Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicon 7 Starts Tomorrow!

Chicon 7 (a.k.a. WorldCon) starts tomorrow. I will be attending as a member of the press, but don't worry, I still plan to post Thursday and Friday so you can end your week with the usual alternate history goodies.

If you follow us on Twitter you can check in live when I announce the winners of the Sidewise Awards this Friday night at 9 pm CST. If you are attending Chicon you can find me there Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I will be out of town Sunday and Monday because of wedding so I won't be there for the end and I will also not be posting a Weekly Update on Monday. Sorry, I just won't have the time, but next Monday I will have two news posts to make up for what I missed last week.

This will be the last post I make about Chicon before the convention begins. Below is some important information for you to know if you are going.

Artist Guest of Honor Rowena Morrill Unable to Attend Chicon 7

Artist Guest of Honor Rowena Morrill will be unable to attend the convention. Rowena has recently been hospitalized following health problems, but is now recovering well. She has expressed her regret that she is unable to make a personal appearance at Worldcon.

Rowena's original art, prints and books will still be on display and for sale in the Chicon 7 Art Show and
Dealer's Room, and Rowena's many fans are encouraged to stop by to appreciate her work.

Chicon 7 Announces Mobile App for Android and Apple Devices

Chicon 7 is providing its members with an online application for handheld devices that provides key convention information. The app was developed in partnership with Viafo and is available for Android phones and tablets through Google Play, and will shortly be available for iPhone and iPad through the iTunes App Store.

The Chicon 7 app is an enhanced version of the software that was previously used for Renovation, the 2011 Worldcon. The app includes a full program schedule with item descriptions, times, and locations; a linked program participant list; social media integration; and hotel maps. A key improvement from Renovation is that the app now comes with an integrated version of the program database, enabling it to be used offline. Members can resynchronize the app at any time to provide the latest version of the program.

I have personally downloaded the app onto my phone and it has been very useful in helping me create my schedule. Full information and download details can be found on the Chicon 7 website.

Chicon 7 Confirms High Turnout for Hugo Awards Ballot, Announces More Ceremony Details

A total of 1922 valid final ballots were received, representing a 37.7% turnout. The figure of 1922 is the second highest ballot count in history after Renovation, the 2011 Worldcon. Chicon 7 previously announced an all-time record of 1101 nominating ballots, highlighting the ever-increasing interest and support for the Hugo Awards.

The 2012 Hugo Award winners will be announced on Sunday evening, September 2, at a formal ceremony in the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom. At Chicon 7's invitation, the host for the night will be Chicon 7's Toastmaster, Hugo and Campbell Award-winning author and blogger John Scalzi. Members can look forward to Scalzi's inimitable combination of insight, humor and sheer coolness throughout an exciting and entertaining event.

The Hugo Award ceremony will start at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast live around the world via Ustream. In addition, the official Hugo Awards site will provide live text coverage via CoverItLive. The CoverItLive broadcast will be hosted by former Worldcon Co-Chairman Kevin Standlee and Campbell Award Nominee Mur Lafferty.

It is a Worldcon tradition that while the Hugo trophy itself always takes the form of a silver rocket, the base on which it stands is unique to each year. The 2012 Hugo Award base has been designed by Deb Kosiba, who previously designed the trophy bases for the 2005 and 2006 awards. Ms. Kosiba will be revealing and discussing the base design at the Chicon 7 Opening Ceremony on Thursday, August 30, and members are encouraged to attend for a first look at this coveted item.

The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the science fiction genre, honoring science fiction and fantasy literature and media as well as the genre's fans. The awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon") in Philadelphia (Philcon II), and Worldcons have continued to present the awards annually for nearly 60 years.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a volunteer editor for Alt Hist and a contributor to Just Below the Law. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and his own writing blog. When not writing he works as an attorney and enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana.

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