Chair’s Desk in Dublin

Seasonal greetings to you all, wherever you are this wintertime.

I recently attended the Dublin 2019 volunteer meet and had some lunchtime meetings with committee members. It was so nice to see fans coming together this far out from the convention, all with a common purpose.

I also spent time this week walking around Dublin Town. I popped into some shops, where I met owners and managers who support the convention, and let them know how things were going. Interest is very high here indeed. In a bookstore, I ran into a well-known Irish comic blog editor who was keen to help us spread the word.

Later, I went to watch Star Wars the Last Jedi with my brothers and nephew. A new family tradition (sort of), now in its third year, which has added to the delight of my nine year old nephew.

So the end of the year approaches… 2017 was great for Dublin, as it marked our transition to a seated Worldcon. But work must go on.

The end of the year marks many things. For me, it is a time to contemplate the future and to reflect… On moving strongly forward into 2018. On building our convention. On recruiting more volunteers and growing our membership.

But, from a Worldcon perspective, the turn of the year is also a new deadline for our members.

If you wish to nominate works for the 2018 Hugo Awards, you must either have been a supporting or attending member of Worldcon 75, or be a qualified member of the World Science Fiction Society by December 31, 2017.

So check your status and join immediately if you wish to nominate in the Hugo’s!

This is a change that took effect this year and thus may come as a surprise to some. So if you need to, or want to join for the purpose of nominating, please do so.

You can join Dublin 2019 here:

Will you be nominating The Last Jedi, or will it be far down your list?

2018 will see another change with the introduction in Europe of the General Data Protection Regulation, which we must comply with by May 26th. We will work with Worldcon 76, and whomever wins the 2020 bid, to ensure that all is in order and our own matters shipshape.

We promise to do a better job than the Imperial Navy with its Death Star at keeping data safe!

We will have out first major all-staff weekend in Dublin on the 28th and 29th of April. This will be a fantastic opportunity to bring volunteers, staff and committee together to plan and work on Dublin 2019.

Expanding our promotions envelope will be vital, and we hope to get the message out across Ireland, Europe and the world about the convention. We will have staff, volunteers and committee members attending conventions from January onward. Indeed looking at the schedule, it will be a busy enough time, between now and Easter.

Like most fans, I went to see Star Wars The Last Jedi. And while many either loved or disliked the film, I was excited and proud that it so prominently featured Ireland. I got an incredible sensation watching the end of The Last Jedi, as I have been familiar with that setting since I was a child! Skellig Michael was part of my geography lessons growing up.

The Irish Tourist board has put together some lovely websites about the Wild Atlantic Way. Interestingly, the film used a number of coastal locations:

In the following, we are invited to go to a place Far, Far Away, with some nice footage of Ireland and Mark Hamill encouraging us to ‘escape the dark side’… which is lovely to see.

There’s an intergalactic feel to the next video, The Wild Atlantic Way – A Destination out of this World, with its Star Wars-styled fonts.

I must admit that I am proud… proud that such an iconic film was filmed here, in Ireland. I still am fascinated that the Star Wars production team chose this location! If you have not seen this yet, here is J.J. Abrams explaining that choice:

Later this year, myself or some of the team will hit the road to try and visit some of these locations. We’ll let you know all about them.

In the meantime, between the variety of festivities that people enjoy at this time of the year, the opportunity to be with family or friends, or just watching a decent film and relaxing a little (which I hope you do), I would like to wish you all the very best from Dublin.