Sasquan Posts Committee Reports to Business Meeting

For your advance reading pleasure, Sasquan has posted these committee reports being submitted to the business meeting.

Kevin Standlee has also announced:

The Business Meeting videos are going to be uploaded to a YouTube channel set up for this: The Worldcon Events Channel, 2015 WSFS Business Meeting Playlist at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0oLnkb-s4Yd_nZwV7lG_aItUV_5aP0aB

The easiest way to find out when each segment is uploaded is to subscribe to this channel, because nobody (especially me) is going to have the time to Tweet out the uploads as they happen.

One of the most anticipated reports comes from the YA Hugo Committee. It begins:

The Committee was (re)formed at Loncon 2014 in order to consider the issues surrounding a possible Young Adult Hugo. Such an award was first proposed at Chicon 1991 and in the 24 intervening years of debate, several proposals have been nixed, and discussions have at times been contentious. This Committee was therefore formed to approach and research the issue in a (somewhat) systematic manner, and to report its research to the Business Meeting.

Findings: The Committee looked into comparable awards, addressed past debates at Business Meetings, and considered the present Hugo Awards. Details of this work can be found in the Exhibits to this report, entitled ‘Common Concerns Expressed at the WSFS BM’, ‘Definitions of YA,’ and ‘The Hugo vs. The Newbery.’

The Committee finds that requests for an award recognizing teen literature (or YA) are indeed reasonable: teen lit, despite its popularity and quality, is not well represented by the current Hugos; the majority of YA awards are given by juries; the Worldcon community of teens, adults, and professionals would make the award unusual; the long-lasting demand for such an award is attested by repeated debates during almost a quarter-century of Business Meetings.

Under the existing methodology of the Hugo Awards, however, a separate category for YA fiction is not practical. That is, the Hugo fiction categories are defined by word count, not by age categories. We suggest instead the creation of a Campbell-like award, since the Campbell addresses authors and thereby functions outside the Hugo methodology.

Motion: The Committee requests that the Business Meeting reform the Committee for another year (with the addition of new members). The new version of the Committee will focus specifically on the issues surrounding the creation of a Campbell-like YA/teen lit award (possible topics of discussion presented in Exhibit 4), with the results presented at next year’s Business Meeting.

26 thoughts on “Sasquan Posts Committee Reports to Business Meeting

  1. That all sounds promising.

    Those of you with more familiarity with Worldcon than I have: should it sound promising?

  2. @Ray Radlein

    I read the YA report with interest. The definition issue will no doubt be sticky, but they are assembling a good case. I thought their list of 35 Newbery Award winners that could have won a YA Hugo was a compelling case just on it’s own.

  3. Been reading file770 every day for a few months now, and I gotta say, it’s nice to look at the SFF world and see a change that can be unambiguously characterized as progress. A small but significant chunk of the best SFF I’ve read has been labelled YA, and a Campbell-esque award for YA SFF is a solid idea.

  4. I would be delighted to see the WSFS recognize YA novels, because I think they are an entity in their own right, and because a lot of people like me are not likely to ever nominate or vote for them for Hugos — not because of lack of quality, but because of lack of appeal.

    If a separate award is the way to accomplish that, I’m not thrilled, but so be it.

  5. Under the existing methodology of the Hugo Awards, however, a separate category for YA fiction is not practical. That is, the Hugo fiction categories are defined by word count, not by age categories.

    This was pretty much my main objection, and I think their recommendation is a fair compromise.

  6. snowcrash on August 11, 2015 at 1:40 am said:

    “C.2.1 Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee”

    ::snicker::

    That is in fact its official name as defined in WSFS Business Meeting Standing Rule 7.7. It keeps track of all of the fine-grained detail in the rules. Someone has to do it. You could call it the Rules Committee, but when we originally set it up, the members decided to call it something even more descriptive, and the name stuck.

  7. Kevin Standlee, I have to say, I love fandom’s sense of humor….

    (Yes, I agree that Nitpicking and Flyspecking is actually important. But I also think I love the person who proposed that name for the committee…)

  8. Nothing says “let’s be inclusive” as Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee.
    It screams Echo Chamber. Needs a name change.

    The YA should have been approved years ago. Instead of making recommendations, the committee decided kick the can down the street. Because…. Puppies! Let’s stop slates! Apparently, that’s far more important than the YA issue which has been an issue for about a decade.

  9. If we do end up creating a Campbell-like YA Award (not a Hugo) I suggest the Diana Wynne Jones Award for Outstanding Young Adult Speculative Fiction as a name. Provided her family has no objections.

  10. @ULTRAGOTHA

    +1+2+many

    (Although I suspect they’ll be looking for sponsorship, so naming may be…involved)

    @Viktor

    I don’t think the YA committee’s deliberations were delayed by Puppy mess, I think they were delayed by a) this being a tricky subject no-one has yet managed to thread the needle on and b) being a committee of volunteers.

  11. An interesting development; I, too, think it sounds like a reasonable compromise.

    If it actually flies with the membership, then perhaps there might be hope of someday creating a special [non-]Hugo for media tie-in works. (A probability I’d rank behind the likelihood that I might fly to the moon by holding my breath and flapping my arms really hard.)

  12. If we do end up creating a Campbell-like YA Award (not a Hugo) I suggest the Diana Wynne Jones Award for Outstanding Young Adult Speculative Fiction as a name. Provided her family has no objections.

    That would be a very cool name for it.

    Much better than The Alice Dalgliesh Award.

  13. How about an “Harlan Ellison Award” for the “Most Ridiculous Fandom Trufen Parliamentary Procedure”?

  14. How about we don’t try to “thread the needle” for the YA category. How about we just say Yes?

    Put a sunset provision on the YA proposal. Five years. Let’s see how it works.

    Right?

  15. Every Hugo Award should sunset in 5 years. From time to time, make the case for continuing a category.

  16. People say that “Well, we don’t want to have more Hugos.”

    Me, I’d like to see more Hugos. Let’s celebrate our diverse ghetto.

    Yes! let’s have a Best MilFic Hugo . Yes! let’s have a Best SF Romance Hugo. Yes! let’s have a Best YA Hugo. Yes! Let’s have a Best Series

    Why these categories aren’t even under discussion is beyond me. Should be done already.

    Say yes!

    v

  17. @Kevin, yes I saw that, @ and similar Cassy B, I love the self-deprecation that went into that particular name selection. Also, as someone who on occasion has done something similar in a professional capacity, it’s *always* better to get ahead of the curve, and self-select your snarky nickname 🙂

    @Jim Henley, hit the nail’s head you have.

  18. Viktor on August 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm said:

    Me, I’d like to see more Hugos. Let’s celebrate our diverse ghetto.

    And presumably you don’t see any problem with the same work receiving multiple Hugo Awards in the same year, which is what could happen if you start dividing works by subjective (sub-genre) criteria instead of objective (length) ones. Is that a correct interpretation?

    How would you define your categories?

    The YA Award Committee (in various forms) has been wrestling with this for a long time now. It’s nowhere near as simple as you think it is when you descend from the Tower of Ideas to the Valley of Practical Implementation Details.

  19. Meanwhile, because we’re such exclusionary people that we have to make everything all sekrit, Sasquan now has the Worldcon/NASFiC financial reports posted as part of the committee reports. The financial reports are a single PDF. The most interesting piece of information in them is that the Millennium Philcon has closed out their surplus by donating $23,000 each to Sasquan and MidAmericon II.

  20. Kevin Standlee: That scotches the rumor they were saving it for the Next Millennium Philcon.

    But since I just read the other day that WSFS Inc. is still listed as a New York corporation, it obviously pays to take the long view.

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