What is Worldcon?

Worldcon, aka the World Science Fiction Convention, is the annual international gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans, writers, artists, musicians and other creators. First held in New York City in 1939, Worldcon moves around the globe, held in a different city and organized by a different volunteer organization each year.

Worldcon has a strong emphasis on science fiction and fantasy literature, but has grown to include genre television, movies, animation, games and other popular media as well. It has truly become the world’s fair of science fiction and fantasy fandom. No other event brings together fans and creators, regardless of genre or medium, under one big tent with the face-to-face intimacy of Worldcon.

Worldcon 76 in San Jose has selected “Make the Future” as its theme. This is both a reference to the booming worldwide maker culture, which has strong roots in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a celebration of our belief that the choices we make together steer not only the fan community, but humanity in general, towards the brighter future we aspire to build.

Please join with us to make that future!

What happens at Worldcon?

First and foremost, Worldcon is a social event. Several thousand fans and pros together build a temporary community for the weekend in this "gathering of the tribes" to share their enthusiasms for science fiction and fantasy (in the broadest possible sense of those terms). This extends to creating their own nightlife in the host hotel, opening their rooms to other members for themed parties and gatherings. Public costume and cosplay is widely encouraged and on display all weekend... in fact, the Worldcon 76 chair, Kevin Roche, is a dedicated costumer himself!

The Worldcon Program is its oldest tradition. The Program is where fans and pros together share their knowledge and passions with an audience that shares their interest and enthusiasm. It's one of the aspects that best demonstrates the unique community experience that is Worldcon. A series of lectures, panels, demonstrations and workshops presented by members to members forms its core. A series of film and music presentations flesh it out further.

Inside the exhibits hall members will find the Worldcon Art Show and Dealers Room, unique collections of vendors and artists whose wares and works appeal to the wide range of interests of Worldcon members. Books, music, jewelry, costume, memorabilia as well as two- and three-dimensional art can be found in a wide variety of styles and genre. In addition one can peruse curated exhibits of science and fiction-related topics relevant to the world, to the Guests of Honor, and to fandom and its history.

One will also find more social spaces in the halls, where members can sit and chat, or play a game, read or publish fanzine, or catch some light entertainment in a fan pub (Worldcon 76 is building "Callahan's Place" in honor of Guest of Honor Spider Robinson). At Worldcon 76, the Cospitality Zone will offer a photo backdrops and a costume repair station, as well as a cosplayer lounge (where one can take a break with one's helmet, head, or wig off without fear of random photographers).

Events entice audiences all weekend, most famously the Worldcon Masquerade (on-stage costume contest, Saturday evening) and presentation of the Hugo Awards (Sunday evening), in addition to a host of others large and small designed to dazzle and delight the members. Concerts, films, plays and dances fill out the social calendar all weekend. Worldcon 76 will include a premier presentation of the Silicon Valley Science Fiction Short Film Festival, as well as a number of special events featuring the Bay Area's unique maker culture.