The King in Yellow and Robert Chambers
Film 101: Friends with Kids (2011) and Just Like Heaven (2004)

WorldCon 2016: Beijing vs KC

Now this is interesting! The two bids for WorldCon 2016 are Beijing and Kansas City. The details of both bids are here.

I'm from Kansas City, and it is a great place. Not so great for international transport - I've made that flight (flights) a lot, and it isn't so much fun. That said, unlike those jumped-up coastal American cities, KC is genuinely delighted by international visitors, and the cost of visiting (meals, cabs, drinks, etc.) is cheap.

Kansas-City-Public-Library-MissouriPlus, this thing.

The bid, I have to say, looks really solid. I've always paid attention to Kansas City bids for SF cons, mostly because, well, I have serious hometown pride and with that comes opinions. This particular proposal hits all the right notes. For one, it is based downtown, in the proper convention center, in the heart of the city. Downtown KC is great, and this means there are a lot of fun neighborhoods within a short distance - and some, like the Power and Light District, are within walking distance. Again, this is handy for international visitors and those who don't want to drive.

KC also has a great creative heritage - some publishers, a lot of advertising and design powerhouse, a brilliant art institute and, don't knock it - Hallmark Cards. What that last means is that KC has a long history of employing zillions of artists, designers and writers. They do greeting cards by day... and independent comic books at night. It is pretty cool, and, as a result, KC has a lot of small bookshops, toystores, comic shops, record stores, etc. etc. 

Also, BBQ. Which, all joking aside, amazing

All in all, it is pretty much the bid proposal that I would've made were I running the bid, which is high praise, as I've been pretty critical of previous attempts. I don't know what the convention itself will be like, but everything else? Two thumbs up.

But... I'll be voting for Beijing.

There are a lot of rational reasons to vote for Kansas City (and BBQ counts double), but one big emotional reason for Beijing: I want to live in the future. Hell, I'd even settle for the present, at this rate. This is WorldCon - and its ambition should match its name. 

And, when I was a kid in KC reading science fiction in one of the (excellent) public libraries, those stories had international conventions in places like Beijing. Those books featured the best and the brightest and the most creative jetting all over the world to fascinating destinations and the cities of the future - one planet, looking outwards to the stars. That was twenty years ago. That future is overdue.