Jump to top
Issue 4 Sunday
Issue 3 Saturday PM
Issue 2 Saturday AM
Issue 1 Friday
Issue 4.1: Sunday PS
Want a T-shirt?
This fabulous wearable art can be yours from the OffWorld Designs website.
The 2020 NASFiC Coloring Book
We are pleased to present the 2020 NASFiC Coloring Book! Hoping this will help you get from this to your next wonderful SF convention experience. Many thanks to our Artist Guest of Honor Stephanie Law and to art show artists Amanda Makepeace, Ray VanTilburg, Debbie Hughes, and España Sheriff for contributing.
One Last NASFiC by the Numbers
1177 unique names on the website
753 members on Discord
This was almost certainly the NASFiC with the most non-North American attendees, with 19 countries represented according to Discord ribbon requests!
Vimeo data for the weekend: 16k impressions, 7,541 views, average time per view 27 min (ed: I don’t know how to interpret those numbers either, it’s okay)
Panel Recordings Available NOW!
Turns out that early Magic 8 Ball reply was hazy. So I tried again. The raw footage from all the panels is available for viewing here, but you’ll still need to wait a bit for them in a tidier format.
Make sure you take advantage of the chance to buy a “Virtually” autographed book (or many!) at the 2020 NASFiC program participants’ book “shelf” of the Author, Author! book store. All signed books will feature a custom 2020 NASFiC Bookplate, with art by Artist Guest of Honor Stephanie Law. Books can be purchased through that site from now through September 10, 2020.
Scavenger Hunt Results
Congratulations to Discord users Lawrie, Alex T, Jennifer R, Kiya Nicoll, Lisa Garrison, Evergreen, Anna-Louise, Ed Fortune, Shana and David Damrell for successfully completing the scavenger hunt and earning the coveted “Successful Cat Herder” ribbon.
Still hunting? You can keep searching for kittens until the Discord server closes (probably around the end of August).
Okay, that’s really the last issue!
Issue 4: Sunday
Fan Fund Auction Still Open to Bids!
Bidding in the silent auction for the TAFF, DUFF and LAFF fan funds will close at 4 pm on Sunday. Hit the Facebook event to place your bid on some truly amazing items.
Some great items are still available for their low low starting bid, like original art from Debbie Hopkins, that fantastic Emily the Strange skele-kitty plush I posted in the first newsletter, and from David Langford - Fritz Leiber: A Bibliography 1934-1979, compiled by Chris Morgan and published for the 1979 Worldcon.
Gillian Pollack is offering an unlimited number of Tuckerizations, so if you’ve always wanted to have a location in a fictional world named after you, this is your chance!
Many other items have just one or two bids, so could easily be yours! Go check out the many fun, one-of-a-kind and hand-crafted items that have been donated. The Fan Fund delegates thank you for your support!
Saturday Party Reviews
I spent my Saturday night doing what I always do at cons - party hopping! To make my experience match as close as possible, I picked a drink for each party inspired by the location they were pitching.
I started my evening in Glasgow in 2024, sipping not Scotch (as you’d expect) but an excellent Scottish gin called Pickering’s. Glasgow’s in-person parties are always hopping, and this one was no exception, with a good crowd and fun conversation about Irn Bru, Tunnocks tea cakes and other Scottish delicacies. And Scotland’s most musically-talented sons: The Proclaimers.
Next I was off to Discon III, where I enjoyed a Bourbon Rickey and shared the tale of poor Colonel Joe Rickey, who completely HATED the fact that they named a drink after him.
I hit Chicon 8 during a quiet period, but that just meant that no one minded me and the one other party guest (besides host & Chair Helen Montgomery) chatting about various things in our liquor cabinets, and the ethics of mixing cocktails with Single Malt Scotch. The Violet Hour in Chicago is a fantastic cocktail bar, so I mixed myself one of their drinks, the Ghost in the Graveyard.
At the Seattle in 2025 bid party I sipped on a hard apple cider and chatted with a small group about what we thought worked and didn’t work about digital conventions, and what we’d tweak for next time. And I bought a book written by one of the other guests!
I’d stopped into the Memphis in 2023 party earlier in the evening when it was quiet, but when I came back late it was definitely the SMOFfiest of all the parties. I enjoyed a Brown Bomber cocktail made from Tenessee whiskey and joined in a really thought provoking conversation about how to actually change the culture of Worldcon. (The business meeting is not the right tool for most things you actually want to change!) The conversation was far ranging, with the comparison to Burning Man the most inspiring bit to me - just like Burning Man, Worldcons work best when everyone sees themselves as a participant and not a consumer. But Burning Man does a much better job of conveying that expectation than Worldcon does.
