News

1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

4 January 2015 - the Loncon 3 Artist Showcase is now available to download in PDF format.

1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

14 August 2014 - Loncon 3 is delighted to announce the 1939 Retro Hugo Award winners.

Record Hugo Participation

7 August 2014 - Loncon 3 is proud to announce that it received 3,587 valid ballots for the 2014 Hugo Awards. More details here.

Cosmonaut at Loncon 3

6 August 2014 - Cosmonaut Anatolii Artsebarskii will be at the whole convention and speaking on Sunday 17 August, more details here and press release here.

Programme now available

24 July 2014 - The schedule is now available through our programme guides here.

Hugo Ceremony Hosts announced

17 July 2014 - The 2014 Hugo Ceremony will be hosted by leading science fiction and fantasy authors Justina Robson and Geoff Ryman. More details here

Fantastic partnership with BFI

17 July 2014 - Loncon 3 has joined forces with the British Film Institute to celebrate the UK's long heritage of science fiction and the fantastic on television. More details here

Access services

08 July 2014 - LAST CALL: all requests for accessible accomodation must be received no later than midnight Thursday 10 July. More details here

PEN/H G Wells lecture

08 July 2014 - Audrey Niffenegger will give the first PEN / H G Wells lecture at Loncon 3. More details here

Access services

06 July 2014 - We're offering a service for booking mobility scooters. More details here

Theatre programme announced

04 July 2014 - We have released full details of our exciting theatre programme. Full details here

Childcare at Loncon 3

03 July 2014 - Please book your childcare by 14 July. Details available here. To help you plan, some programme highlights are listed here

Progress Report 4 Now Available

02 July 2014 - Download your electronic copy of our last Progress Report here. Full of essential information for getting to and enjoying the convention.

Help wanted

02 July 2014 - We have a number of specific tasks for which we're seeking volunteers. In most cases no prior experience is needed and it's a great way to meet people and be a part of Loncon 3. Details here

1939 Retro Hugo Voter Packet

01 July 2014 - The 1939 Retro Hugo Voter Packet is now available

Hall passes

20 June 2014 - For a taste of Loncon 3 at a low price, we are offering a limited number of Hall passes for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Programme participants

15 June 2014 - We are today sending emails to all our programme participants with a first draft of their schedules. It's going to be an amazing programme!

Membership rates to increase on 14 July

10 June 2014 - Loncon 3 membership rates will rise on 14 July: Adult rates increase to £135 (US$225); family rates become £300 (US$500); all other attending rates also rise. Join now to beat the increase! Full details here

Additions to 2014 Hugo Voter Packet

10 June 2014 - The voter packet has been updated to include new material in the following categories: Fan Artist, Related Work, Short Story, Novelette and Novella. Members can download the packet here.

Hugo Voting Now Open

06 June 2014 - Cast your ballot for the 2014 Hugo Awards here and for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards here.

Worldcon Philharmonic Orchestra

03 June 2014 - The highlight of Loncon 3's music programme will be a concert by the Worldcon Philharmonic Orchestra

Masquerade and costumes at Loncon 3

03 June 2014 - If you love costumes and costuming, check out our new information about the Masquerade and Hall Costumes at Loncon 3. You can register today! More details

 

First Worldcon?

First Time to a World Science Fiction Convention? Here's What to Expect

An Introduction by Stu Segal and Laurie Mann.

The World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is an international gathering of the science fiction and fantasy communities. Worldcon attracts members each year from all over the world. In the last decade the convention has been held on four continents.

Authors, artists, editors, publishers, gamers, vendors, musicians and fans all attend Worldcon.

When you show up at a Worldcon for the first time, it's much like walking into a giant buffet, an enormous room filled with table after table of delicacies. And when you start to walk the room you see some things you recognise and like, but you also see lots of things that are unfamiliar - some look good and smell good, others don't. You have two choices - one is to be overwhelmed and go back to your room, and the other is to dig in. So you start to fill your plate with things you know and like - and then around the edges you start to place a lot of other delicacies that you hadn't tried before. Eventually you head back for more, more of your old favourites, and more of some of your delicious new discoveries.

Worldcon has exhibits including the Dealers' Zone and Art Show; events like the Hugo Awards ceremony and the Masquerade; and programme, including panels, autographings, readings and Kaffeeklatsches. Just before the convention, a preliminary schedule of all activities will be posted on the website so you can start planning each day of your convention (you can print the schedule at home or save it electronically, and when you get to the Worldcon you will also be give a printed pocket programme as well as a glossy souvenir book).

Buying Your Membership

Worldcons are funded by memberships. Unlike other popular culture conventions, your Worldcon membership covers all activities - you don't need to pay for items separately. Your Worldcon membership covers the events and programme you attend, the exhibits you see, the publications the Worldcon produces and the many other services a Worldcon provides.

