Luna City 2017
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.
- 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.
- Dates : July or August, AD 2017 (Tentative)
- Place : Luna City, Luna
- Interplanetary Attending Members will be furnished transportation to & from the primary
venue, lodging, food, air, water, sanitary, & other basics ; additional items such as
extended stays, suface excursions, &c. may be available for an extra charge.
- Some arrangement may be made for purchasing an interplanetary Attending Membership "up
front" at a substantial advance on the regular membership cost.
- All efforts will be made to hold the convention as scheduled ; alternate arrangements
may be made, but in case of failure of the colony membership fees are not
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"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.