It was hard to drag myself away, but I did want to hit all the parties, so it was off to Brisbane in 2025 next. I’d had quite a few (mini-size) beverages by now, so I mixed myself up a low-ABV take on a Mai Tai using the one Australian product I had in the house, an excellent non-alcoholic “spirit” from Lyre’s. I was really glad I landed there, though, as I had a chance to learn a lot about Brisbane and what it has to offer as a Worldcon location. While it will be winter in the summer hemisphere, Brisbane is in the sunny north, so if they win their bid for 2025, we can look forward to nice balmy days!
By the time I got back to the hallway the Astronomicon party had already closed, so I missed that one. Which was just as well - after all that partying I was ready to go to bed! Thanks to all the party hosts for their hospitality!
Saturday Panel Highlights
The Legal Implications of Monster Hunting Panel was great! It was a very well put together and diverse panel with panlists who had backgrounds in law and policy and other topics pertinent to the issue. I liked that while they took the topic seriously they were also having great fun with the discussion, which made it very fun to watch. (submitted by Liam)
The Legal Implications of Monster Hunting was a lot more in-depth than the description suggested and circled back to questions such as “how do you define human?” and “what is sentience?” … It briefly raised the question of how AI fits into that and quite honestly, the single panel could fit a whole day. (submitted by Emma)
“The things that we’re really good at come so naturally to us, that we tend to assume that everyone knows how to do them, and it takes a while to realize what we’re really good at that other people aren’t.” –Scientist GoH Marc Millis, from his Saturday morning Kaffeeklatsch (submitted by Anne)
The Older Women Protagonists in Fiction panel discussed the language used when describing older women and how that’s perceived and also how, by not writing older women in fiction, there’s a depth and breadth of experience lost, which could add immensely to a narrative. It’s certainly given me food for thought in my own writing. (submitted by Emma)
Panel Recordings Magic 8 Ball Q&A
Q: Were the panels recorded?
A: It is decidedly so
Q: Will they be available for later view?
A: Outlook good
Q: When will they be available?
A: Cannot predict now
Q: Will someone’s pet appear?
A: You may rely on it
Q. This is actually more a comment than a question, but…
(ed: Most panels were recorded and the plan is to eventually post them to YouTube. But they need post-processing before that’s possible, and the person who needs do do that hasn’t slept since before CoNZealand. If you’d like to help with that project, please email email@example.com)
Cat people prevail!
The final #pets tally is:
19 cat pictures (one with kittens)
1 pair of guinea pigs
NASFiC by the Numbers
As of 11:30 pm on Saturday there were 1092 people registered through the convention website and 716 people on Discord.
And that’s our last issue! Thank you for reading NASFiC News! Enjoy the rest of your con!
Issue 3: Saturday PM
Friday Party Review
Friday night’s party was in gather.town. I really liked this proximity based chat system where you could maneuver your avatar around the screen and wander from conversation to conversation. It’s clearly early stage technology, but I’m excited by its potential. (Plus you can make your avatar dance!)
- Lively conversation in the Brisbane in 2025 corner
- Geri Sullivan jumping in the fountain
- Sitting down on a bench when I wanted to take a break but didn’t want to leave just yet, and having a friend wander over to sit down with me for a catch up! Felt just like an in-person con moment!
Saturday Night Parties
Tonight’s parties will be in Zoom breakout rooms, a system that will be more familiar to people who attended CoNZealand and other online conventions this year. Here’s who’s lined up to host tonight so far, starting at 7 pm ET:
- DisCon III
- ChiCon 8
- Memphis in 2023
- Glasgow in 2024
- Seattle in 2025
Dog People are Gaining!
Cat pictures are still in the lead in #pets, but the dogs are catching up! Still no fish, though. C’mon people - show us your awesome pets!
- 11 cats (one with kittens)
- 9 dogs
- 2 birds
- 1 pair of guinea pigs
- 1 turtle
NASFiC by the Numbers
As of 4:30 pm on Saturday there 992 people registered through the convention website and 649 people on Discord (most of whom will be included in that 992).
Out of context quotes
“Our asses are full of miracles”
“The attendees… or my minions. Whichever is more convenient”
“I just want to give all of you a big hug with my sand snork”
Out of context wisdom
“And when you have children, you really have to be willing to do ANYTHING.”
Fun with Auto-Captions
“Mia was a childhood friend of onions”
“Polls are work drives and I’m not going to” (ed: I don’t blame you, a work drive sounds like no fun at all)
Kaffeklatsch Spaces Still Available
Sign up for some small group conversation with some of the con’s Guests!
