Category Archives: WisCon 45

Spend Memorial Day weekend at the Concourse Hotel

As you know, we’re not able to hold a WisCon in Madison this spring. However! The Concourse Hotel, the longtime home of WisCon, is running a special promotion for members and friends of the WisCon community over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-31, 2021. The promotion includes:
  • $99/night for Concourse Premier Guestrooms for up to 4 nights (Thursday-Sunday)
  • $8 overnight parking
  • Discounts at the hotel restaurant for overnight guests
  • A public space for Gathering, spontaneous discussion, and hanging out with other folks who miss WisCon, following all local guidelines for health and safety.

The Concourse hosted its first WisCon in 1984 and has been our full-time hotel partner since 1995. They are an independently owned and operated hotel and as such have been hit especially hard by the loss of business during the pandemic. This is a fantastic chance to support them, get away from home for the weekend and see some friends in a clean, well-ventilated, socially distant environment.

To make reservations, use this promo code: https://reservations.travelclick.com/6388?groupID=3222387 or call 800-356-8293 and mention WisCon.

The Concourse Hotel’s health and safety plan can be found at https://www.concoursehotel.com/coronavirus (click through for a link to a PDF for the complete list of policies).

For the most up to date information on the Madison & Dane County Public Health guidelines, please visit https://publichealthmdc.com/coronavirus/forward-dane/current-order.

Keep an eye out for an update all about virtual WisCon activities Memorial Day weekend!

Con Status Update, January 2021

What’s the latest news on WisCon 45 in 2021?
We’ve decided to not have an in-person WisCon in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. Some vaccines are starting to become available, but there will not be widespread distribution with enough lead time for us to reasonably plan a convention.

What about our Guests of Honor?
Zen Cho, Sheree Renée Thomas, Yoon Ha Lee, and Rebecca Roanhorse have agreed to be Guests of Honor in 2022.  We look forward to honoring them in person when we can finally all have a WisCon together again!

What will happen instead?
Firstly, we are in the process of planning a much smaller in-person event to occur at the Concourse Hotel in May in order to fulfill the contract we signed with them. This would look something like an intensive workshop event, rather than a convention, and the Workshops department has been looking into how it could work. The number of attendees would also be vastly reduced, in compliance with whatever guidance Public Health Madison & Dane County has in place at the time. We’ll be talking again with the Concourse Hotel this month and probably again later to revisit these plans.

If we can find current or former ConCom members to co-chair, we’d like to plan another WisCONline to occur in 2021. If you’re a current or former ConCom member with the time and energy to help us organize WisCONline, please contact the SF3 Board at board@sf3.org .

What about registrations?
If you registered to attend WisCon in 2021, you’ll receive an email in the near future regarding a refund. You can use this form to tell us whether you would like a refund or whether you would like to donate the money to WisCon; the form will be open until Monday, February 8, at 11:59pm US Central time. If you fill out the form, you can expect either a refund or a donation thanks email within 7-10 days after filling it out. If you don’t fill out the form, a refund will be issued 7-10 days after we close the form.

Registration for WisCONline and the small in-person May 2021 event at the Concourse are not open at this time. We’ll be in touch when they are.

SF3 Annual Meeting October 18, 2020

As many of you know, SF3—the Society for the Furtherance and Study of Fantasy and Science Fiction—is the parent organization for the WisCon convention. The SF3 board engages in long-term planning and recruitment for WisCon, as well as pursuing activities unrelated to the convention.

The 2020 SF3 Annual Meeting is coming up on Sunday, October 18, at 1PM Central Time. This meeting is entirely virtual! Information on joining will be sent to all current SF3 members a few days before the meeting.

If you’re interested in the future of WisCon and SF3, or in our evolving plans for 2021 in light of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, we encourage you to become an SF3 member and attend the Annual Meeting. Annual membership is $24, or $12 at our student/financial hardship rate, which we encourage anyone to use as needed. We take payment by PayPal or check, though if you plan to pay by check we ask that you email treasurer@sf3.org to let us know it’s on the way.  The deadline for joining SF3 in advance of the Annual Meeting is Wednesday, October 14.

