Chicon 8, the 80th World Science Fiction Convention, will be held in Chicago on September 1-5, 2022.
For the first time in a bunch of years, it looks like we’ll be there, barring some kind of (waves hands and does hopeless Kermit flail indicating everything) catastrophe.
My first science fiction convention was Iguanacon II in Phoenix in 1978. My first trip out of North America was Seacon ’79 in Brighton, England. My honeymoon with Janet (my first wife) was a cross-country road trip to Noreascon Two in Boston in 1980.
We went to Denvention Two in Denver in 1981, Chicon IV in Chicago in 1982, and ConStellation in Baltimore in 1983.
In 1984 we were touch and go at LA Con II here in Los Angeles. I was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine but Janet was about 8 1/2 months pregnant, so we could have been forced to bail at a moment’s notice. I did not win the Hugo and our son arrived two weeks after the convention.
After attending seven years in a row things got spottier. We didn’t get to Australia in 1985, Brighton in 1987, or The Hague in 1990.
Even for the domestic conventions, we only got to about a third of them. But we were also taking all of the kids – they got brought up in fannish culture. Noreascon 3 in Boston. ConFrancisco in San Francisco. LACon III in Los Angeles. Chicon 2000. ConJose in San Jose. Torcon 3 in Toronto. LACon IV. Denvention 3. Anticipation in Montreal.
Over the past dozen or so years it seems that a lot of Worldcons have been overseas, and with my career and CAF time commitments causing quite the pinch to my available time, we didn’t get to Australia, Helsinki, London, Dublin, or Wellington. Of course, we didn’t get to Chicago, Kansas City, San Antonio, Reno, or Spokane either. Hell, we didn’t even get to San Jose.
Recently, of course, there’s been COVID. So while we really, REALLY had plans to get to Washington, DC last year, that ultimately didn’t happen.
I had forgotten that the last one we actually got to was in 2009, Anticipation in Montreal. It’s been thirteen years. Time flies when you’re… Never mind.
Next year Worldcon is in Chengdu, China. As much as I enjoyed my one trip to China, I don’t realistically see us getting to Chengdu Worldcon 81st. For the 2024 Worldcon there’s only one bid, Glasgow, Scotland, so I’m guessing they’ll win the vote. We might actually give that a shot, it sounds like a great trip. 2025’s only bid so far is Seattle, where 2026 has bids from Los Angeles and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
In summary, while the future looks good for at least a couple of domestic bids coming up and at least one realistic overseast trip, this year’s Worldcon in Chicago is where we’re focused. I think we’re going.
We have memberships, hotel reservations, and now plane reservations. Everything’s refundable if the world collapses (again) but we’re hopeful. Over Memorial Day weekend we went to Baycon up in San Mateo and it, while much smaller in size that in previous years (“Thanks, COVID!” ) was still enjoyable. I have no idea how big Chicon 8 will be compared to what I’m used to as a Worldcon, but I’m hoping for a fun convention and also some good sightseeing around Chicago. Maybe a Cubs game at Wrigley.
It’s about time to catch a break and get a little bit back to normal, if we can.