In August 2017, the World Science Fiction Convention, a.k.a. Worldcon, will take place in Helsinki, Finland—the first time the convention has been held in a Nordic country, as they mark the occasion of Worldcon 75. Citing the growing global interest in science fiction and fantasy, co-chair Jukka Halme said in a press release, “This is an opportunity to reach out to new audiences and literally bring the world to Worldcon.”
Worldcon 75 also announced the five Guests of Honor, who “come from five different countries and reflect the diversity in science fiction and fantasy”: Johanna Sinisalo, Nalo Hopkinson, John-Henri Holmberg, Claire Wendling, and Walter Jon Williams.
Crystal Huff echoed her co-chair’s comments, saying, “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.”
Here’s more information about the Guests of Honor, including some of their work and accolades:
- 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.
Worldcon 75 will take place August 9-13, 2017 at the Helsinki Messukeskus convention center in Finland. For more information, check out the Worldcon 75 website.