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.

Sasquan Agenda Finalized

Yesterday was the deadline to submit new motions to the Sasquan business meeting. Kevin Standlee says the agenda in its essentially final form will include ratification votes on four constitutional amendments initially passed at LonCon 3, eight proposed amendments to the WSFS Constitution, and five resolutions.

You can find the agenda here.

Standlee says the YA Hugo study committee will not offer a proposal but unlike last year it will report progress:

There is no proposal from the YA Award committee. After discussing it (and they’ll have a long report which will be online along with other reports before Worldcon and will form part of a huge — currently 60 page — set of Business Meeting handouts), the committee decided to ask to be continued for a year with the idea of producing something next year, particularly given the crowded agenda this year.

The YA Hugo study committee was authorized by the 2013 business meeting, after members voted “object to consideration” to a motion that would have created the category. The published list of members is here:

This new committee is chaired by Dave McCarty. The members are Jodie Baker, Adam Beaton, Warren Buff, Johnny Carruthers, Martin Easterbrook, Chris Garcia, Helen Gbala, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Tim Illingworth, Farah Mendelsohn, Sue “Twilight” Mohn, Helen Montgomery, Cheryl Morgan, Kate Secor, Kevin Standlee, Adam Tesh, Peter De Weerdt, Tehani Wessely, Clark Wierda, Lew Wolkoff, Aurora Celeste and Dina Krause.

The committee reported last year at LonCon 3 that no progress had been made but it was renewed for another year.

Detcon1 Awards for YA Announced

Detcon1, the 2014 NASFiC, host of the presentation of this year’s Golden Duck Awards, a juried award for children’s and young adult science fiction, has created two member’s choice awards to accompany them called the Detcon1 Awards for Young Adult and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction.

Nominations for the members’ choice awards are now being taken. Eligible are any book-length young adult or children’s science fiction or fantasy books first published in calendar year 2013. Works published in a language other than English are also eligible if their first year of publication in English was 2013.

Anyone may nominate. Just one nomination form will be accepted per person. A nomination form with full instructions is available at http://www.detcon1.org/award/. Nominations can be made using a printed ballot, or electronically after creating a user account at detcon1.org. All nominations are due by February 28.

The finalists in each category will be announced in early April. The winners will be selected by a vote of members of Detcon1. Voting information will be sent to Detcon1 members directly. Memberships can be purchased at http://detcon1.org/involved/registration/

All the awards will be given at a joint ceremony.

Detcon1 chairperson Tammy Coxen says, “We created these awards to recognize the growing interest in and demand for young adult speculative fiction. Capturing young readers is crucial to the long-term outlook of the science fiction and fantasy field as a whole.”

Helen Gbala and Doug Drummond of Super-Con-Duck-Tivity and the Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children’s Science Fiction say “We are always happy to cooperate with all groups that promote children’s literacy and literature.”

Super-Con-Duck-Tivity has been presenting the Golden Duck Awards since 1992 to recognize excellence in the field of Children’s Science Fiction. More information can be found at http://www.goldenduck.org/.

Funding for the Detcon1 Awards and related Young Adult programming was provided by Chicon 7, the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention.

The full press release follows the jump.

[Via Andrew Porter.]

Continue reading

Statement by Chris Barkley

By Chris Barkley: I am pleased to announce that the misunderstanding regarding the YA Hugo and Loncon 3 has been resolved.

The strongly worded statement issued by the YA Hugo Discussion Page [on Facebook] on Thursday was made because our group was not informed of the decision by the Loncon 3 Committee was not going to use a provision in the WSFS  Constitution to try a YA Hugo Award category next year’s Worldcon.

I have been in contact with Steve Cooper, the Co-Chair of Loncon 3 over this past weekend. He stated that he regretted that the group was not informed and that  previous emails sent to the Committee about his this issue did not reach them directly.

In light of this revelation, the YA Page has  issued an apology to the Loncon 3 Committee about the statement and has  pledged to work with YA Hugo Study Group formed at LoneStarCon 3 to  present an informed report at next year’s Business Meeting.

Loncon 3 Nixes Experimental YA Hugo

Steve Cooper, Co-Chair of the 2014 Worldcon, Loncon 3, said in a message to the Smofs list that a meeting of the full committee decided against introducing a YA special Hugo or YA award despite requests to use its one-time authority under the WSFS Constitution to do so.

Reasoning – As there is currently a business meeting sub-committee in place to bring forward proposals for a YA Hugo / Award to the WSFS business meeting at Loncon 3, we believe it would be wrong for Loncon 3 to pre-empt the workings of this committee, especially as they do not have a draft proposal we could test. So any such move would be seen as Loncon 3 giving an opinion that we believe X is the solution to the YA award, and as the administrating convention for the business meeting where the proposals will be tabled this would be inconsistent with the due impartiality the WSFS membership would expect of us.

Cooper added, “We do not plan to issue a press release on this as it is not our policy to announce things we are not doing, but many of the individuals who have lobbied us to run and not-run a YA Special Hugo have been informed of our decision. People on this list are free to pass on our decision to others not on-here, but we would ask that the decision in full – including the reasoning – is quoted.”

