotel room in the Gibson). Then Lisa and I went back to the Convention Centre Dublin and met with Linda for lunch. I had to help Linda again at her hotel, and I left Lisa at the CCD. After doing the errand for Linda, I went back to my hotel. (Remember that a trip between the CCD/Gibson back to the Holiday Inn Express takes about 30 minutes each way.) At my hotel, I got the four business meeting videos off the SD card from Lisa's camera and onto my computer.
Uploading the videos from either my hotel or the CCD was right out. I have limited access to a much faster connection, but it's a fair distance away. I walked to Connolly Station, collected my tickets for the train (+bus) ride up to Belfast next week, and took the DART system to that location. Even with the substantially faster connection, it took close to an hour to upload the four files and for YouTube to process them. It was then a 20-minute walk back to the CCD.
(I later learned that Lisa had long since left and socialized with other people, which is just fine with me. I wanted her to not try to wait on me. I'm no fun when I'm working.)
I hung around the CCD for a while, talking with various people and checking out Martin's, the fan bar built inside the CCD and named for the late Martin Hoare, who died unexpectedly shortly before Dublin 2019. I considered sticking around for the start of parties, but I was getting tired and started to head for the barn.
As luck would have it, Cheryl Morgan was coming out of a panel just as I was getting ready to leave. We discussed the issue with the internet connectivity for the Hugo Awards coverage on Sunday; we may have a handle on something, but we don't know yet. Meanwhile, Cheryl has unfortunately lost her mobile phone. It's not a crisis (she's been able to cancel the phone and can replace it, probably when she gets back to the UK next week in Belfast), but it's certainly annoying.
Like me, Cheryl was done for the day. We both were out much too late last night. Neither of us was hungry, so we started back toward the Luas and our respective hotels. However, the off-and-on rain suddenly came Very Much On and we retreated to the CCD. To avoid getting drenched, we agreed to split a taxi back to our hotels. (Taxis have fortunately been queuing at the CCD for customers.) The taxi dropped me at the Holiday Inn Express and then took Cheryl on to her rental. (We'll settle up my share of the ride later through the Bank of Morgan Standlee.)
Lisa had come back to the room and laid down. By now I actually was hungry, and Lisa was as well. There is convenience store with a Subway sandwich shop in it next to the hotel, so I popped down there and got us sandwiches.
It's another early morning alarm tomorrow, but with luck there won't be as many hitches in the tech setup and we will therefore have a chance to power through much of the Business Meeting Agenda.
Let me finish by saying how well Jesi handled their first time as WSFS Business Meeting chair. They did a fine job, including telling me to back off when I got too helpful. Good for them!