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The membership numbers for Sasquan continue to climb higher and higher. In the past, worldcons in major metropolitan areas like LA, Chicago, Boston, and London have boasted the largest membership numbers, while those in smaller and more out-of-the way locales have been smaller. Spokane is about as small and out-of-the-way as worldcon sites are like to get, and therefore might reasonably have been expected to be one of the smaller worldcons in the past decade.

But this is no ordinary year. Thanks to Puppygate and the Hugo War, Sasquan's membership numbers are way higher than anyone could have expected. The little con in Spokane even has an outside chance of eclipsing the record membership totals set last year by London.

FILE 770 has the numbers: http://file770.com/?p=22097

What's even more unusual -- though perfectly understandable in context -- is that this huge upswell is for SUPPORTING memberships, not attending. In other words, these are people who want to vote on the Hugo Awards, but have no actual interest in attending the worldcon.

But who are they? Are these new members Sad Puppy fans, signing up to vote the Torgersen/ Correia slate to victory? Are these the Rabids, the lockstep legions of Vox Day? Or is this fandom, gathering to defend the integrity of the Hugos? Pronouncements abound, but no one really knows, and no one is likely to know until the envelopes are opened. This will be the most dramatic Hugo night in worldcon history. But not in a good way.

Myself, I think it's All of the Above. Fans on both sides -- or all three sides, if you want to draw a line between the Sad Puppies and the Rabids -- are laying down their money to cast their vote. I also think the votes may be way closer than some of the people on "my side" think. I am sensing way too much complacency from fandom. The Puppies dominated the nominations by mustering 200-300 votes for their slate, out of 2000; the fans seem to be counting on the "other" 1800, the voters who scattered their own nominating ballots, to outvote the Pups. And yes, 1800 beats 200 every time... but that does NOT account for all these new members.

However this goes down, we will see more Hugo ballots cast than ever before. If any of this matters to you -- yes, YOU, reading this right now -- you can and should cast one of them. It will cost you $40, and you have until July 1 to sign up. Go to:


Looking at those membership numbers, especially the number of Supporting Members as opposed to Attending, makes me wonder -- are any of the Puppies actually planning on coming to Sasquan? If their slate should prevail and win a bunch of rockets, who is going to be there to accept them? We know Brad Torgersen cannot attend, since he is being deployed. I believe that Larry Correia had also stated that he won't be going. So... who will?


Apr. 26th, 2015 06:17 am (UTC)
Well, I'm one of those new supporting members. I've been reading sf/f/h since my pre-teen years, started reading the prosiness and fanzines in my teens, and have been around fandom various ways all the rest of my life, with my 50th birthday coming up later this year. I've read nominees and taken part in the chatter and debate about the awards most years, but never quite got the motivation to sign up before this. But this year? I didn't want to let vandal Puppies have it all their own way, so this time I'm reading and discussing with an eye toward voting as well, and I'll be looking forward to more reading, discussing, and nominating for next year.

At least a dozen folks in my immediate circle of friends and acquaintances are in the same position: part of fandom socially, not previously Worldcon supporters, doing it this year to give something back to the tradition we appreciate. I've done my part to spread the word further in forums that have a lot of sf/f fans without the forums being about them as such, and I see a bunch of people I don't know talking the same way I am here. There are a lot of us out there wishing we'd been alert enough to take part in the nominations, to make slate pushing harder. I wish I could go to the business meeting, too, but, well, I haven't gotten any healthier since the days back when you asked for thoughts about things young Bran might dream of after his fall.

(I also found myself wondering just how boggled and tickled you were about the White House Correspondents' Dinner.)

Edited at 2015-04-26 06:28 am (UTC)


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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