Hugo Voting Still Not Open

LoneStarCon 3 announced this year’s Hugo Awards nominees on March 30 but has yet to open the voting. Is 30 days and counting a long delay or not? How does this performance compare with other recent Worldcons?

The answer: It does not compare very well.

Last year, Chicon 7 announced it was ready to take votes 2 days after the nominees came out – meaning paper ballots. Online voting opened 11 days after, according to publicity.

Renovation (2011) said paper and online voting was open in a press release issued 5 days after the nominee announcement.

Aussiecon 4 (2010) reported voting open 30 days after the nominee announcement.

Anticipation (2009) wasn’t taking votes until the 60th day after.

Denvention 3 (2008) is a little harder to pinpoint because the information came in a progress report the month after the nominees were announced. The interim could have been as short as 9 days and as long as 39, and the true figure presumably lies somewhere in between.

Conclusion: The past two Worldcons got voting opened pretty quickly, and at 30 days LoneStarCon 3 is falling behind the curve.

Worldcon

(Year)

Nominees

Announced

Voting

Available

 

Packet

Available

Chicon 7 (2012)

4/7/2012

4/9/2012

 

5/18/2012

Renovation (2011)

4/24/2011

4/29/2011

 

5/20/2011

Aussiecon 4 (2010)

4/4/2010

5/4/2010?

 

5/4/2010

Anticipation (2009)

3/19/2009

5/19/2009

 

4/22/2009*

Denvention 3 (2008)

3/21/2008

4/2008

 

4/10/2008*

(*) In these years the packet was created by John Scalzi.

Sources for the dates are listed after the jump.

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See Denvention TV Coverage

John Picacio has posted video from a newscast aired by the Denver NBC affiliate at the beginning of Denvention 3. Picacio recognized these faces:

John Hertz and his propeller beanie got a lot of love. Look for a funny cameo by SCI FI editor Scott Edelman. Looks like the blonde, braided head of LOCUS‘ Amelia Beamer is in the background at the :59 mark (looks like her, anyway). FACT‘s Laura Domitz pops up at the :57 and :56 mark. And oh yeah — News9 has apparently discovered a new way to spell my name — “Piacacio” instead of “Picacio”. Now I know how Paolo Baciagalupi feels….

There also are glimpses of Marty Massoglia, Robbie Bourget, jan howard finder, Gail Barton, Dennis Caswell, and plenty of others. Are you there, too?

[Via Isaac Alexander]

Best Graphic Story Hugo
Will Be Given in 2009

Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon, has announced it will exercise its right to add a one-time Special Hugo category by awarding a Best Graphic Story Hugo. This will allow the category, added by a vote at Denvention 3, to take effect earlier than if it had to wait on the required ratification at next year’s Business Meeting.

Full press release appears behind the cut.

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D3 Interviews Online

Once the editing is finished, Pacific Fen Spotlight’s coverage of Denvention 3 will be highlighted by interviews with “Harry Turtledove, Marc Scott Zicree, and WSFS expert Kevin Standlee,” among others. Several are already posted.

This is great. It makes up for something I missed at the con. Turtledove spent time in the fanzine lounge and I saw Zicree at the Hugo pre-reception, but I couldn’t fight my way through the parliamentary groupies to say hello to Kevin.

Snapshots

Wired reports the Army is moving ahead with plans for a laser cannon What next, the U.S.S. Death Star?

All the winners of the 2008 Mythopoeic Awards are listed at SF Award Watch.

There’s already a DVD of Denvention 3 Masquerade photos for sale. The committee expects to offer a DVD of the Hugo Ceremony this fall. And Laurie Mann has posted a vast collection of links to Denvention 3 news, blog and photo coverage.

Want to help with next year’s Worldcon? Anticipation’s volunteer form is online.

Keith Stokes reports on his January 2008 trip to Costa Rica, with beautiful photos, here.

And Keith takes you along on his March 2008 trip to Kansas and Nebraska, featuring Rocky Mountain Oysters, here.

Fast-Forward did a total of five podcasts from Denvention 3.

Peter Glaskowsky, a frequent contributor to Chaos Manor Reviews and attendee at 16 Worldcons, has a post about ebooks and Digital Management Rights on CNET.

