The Worldcon, more formally known as the World Science Fiction Convention, is a five-day event which has been held annually since 1939 (with four years off during World War II). The 2014 Worldcon will be the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, and also the 75th Anniversary of the first Worldcon, which was held in New York in 1939.
Each Worldcon is organised by a different committee in a different location, and is selected by vote of the members of the Worldcon held two years previously. The 2014 Worldcon will thus be chosen by the members of Chicon 7, the 2012 Worldcon.
Recent Worldcon locations include: Boston, Massachusetts (2004); Glasgow, Scotland (2005); Los Angeles, California (2006); Yokohama, Japan (2007), Denver, Colorado (2008) and Montreal, Canada (2009). This year’s Worldcon was in Melbourne, Australia, from 2-6 September, and next year’s will be in Reno, Nevada.
The event normally attracts around 5,000 science fiction and fantasy fans from across the globe, with fans travelling from as far afield as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the USA. There are several Fan Funds which help deserving fans to visit conventions and fans in other parts of the world, and fan fund delegates often attend a Worldcon in the host country.
Worldcon’s highlights include the Hugo Awards, which are voted on by Worldcon members, and the Masquerade, a spectacular live show displaying some of the best fantasy and science fiction costumes on the planet. The convention programme has up to 1,000 individual programme items spread over five days, with panels, talks, workshops, quizzes, films, videos, autograph sessions and many other events.
All of these elements come together to make the Worldcon the largest travelling science fiction or fantasy convention in the world.