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I think I'm going Japanese

01/08/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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I really think so... the 65th World Science Fiction Convention is to be held in Yokohama, Japan.

Science fiction fans are used to reading stories set under a future united world government. Perhaps one step toward that future will take place August 30th - September 3rd, 2007 as readers and viewers of science fiction and fantasy from around the world gather in Yokohama for Nippon 2007, the 65th World Science Fiction Convention.

This will be the first time this international convention has taken place in Japan and only its second time in a non-English-speaking country. Most of the previous conventions, known collectively as Worldcons, have been held all over the United States, but the Worldcon has also visited Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and West Germany. At each convention, the members vote on a location for the Worldcon two years in the future.

The Worldcon features the annual Hugo award for the best science fiction novels, short stories, movies, editor, and other categories, as well as the traditional Japanese Seiun Award.

Other events include a masquerade, presentations for opening and closing ceremonies, an art show, a dealer’s room packed with science fiction merchandise, and an assortment of panels, book signings, author readings, parties, and other special events. Nippon 2007 will combine the English-speaking and Japanese science fiction worlds.

The convention will feature author guests of honor Sakyo Komatsu and David Brin, artist guests of honor Yoshitaka Amano and Michael Whelan, and fan guest of honor Takumi Shibano.

The Worldcon will be combined with the annual Japan National SF Convention and is expected to attract 3500 to 4500 visitors, with about half coming from overseas. Many events will be held in English and major events will be translated into both languages.

Fans from overseas will also have the opportunity to tour Japan, including sites famous from Japanese manga (comics), anime (animation), and movies.

Adult memberships for the convention will be $283, although cheaper rates had been available for those who bought in advance.

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