January 6th, 2007

Manga Kevin

Site Selection Misconceptions

My Google Alerts turned up this blog post that included this misconception about where Worldcons are held:
Every other year, WorldCon alternates between a U.S. and an international location.
That's not true, of course, but as I reviewed in my head the locations of recent Worldcons, I realized that if you've only come to the field after 2001, you might think so. Look at where the Worldcons 2002-onward have been or will be:

2002: San Jose
2003: Toronto
2004: Boston
2005: Glasgow
2006: Anaheim
2007: Yokohama
2008: Denver

Now if you believe in patterns predicting the future, this means good things for the Montreal in 2009 Worldcon bid. OTOH, what about the Australia in 2010 bid? They don't have any opposition, and are unlikely to do so.

If Montreal wins for 2009 and (as seems almost 100% certain) Australia wins for 2010, it will be only the second time in the history of the Worldcon that there have been two consecutive non-US sites. (The only time to date was 1994 Winnipeg and 1995 Glasgow.) And it will be the first time ever that there will be no seated Worldcons in the USA, since in the 1994-96 period we selected Worldcons three years in advance, not two.

I guess this shows that the convention is indeed more global than it once was, although I suppose we'll be able to find detractors who say that it's bad that it's still held in the USA so often. When we were running up to the 2002 Worldcon in San Jose, I and Tom Whitmore did an interview with a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News who had done his research and knew something about fandom -- he was wearing a Green Lantern signet ring! -- but said, approximately, "How can you call it a 'world' convention when most of them have been held in the USA."

I replied that while he'd obviously looked at the Long List of Worldcons, it wasn't really fair to look at the entire (at that time) sixty-year history of the convention, but that he should look at the past twenty years instead to see how things were trending.

Since I started attending Worldcons in 1984, there have been or will be (through 2008) Worldcons in these countries:

USA: 16
UK: 3
Canada: 2
Australia: 2
Netherlands: 1
Japan: 1

On the average, two-thirds of Worldcons held after 1983 have been in the USA; however, as I noted above, the percentage has been 50% since 2002.

Will this trend (generally, for more non-US Worldcons) continue? I don't think so. I think it more likely to level out at roughly 3/5 US Worldcons; however, don't try holding me to that prediction for any given five consecutive Worldcons.

Oh, I did go and post a comment to that blog correcting the misconception, as well as clarifying that NASFiC can be held outside the USA (although it never has been).
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Conrunner Kevin

Pacific Buffet Banquet Facilities

After a full day of running around doing various errands such as buying a new printer for the home office, Cheryl and I went to dinner at the Pacific Buffet in Fremont this evening. Based on the feedback received from our last trip there, we had a look and found that they do have a semi-private banquet room with an official stated capacity of 27 -- but Cheryl counted 46 seats in the room. I call it "semi-private" because besides the doorway from the dining area into the buffet area, there are two open "portholes" between the room and the restaurant's foyer. However, this dining area is separated physically from the rest of the restaurant -- all of the other seating areas are on the opposite side of the buffet. They told me at the front desk that they do accept group bookings to use that room.

Dinner is $14 (not including drinks, tip, and tax -- total $20 each when Cheryl and I ate there). They have an $11 Saturday lunch as well. There is lots of food.

We'll have handouts for the place with us at the BASFA meeting this Monday night.
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