Chicon 7 and looking to the future

So I just completed my registration to Chicon 7, next year’s Worldcon.

“But Jensen,” you say, “You just said in your LAST post that Worldcon wasn’t really your thing!”

First, that’s more that Renovation wasn’t my thing. Chicon is a different city, a different administrative team, a different thing entirely. Second, well, I have to go, next fall is going to be my big thesis, and while I want to go to DragonCon, Chicon is going to be way more useful for networking than DragonCon will be.

That’s not the important thing, however. The important thing is that I’d like to invite all of you to go.

Yes, you. And you, and also you. All of you!

“Yeah but uh, why?” you ask.

Many of my problems with Renovation were because there was too little representation from my age group, my people, and my interests. If I invite my friends to go, well, that solves that problem, doesn’t it? We can kick in the door, open a dialogue, and cause some real change here. And Worldcon really is a valuable experience, in my opinion. You should go at least once, just for the history, just to see that hey, this is where your culture came from (well, if you’re a nerd, anyway), this is the great granddaddy of all cons.

So what am I offering to entice you?

Thing about Chicon is that they’re offering a con rate of $150 a night… for rooms of up to quads. So here’s the thing. If I get five people to buy tickets and commit to rooming with me by January 1st, I can reduce that cost to $150 per person, total. And there’s still four beds! For con space, that’s pretty awesome. And if we’re willing to squeeze in and get friendly with eight people (2 people per bed, or we can sleep on the floor. It’s con time, come on, you should be used to this kind of thing), I can drop that cost to under $100 a person.

Come on guys. We can Make This Happen. And I assure you, it really is a good time. Not my favorite con, sure. But it is an extremely educational con, a piece of history, and something you have to see at least once in your lifetime.

Tickets to Chicon will stay at $170 (ie, semi-reasonable; for comparison this is about the same as SDCC’s cost) until September 30th. So get them while they last.


In other news! The next con I am absolutely attending is Philcon, which just so happens to be the oldest SF convention in the world (founded in 1936, ladies and gents). Looking forward to it! If you’re going, drop me a line.

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  1. #1 by Ferret on September 19, 2011 - 2:09 am

    I bought my membership to Chicon today, too!

  2. #3 by lverhulstlmv on September 20, 2011 - 2:57 am

    Um. Slight mistake there. The quad in the hotel room description is a hotel term that refers to 4 people in a room, i.e. 2 queens beds. You can still fit 8 people in the room (don’t tell the hotel), but 4 people would be in beds and 4 people would be on the floor.

    That being said, it’s still an AWESOME rate considering that for any weekend other than Labor Day weekend, the hotel wanted to charge over $200 a night per room. Ouch!

    I think Chicon 7 is going to be great! I’m looking forward to it!

    • #4 by Conventioneering on September 20, 2011 - 3:31 am

      Ah MAJOR welp right there, my mistake! I’ll correct that as soon as I have some free time…

  3. #5 by shsilverSteven H Silver on September 20, 2011 - 2:41 pm

    And we look forward to having you at Chicon 7.

    Steven H Silver
    Chicon 7 Vice-Chair

  4. #6 by Andrew Porter on September 20, 2011 - 11:20 pm

    My first PhilCon was in 1964: five NYC fans took a room in another nearby hotel for $10 a night ($2 each) because we couldn’t afford the con hotel. In recent years, they’ve moved PhilCon out to the suburbs and hence it’s much less accessible to someone like me who doesn’t drive. So this year I’m taking the train to Toronto and going to SFContario, same weekend.

    Sorry I won’t see you there.

    • #7 by allandaros on September 22, 2011 - 7:19 am

      Philcon is a short hop away from Philly via the regional rail system; as someone who doesn’t drive either, I didn’t find it a problem to get to the con from the city when I went. (That said, I seem to recall the venue changing again recently?)

      Admittedly, you’re not going to get the $10 a night hotels these days… 😦

  5. #8 by kastandlee on September 21, 2011 - 10:45 pm

    I’m happy to hear you’re going to come, and that you’re encouraging others to come, but… could you please not call them “tickets?” It’s more than just a semantic difference. You really are buying a membership in the World Science Fiction Society. That’s more than just the admission price of an event. It includes the right to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards, to vote on the site of the 2014 Worldcon, and to participate in the meeting that is responsible for the rules of the World Science Fiction Society. For instance, there will be proposals coming up next year in Chicago to add a new Hugo Award category for Best Fancast (fan-produced serial podcasts and similar A/V work), and every single member of the convention is allowed to come to the Business Meeting and vote on that proposal. There’s no Board of Directors, not “them” who makes the rules — there’s only “us,” and you’re one of us because you bought a membership.