Authors, artists, editors, publishers, gamers, vendors, musicians and fans all pay for their memberships, except for the Guests of Honour and a few special speakers. The people who spend years organising the Worldcon and managing it at the con all pay for their memberships too.

Even if you can't go to Worldcon itself, you can buy a less expensive Supporting Membership. A Supporting membership entitles you to vote in the Hugo Awards and to receive the associated Hugo Award Packet, vote in Site Selection (choose the site for a future Worldcon) and also to receive the main publications, especially the progress reports and souvenir book.


Worldcon Events

The Hugo Awards, and the Awards Ceremony

First of all, a World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is organized under the charter of the World Science Fiction Society, so by getting a membership for the convention you become a member of the WSFS for that year. And that gives you the right to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards.

As a Worldcon member, you can nominate those works you think are worthy for Hugo Awards. Even if you don't nominate, you get to vote on those that are nominated to determine the winner (much like the members of the Academy vote for the Oscars). Don't think you'll know what to vote for? Worldcons now provide a Hugo Award Voter Packet, containing electronic copies of many of the nominated works. Since this depends on the goodwill of authors and publishers, we can't guarantee that all nominated works will be available. But in recent years voters have received extracts or complete versions of all the nominated fiction - including the novels! In fact the only works that you don't get are generally the Dramatic Presentations (sorry, no free movie DVDs or Blu-Rays!)

One of the highlights of a Worldcon is the Hugo Awards ceremony. If you've participated in the Hugo process, and read or seen the nominees, and voted, you will most likely have personal favourites you're rooting for. And unlike the Oscars, you will have been one of the few who actually helped select the winners. It adds a whole new, rewarding, element that makes the ceremony something very special.

Masquerade

The Masquerade is a judged costuming competition. It is divided into categories based on the costuming skill levels of the participants, and judged by a panel of costuming experts. The higher category features costumes done with the same skill that would see in the professional theatre or in the movies.

You'll also be treated to an exciting "half time show" while the judges retreat to select the winners.

Opening/Closing Ceremonies

Worldcons tend to have Opening and Closing ceremonies, to welcome and bid farewell to the attendees and acknowledge our guests. Many have other kinds of special events, including concerts, presentations and special movie events.

Music

There is always music at Worldcon. Sometimes there are professional performances, and there are always fan performances.

"Filk" is the folk music of SF and fantasy, and each Worldcon includes a robust range of performances and workshops. You are welcome to observe and enjoy; if you want to participate, bring your instrument.

Theatre

There are usually some theatrical performances at a Worldcon. Sometimes it is live re-creations of old radio shows, sometimes brand new stage plays. Always something, always entertaining.

Film & Video

There are always screenings at a Worldcon. Usually you will find screenings of the Hugo nominees, and lots of other interesting films. Some Worldcons have hosted film festivals, showcasing film shorts, features and trailers, specialising in the science fiction, fantasy, horror and comic genres.


Worldcon Programming

Worldcons feature many types of concurrent sessions that generally run in 60 or 90 minute timeslots, usually starting around 10 AM each morning, and going until late each night. Some of the sessions are panels, some are workshops, some are demonstrations and some are presentations.

The range of subjects covered is as broad as the fields of science fiction and fantasy - actually broader. While you will find sessions covering books, movies, TV shows, costuming, writing, publishing, etc., you will also find sessions covering science, astronomy, and the arts. Over the five days, there will be several hundred programme items and, if you're like most folks, you will find so many of them to be interesting that you'll struggle over which to attend.

You'll also have the opportunity to get up close to your favourite personalities. Kaffeeklatsches give you and a small group of fans the opportunity to spend an hour in conversation with the author, actor, artist, etc. (Some items, like kaffeeklatsches and workshops, require you to sign up in advance, but most items, like panels and signings, do not).

Guests of Honour

Each Worldcon selects a small number of Guests of Honour. Each Guest of Honour (GoH) is chosen for their lifetime commitment and contribution to the field. Effectively, this is the Hall of Fame for the science fiction and fantasy field - and it is filled with major names from Asimov to Clarke and Bradbury to le Guin.

Programme Participants

In addition to the GoH's, there are all the participants on all the panels, the Masquerade, the performances, etc.

A Worldcon programme requires a lot of participants - generally over five hundred. Most Worldcons post short bios of all participants on their website as their appearances are confirmed. All are experts in some field or fields - some are professional authors, editors, publishers and artists, some are scientists, some are educators, some are astronomers, some are philosophers… and some are just regular folk who have developed or acquired expertise in some specific area. And, yes, of course there'll be rocket scientists!

In recent years a Worldcon's attending members have included Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Connie Willis, and our special speakers have included George Takei, Patrick Stewart, Paul Krugman and Dr. Demento.


Worldcon Exhibits

At each Worldcon there are both perpetual travelling exhibits, which appear each year, and one time special exhibits.

