About Worldcon

In this part of our Web Site you can learn more about Worldcons and Worldcon fandom as well as the background to the Reno bid.

  • On this first page we have provided a brief introduction to Worldcon as an event.
  • Your First Worldcon provides a much deeper explanation of Worldcon aimed at first time attendees.
  • The "Why Reno?" page explains just that - why we chose Reno as our venue for 2011, and why we believe the city and the site will deliver a great Worldcon.
  • We have also included a copy of our bid filing. This is a formal submission that every Worldcon bidder has to provide when seeking to host the event.
  • Our fanspeak page introduces some of the unique terminology that has grown up around Worldcons and fandom in general.

What is the Worldcon?

The Worldcon, or World Science Fiction Convention, is the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). The five day long event has been held each year since 1939 with the exception of four years during World War II. Locations have included the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, Germany, and The Netherlands. Science fiction and fantasy fans have traveled from all over the world to attend, including Japan, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, Norway, Finland, Croatia, New Zealand, and Russia. In recent years the Worldcon has typically attracted between 3,000 and 6,000 attending members.

The various Fan Funds (TAFF, DUFF, GUFF, etc.) will send their delegates to the Worldcon if they can, and sometimes will delay a year to make sure they can.

The Hugo Awards are presented at a highlighted ceremony. The awards themselves are nominated and voted upon by the members of the Worldcon.

Other highlights of the Worldcon Program have included Nobel Prize winners, astronauts, scientists, writers, editors, publishers, artists, and fans.

Special prestige is given to the Guests of Honor of the Worldcon. They often present Guest of Honor speeches, participate in interviews, and are treated with respect honoring their years in the Science Fiction community. Past Guests of Honor have included Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, John Campbell, Jr., Gene Wolfe, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Ursula K. Le Guin, Hal Clement, Anne McCaffrey and Samuel R. Delany.

The Masquerade (another highlight of the program) is spectacular, as the costumers prepare their best work for this event. There are concerts and artists' and writers' workshops. The film program will usually include the Hugo-nominated Best Dramatic Presentations. Major TV and film studios will often preview their new work at the Worldcon. Worldcon attendees were the first to find out about Star Trek, Star Wars, and many others.

Both original artwork and prints can be purchased at the Art Show from new and established artists, to suit all budgets. In the Dealers' Room, one can buy books (new, used and collector's items), jewellery, toys, t-shirts, and other science fiction & fantasy related merchandise. There's also music, filking, dancing, videos, gaming, exhibitions, parties, author readings & autographings, and things you won't believe until you see them.

Worldcons are run by fan volunteers, ages eight to eighty, working from one hour to many years to produce the best event for their fellow fans.

You can find a full list of all the Worldcons, from 1939 to 2009, here. You can also find many pictures from across the years in the Worldcon Photo Album.

Fannish Language Lessons

We have provided a Fanspeak Glossary to explain some of the terms that make up the unique language of science fiction fandom, for anyone who is learning about us for the first time.

Current and Future Worldcons

The most recent Worldcon, Aussiecon 4, was held in Melbourne, Australia, in September 2010.

The Worldcons for 2011 and 2012 have already been selected, and are:

  • Renovation - Reno, Nevada - August 17 - 21, 2011.
  • Chicon 7 - Chicago, Illinois - August 30 - September 3, 2012.

           

Upcoming Worldcon Bids

There are strict rules about where a Worldcon can be located and how it is selected. An advance membership fee is collected with each vote; this money is given to the winning bid, and each voter gets at least a supporting membership in that convention.

The Site Selection process for the site of the 2013 Worldcon is currently under way with Texas in 2013 as the only confirmed bidder.

The declared bidders for later years are listed below.

Texas in 2013       London in 2014

NZ in 2020

Previous Worldcons

SF Resources and Other Sites