Tom Smith, Sun 11 AM
Stephanie Law, Sun 12 PM
Eric Flint, Sun 1 PM
2020 Prometheus Award Winners
The Prometheus Awards, first presented in 1979 to F. Paul Wilson and administered by the nonprofit Libertarian Futurist Society (www.lfs.org), recognizes outstanding pro-freedom and/or anti-authoritarian speculative fiction. And the winners are…
- Best Novel: C. J. Cherryh and Jane S. Fancher, Alliance Rising
- Hall of Fame: Poul Anderson, “Sam Hall”
Chesley Award Finalists
The Chesley Awards were established in 1985 as ASFA’s peer awards to recognize individual works and achievements not otherwise recognized by the Hugo Awards, during a given year. They finalists were announced here at the NASFiC this afternoon, but if you missed it you can find all the details on the ASFA website. Voting opens to the ASFA membership on August 28. Good luck to all the nominees!
We all know no one reads the souvenir book until they’re home, long after the con has ended. But since you’re ALREADY home, you can read it now! Read about our awesome Guests of Honor! Check out the convenient lists of artists and dealers, in case you want to follow up on something you saw at the con. Click to download your copy!
That’s it for this edition of the newsletter! See you Sunday morning. Submit your news (or fan illos, fun quotes, etc) to #newsletter-submissions in Discord!
Issue 2: Saturday AM
Message from Christopher Garcia
Hi, Christopher J Garcia, your editor guest of honor, I am incredibly sad I have to not appear at all at the convention this weekend. It was a truly great honor to be chosen for Editor guest of honor, but alas my town is fighting for its life and things do not look to be going in a positive direction due to the fires in northern California. While we won’t know if we Have lost our house for days or possibly even weeks, too many dear friends and family are losing their homes in the beautiful mountain town in Boulder Creek.
I hope the convention is as much fun as I was planning on having!
Thank you very much
(ed: We will miss you! And we’re are all crossing our fingers and toes for you.)
Where is Everybody?
One of the hardest things about making the transition to a virtual convention is figuring out how to replicate the social side. Don’t tell anyone, but despite running Program for many conventions over the years, I don’t actually attend much of it myself. Conventions for me are about catching up with friends and seeing people I only see at conventions. And that can be a little (okay, a lot!) trickier in the online format. So today’s Discord tips are about finding your people!
- The direct approach. The right sidebar contains a list of people. It’s organized by role (concom on top), online status, and then alphabetically by username. Scroll through the list and look for people you know! You can also use the search box to look for people by name. If you right click on their username anywhere within Discord you can then send them a friend request or a direct message. (Please be respecful about messaging people you do not already know.)
- Bumping into people. You can bump into people in the various social spaces of the con, like #consuite or #virtual-bar - see who’s there chatting. Or start a conversation yourself! The fan tables are also a great place to find people to chat with. While the folks representing those bids and conventions would be happy to answer your specific questions about their convention, there’s often just lots of interesting conversation happening. Like Scotch recommendations at the Glasgow in 2024 table and talking about Space Camp at the Chicon 8 table.
- “Yes, yes” I hear you say “But chatting in text is not the same as sitting around in the lobby with people talking face-to-face!”
- Use the Discord voice/video channels! These are marked with a speaker symbol in the channel list. Once you’ve found some friends you’d like to voice chat with, encourage them to join you in the consuite talk, hallway talk, mocktails and etc channels. Note that other people wandering by will be able to see who’s in the voice channel and may wander in to join you. If you want a totally private conversation, you’ll need to set up your own Zoom or Google Meet or videoconference of choice and send the link to your friends via DM.
Don’t forget to visit the Dealer’s Room and Art Show!
Many of the folks exhibiting rely on conventions for all or part of their income, and the lack of in-person conventions this year is really hurting them. Please check out their wares in the art show and dealers room pages on the website. If you’d like to chat with a dealer, they each have a dedicated channel in Discord. And you’ll find some of the artists hanging out in #art-show.
The Cat People are Winning
Drop into #pets to see pictures of members animal companions. So far the cat people are in the lead, with 11 pictures showing one more cats.
- 11 cat (one with kittens)
- 7 dogs
- 2 birds
- 1 pair of guinea pigs
- 1 turtle
- Plus one picture each of baby sheep and baby alpaca that are aspirational rather than actual pets
C’mon dog people! Can you catch up? And no fish? Updates in the next newsletter!
NASFiC by the Numbers
Counting people at a virtual convention is tricky! But at 1:30 am EDT on Saturday morning there were 531 members registered on Discord.
Clearly not everyone has found their way to Discord yet, because there had been 794 unique names registered via the convention website. If you’re one of the missing 263, come join the Discord - it’s fun over there, I promise!
293 unique viewers watched 9,269 minutes of readings! And of people attending panels, the average time spent watching was 1.9 hours.
Get a Taste of Columbus
In the consuite yesterday many people were lamenting that the problem with not being in Columbus was the lack of Jeni’s ice cream. For those unfamiliar with this divine confection, Jeni’s started as a small scoop shop in North Market making really great ice cream in all kinds of delicious flavors. Fortunately, Jeni’s has grown beyond its Columbus boundaries - check out the “where to buy” option on their website and you just might be able to grab a taste of Columbus at a store near you. And they ship too!
