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Loncon 3 seemed to do quite well with its Code of Conduct; it was available on the website and reprinted in the front of the convention pocket guide. As far as I'm aware, there were only a handful of incidents reported to the convention staff that required it to be applied.

However, I've seen discussion about the convention that suggests that some attendees still did not understand what the CoC was meant to set out in terms of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. I've been giving some thought to how we might ensure that everyone at a convention is clearly and unambiguously aware of the CoC, and more importantly, can be proven to be aware of it.

At Loncon 3, registration involved being handed your badge. How about if instead we handed over a sealed envelope containing the badge, printed up as below. (The box with my name in is an indication that there would be a sticker identifying whose badge was inside).

 photo CoC_Envelope_zps95591e95.jpg

For this to work, you have to plan this from the outset, and ensure that:

- for online memberships, anyone joining has to click on a 'I agree with the Code of Conduct' tick-box in order to join;

- for direct sales, there is a 'sign to agree our Code of Conduct' box on the membership form.

This makes it absolutely clear both when you join the convention and when you pick up your badge that the Code of Conduct applies to you.

I've put in the refund option because I think this strengthens the convention's position: it allows someone a final chance to say 'no, I don't want to be bound by this'. Of course, as it excludes what we lawyers call consequential expenses (e.g. travel and hotel) I doubt that many people will exercise it, but the fact that it's there helps avoid arguments about the validity of the 'open the envelope and you're agreeing' notice.

(For those interested in the legality: this isn't a shrink-wrap licence situation, as the notice on the envelope is just confirming what members have expressly signed up to when they joined. Rather, it's actually adding an exit clause to the membership contract.)
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"You are offering a room full of vintage first-edition hardbacks to a group of people who read books on their phones."

Madeline Ashby: 'Memento mori. (Or, how Worldcon’s youth problem will resolve.)'

If I had more time this would be a long post ranging over:

  • how the people I see at conventions in my mid-40s are in large part those I went to cons with in my mid-20s
  • the demographics and atmosphere at Nine Worlds as compared with Eastercon/Worldcon
  • the lack of progress towards panel parity or meaningful anti-harassment policies at Worldcon

...and sundry related topics. But most of these are issues that are already being discussed, and I'll content myself for now with pointing to Ashby's very insightful post on how, unless these points are addressed, LitFandom's problems are going to end up being of purely historical interest.
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It has been reported that Sam Youd, who wrote sf as John Christopher, died last night at the age of 89. The report is via a comment on the Talk page of his Wikipedia entry as is not confirmed elsewhere as yet.

If true, this is not unexpected (he had apparently been ill for some time) but it still a very sad loss. John Christopher was one of the writers who had most impact on me as a young reader and the Tripods trilogy made a deep impression on me. I seem to recall he was one of the early London fandom group; was he the last survivor?

EDIT Via [ profile] ffutures, now confirmed by David Langford.


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Simon Bradshaw

September 2017



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