June Chair Message

Perhaps Douglas Adams was on to something when he wrote, “Time is an illusion.” After all, it’s already spring — which means MidAmeriCon II is quickly approaching! This Progress Report is chock-full of information to help you make the most of your visit. Here’s a quick preview of some things to expect.

Kansas City, MO: Kansas City is hoppin’! Over the past decade, the city has invested over $5 billion to create a unique arts, shopping, and entertainment district in the heart of downtown. And MidAmeriCon II will take place right near it all at the Kansas City Convention Center (KCCC). Whether you’re planning to come early, stay late, or just stop by for a day or two during the Worldcon, you’ll never be without something to do. Surrounding the KCCC are tons of fun (and some free!) things to do: restaurants and shopping galore, museums for history and science buffs, more art than you can imagine, and plenty of family-friendly activities for adults and kids alike.

Because most of the hotels are located within a couple of blocks of the KCCC, a quick jaunt should get you where you need to be. But, if your adventures take you a bit further, you can always hop on Kansas City’s new, free streetcar! The streetcar runs on Main Street from River Market on the north end of downtown to Union Station/Crown Center on the south, so chances are it can help you get where you want to go downtown, and you won’t even have to use Allomancy.

Fan Fair: By now you’ve probably heard about Fan Fair, our five-acre Exhibit Hall that combines the atmosphere of a World’s Fair, state fair, and fandom. We’re excited to give the Fan Fair concept a go in North America, and we have some tricks up our sleeves to help make your Fan Fair experience extraordinary. So where will you go for parties, hospitality, the Dealers Room and Art Show, displays, carnival games, and more? One place: Fan Fair! Complete with an indoor river than transforms into something sensational at night (did someone mention lava?), Fan Fair is a part of MidAmeriCon II you definitely won’t want to miss.

Programming: We’re deep in the throes of developing programming. Rest assured, it will be so varied and so busy that you’ll wish you had Hermione’s Time-Turner to fit more into your day!

We are particularly excited about the Hugo Awards this year. On Thursday night, join us for the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards, a 1940s radio show-style ceremony where awards will be interspersed between music sets—complete with swing dancing! Participate in a lively Masquerade on Friday night, and attend the 2016 Hugo Awards on Saturday night to see which of your favorites won awards.

Our academic-programming track star is the John W. Campbell Conference. Winners of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the Best Short Science Fiction of the Year will be recognized in a ceremony and reception at MidAmeriCon II. Plus, this year, the Conference hopes to present a new honor!

Excited yet? I know I am! Take a look through this progress report for even more details on these topics and more. And maybe start thinking about packing your bags—if time is an illusion, I’ll see you in Kansas City in August for MidAmeriCon II before we know it!

Ruth Lichtwardt Chair–MidAmeriCon II