We know this is a busy and difficult time for many of you. We hope the WisCon and SF3 community can be a source of support in these times, and it is with that in mind that we hope some of you will join us on October 18. If you have questions or concerns that you’d like to bring to the SF3 board, but you aren’t able to attend the Annual Meeting, please feel free to contact the board by email at board@sf3.org.

Meet our Guests of Honor for WisCon 45 in 2021: Sheree Renée Thomas & Zen Cho!

As we announced at WisCon in May 2020, we are thrilled to have Sheree Renée Thomas and Zen Cho as our Guests of Honor for WisCon 45 in 2021!
Sheree Renée Thomas
Sheree Renée Thomas
Sheree Renée Thomas creates art inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and conjure, and the genius culture created in the Mississippi Delta. She is the author of Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, May 26, 2020), her first fiction collection. She is also the author of two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct Press), described as a “revelatory work like Jean Toomer’s Cane.” She edited the two-time World Fantasy Award-winning volumes, Dark Matter, that first introduced W.E.B. Du Bois’s work as science fiction and was the first black author to be honored with the World Fantasy Award since its inception in 1975. Her work is widely anthologized and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received honorable mention in the Year’s Best volumes. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times and other publications.She serves as the Associate Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora (Illinois State University, Normal). She lives in Memphis, Tennessee and is a past WisCon attendee. Connect with Sheree Renée Thomas on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Zen Cho
Zen Cho
Zen Cho is the author of the Sorcerer to the Crown novels and a novella, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, as well as the short story collection Spirits Abroad (joint winner of the 2015 Crawford Fantasy Award). She is a Hugo, Crawford and British Fantasy Award winner, and a finalist for the Locus and Astounding Awards. She edited the anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia, and won a 2019 Hugo for her short piece “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again”. She was a juror for the Speculative Literature Foundation 2014 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds grants, served on the Board of Con or Bust and has been a SFWA mentor for emerging writers. She was born and raised in Malaysia, resides in the UK, and lives in a notional space between the two. She is a past WisCon attendee. Connect with Zen Cho on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

WisCon 45 Room Reservations Available!

While we’re still hard at work organizing online activities for WisCONline this year, we have some great news: We are thrilled to announce that our host hotel, Madison’s fabulous Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, has opened room reservations for WisCon 45, May 28-31, 2021.

Please show your support for our fabulous hosts by making your room reservations today. We have a room block with special rates, which expires on April 28, 2021. Visit our Hotel Information page to get started!

Nominate Your Friends or Your Heroes (or Both) As WisCon 45 Guest of Honor

The clock is running down on your time to nominate a Guest of Honor for WisCon 45 in 2021!

We opened nominations back in May during WisCon 43, and you have until Tuesday, October 15, at 11:59pm Central Time to send in all your wildest dreams of who you’d like to see us spotlight.

Don’t talk yourself out of sending us your thoughts! It’s easy, and nominations for Guest of Honor can come from anyone. That means whether you’ve been to WisCon forty-one times, one time, or maybe you’ll come someday in the future, we want your nominees. As long as WisCon is important enough to you to send an email, your ideas are important to us.

Our Guests of Honor help shape and focus our programming, influencing our conversations at the convention and afterward, so we welcome nominees who have something to say about the world, science fiction, fantasy, and elements of inclusive intersectional feminism as described in WisCon’s Statement of Principles. Guests of Honor can be essayists, critics, artists, reviewers, fans, authors, musicians, scientists, performers, or none of the above, so long as you think they fit the bill.

To make a nomination (or ten, or more), send an email to gohnoms@wiscon.net. We’d love to hear your reasoning, but that’s not mandatory. We’ll make a list of all of the nominees on October 16, and the convention planning committee will take a series of votes then extend invitations to the top candidates. We’ll announce the WisCon 45 guests during WisCon 44 in 2020, and then this whole process will start again.

More questions about Guests of Honor and the whole process? We’ve got lots of details in a previous version of this blog post – just don’t forget that the dates have changed.

Happy nominating – we can’t wait to hear who you want to invite!