The World Science Fiction Convention, commonly called Worldcon, 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 has a uniquely participatory culture, with fans and professionals engaging socially in convention program as peers, a welcome contrast to the culture of consumption at many commercial popular-media conventions. This cooperative culture dates back to Worldcon’s inception. Attendees of a typical Worldcon can choose from around 1000 sessions, on topics ranging from writing technique to costume construction to the evolution of social mores and constructs, and much more.
With few exceptions, everyone attending and presenting is a paying member of the convention, and by extension a member of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). This participatory culture is most visible in the annual Hugo Awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy. The nominations, winner selection, and production and presentation of the awards are all managed by convention members, and only members are eligible to nominate and vote. The Hugo Ceremony is one of the signature events at Worldcon.
Worldcon 76 in San Jose has selected “Make the Future” as the theme for the 2018 conference. This is a deliberate reference to the booming worldwide “maker culture,” which has strong roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. And it celebrates our deeper philosophical belief that it is by the choices we make together that we 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!