chaiya: (TARDIS)
It's my birthday, so I'm going to ramble a bit. Please indulge me. ;)

To a large extent, I have already gotten what I wanted for my birthday. Readercon 24, the science fiction convention I chaired this past weekend, went really well. We had excellent attendance, fantastic conversations, and lots of people had a really great time. While there were some bumps along the way, nothing seems to have gone horribly awry (knock on wood). I believe we didn't kill Readercon over the past year. In fact, we came within twenty attendees of hitting our membership cap. I've been asked to chair Readercon again next year. Third time's the charm? ;)

My friends are, many of you, fans of science fiction. Are you yet a member (either supporting or attending) of LoneStarCon3 (this year's World Science Fiction Convention)? Are you in the process of voting on the Hugo ballot, and perhaps pondering whether you want to become an Advance Supporting Member of the 2015 Worldcon (aka, vote on site selection for 2015)?

You may have noticed that I've visited Helsinki twice so far this year. I'll be going to Finland (and Sweden) again in October to attend Swecon. (And many thanks to the love and generosity of my family and my colleagues at Luminoso for letting me run around like this!) The reason for my visiting Helsinki so much is that I'm heavily involved in the bid to bring Worldcon to Helsinki in 2015. So much so, in fact, that if Helsinki wins, I've been asked to co-chair the Worldcon that would result.

This is something I am incredibly excited about. It's a fascinating challenge, and I want to take it on.

To do that, though, Helsinki needs to win the vote on site selection. This year's race is tight, between Helsinki, Spokane, and Orlando. The votes have already started to roll in!

If you are reading this and a member of Worldcon this year, please vote on your Hugo ballots. Voting is good for you! Please further consider paying the extra $40 fee to vote on site selection. The Helsinki team (including me) would appreciate your consideration for site selection, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about the bid and our plans.

If you're not already a member of Worldcon this year, but want to vote for us, the basic steps you can follow are:

1. Get a membership for this year's Worldcon (either supporting membership or attending). (This gives you ebooks of the Hugo-nominated literature and allows you to vote on the Hugo awards, so long as you do so by the end of the month!)

2. Pay the $40 USD site selection voting fee.

3. Print out the voting ballot. Fill it in, and seal it as instructed.

4. You can mail it yourself, or contact info@helsinkiin2015.org and we can make sure your ballot is delivered at Worldcon this year!

For more details on voting, you can also look at Helsinki's Page of Site Selection Explanation.

Any questions? :)
chaiya: (tough chick)
This past year has seen significant discourse on addressing sexual harassment in fandom.

Friends will remember that I chaired Arisia in 2011, and worked with the executive board to ban a man who harassed several individuals (not just women) -- banned first from staff, then the 2011 convention, and then from 2012. This past week, I forwarded my post-con 2011 report to the division head currently tasked with making Arisia 2014 safe, at her request.

I chaired Readercon last July, and we were at the epicenter of a harassment firestorm. After said storm, Readercon staff (particularly [livejournal.com profile] rosefox and my beloved [livejournal.com profile] omnia_mutantur) put extensive effort into creating a clear new Code of Conduct, Policies, and Procedures for addressing reports of harassment and problematic behavior. It is my fervent hope and belief that we are making vast improvements, although I know it's unlikely we've gotten it perfect right out of the gate.

I care about fandom. I care passionately about conventions. I used to average more than one per month. I have traveled internationally to meet strangers and talk about science fiction (Montreal, Melbourne, London, Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Aland, so far!).

I am working actively on making a better future in fandom, on multiple fronts, as much as I can. I'm even contributing significantly to the Helsinki Worldcon Bid (here, have a reminder to show us your support!), which is another facet of conversing about the future.

Fandom has a long way to go. But as Elise Matthesen is demonstrating, with help from Jim Hines and Seanan McGuire, amongst others, fandom is definitely *having* this conversation now. Which is fantastic.

We have and will will make mistakes. I have certainly made more than my share. (Not for nothing, but we all agree now that a zero tolerance policy discourages some reports, potentially making a less safe environment. To my grave, I will wish I'd paid more attention to our policy prior to Readercon 23.)

