01/10/2002. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Brush the dust off your sporran and boil the water for the haggis, because the World Science Fiction Convention for 2005 has been awarded to Glasgow. We may fail to land the Olympics, but who cares, because science fiction is coming home at last.
What a result! A UK-led team has successfully bid to host the World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon"), the world's premier international science fiction event.
Members of the current Worldcon - in this case ConJose, held in San Jose, California - selected the site of the Worldcon three years away by democratic vote.
Apparently, the Glasgow bid received a woppingly large 90% of the votes cast.
Interaction, the 2005 Worldcon will be held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow over the weekend of 4-8 August 2005, as well as many other local hotels.
Around 5,000 science fiction and fantasy fans are expected to attend the event, with about 3,000 of them from overseas.
Early confirmed guests of honour will include award-winning authors Christopher Priest, Robert Sheckley and Jane Yolen, critic and fanzine editor Greg Pickersgill and veteran Scandinavian fan Lars-Olov Strandberg.
Over 300 other professionals - writers, editors, publishers, artists and critics - are expected to attend, and the convention will feature over 600 hours of programme activity across more than 15 parallel streams.
The World Science Fiction Convention first took place in New York in 1939 and has been held every year since then, apart from a brief break during the Second World War. More often than not it is held in the U.S., but there have been several in Europe and Australia, and there is a Japanese bid for 2007.
The Worldcon was last held in Glasgow in 1995. Typically the Worldcon attracts around 5,000 - 6,000 attendees from around the world. The focus is primarily on SF literature.
In addition to book signings by authors, the programme will include panel discussions, games, film and video showings, an exhibition of SF art both amateur and professional, and a sales room in which specialist dealers sell SF books and other related merchandise.
The Hugo Awards, selected by vote of the convention members, will be presented on the Saturday evening.
Numerous other events will take place throughout the weekend at the convention, which is the principal annual gathering of international SF fandom. Food and drink will be available throughout the site for the weekend, and real ale is available on tap.
Local restaurants and other businesses can expect a busy weekend too, as the Glasgow Bid has been strongly supported by the City of Glasgow authorities throughout the three year long bidding process
Membership for the weekend costs £75 or $115 until Easter 2003.
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