    I suppose I sound like an Old Fogey about this, but I’m one of those people who is sensitive to the subject, and I think it’s important that this is not some odd affectation or (as I’ve heard some people suggest) a tax dodge or strange legal evasion of some sort.

  6. #9 by Andrew Porter on September 22, 2011 - 5:29 am

    Kevin is right. Until about 20 years ago, people got consecutively numbered membership cards in the convention, each individually signed by a committee member. That tradition has alas stopped. You are a *member* of the convention, which is a participatory experience—not something where you sit and take stuff in, like you’re watching TV. The badges also include the city and state (or province, or country) where you live, so if you see someone from the same place, you can (and are encouraged to do so) strike up a conversation.

    • #10 by allandaros on September 22, 2011 - 7:19 am

      While I can see the reasoning behind objecting to the term “ticket,” it is unfair to suggest that folks using the term are automatically viewing the con as passive entertainment, rather than a participatory event.

    • #11 by Emma J (@xenographer) on September 23, 2011 - 3:58 am

      I have to agree with Allandaros, with the further note that surely WorldCon is not the only convention that is a participatory, social experience; I, at least, have always viewed cons as such. Yet most cons do refer to “those things you buy in order to get in” as “tickets” or “passes”, despite this interactive nature.

      I do understand that tickets to other conventions do not come with the same privileges that WorldCon memberships do. I am not trying to discount that or complain about WorldCon’s choice of terminology. I simply think it’s odd to assume that it is representative of a particular mindset in regards to the nature and purpose of cons, rather than of the habits of someone who is familiar with cons in general but new to WorldCon in particular.

  7. #12 by Kevin Standlee on September 23, 2011 - 4:11 am

    Emma:

    “Yet most cons do refer to “those things you buy in order to get in” as “tickets” or “passes”, despite this interactive nature.”

    They do? Not any of the conventions I’ve attended in the past decade except the occasional gate show. I’m not just talking about Worldcon here: Norwescon, Orycon, Baycon, Westercon, Boskone, Marcon, and SiliCon, just to name a few of them. In my experience, going back to 1984, fan-run SF conventions sell “memberships” and for-profit gate shows sell “tickets.”

    • #13 by allandaros on September 23, 2011 - 5:58 am

      It looks like several conventions certainly use the term “membership,” no question – but others (Ad Astra, Otakon, Origins) use the generic “registration.” Gen Con refers to registration, and badges. The Comicons and PAX refer to tickets.

      Eyeballing the absolutely non-exhaustive list (generated from 3 minutes of poking around Wikipedia), it certainly looks like the term used in the bulk of cons (a is membership. If it’s a sticking point for you and others, as you have indicated above, then I’m sure folks will try to use the term “membership” going forward in the discussion.

      That said, I urge you not to assume bad faith / the passivity interpretation among folks who have used “ticket” in the discussion so far. For most of us, the two words are synonymous terms for “the thing that you show to folks at the door to prove you’re authorized to come into this con.” No more, no less.

      • #14 by Kevin Standlee on September 23, 2011 - 6:09 am

        The “registration” term is itself an outgrowth of the term “membership,” which predates everything else, going back long before I was born in 1965; it’s the original term for the token-of-admission. It’s only the newer conventions, and those whose traditions are more closely tied to “gate shows,” that use the term “ticket.” GenCon’s “registration” implies “membership,” incidentally; otherwise, I’d expect “advance tickets” or something like that.

      • #15 by Kevin Standlee on September 23, 2011 - 6:11 am

        I don’t assume bad faith. But “ticket” by itself is mostly a passive-entertainment term, even if you don’t personally consider it so. Ticket-buyer mentality is completely different from membership-buying, as I found out when confronted by a member of the 2002 Worldcon (which I co-chaired) who insisted that he’d paid for his ticket, which was a contract that should guarantee that the entire convention programming be organized for his personal convenience and that his being denied entry to a limited-seating event was a breech of his ticket ocntract.

  8. #16 by Bobbie DuFault on September 27, 2011 - 6:45 pm

    I would like to know what “your people” want to see, do, hear and experience.

    You say: “too little representation from my age group, my people, and my interests. If I invite my friends to go, well, that solves that problem, doesn’t it? We can kick in the door, open a dialogue, and cause some real change here. And Worldcon really is a valuable experience, in my opinion. You should go at least once, just for the history, just to see that hey, this is where your culture came from (well, if you’re a nerd, anyway), this is the great granddaddy of all cons. ”

    Let’s really open the dialog and see what we can do to keep the history and goodness of Worldcon as well as interest the next generations. Please let me know what I can do to enhance the experience. Mail to programming @ chicon7.org

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