Take Online Survey of Shortlisted YA Award Titles

The Worldcon’s YA Award Committee asked fans last year to suggest a name for the prospective award, which received its first passage at MidAmeriCon II and is up for ratification at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki.

The committee received 1,138 responses, giving them 460 unique names to winnow.

Some names have been eliminated because they are already attached to other awards: The Stargazer, the Codex, the Nautilus, the Silver Tree, the Beacon, the Portal, the Unicorn, and the names of authors like Robert Heinlein, Andre Norton, Jane Yolen, and Anne McCaffrey.

Other names have been ruled out to avoid copyright and trademark issues: Golden Snitch, Earthsea, Bilbo Baggins, etc.

And the committee enjoyed but also won’t be using any of the funny suggestions — the Read It and Reap Award, the Rodent of Unusual Size Award, and the Chesterfield Sofa.

They have settled on a six name shortlist and are asking everyone for their opinion in “The <blank> Award for Best Young Adult Book Shortlist Survey”.  The names are —

  • Anansi
  • Lodestar
  • Ouroboros
  • Spellcaster
  • Tesseract
  • Worldcon

The survey will be open until March 15, 2017.

In addition to the survey, the committee is listening to feedback from groups of experts on cultural sensitivity and trademarks, and will also incorporate advice from a panel of three Young Adult authors.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

64 thoughts on “Take Online Survey of Shortlisted YA Award Titles

  1. “Even with it spelled out above (as opposed to just hearing it spoken), somebody in this thread confused the homophones Lode & Load.”

    That might be because I’m not a native english speaker. And because Lodestar is a corrupt form of the original nordic word. It is LEADstar, the star that leads the way.

  2. I’m slightly disappointed there’s no Prizey McPrizeface on the list, but of those that are, I choose Tesseract.

  3. And because Lodestar is a corrupt form of the original nordic word. It is LEADstar, the star that leads the way.

    Lode was Middle English for “journey”, “course”. or “way”, derived from the Old English “lad”, which had similar meaning. It is the same word that is now used to describe a vein of ore, as in the “motherlode”, which is an analogy to ore deposits looking like the course of a river.

  4. “Lode was Middle English for “journey”, “course”. or “way”, derived from the Old English “lad”, which had similar meaning. It is the same word that is now used to describe a vein of ore, as in the “motherlode”, which is an analogy to ore deposits looking like the course of a river.”

    Thank you! That explains it a bit more. About the same as in swedish.

    Led – a course
    Leda – to lead
    Ledstjärna – The star that leads

  5. I don’t see naming the award after somebody is that big of a deal. Worldcon hands out awards named after Hugo Gernsback, John Campbell, Chesley Bonestell, Hal Clement, Eleanor Cameron, Forry Ackerman, and Sam Moskowitz.

    I’d think most of them wouldn’t do well on the “relevant and well known after 20-30 years” test, but so what? That doesn’t lessen the honor of receiving the award.

  6. I *think* that I was aware of Anansi stories before I read American Gods, but now I definitely associate them with Gaiman.

    With Lodestar, I keep wanting to say Lodestone or Lone Star. Nice idea, not a great word.

    I didn’t think Ouroboros was obscure. I suppose the actual name if not the symbol. Nothing about it says YA though. And it reminds me of The Wheel of Time logo.

    Spellcaster is more boring than Worldcon to me.

    So if it must be a name name, I’d go with Tesseract. But I prefer Worldcon.

  7. Bill on January 20, 2017 at 12:03 am said:

    I don’t see naming the award after somebody is that big of a deal. Worldcon hands out awards named after Hugo Gernsback, John Campbell, Chesley Bonestell, Hal Clement, Eleanor Cameron, Forry Ackerman, and Sam Moskowitz.

    Only the first two are actually administered by the Worldcon and voted upon by the members of the Worldcon. The others are generally presented at Worldcon, but are awarded by other groups.

    If we were starting the awards currently called the Hugo Awards today, I suspect that we would have significant pushback about naming them for Hugo Gernsback.

  8. @Kevin Standlee If we were starting the awards currently called the Hugo Awards today, I suspect that we would have significant pushback about naming them for Hugo Gernsback.

    Maybe so. But it has been named for him for a long time, and even if he is irrelevant or little-known today, the award hasn’t seemed to suffer for that.

    I don’t know who Newbery or Caldecott are, but I know that the awards that carry their names are the “Hugos” of children’s lit. I think that an award becomes more significant if it can become a brand, and it is easier for a person’s name to do that than a non-nominal noun. The Caldecott Award is meaningful now because of the works it has been applied to, not because of who Randolph Caldecott (I looked him up) was. And I think it is better known (a better “brand”) than it would be if it were named after something other than a person.

    All this is to say that there are advantages to naming an award after a person, and if, a generation from now, that person is less relevant than he or she is now, it won’t make any difference so long as the award has done a good job of recognizing good YA fiction.

  9. If someone tried to name the Hugos after Hugo today I would fight that with my last breath. That guy was not a good guy, at all. Honoring him for massively taking advantage of authors is not cool.

  10. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 1-22-2017 - Amazing Stories

  11. @JJ

    I agree that the “playing a card” idea can be used to derail a more thoughtful conversation on those kinds of issues. I disagree that it is a phrase that is without any redeeming merit.

    Let me go a little different direction, I think that it is not outside of the realm of possibility that the YA Hugo committee opted for those milk-toast bland options instead of using real live people because of the possibility (probability?) that discussions will quickly become over-heated and counter-productive. Disagreements would likely involve who is representative of the field, how long they have been writing, the range of their work, etc. either singularly or in combination.

    Your response taking the rhetoric straight to “11” illustrates my point.

    Regards,
    Dann

  12. Dann: Your response taking the rhetoric straight to “11” illustrates my point.

    Your response referring to my genuine comment as “rhetoric” illustrates my point.

    I’m wondering why it is apparently so difficult for you to engage in genuine discussion without all the little verbal sneers: “virtue signaling”, “playing a card”, “rhetoric”.

    Rather than projecting your own political motivations on the YA Hugo Committee, why don’t you just ask them? If I were on that committee, I would be incredibly unappreciative of your presuming to speak for my thoughts and intentions.

  13. @ACK Honoring [Hugo Gernsback] for massively taking advantage of authors is not cool.

    But he wasn’t honored for massively taking advantage of authors. He was honored for publishing science fiction when it wasn’t otherwise being done. And that is worthy of honor, despite his faults.

  14. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 4/29/17 Let Us Now Pixel Famous Scrolls | File 770

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *