I’ve been meaning to make this post for ages; please forgive me for the delay.
I wanted to take a moment to promote the Helsinki 2017 bid for the World Science Fiction Convention. Why? Lots of reasons, really — starting with the fact that for something which bills itself as the World Science Fiction Convention, it spends an awful lot of its time in the U.S. and occasionally Canada, every so often venturing overseas to Britain, and almost never anywhere else. There are other countries with SF/F fandom, many of which are really enthusiastic and friendly and eager to be a part of the broader genre world. Second, I have a good friend (Crystal Huff) involved with the Helsinki bid, and everything she’s told me about Finnish fandom is absolutely wonderful. I have not the slightest doubt that if they host Worldcon two years from now, they’ll do a splendid job. And third, Wendy Shaffer spent the entire month of June posting Finnish heavy metal videos to encourage you to vote for Helsinki. And who can argue with that?
If you’ve already voted, of course, this post comes far too late. If you haven’t, though, there’s still time! Email ballots will be accepted until 23:59 Pacific Daylight Time on Monday, August 10th (i.e. about twenty-four and a half hours from when I’m typing this post), and if you know somebody willing to carry your ballot to Sasquan for you, those will be accepted at the con itself. Instructions for how to vote are here. There are four bids for 2017: Helsinki, Japan, Montreal, and Washington D.C. With all due love and respect for the D.C folks, it would be lovely to see the con go farther afield than that.
Admittedly, there is a price tag on voting. You need to have a supporting membership for Sasquan this year, and you need to buy an advance supporting membership for 2017 (which will be valid no matter which bid wins). Even if you don’t think you can go to Helsinki or Shizuoka or Montreal, though (or for that matter, D.C.), that still gives you Hugo voting rights, so you get more for your buck than just a voice in site selection. If you can spare the $40 and want to participate in the process, you still have time. Give it a look!