Why Helsinki in 2017?

The site of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, Worldcon is not a random thing. Groups of volunteers put forth
bids to have the Worldcon be in their host city a particular year. Members of the Worldcon can if they wish pay
an additional fee to vote. The voting for that is two years in advance. So, this year, 2015, Worldcon is in Spokane, the Spokane people having won the 2013 voting pool. Next
year, the Worldcon will be in Kansas City. Barbeque Time!

Thus, this year, 2017 is (was) up for voting.

The sites up for voting include Montreal, Tokyo, D.C. and Helsinki. The Skiffy and Fanty podcast has long been supporters of the Helsinki bid, and
I’d like to say why I, individually, voted Helsinki in 2017:

1. Diversity: Worldcon doesn’t get overseas as much as it should, for a World Science Fiction Convention. It’s only been in non-UK Europe *twice*, once in the Netherlands and once in was then West Germany. Rules changes in the late 80’s mean that the US can’t have it more than 3 years in a row, but the pattern seems to be just that–US three years in a row, a grudging non-US bid, and then back to three more years in the US. Following that pattern, 2017 COULD be a US con (in which case 2018 HAS to be non-US). But why wait until 2018 to have a forced non-US Worldcon? A chance for different SF fans to really have their presence in SF be seen, felt and contribute. SF is way too often a US/CAN/UK/AUS affair with the rest of the world ignored or forgotten. Helsinki in 2017 would be a step in the right direction.

2. Fun, good, happy, committed people. Worldcon needs to run on its people. It lives and dies by them. The Helsinki people I’ve met (at Worldcon in London last year) are the kind of people I want running a con I’d go to. They want this, they are working hard to make this happen and make this an experience of a lifetime.

3. Helsinki, man. I’ve never been (as of the time of writing) been to non-UK Europe. This is the perfect reason for me to go. I’d love to see Finland! Montreal would be fine, Tokyo too…but I’ve been to DC in August. That’s just a recipe for No Fun. I’ve seen enough photos from the Helsinki people to be assured I’d have no lack of things to see in and around the convention. Have Camera, Will Travel!

So, there are my reasons. I really do hope Helsinki in 2017 wins the bid.