No-Zone amendment to the WSFS constitution is passed
The controversial No-Zone amendment to the WSFS constitution was narrowly passed at the WSFS Business Meeting at Bucconeer, the 1998 Worldcon.
"No-Zone" would delete the much-argued over rotation zones, which geographically restrict the years in which North American sites can be used for the Worldcon. Instead, there would be a blanket ban on selecting a site within 500 miles or 800 km of the Worldcon at which the site selection is held, up from the current 60 miles.
The proponents of No-Zone argue that the bidding zones are artificial, and that the combination of a three year lead time for the Worldcon and the three year zone rotation has led to the risk of geographical favouritism. On the other hand, opponents forsee "superbids" that are so powerful they crush other bids in a particular year.
Currently extant bids are not affected, because there is a grandfather clause: for the first three years after the amendment takes effect, sites may be selected which are eligible under the old or new rules.
The amendment now needs to be ratified at Aussiecon 3, next year's Worldcon. Such ratification is by no means certain, however; this year's vote was close, and according to roving reporter Cheryl Morgan, Australian fans are not enamoured of No-Zone.
-- Alison Scott
31 Aug 1998