Membership/How to Join

Becoming a Member of WSFS

The World Science Fiction Society is an unincorporated literary society whose membership is defined by the WSFS Constitution as the membership of the current Worldcon. The only way to be a member of WSFS is to join the current World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). There is no way to join WSFS without becoming a member of the current Worldcon. To join Worldcon, click the link to the Worldcons you want to join (see the list of Forthcoming Conventions at the right), then navigate to that convention’s membership page. We cannot give you a specific link or a form to fill out because every Worldcon arranges their own web site and has a different mechanism and web address for joining that Worldcon.

WSFS does not directly sell memberships. All membership sales go through the Worldcon for the year in question. Membership in WSFS effectively runs from the end of the previous Worldcon (or when you purchase your membership from the Worldcon in question) through the end of the Worldcon for which you purchased the membership. However, WSFS members (including those with Attending supplements) do have “residual rights” such as the right to nominate for the following year’s Hugo Awards, that last beyond the end of the Worldcon that they joined.

Rights of Members

There are two main basic classes of membership: WSFS Membership and Attending Supplement (which which requires a WSFS membership to purchase). You can think of a WSFS membership as your actual membership dues to WSFS. The Attending supplement includes the cost to actually attend the annual convention of WSFS. You must have a WSFS membership to purchase an Attending Supplement. A Worldcon may sell a package of the WSFS Membership + Attending Supplement as a single item.

Prior to 2022, the two types of memberships were called “Supporting Membership” and “Attending Membership,” with persons being allowed to upgrade from Supporting and Attending by paying the difference in price. The current nomenclature is effectively the same, but uses different terms to refer to the memberships.

WSFS Members

WSFS members (known as “Supporting members” prior to 2022) have the right to receive the current Worldcon’s publications, to nominate (if purchased before the end of January of the year of that Worldcon) and vote on the current year’s Hugo Awards, to nominate on the subsequent year’s Hugo Awards, to vote for the site of the Worldcon two years from now (subject to paying an additional fee that is the WSFS membership to the two-years-hence Worldcon), and to propose changes to the WSFS rules through the Business Meeting. Supporting members cannot attend or vote at the Business Meeting.

Per section 1.5.2 of the WSFS Constitution, WSFS memberships may not be transferred except in a few limited circumstances spelled out in that section.

Attending Supplement

If you want to attend the current Worldcon, you must be a WSFS member and you must purchase the Attending Supplement. Some Worldcons may sell this as a single package that you can purchase if you do not have a membership. If you already have a WSFS membership, you need only pay the Attending Supplement.

Prior to 2022, Worldcons sold an “Attending Membership” that included a Supporting membership, and if you already had a Supporting membership, you could upgrade to Attending by paying the difference in price between the two classes.

If you have an Attending supplement and a WSFS membership, you get all of the rights of a Supporting member, plus the right to actually attend the Worldcon itself. WSFS members with an Attending supplement may attend the WSFS Business Meeting, make motions, debate, and vote on proposals.

Other Membership Types

The current Worldcon is allowed to define other types of memberships to their convention. Some of these membership types may include the membership types listed above, but others (e.g. “Single Day Admissions” or “Babe in Arms”) may include only admission to the Worldcon without membership rights.

The WSFS Business Meeting

The only way to change the rules of the World Science Fiction Society is through the annual Business Meeting of WSFS, held at the Worldcon, and open only to WSFS members with an Attending supplement. (WSFS members who do not have an Attending supplement may propose changes, but cannot attend or vote on them.) Any proposal approved by WSFS Business Meetings in two consecutive years becomes part of the WSFS Constitution.