First Canadian “Faned Awards” Given

R. Graeme Cameron announced his selections for the first Canadian Fanzine Fanac Awards on October 2 at VCON 36:

  • Best Fan Artist: Taral Wayne.
  • Best Fan Writer: Garth Spencer.
  • Best Loc Hack: Lloyd Penney.
  • Best Fanzine: WARP, Cathy Palmer-Lister, Editor.
  • Life-Time Achievement: “The Unknown Faned” who published Canada’s first SF fanzine in early 1936 under the title The Canadian Science Fiction Fan. (Unknown because in his 1936 review of the zine Donald Wollheim neglected to mention the editor’s name!)

All winners will receive “The Faned” figure sculpted by Lawrence Prime, and a certificate designed by Taral Wayne.

Cameron knows his new award needs lots of publicity if it’s going to have a bright future:

These first awards are entirely by fiat, being my personal decision based on what I consider to be the most obvious choices, the CFF Awards being entirely a one-man show at this point.

I’m hoping this is so outrageously abnormal compared to the usual peer-determined, incestuous, in-fought, excessively emotionally violent fan activity (of any sort) we are all used to that vast amounts of publicity will be generated by fan reaction to the awards (and this sentence).

Got to seep into widespread fannish consciousness somehow!

Next year I will be taking peer input into account. After that? Maybe an actual vote (rigged or otherwise).

Since I currently publish five fanzines (and am about to launch a sixth) I withdrew my name from my own consideration to create an illusion of impartiality. My first impulse, to award myself all five Faneds, took at least an hour to argue myself out of… for this year anyway. I make no promises.

(And if the above paragraph doesn’t generate yet more publicity I’ll be greatly surprised. I’m discovering that ‘doing’ publicity can be fun!)

5 thoughts on “First Canadian “Faned Awards” Given

  1. Graeme is taking a big gamble with this scheme. We’ve talked about it at length and he realizes the potential for the “Faned” to just fizzle out from lack of available nominees after three to five years. But, he’s hoping that the awards and the publicity around them will stimulate fanzine activity in Canada. (There really is very little for a country this size.)

    Being a skeptic, I had to say that Hollywood doesn’t make movies because of the Oscar. But, we’ll see.

    Meanwhile, the certificate isn’t quite finished. I figure I need three days of work — one more to complete the drawing, and up to two to polish it in Photoshop. If I’m not as interrupted as often as I have been the *last* few days, I might even stick to that schedule.

    As for this winners this year, there was hardly any alternative. If I hadn’t been named Best Fanartist, I would stop contributing to Graeme’s zines. If Lloyd weren’t made Best Letterhack, he may even have flown to Vancouver to punch Graeme in the nose. Garth Spencer would have fallen into a deep, dark depression and mope around BCSFA to everyone’s exasperation. And the editors of Warp? I dunno… never read one. I’m told I need a password to read it off the internet. No one but club members can actually read the winning zine? That struck me as plenty weird.

    Next year should have a genuine slate of candidates, though, and winners chosen by the voters.

  2. Actually any active fan can read WARP. All you have to do is promise to loc or trade and editor Cathy Palmer-Lister will forward you the password to the latest quarterly issue.

    I chose WARP because it’s an excellent clubzine, well laid out, colourful, with varied content reflecting the most active club (MonSFFA) in Canada. This is the kind of fanac I want to promote and encourage. Besides, Cathy and her fellow MonSFFEN deserve recognition for their fenthusiasm for all things fannish, as reflected in WARP.

    The Oscars, of course, are just a publicity gimmick to generate interest in the product of movie studios. In a similar vein, the Faneds are intended to stir interest in the sport of pubbing fanzines. No guarantees it need hardly be said, but NOT having the Faneds wouldn’t improve matters either, so I figure it’s worth a try. If fanzine fandom is ultimately doomed in Canada I’d rather go kicking and screaming than quietly.

    Taral’s certificate design is very nifty by the way. Can’t wait to exhibit it to fandom at large (as a further promotional gizmo). It’s very cool.

    Next year is probably too soon to organize a successful vote. I’m aiming for peer discussion among fanzine fandom veterans to arrive at a consensus of some kind. Then, maybe by 2013, there’ll be enough interest for a vote.

    Taral is quite right when he says there is a limited number of available nominees… for now. Given two or three years of publicity, controversial or not, there could well be MORE nominees available in the near future. That is certainly my intention.

    If not, well, I don’t think the Faneds will ever entirely fizzle out. They could wind up the personal hobby of a deranged old coot living in Surrey annually announcing repetitive awards just to annoy people. As long as I get to cackle with glee I’ll be happy.

  3. I have a solution to the problem of too few potential nominees! We’ll just decalare next year to be 1978! There was plenty of Canadian SF fandom to choose from in that year, and would be for at least ten years more!

  4. Believe it or not, I can do that! We’ve always been in touch, I know where she lives and she does indeed continue to write… but not fanac. The only thing I can’t do is show her to you. She reluctantly lets me talk about her and maybe even drag up some old fanwriting of hers from time to time, but her coming face to face with any fans is something she would probably never consent to.

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