Hopefully we will continue to learn.
chaiya: (Readercon)
Please read the Readercon convention committee's statement on recent events: http://readercon.org/publicstatement.htm
chaiya: (Readercon)
The entire Readercon board has now either resigned or announced intention to resign at the next meeting.
chaiya: (blue eyes)
Seventeen days have gone by since the board was notified of Ms. Valentine's complaint.

Seven have passed since the board had their emergency meeting and gave a decision.

Five days ago, Rose Fox called for a vote of the concom to overrule the board of directors' decision.

I have personally been on this for not quite four days. Aside from everything else, my highest accomplishment thus far may have been to suss out why Ms. Kligman didn't receive a response from the board before now, apologize profusely to her, and address her directly on the phone last night. (As has been discussed elsewhere, the board didn't receive her email, and we didn't realize it until someone else wrote in referring to her complaint.) Ms. Kligman told me that she understood, accepted my apology, and said that "we're cool." I hope that does reflect her feelings about it, but she also has the right to let me know that more discussion is needed or wanted by her in the future, and I will do my best to be available to her again if that is the case.

It is a very important conversation (or cluster of conversations) that we are having here, about safe space and personal responsibility for behavior and harassment and gender and standards, among other things. I am very grateful we are discussing these things, and I would not wish it to go away. I think the community and the larger culture needs to be talking more about this, painful and difficult though it may be. I WOULD wish that it didn't involve personally attacking any of the individuals involved, because none of them deserve to be treated poorly. Ms. Valentine and Ms. Kligman don't deserve to be treated poorly. The members of the Readercon board don't deserve to be treated poorly. I'd like to think I don't deserve to be treated poorly. No one here deserves to be treated without respect, in my opinion.

I do not feel that we are taking this lightly, or that we are acting slowly, particularly as we are a committee. I am sorry that others do.
chaiya: (corner of sky)
I have not, recently, made many posts in my LJ, and some of this post involves information that I have never publicly shared before. So this is a challenging step for me, but it might be needed, and I want to do what is needed, if possible, if I can.

Readercon has been at the epicenter of a discussion about harassment and safe space in fandom, this past week. As the chair of this past Readercon, I can't be unbiased. I can't speak for Readercon as a whole, but I do have thoughts I would like to share publicly at this time (now that I'm back from my annual camping trip, which unfortunately coincided with a lot of the discussion I now feel the need to respond to).

I value safe spaces, and I am confident that this is a priority for Readercon people, as well. Many Readercon staffers are the same people who've been deeply involved supporters of the Backup Project. We recognize that the board's decision with regard to Ms. Valentine's complaint of harassment was made in haste, as was the original policy with regard to harassment at Readercon. In order to not compound errors further, we as the Readercon convention committee will be reexamining both with lots of thought and care.

That will, unfortunately, take time. We apologize for that, and for those who want a final decision sooner, but we are not able to do this both well and quickly. The makeup of the Readercon board is in transition, which does not in any way speed this process up.

Please have patience with us while we sort through this.

In the meantime, if it is possible, please try to add positively to this discussion. Think about ways that we can all support women PEOPLE coming forward with their concerns, in this community and the wider community. Be cognizant that the people trying to make Readercon happen were overworked and unpaid volunteers *before* these events, and are now even more overloaded with even fewer resources to spare.

Above all, please try to treat each other with respect and dignity. The amount of email I personally have received about this is astounding. The high percentage of emails that are pointedly hurtful and fall into name-calling is quite depressing. The calls to action have been furious and had no response from me before now (and many unfortunately will have to continue to wait for responses) because I was actually unable to respond before now. Not that most people realized this, but I was on a camping trip, away from internet and cell service for most of the past week.

I was not involved in the Readercon board's decision concerning this matter, but I did chair this past Readercon and was asked to chair the next one. I am personally invested, as a survivor of harassment, abuse, and rape, in having Readercon be a safe space. Please do not think I am impartial or uninvolved in the large-scope discussion we are having. Please allow us to take the time to have it.

Edited to add: Due to trying to make progress on addressing this situation, as well as coming back to my normally-60-hours-a-week job after camping vacation, I do not have nearly the time I'd like to respond to comments. They will all be read, and I will do my best to participate in this discussion, too, but I want to explain why I'm less available than I wish I could be.
chaiya: (happy)
Hurry! www.readercon.org! It'll be awesome! :)
chaiya: (dressed up in blue)
I saw the org chart updates just now, and am totally psyched and awed by the fabulous events that will be happening this year at the convention.

