MEDIA RELEASE #1 – [2016-09-22]
Helsinki in 2017: Putting the world into Worldcon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For five days in August 2017, Helsinki will be not only the capital of Finland, but also of science fiction and fantasy. This is the first time that a World Science Fiction Convention (a Worldcon) will takes place in a Nordic country.
“The public interest for science fiction and fantasy is bigger than ever all over the world. This is an opportunity to reach out to new audiences and literally bring the world to Worldcon”, said Jukka Halme, one of the two chairs of Worldcon 75.
Halme, who is Finnish, and American Crystal Huff, recently took over the chairs’ gavel in Kansas City, Missouri, where the 2016 Worldcon, Midamericon II, was held.
Worldcon 75 will take place at the Helsinki Messukeskus conference center between August 9 and August 13 2017. The chairs said that they want to host a convention that reaches new audiences in Finland, in the Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe and the world.
“In the early days, the science fiction community was dominated by the US, and accordingly most Worldcons have taken place either in the US or in English speaking countries. But in recent years this has changed rapidly. Many of the most interesting works today are created in other languages, and those new voices bring new energy and new ideas to the genre. We see the beginning of a new era of diversity, not only in colour, but also in gender, beliefs and abilities. To bring Worldcon to Helsinki is a natural, but important step in this development,” said chair Crystal Huff.
While saying this, the chairs also emphasized that the aim is to revitalize the Worldcon concept–not change it completely.
“We want to offer an interesting program that reflects the latest trends, not just in literature, but also in comics, films, TV, music, and art. We’ll try some new things, but we will still respect the traditions of Worldcon, making sure that recurring members will feel at home. There will be something for everyone,” said Jukka Halme.
As previous world science fiction conventions, Worldcon 75 will offer an abundant menu of panels, parties, exhibitions and events, such as the traditional masquerade and the Hugo Awards ceremony.
The Guests of Honor come from five different countries and reflect the diversity in science fiction and fantasy:
- Johanna Sinisalo, of Finland, is one of the few science and fantasy fiction novelists to win the prestigious Finlandia Prize.
- Nalo Hopkinson, of Jamaica, a novelist and academic currently based at the University of California Riverside, has won a World Fantasy Award for her work, among other honours.
- John-Henri Holmberg, of Sweden, is a prolific editor, critic, publisher, and translator, co-authored The Tattooed Girl, an Edgar-nominated analytical biography exploring the work of his friend and colleague Stieg Larsson.
- Claire Wendling, of France, is known widely for her work in comics and game art, and was nominated for the Angoulême Grand Prix 2016.
- Walter Jon Williams, US, has written more than 30 works including cyberpunk, near-future thrillers, space opera, and post-cyberpunk new weird epic fantasy.
In August 2016, one year before the event, Worldcon 75 already had 4,500 members from 45 countries.
“It’s a good beginning, but we’re aiming for more. We’re going to work hard to spread the word all over the world, gathering as many fans of science fiction and fantasy as possible in Helsinki,” said Crystal Huff.
The 75th World Science Fiction Convention, Worldcon 75 will take place in Helsinki, Finland, 9–13 August 2017. For more information about the convention, including current membership rates, visit http://worldcon.fi. All media releases are available at http://worldcon.fi/press.
The Guests of Honour for Worldcon 75 are John-Henri Holmberg, Nalo Hopkinson, Johanna Sinisalo, Claire Wendling, and Walter Jon Williams.
ABOUT THE WORLD SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION
Founded in 1939, the World Science Fiction Convention is one of the largest international gatherings of authors, artists, editors, publishers, and fans of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugo Awards, a leading award for excellence in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, are voted on by the Worldcon membership and presented during the convention.
“World Science Fiction Society”, “WSFS”, “World Science Fiction Convention”, “Worldcon”, “NASFiC”, “Hugo Award”, the Hugo Award Logo, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.