Even when the Worldcon was in Dublin two years ago, members living in the U.S. were the group
|Even when the Worldcon was in far-off Helsinki,|
there were more Americans than Fins in attendance.
(Photo by Tapio Haaja via Pixabay)
most represented in sales, with 2,750 of the 6,918 memberships (and 1,582 of the 4,190 in-person memberships) being purchased by U.S. residents. In Finland two years before that, 3,368 of the 8,748 memberships (and 1,141 of the 3,316 in-person memberships) were purchased by U.S. residents. At Japan’s 2007 Worldcon, 1,907 of the 4,010 memberships sold were purchased by U.S. residents. The complete and exact tally of how many people from each country bought memberships to Discon III is not available yet due to issues with the registration system, but similar patterns repeat in the demographic breakdown of every Worldcon for which we have found the statistics.
This dominance of American voters is reflected in the results of the Hugo Awards; almost 85 per cent of all Hugo-nominated fiction, and almost 85 per cent of all Hugo-winning fiction was written by U.S.-born authors (a statistic that’s even more revealing when one realizes that the calculation counts Isaac Asimov, Algis Budrys, and Manly Wade Wellman as not being U.S.-born.)
|Editor and author Xueting|
Christine Ni would be a
worthy inclusion on the Hugo
ballot. (Image via Amazon)
We predict that these statistics (which have remained fairly stable over recent decades) are about to change.
Rumours about a large number of supporting memberships being purchased in the days leading up to the 2023 Worldcon site selection vote were viral at Worldcon 2021. Turns out they were also accurate, with more than 2,400 Chinese residents purchasing supporting memberships for Discon III; approximately 1,600 of those memberships were purchased in the 10 days before the convention. The final vote tally was 2,006 votes for Chengdu to 807 for Winnipeg.
|Science Fiction World prints more|
than 200,000 copies every month.
(Image via CNBeta.com)
The Chengdu bid won this site selection vote through organizing, through outreach to convention runners, and through encouraging their local fans to purchase supporting memberships and to vote. As has often been pointed out by proponents of the Chendu bid, China is the country with the world’s largest number of science fiction fans.
|Canadian author Derek Künsken|
does well in North America ...
but more than a million people
read his works in China.
(Cover of the Chinese edition
of Quantum Magician via the
The vast majority of these memberships were bought by people who have never previously participated in voting on the Hugo Awards, as this will be their first Worldcon memberships. And excitingly, they will be eligible to nominate works for the Hugos in 2022. Given that there are usually little more than 1,000 nominating ballots cast in a given year, these supporting members of Discon III could have an enormous influence on what makes the ballot at the Chicago Worldcon. We encourage them to nominate.