Dances:

* 8-bit demoscene dance: Val Grimm
* Contra dance: David Silber
* ORDNANCE & Mr Pet: DJ Pet
* Period dance: Jesse Wertheimer
* Time Traveler's Ball: Paul Aldred
* Weird Science Dance (80s dance): DJ Johnny Zed

Gaming (gaming@arisia.org): Puck Dowd
LARPs (larps@arisia.org): Michael McAfee

Live Performances:

* 2010: Our Hideous Future: Unreliable Narrator Theater Group
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sing Along: Teseracte Players of Boston
* Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog: Teseracte Players of Boston
* Dr Who radio play: Post-Meridian Radio Players
* Faebotica, A Musical Event: Renee Staffeld
* Geeky Belly Dance: Katrina Meyer
* Goli: Vessela Stoyanova, Valerie Thompson
* Hallucinating Shakespeare: Michael Anderson
* Higgins Armory demos: Higgins Armory
* Kusntbruder: Steven Hirsch
* Psyche Corp: Genevieve Yang
* Repo the Genetic Opera: Teseracte Players of Boston
* Rocky Horror Picture Show: Teseracte Players of Boston
* Sassafrass and Stranger Ways: Julia Suggs, Susan Weiner
* The Subs: Rebecca Angel


Doesn't that sound fantastic? The biggest problem will be figuring out how to choose between so many awesome things, some of which are bound to be happening at once!

[livejournal.com profile] majes (and [livejournal.com profile] jasra), you guys rock. So much. Thanks for making events happen this year!
chaiya: (Arisia badge)
My apologies for the delay; this has been a somewhat crazy week.

The hotel update is essentially that the Westin wants us to continue sorting through the waiting list on a rolling basis. As we finish up allocating rooms that were set aside for particular uses, we will shift people from the waiting list into those rooms. Ultimately we think that everyone currently on the waiting list will get a room (though not everyone will get the type of room they requested -- the hotel only has so many doubles). We are also looking into overflow hotel options (there are two other hotels within a short walk from the Westin), although we hope that won't be necessary.

The Westin has many more rooms than the Hyatt had, or even the Park Plaza. However, we may have more people interested in staying in the hotel this year than previous years. It will just take more patience than we had expected.

For anyone who is not yet on the waiting list: the waiting list is still the best option for getting a room in the Westin. The hotel will only be releasing rooms to those on the waiting list, so there is no reason not to be on it.

We will post updates about updates about the hotel status to the Arisia website as well as LJ, FB, Twitter, etc., when we have them. If there will be an overflow hotel, that determination will be made based on the status of the waiting list once all rooms and suites are allocated.

And thank you for your patience!
chaiya: (storm troopers)
We're trying a new event on for size this year -- a breakfast buffet event with GOHs and other Special Guests (including Seanan McGuire, Cat Valente, Hildy Silverman, Frank Wu, and others)! Breakfast price is comparable to prices in the hotel restaurant, with the added bonus of cool conversation! Go to http://2011.arisia.org/buffet for tickets & more info.

Turtle Track (childcare) is currently full. To get on the waiting list, email reg@arisia.org with "Turtle Track" in the subject line. Every year, there are some cancellations, so don't despair if you haven't yet signed up. (Same is true for hotel reservations, actually. Last year, we ended up with a couple of empty rooms in the main hotel, due to cancellations.)

Speaking of hotel reservations: The hotel has turned off the public reservations page while we sort through the Waiting List together. We're working on an alternate solution for getting reservations into their system, but the meantime, please have patience. We expect to have a further update tomorrow night, after more conferring with the hotel.
chaiya: (Arisia badge)
Hey, folks, I wanted to point out that some of you aren't aware of this, but the rough draft schedule for events and program items at Arisia this year is already in progress. If you want to be on a program item or putting on an event, the time to act was actually prior to now, but your absolute last chance to email program@arisia.org or events@arisia.org and get on the schedule is coming up right quick, now.