Each year you will find a historical exhibit from the World Science Fiction Society which includes things like the actual Hugo Award trophies from as far back as the 1950s. You will also find various photo galleries, which exhibit photos and brief bios of well known pros and fans.

Special exhibits are very wide ranging in terms of subject matter, and may have a connection to the location of the convention.

Dealers' Zone

Somehow with access to everything in the world on the Internet, you'll always find great stuff in the Dealers' Zone. You'll find lots of books, videos, anime, toys, clothing, jewellery, art and who knows what else. If you are looking to increase your collection, or looking for that unique gift to bring your loved one who you left at home, you'll find it in the Dealers' Zone. You'll also get to make great personal connections with dealers from out of your area.

Art Show

Well science fiction and fantasy are art, right? But you'll find real art in the Art Show. The artists whose work you've seen on the covers of your favourite books and movie posters. Most contemporary, some from past decades. Some big well known names, some new fresh promising ones.

Most work in the Art Show is for sale via auction. Throughout the show, a "silent auction" is operated (when you sign up for your bidder number, someone will explain how it works); anything not sold at the silent auction goes to a live auction near the end of the Worldcon. In addition to the auction, low-cost reprints of certain displayed pieces are available for sale in the adjacent Print Shop.


And More at a Worldcon!

Parties

The nightlife at a Worldcon is, well, very alive. Each night of the convention will feature parties - some hosted by publishers, some by cities bidding for future Worldcons, some by fans or groups of fans. The great majority of parties are open to all members, and you will be treated to snacks and refreshments as well as conversation and a chance to make new friends.

The official party list is posted each afternoon near the message boards (just ask, you'll find the message boards), so you'll know what parties you want to check out each night.

And, frankly, you'll find many Worldcon members hanging out in hotel bars.

Costumes

In addition to the gala Masquerade, you'll often find people in hall costumes. Hall costumes are just what they sound like, members wearing costumes around the convention. While Worldcon isn't really a costume party, you will occasionally find members in costume. You'll also find members in pieces of costumes, a Doctor Who scarf, a propeller beanie, etc. While it is by no means expected that you wear a costume, you won't be out of place if you do.

Friendship

There are a lot of people at a Worldcon. Within the boundaries of good manners, everyone from the member standing next to you, to the GoHs, is approachable, and friendly. (Hey, they wouldn't be here otherwise, would they?). While many languages are spoken, English seems to be the common language. Go to the panels, talk to the other members. Go to the hall parties. You will make friends - you'll find other members who share your interests, and you'll find others who have different, but fascinating, interests. You'll find a large percentage of the members are regulars who travel to the Worldcon almost every year. Each year they make more friends - but it always starts with their first convention, and the willingness to extend the hand of friendship to others.

Internet Access

Years ago, most Worldcons had an internet lounge. As laptops, smartphones and WIFI took over, this is less common. Most Worldcons try to provide Wifi in some function areas, but this depends on what kind of deal the hotel/convention centre is willing to make or if the Worldcon can get sponsorship for it.

First Time at a Worldcon?

At every Worldcon there's a programme item called something like "So: This Is Your First Convention? Here's What to Expect." This discussion always features people who have been coming for years, know the ins and outs of Worldcon, and they both know how to have a good time - their session is worthwhile for any first-timer, or anyone with questions.

What to do Before You Leave Home

  1. Buy your membership, sooner not later.
  2. Tell all your friends you're going.
  3. Make your travel reservations.
  4. Make your hotel reservations once hotel reservations open up, typically in early January before the Worldcon. Do it early so you get a room where you want.
  5. Check the Worldcon's website and social media sites often.
  6. Check the website and look through the programme ahead of time. Make a note of the items you're particularly interested in.
  7. Review the convention maps ahead of time so you know the lay of the land.
  8. When you pack, check the weather for the city before you leave.

What to do When You Arrive

Assuming you already got your membership through the internet, go to Registration, where they will have your badge and packet of materials. Then go to the message board and circle your name, so anyone else who may be looking for you knows you have arrived.

If you downloaded the programme ahead of time, great. If not, find a place to sit down with the pocket programme and decide what's important to see next. Don't forget to go to a "So: This Is Your First Convention" session.

Most important, just like the big buffet try and sample those unknown delicacies. And remember, this is five days and nights of fun, fun, fun - so pace yourself, get some sleep, take showers, eat your meals and have a great time!

The convention is organised and run by fans, volunteers all. The organising/operating committee changes each year with the location of the convention, though many members volunteer their time year after year, regardless of location. Even if this is your first convention, consider spending a few hours working on the con - Worldcons need all the volunteers it can get and has jobs for everyone. It's a great way to get involved and help keep Worldcons running in the future.

Lastly, please review the Code of Conduct which explains the etiquette and protocol of human interaction at the Worldcon. Everyone who becomes a member is bound by this agreement.