Nearly all of the proposals to change the Hugos having been shot down yesterday at LoneStarCon 3’s Preliminary Business Meeting, only one was considered at Saturday’s Main Business Meeting.
The motion to transform the Best Fan Artist Hugo into something that could also be won by “musical, dance, jewelry and costuming artists” was rejected. Voters deleted the key phrase “any visual or performance medium” then passed the remaining changes that made explicitly eligible artists whose work has appeared in a “non-professional display (including at a convention or conventions).”
The intent seems to be adding to the black-letter rules something voters were already doing, considering the creators of work displayed in convention art shows. What “non-professional” means in this context is not clearly stated. Is that “Not For Sale” art, or is art offered for purchase okay too? Is the focus then on the artist — anything displayed in an art show is okay so long as the creator doesn’t work for a living as an artist? I expect that Hugo voters will be left to make up their own minds about this, as they are in so many other areas.
Two controversial motions governing World Science Fiction Society voting rights and the minimum cost of supporting memberships, 4.1.2, No Representation Without Taxation and 4.1.3, Keep Us Together, which had prompted Seanan McGuire and others to call for opponents to turn out at the Business Meeting, ended up being referred to a committee which will make recommendations at Loncon 3 in 2014.
Rachael Acks liveblogged the meeting and attempted to capture some of the arguments made on both sides, here.
The outcome of all the items on Saturday’s agenda is reported by Kevin Standlee here.
Meantime, Jo Rhett has criticized meeting chair Donald Eastlake’s handling of the YA Hugo proposal at the Preliminary Business Meeting in a post titled The preservation of White Male Privilege at WSFS. However, after seeing his post the alleged victim wrote on Twitter “I’m the lady in question from your entry, and my version of what happened differs significantly. Come find me, let’s talk.” And said in another tweet, “I’m just touchy because people are trying to use me as a symbol of
#wsfs badness and I object to that.”
Also, Chris M. Barkley, who was sharply critical of the YA Hugo’s opponents generally, singled out Donald Eastlake for thanks in in an e-mail sent to a large number of people (and File 770) —
To all those you have harassed, cajoled and went out of your way to humiliate Amy McNally and squash her new YA book proposal,
“Opinions are at best provisional hypotheses, incompletely tested. The more they are tested, after the tests are scrutinized, the more assurance we may assume, but they are never absolutes. So we must be tolerant of opposite opinions or varying opinions by the very fact of our incredulity of our own.”
— New York District Court Judge Learned Hand to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, circa 1919.
We all have opinions on the viability of a YA or Youth Book Hugo Award but we will never settle such an argument convincingly without actually testing it.
It is my belief that such a test, of two of three years, would not harm the integrity of the Hugo Awards, would be welcomed by the readers who nominate and vote on the Hugos and the YA community at large.
Change, through either growth or attrition, is the natural order of things. The pursuit of change is the primary drive of the fiction we all love. Indifference or denial of change can only lead to the death of fandom as we know it.
I encourage journeyman activists who want to foster continued change in Hugo Award categories and the WSFS constitution to press on with their efforts.
I also want to personally thank Donald Eastlake and Kevin Standlee for going out of their way to form a committee on this issue. I hope that this can be resolved in a more civil and courteous manner from this point forward.
In the meantime, I call on the Loncon committee and the winners of the 2015 Worldcon bid to strongly consider using their constitutional Special Award clauses for a YA Book award.