Finland! Finland! Finland!

The Hugo trophy handed out at the 15th World Science Fiction Convention held in London, England in September of 1957.

The Hugo trophy handed out at the 15th World Science Fiction Convention held in London, England in September of 1957.

In his novel, Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy wrote, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” A lot of people think that Tolstoy was making a cynical comment about happiness, but the idea that the novel explores and demonstrates is actually that there are many, many different things that can go wrong in one’s life to make one unhappy (and you only need one of those things to happen), whereas the only way to be truly happy is to avoid each and every one of those misery inducers. I have some philosophical disagreements with the second half of that. But what got me thinking about all of this was trying to describe to a friend why I believe that specifically the Sad/Rabid Puppies are doomed to fail, based on my observations over the years of groups ranging from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage to the Westboro Baptist Church to Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, and before that Anita Bryant’s anti-gay Save the Children, and way way before that Falwell’s proselytizing against racial equality de-segregation.

That’s because, while unifying social justice advocates is like herding cats because they are each outraged in their own way, haters are easy to predict because they are only happy when the people they hate are unhappy.

But I think more than enough pixels have been spilt explaining all of that. Today, let me remind you that voting for the Hugo Awards ends on Friday. If you are a WorldCon member and haven’t completed you ballot online, do it now before the servers get bogged down with the rush. The ballot is here. There is still time to buy a supporting membership to become a voter, but since processing a membership might take a while as more traffic hits the servers, you want to do that soon! George R.R. Martin posted a nice summary of why, if you love science fiction and fantasy, you should “ vote NOW.”

Both Michael and I completed our ballots this weekend. The system allows you to go back and change things if you want, and there are two categories I keep changing my mind about. I’m not certain whether or no I’ll post my final ballot. I can sympathize with arguments for either option. I’ve already said enough in my Hugo Ballot Review series of posts for a bunch of the categories to give everyone a good guess.

I should also mention that if you are a WorldCon member this year (supporting or full attending), and if you purchase an advanced pre-supporting membership for 2017, you can vote in the site selection for 2017. That deadline is August 10, but you can’t vote online. Rules require the committee conducting the vote to allow each of the groups that are bidding to host the con to audit the ballots and for ballots to be signed. So you need to do it soon enough for your ballot to arrive in the mail by August 10th (not be postmarked by August 10, but to arrive at their P.O. Box, which this year is in Pennsylvannia).

The pre-supporting membership will automatically become a supporting membership for whichever of the bidding committees win the site selection vote, so you will be a supporting member in 2017 (and if it winds up in a city near you or that you’ve always wanted to visit, it’s cheaper to upgrade your supporting membership to full membership). This also means you’ll be able to nominate and vote in the 2017 Hugos.

If you want to vote in the 2016 Hugos, you can buy a supporting membership to WorldCon 2016 (being held in Kansas City). If you do all of this, then you can nominate and vote in the Hugos every where from now on simply by buying a pre-supporting membership in the future WorldCon as soon as the e-mail comes out telling you that site selection voting for the 2018 has opened (and the next year, and the next). And you will get that email because it goes out to everyone who is a supporting or attending member for each current WorldCon. The pre-supporting memberships are usually slightly cheaper than what a supporting membership costs once the site selection vote is over.

Once you get on that train, it’s a simple matter of buying each pre-supporting membership as soon as they are announced, and then you can both nominate and vote in each year’s Hugo Awards. And while everyone is reminding everyone to vote, the only way to reduce the odds of future bloc-voting schemes succeeding is to get a much higher percentage of the people who will vote in the Hugos, to also participate in the nomination process.

I don’t want to unduly influence anyone’s voting in the site selection, but I was amused, after my husband and I had each independently filled out or ballots, we revealed to each other our reasons for voting as we did. I voted for Helsinki as my first choice because I think that Finland deserves to have a WorldCon (and I’ve always been fond of Finland because of one teacher’s aid I had in high school who was Finnish). Michael also thought Finland should get it because they have been passed over before, and added that if he wins the Lotto and we decide to go, it would be a fun part of Europe to see. We both voted for Montreal and Shizuoka (Japan) as our second and third choices because, as I put it, if finances suddenly come together for attending in 2017, Japan or Quebec should have more pleasant weather in August than Washington, D.C.

Neither of us want to go to D.C. in August.

And if Helsinki wins, all of us can put this song on continuous loop:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here!)

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. For more than 20 years I edited and published an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

4 responses to “Finland! Finland! Finland!”

  1. JO_Wass says :

    Haha! I just happened onto your blog through the Hugo post, and saw the header for this one. I’m sitting here reading your blog in Helsinki at the moment, so I got a bit curious. And YES you should bring WorldCon to Finland!

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