Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

  • Mood:

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).
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.