How to Start a Worldcon Bid in 24 Hours or Less

Caution - this is not a tale for the weak of heart (or stomach)

Setting: ConJose, Room 1505, Noreascon 4 "Mad Scientist" Party

Sunday 1 September 1 2002

1:15 am Deb Geisler goes to bed, leaving the remaining occupants of the suite without responsible adult supervision. Some people would say what happened next is all her fault.

1:30 am Mike Pins and Marc Gordon are off in a side room, discussing the upcoming 2005 NASFIC. Stephen Boucher sits in the side room on the opposite side of the suite, completely unaware of what is about to happen.

1:31 am [Mike and Marc joke about having Australia host the 2005 NASFIC - if Westercon can be in Australia, then why not?

1:32 am Marc Gordon, amused by this mental image, passes the joke on to Mark Olson and Erik Olson.

1:40 am Mike Pins enters the side room where Stephen sits talking to Joe Siclari, totally unsuspecting. He suggests this innovative solution to the NASFIC dilemma to Stephen, who utters the fateful words "I don't want to run a NASFIC. I'd rather run a Worldcon."

1:41 am Joe announces Stephen's statement to the crowd assembled in the next room. Erik Olson mutters "If we give him money, it's a pre-support."

1:42 am $40 for Priscilla and Mark Olson fall to Stephen's lap and Erik Olson's $20 quickly follows, accompanied by mutual shouts of "We're pre-supporting Australia." Pat McMurray begins collecting names. Stephen sits on the bed, looking stunned, as a flurry of $20s falls.

2:00 am As the $20's continue to drop, Joe Siclari declares "forget NASFIC in 2005, lets make it a Worldcon in 2010 so we can say ' Let's do it again in 2010," followed by "We need a flyer and artwork." Mark Olson diverts Sue Mason (the artist is drunk) from her escape to bed in order to create the sketch.

2:30 am Stephen is formally declared as chairman. Foreign agents are recruited from the pre-support list: Erik Olson as US Agent, Pat McMurray as UK Agent and Vince Docherty as Continental European agent. Stephen continues to look stunned, and starts mumbling "I hate you all."

2:45 am Initial pre-supporting rate is determined - 20. It is decided that, for the time being, units don't matter.

3:00 am Up to 36 pre-supports already. Erik Olson — who only recently declared to the world on SMOFS that "He'll never support a bid that starts more than 2 years out" — realizes that he's about to dine on a feast of crow.

3:15 am The UK in '05 bid - now seated Worldcon "Interaction," - volunteers space in its suite for a bid party that evening.

5:00 am The flyer is completed, announcing the party for "Melbourne in 2010," listing the initial 36 pre-supporters, and establishing a $100 "Firends" rate. (Because friends don't let friends run Worldcons…)

6:00 am Erik Olson wakes up from a dream wherein he's partly responsible for a Worldcon bid that begins 5 years before the vote. Looks in his wallet, finds $600, and realizes that this is no dream, it's his worst nightmare.

9:00 am Mark Olson tells Scott and Jane Dennis the news about Melbourne in 2010. Jane immediately responds "They need T-shirts" and heads off track down Joe for the artwork.

10:00 am WSFS business meeting attendees gather. As Janice Gelb arrives, Pat McMurray motions her up to the podium to tell her about her 25th Anniversary in Fandom gift - a pre-support for the Australian Worldcon Bid. "What Australian Worldcon bid?" asks |Janice… and then she sees Stephen surrounded by large numbers of people who are all handing him $20 bills. Frequent outbursts of "You bastard" are heard.

2:00 pm Joe Siclari is spotted on his way to Kinko's to get copies of the flyers. In a flagrant abuse of his position as First Interim A10 Flyer Editor, Joe puts himself down as #1 in the list of pre-supporters, a hitherto unimaginable abuse of power. Mark Olson reports "I got there first, Erik was a half-step behind, and Joe hadn't even gotten his wallet out yet. The record must be set straight!"

Afternoon: Word spreads, and various people continue to sell pre-supports. Flyers are posted. Webmistress Sharon Sbarsky begins work on the official website of the bid.

10:00 pm Set up for the party is complete — Vince Docherty donates some Region-2 encoded DVDs as giveaways, and David Evans a chest of beer.

10:15 pm The bid party begins. Brad Ackerman and Danny Lieberman spend the next four hours selling pre-supports - thanks to a handy stack of no longer necessary "UK in '05" forms which are hastily modified by crossing out "UK in '05" and writing in "Australia in '10." Stephen, to no one's surprise, sits on the bed still looking stunned.

11:35 pm Pat McMurray returns from posting the announcement of the bid on SMOFS and meets Fred Ramsey in the elevator. Fred is bearing the first batch of 12 bid t-shirts, one of which Pat promptly purchases.

11:36 pm Fred walks into the bid party.

11:46 pm Fred flees the room empty handed, crying "It's horrible, horrible. They're like a pack of ravening wolves." Kelly Buehler points out "They gave you money," to which [Fred replies "I liked that part."

Monday 2 September 2002

1:00 am Fred arrives with a second batch of 28 t-shirts.

1:12 am Fred leaves, empty handed once again.

1:13 am Website goes live.

2:00 am Just over 24 hours have elapsed when the numbers are counted. At this point the bid has 128 pre-supports, 9 firends, and 1 pre-opposer. Sales continue through the night.

By the time 48 hours had elapsed, A10 stickers had been distributed by Priscilla Olson and Judy Bemis, over 100 t-shirts had been sold, and a total of USD4420, CDN140, AUD160 and EUR20 had been raised. And Stephen Boucher had moved through the clinical grief stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression and finally got to acceptance — using the phrase "our bid" in front of witnesses. He still looked stunned.