I suggest you email what you're thinking asap to the relevant division (or if you're not sure, proposals@arisia.org). Please don't email me (or talk with me verbally) about it, as I'm not in charge of the schedules involved, and have delegated the fun stuff to people I trust with it -- [livejournal.com profile] majes, [livejournal.com profile] crazybone, and [livejournal.com profile] omly. :)

Straw Poll

Feb. 16th, 2010 05:15 pm
chaiya: (Arisia badge)
[Poll #1526405]

Comments about why, factors, what you're looking forward to, etc. are welcome in the comments section. :)
chaiya: (Arisia badge)
As revealed yesterday in the concom meeting, the slate of guests of honor for Arisia 2011 is as follows:

Kelley Armstrong, writer goh
Shaenon Garrity, webcomic goh
Josh Simpson, artist goh
René Walling, fan goh (aka [livejournal.com profile] cyberneticnomad, co-chair of the 2009 Montreal Worldcon)

In addition, I am still waiting to hear final confirmation from the likely musical goh. We had been holding off on the announcement for this reason, but since the Arisia 2010 Souvenir Book (and thus the 2011 ad) needed to go to press, it seems a good time to announce publicly where things stand. :)

Arisia 2011 will be held in the Waterfront Westin on January 14-17, 2011.

I know we're currently gearing up for a great convention in a couple of weeks, but feel free to join me in my excitement for 2011, too!
chaiya: (Arisia badge)
I'm making progress on the GOH front for Arisia. It is *way* exciting. :)

'Course, I still won't announce them until I have a full roster. But still. I brim over with excitement!
chaiya: (bike)
I'm going to bike the Hub on Wheels event in the fall, as a member of the Arisia team. Proceeds for the event go to Technology Goes Home, which helps provide technology and skills training to Boston Public School kids.

Would anyone like to join me/us? :)

I realize it's on Erev Yom Kippur, but I figure it's a good way to start the new Jewish year and prepare myself for atonement. The biking starts out early in the morning, so there's plenty of time for getting home, showering, and stuffing oneself with food before the fasting begins.
chaiya: (Arisia badge)
I'm running the staff den for Worldcon in Montreal, aka Anticipation this August. [livejournal.com profile] londo and [livejournal.com profile] crazybone are my trusty lieutenants. I know a few of you have casually offered to help out, as well. Now's a good time to remind me, because I'm working on menu planning and schedules and all sorts of things. This will be run very similarly to my staff den at Arisia -- the numbers are similar for staff, but the weekend is longer. My (evolving) plan is available on the Anticipation hospitality wiki, if that's publicly viewable.

I'm going up to Montreal the weekend before the con, to get settled and set up and start cooking. I plan on doing some nice home-cooked Indian food for the dedicated staff who show up early, and make more-easily-mass-produced food that is still tasty and nutritious for later in the week.

More info behind the cut! )

I want to keep this sane, and fun. I've never been to a Worldcon before, and I want to have fun along with everyone else. Hence, planning to only use volunteers for one meal a day, if we can keep to that. Step right up, folks, and volunteer! [livejournal.com profile] liamstliam, among others, can vouch for it being fun to work with me! :)
chaiya: (zomg!)
It's official. The corporation tonight approved me as Arisia conchair 2011.

*gulp* So much to do!!!! ;)
chaiya: (flute)
Club Passim is nearing the end of their window for matching funds on their donation drive. If you've been thinking about joining and/or making a donation for a while, please do so in the next week! The matching funds are only available until July 2nd, apparently, and they don't get the matching funds unless they collect the first $20K themselves. Passim could really use the money! There's not a lot of money to be had when operating a folk venue with lots of new artist performers, particularly when the economy is going down the tubes. :(
chaiya: (right path)
This icon is me at Falconridge this past year. You can't see it, but further up in the picture is my friend Karen holding a sign over my head and pointing down at me. Her sign reads WRONG WAY.

I really love Falconridge. I can't wait for this year's festival! :)

(Also, I have been carrying around a "Falconridge dollar" for a couple of years now in my wallet. It's time to trade it in for a newly-minted piece of paper. Mine is getting ratty. It's a great comfort, though -- feels like I'm carrying around a piece of the festival all year long.)

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