Did you know there’s a scavenger hunt going on?
Grab a cat herder ribbon in #02-badge-ribbons and see what new worlds (aka Discord channels) it opens up for you.
Get Your Game On
The gaming schedule is available as a pinned post in #digital-gaming-chat. Note that to see the schedule you will first need click on at least one react icon in #enter-the-game-room.
That’s it for this edition of the newsletter! See you tonight. Submit your news (or fan illos, fun quotes, etc) to #newsletter-submissions in Discord!
Issue 1: Friday
Welcome to the 2020 NASFiC! And to the first issue of the newsletter! If you’d like to submit something for a future newsletter, please enter it in the #newsletter-submissions channel on Discord!
Warm Body Count
As of 2:00 PM Eastern Time on Friday, 245 people have registered on Discord! (ed: Haven’t joined Discord yet? Do it so you can be counted!)
There’s a lot more to the convention than just the website! Be sure to join the Discord server and check out the virtual bar, fan tables, info desk and so much more! Here are some tips to make your Discord experience smoother.
- Can’t get past registration? Be sure to click the SMALL thumbs up icon at the bottom of the page - it’s the one with a number next to it, and that number will go up when you click it. That unlocks the rest of the server!
- Change your nickname so it’s easier for friends to find you and for people to tell who you are! You can have a unique nickname for each server that you’re on. Just click on the down arrow next to NASFiC Columbus on the upper left and choose “change nickname.”
- Discord can get overwhelming when there are a lot of channels! Not interested in gaming? Right click on the “gaming category” and select “mute”- then you won’t get any notices about unread messages in gaming channels. You can mute individual channels or entire categories.
- Tired of the beeping? You can turn off notification sounds and adjust many other aspects of your Discord experience by clicking on the settings icon next to your name in the lower left. To turn off noises, click on settings icon, then notifications, and scroll down to select which sounds you’d like to hear (or never hear again). You can also adjust notification settings on a channel or category basis just like muting (above).
- Having trouble seeing the scroll bars? Try going to user settings, then appearance, and changing your theme from dark to light, see if you like that better!
- Be careful in voice channels! Voice channels are marked in Discord with a speaker icon. Unlike text channels, leaving a voice channel does NOT remove you from the channel. And depending on your microphone setting that means you may be unknowingly broadcasting to that voice channel as you go about your day. Always make sure to click the disconnect button.
Editor GoH Chris Garcia News
Please share your positive thoughts, hopes, prayers - as appropriate - and spare a moment of contemplation for Christopher J. Garcia (GOH), his wonderful family Vanessa, John Paul and Ben, as they await news of their home, and neighbourhood, evacuated as they are from Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz County CZU August Lightning Complex Fire. Certainly, we all wish them well. (submitted by James Bacon)
In better Chris Garcia news, check out his Rogue NASFiC YouTube channel of extra programming!
Fan Fund Auction needs you!
Fan Funds like GUFF, DUFF and LAFF enable fans to travel to other countries and continents to attend their major conventions and meet the local fans. They are funded through donations and fan fund auctions. The NASFiC fan fund auction is being organized on Facebook. Visit the page to donate an item (any time) or bid on an item (after 4 pm Friday).
Current items include Tuckerizations from Gillian Pollack, a knitted lace shawl from Esther MacCallum-Stewart, a private mixology lesson from Tammy Coxen (ed: #shamelessselfpromotion) and more! Including this fabulous Skele-Posse plush Sabbath from Emily the Strange, donated by Geri Sullivan.
What is this whole NASFiC thing about anyway?
Where and why was the first NASFiC held? Which NASFiC misspelled its own name? Which NASFiC included an excursion on a riverboat? Or had a wet dog party? Find out the fascinating history of the North American Science Fiction Convention.
Gaming Goes Digital!
Check out the Digital Gaming category in Discord if you’d like to get your game on! There are several options (which you opt into by clicking a particular reaction). Want to go on a spacefaring adventure? Gaming is running Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator 2.4.0 and Horizons Starship Bridge Simulator. For Horizons, you’ll just need a broswer window open for game. For Artemis you will need to have the game installed on your device. Windows and Mac users can download the app from the pinned post in #artemis-sbs (the convention has 5 bridge licenses which cover using the app with our servers). On Android or iOS you will have to purchase the app.
Looking for something closer to earth? A variety of party games will be offered through Jackbox (you’ll just need a browser window to play those) and there’s a channel for organizing your own pickup games too, using your online gaming venue of choice.
That’s it for this edition of the newsletter! See you tomorrow morning. Submit your news (or fan illos, fun quotes, etc) to #newsletter-submissions in Discord!