Since the Sad Rabies are an outgrowth of the American culture wars, simply tweak the rules about Worldcon locations slightly such that Worldcon cannot return to one particular inhabited continent and associated islands until it has been hosted in at least two of the other three. Making Worldcon an actual World Con would dilute the effect of any one nation’s odd politics.

–James Davis Nicoll on a true WorldCon.

I’d been thinking of something similar to this prior to reading Nicoll’s post. Even just limiting the country WorldCon can return to would be an improvement, I think, though that’s in a general sort of “goddamnit WorldCon is really freakin’ far away” sense, rather than a “this will help the Hugos specifically” sense, because I think US-style culture wars have been exported globally enough that moving the con around isn’t going to do much on that front. (Also: the internet is a thing that exists now.)

Nonetheless, if you’re going to call something “WorldCon”, the list of hosting countries really shouldn’t look like this. Compare and contrast the world’s fairs, for example, which WorldCon is a literal outgrowth of: the inaugural WordCon was held as part of the 1939 New York World’s Fair whose slogan, not surprisingly, was “Building the World of Tomorrow”.

The World’s Fair moved on (nowadays we call it Expo, and it’s still held),1 both in location and in focus. WordCon didn’t. Maybe it’s time to rethink that a little.

  1. True, somewhat irrelevant, story: I went to the world’s fair/Expo in ’88 when it was in Brisbane. All I remember about it was riding on a fiberglass triceratops, walking into a room that looked like the inside of a wave, and really, really wanting a platypus mascot doll. []