The World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon” for short) is a big-tent science fiction and fantasy convention that spans the globe and is entirely volunteer run. It has been in existence since 1939 (with a brief hiatus due to World War II). Each Worldcon is funded by memberships in a given year. Membership in Worldcon entitles you to partake in all the features of that Worldcon (programming; nominating for, voting on, and attending the ceremony for the Hugo Awards; exhibit space; Dealers Room with genre-related merchandise; Art Show; special excursions and more). The Worldcon is a wonderful way to connect with fans and professionals who have an interest in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Over the last 10 years, Worldcon has been held in the United States, Japan, Australia, Scotland, England, and Canada, and next year, it will be held in Helsinki, Finland for the first time! (Congratulations Worldcon 75!) You can find more information about where Worldcon has been held on the Long List of Worldcons.
Facts about Worldcon:
- Each Worldcon is run by a different group of people who bid for the honor to host it as far out as five or six years in advance (sometimes even longer!), similar to the Olympics or a World Cup.
- While some cities have hosted a Worldcon more than once, the members of the group running it change each time.
- Worldcon members are members of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). Think of WSFS like a club where you have to pay annual dues to remain a member. Each time you purchase a Worldcon membership (excluding child and day passes), you are a member of WSFS for that year. If you were a member of Sasquan (the Worldcon in 2015) and also purchased a membership for MidAmeriCon II (2016) you were a member of WSFS in 2015 and are a member in 2016.
- Every member of the Worldcon in a given year has the right to nominate for the Hugo Awards, vote for the Hugo Awards, and vote for the committee and location of the Worldcon two years from the current one.
- Members of the prior and following Worldcons can also nominate for the Hugo Awards.
- Voting for the location of the Worldcon two years from the current one requires you to pay an Advance Supporting Membership Fee, which gives you an automatic Supporting membership in the Worldcon for that year no matter which location wins.