Luna City 2017

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We propose that the 75th World Science Fiction Convention be held at Luna City in the year 2017.

Even assuming the complete success of the Lunar Settlement Plan, with First Landing in summer 2012, it does not appear that either the facilities of Luna City or the space transportation systems will be capable of handling the thousands of people who ordinarily attend a Worldcon, not to speak of doing so at a cost low enough to permit such attendance levels. It appears, then, that if we find it desirable to hold a lunar Worldcon in the early period, we must take a creative approach.

One of the characteristics of the lunar settlement is that its proximity to Terra allows real-time radio communications. We can take advantage of this by dividing the convention into a "primary session" at Luna City & a "secondary session" in some terrestrial location (or conceivably more than one), the two sessions being connected by a two-way link. The use of high-definition television, with the strong sense of "telepresence" which it creates, will permit joint programming. Of course, it is necessary to determine who will be participating in the lunar session, besides the selenites themselves. If we plan for 12 visitors, we can allocate 4 spots for Guests of Honour, & one each to TAFF & DUFF* for distribution according to their usual procedures. The remaining six places can then be distributed by lottery among the pre-registered Attending Members of the convention at some cut-off date, such as 1 March 2017. As more than six names will have to be drawn, to provide alternates in case in case a selected winner fails the medical examination, or declines or is unable to attend, some precautions against skullduggery may be required. It has been suggested that a free Attending Membership should be offered to anyone who shows up at the primary session, although we are hesitant to encourage the kind of irresponsible behaviour which could result.

*The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund & Down Under Fan Fund exist for the purpose of sending science-fiction fans in Europe or Australasia, respectively, to American conventions, & vice versa.

Important Questions

What do we call it?
"LunaCon" is an obvious choice, but the "Lunarians" of the New York Science Fiction Society have been holding a Lunacon annually since before the Second World War. They might be willing to let us use the name, but we certainly cannot presume their cooperation. "Lunapalooza" has been suggested ; another possibility might be "Selene", recalling both the Greek equivalent of "Luna" and the alias adopted by "Mike" in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Whom do we invite?
How many guests we can invite, and who they can be, is a question partly of capabilities and partly of availability. The cheaper and more frequent space-lift from Terra becomes, the more guest transportation we can afford. The gentler the launch stresses, the more potential guests who will be able to use it. The pioneers, both science-fiction authors and others, to whom we owe so much gratitude are aging and frail, if they still live. Of course Heinlein and Asimov have been gone for many years ; Sir Arthur C. Clarke just passed away, but he was long unable to travel, and Ray Bradbury is in much the same case now. Von Braun and most of his colleagues are dead, and even the surviving Apollo astronauts are over seventy, although generally in fine physical shape. The challenge, then, is to pick a few guests who really suit the event but are likely to be alive and healthy in ten years…
Who will run it?
Exclusive of the problem of founding Luna City, there is a great deal of work to be done in order to make this convention happen. Under the plan as outlined above, all of the usual work for an Earthside Worldcon will have to be done, plus the special arrangements for space, which will not be trivial. Selecting, preparing, & transporting the guests & interplanetary attending members, arranging the communication links, & the other special issues will probably present a logistical challenge comparable to an ordinary Worldcon, although some of it can be handled within the existing Project structure. Fortunately, we have plenty of time to prepare.

Current Information

Luna Project home page

Note : "World Science Fiction Society", "WSFS", "World Science Fiction Convention", "Worldcon", "NASFiC", and "Hugo Award" are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society. Version 0.2 2008-303