WisCon 42 was held May 25-28, 2018 at the Concourse Hotel in balmy Madison WI, with Saladin Ahmed and Tananarive Due as guests of honor. 924 full memberships were sold, plus 71 single day memberships. Programming offered 140 panels, solo presentations, and roundtables, focused on SF/F literature, diversity, feminism, disability, criticism, and more. Other options included 19 reading slots with 68 authors, 23 writing workshops, 12 kids’ items, 10 gaming sessions, 11 academic items, and at least three launch parties. The neighborhood offered restaurants, cafés, and dessert places. Attendees had many lovely local options for visiting. The con designated safe spaces for various groups, and created spaces where spontaneous socializing could happen.
Highlights included the Gathering/Opening Ceremonies, a market atmosphere offering free clothes, cookies, and easy mingling, sponsored this year by JoSelle Vanderhooft; the popular dessert salon sold out at 411 tickets, the line coiling down stairs and into the hall below; inspiring guest of honor speeches; the Tiptree Award bake sale, which raised over $290; the People of Color dinner, attended by over 80 con-goers; 15 parties; the art show with 1,033 pieces, $10,971 in sales, and art show awards by attendee votes; the dealer’s room with 29 vendors, including Aqueduct Press and Dream Haven books; and the “SignOut” mass signing, also a busy social mixer.
Virginia Bergin was celebrated as the 2017 Tiptree Award winner for Who Runs the World? in a ceremony following the Dessert Salon. Along with the traditional prizes, the entire room sang a song to her, written by Laura Bollettino.
Fundraising efforts included the Tiptree Auction, which raised nearly $3,000, with Sumana Harihareswara as auctioneer. Funds are utilized for “fellowships that support and recognize new voices who are making visible the forces that are changing our view of gender today,” as well as the Tiptree Award prize, the Fairy Godmother Awards, and more. Candra K. Gill and Nisi Shawl raised $984 for the Carl Brandon Society.
WisCon 43 will take place May 24-27, 2019 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison WI, with Charlie Jane Anders and G. Willow Wilson as guests of honor. Fore more information, see the WisCon 43 site.
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