Hugo-winner Michael Chabon’s affectonate comments about SF and alternate history can be found in articles at the Los Angeles Times, the UK’s Times Online, and the New York Review of Books.

[Links via David Klaus, Isaac Alexander, Rick Moen, Laurie D. T. Mann and Michael Kennedy.]

Rooters for Scooters

On Saturday at Denvention I commented to Diana how surprised I was to see so few fans riding electric carts. They’ve become commonplace at Worldcons, where less mobile fans use them to get around huge convention centers. I really don’t know how many carts fans rented at past Worldcons. Rather like the larger carts carrying passengers at the airport, it takes only two or three beeping past to make you think you’ve seen a lot of them. But seeing none at all in the prairie-sized corridor that ran the length of the Colorado Convention Center I wondered why? Was Denvention’s tight budget a factor? Did a lot of people who use these carts just stay home, perhaps unable to handle the altitude?

At least in big cities, there generally is a medical equipment rental service that fans can make advance arrangements with, the Worldcon doesn’t have to become involved at all. However, past performance now has created some expectations that the Worldcon committee will facilitate arrangements for attendees who discover at the con they can’t handle all the walking and now want to rent an electric cart.

If a committee rents a small number of carts as a contingency, it may recover the expense from fans who use them. So the problem for the Worldcon is not the expense, but having to front the money, and choose this over something else that has to be paid in advance. There’s also a small risk that not all the carts will be sub-rented to members.

Denvention was a smaller Worldcon, its budget was really squeezed, and so questions looking at this single item in isolation from all the tradeoffs considered in Denvention’s budgeting process have been cheerfully answered with accusations that people are confusing the Worldcon with socialized medicine.

Worldcons really don’t have the resources to be electric cart vendors, but people benefit when a committee uses its local knowledge to identify businesses that supply this equipment. Denvention seems to have given that help to fans who planned in advance. The question really is what future Worldcons should provide for these last-minute needs, if anything. The issue needs a champion — jargon that comes with a built-in warning there will be resistance to overcome. (When Electrical Eggs did this work, they had their admirers and detractors, both.)

The best suggestion I saw in the recent discussion on the Smofs list was Sharon Sbarsky’s idea to find a past Worldcon with surplus funds, or get fans to donate, $1000 to rent four additional, spare electric carts to have available at next year’s Worldcon, Anticipation. “If the scooters get rented, the money received goes back into the fund to rent scooters at Aussiecon 4. Less than four get rented, then the number is reduced for the next year unless additional money could be found. If the idea catches on, then more spare scooters could be rented.”

In everything that happens at a Worldcon, labor is even dearer than money. If somebody takes up this cause, however, I think they will find financial support fairly promptly.

Need to Cut Back on Chocolate?

As I roamed around Denvention on Saturday afternoon, looking into program rooms for something interesting to watch, I saw Mark Olson raining green-foiled Andes Mints on a small audience of fans playing “Trivia for Chocolate.”  Steven Silver and Jim Mann were the other quiz masters. I stepped inside.

It didn’t take long for me to decide that “Trivia for Chocolate” ought to be renamed “Mike’s New Diet Plan.” I managed to win only two pieces.

At first I sat behind David Goldfarb. The scouting report on David Goldfarb expressed in baseball terms would be: great bat, bad glove. He knows, by a conservative estimate, well, everything. David’s only weakness is fielding. If he actually had to catch the chocolate the competition might be closer.

I spent some time watching David’s winnings bounce past me, til they asked a question that I should have gotten – seeing that I was the answer. We all realized how little of the proceedings I was hearing and I moved to the front row, to the seat nearest Tom Galloway that was not already occupied by his own hoard of chocolate. After that my main handicap was ignorance, but that’s when I scored my two pieces. Knowing Mack Reynolds wrote “Adventure of the Extraterrestrial” was worth one Tim-Tam, a chocolate-dipped biscuit imported from Australia.

Marty Massoglia arrived halfway through the program and from then on scored heavily. Ah, the golden memories of once upon a time when Marty, Bruce Pelz and I entered a team trivia competition as the “LA Smog” and did so well. What decade was that? Hm, another piece of trivia I’m forgetting.

Note: David Goldfarb has posted a LiveJournal entry about “Trivia for Chocolate” that also tells how he pillaged Tom Whitmore’s book collection as the winner of another trivia game at Denvention.)