Advocates for a YA Hugo category Chris M. Barkley and Juli Marr responded on Facebook expressing “profound disappointment” about the decision and criticizing the way it was communicated. They also rebutted the reasons given for the decision.

That being said, we would like to reiterate several points; the call for this Special award would have served a dual purpose; to see if the idea a of YA award had any traction with the Hugo Award electorate and for the Hugo Award administrators to provide the YA Committee (and the Business Meeting) any indications of problems that may have occurred during the nomination or voting process.

While we acknowledge the Committee’s reasoning for not presenting the award, we maintain that such an award can be administered this year, without the appearance of prejudice or impropriety by the Committee towards the YA study group. Language from previous proposals could have been used for the expressed purpose of administering the award for this occasion.

However, In light of this decision, we can only look forward to the upcoming discussions of the YA study group over the winter. It is our fervent hope that we will present a viable YA Hugo Award proposal for passage at the Loncon 3 Business Meeting.

Experimental YA Hugo Urged

Chris Barkley has started a Facebook discussion page for the Young Adult Book Hugo Award Proposal where he calls on fans to contact Loncon 3, the 2014 Worldcon, and ask the committee to exercise its right under the WSFS rules to create a one-time Best YA Book Hugo Award.

Barkley’s appeal reads —

Please tell the Loncon Three Committee how is vitally important that the viability of this category should be tested (as the Graphic Story and Podcast Hugo awards were before their inceptions as regular categories) and that authors, editors and that publishers of young adult fantasy and science fiction should be recognized and honored on an annual basis by one the premiere awards in genre literature.

He also reminds readers that the 2013 Worldcon Business Meeting appointed a YA Hugo study committee with Dave McCarty as Chair scheduled to make recommendations at Loncon 3.

Hugo Multiplication Tabled

An impassioned march on the Worldcon Business Meeting is expected Friday morning to make sure no Hugos are subtracted. Then, depending on how much of the agenda survives the preliminary meeting, members may get a chance on Saturday to play Santa by adding two new Hugos and radically expanding eligibility for another.

For the third consecutive year voters will be asked to create a YA Hugo category. This time called Best Youth Book, the Hugo would be given to “a science fiction or fantasy book published in the previous calendar year for young adults, middle readers, or children.”

The 2012 motion to create a Best Young Adult Fiction Hugo failed 51-67, however, losing a relatively close vote represented an improvement from the year before when the YA Hugo motion never made it to the floor, being disposed of by a vote to object to consideration.

Attendees of this year’s Business Meeting will also be invited to further subdivide the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo by adding a category for short length works.

Proposed by Eemeli Aro and seconded by James Bacon, John Coxon, and Jesi Pershing, this new Hugo would be given to a “video, audio recording or other production, with a complete running time of less than 15 minutes, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects.”

They say an extra category will “provide a more even ground for the promotion and popularization of both more and less professional short films, filk songs, commercials, and even acceptance speeches” which are now being overwhelmed by episodes of TV shows.

The existing Long Form category would continue to cover work more than 90 minutes in length, but be renamed “Best Dramatic Presentation, Feature Length Long Form.” The Short Form category would become “Best Dramatic Presentation, Mid-Length Short Form” and cover works 15 to 90 minutes in length.

Lastly, Joshua Kronengold and Lisa Padol want to transform the Best Fan Artist Hugo into something that can also be won by “musical, dance, jewelry and costuming artists.”

The new eligibility definition would be — “An artist or cartoonist working in any visual or performance medium whose work has appeared through publication in semiprozines or fanzines or through other public, non-professional, display (including at a convention or conventions) during the previous calendar year.”

Illustrators and cartoonists appearing in fanzines and semiprozines would remain eligible. Kronengold and Padol, in a commentary, say animators and artists working in special effects would also be eligible. But the motion’s fate could depend on wooing votes from costumers and filkers onsite at LSC3. Saturday is also the day of the masquerade, so costumers might need to juggle the demands on their schedules if they want to vote for the change.

Jane Yolen on YA Hugo Possibility

Fans are divided over the proposal to add a Hugo category for YA books. No matter your opinion, it’s worth hearing what a leading YA author thinks about the idea.

Jane Yolen has enjoyed success in many literary categories and is renowned among YA audiences. Craig Miller had an opportunity to ask for her views. Here’s what she said about adding a YA book category to the Hugos:

All the YA and children’s book writers I know who do sf and fantasy WANT a Hugo within a designated category and don’t feel it would ghettoize the award at all. It will also make it much easier to “sell” sf/fantasy books to the teachers and librarians. They LOVE to see award stickers and lists of award winners and buy from those lists. It would make a huge difference.

[Thanks to Craig Miller for the story.]

YA Hugo Proposal

A proposal to create a Best Young Adult Book Hugo category has been submitted to the Chicon 7 business meeting by Juli Hanslip, Lou Berger, Dan Kimmel, Stu Segal, Bobbi DuFault and Chris M. Barkley.

Barkley reports the category definition is:

(a) A young adult science fiction or fantasy book of any length published in the previous calendar year.

(b) Any work nominated in this category may not be simultaneously considered, if eligible, in any other fiction category.

(c) Two years after being implemented, this Constitutional Amendment may be repealed by a simple majority vote at the subsequent Main Business Meeting.

(A young adult book is defined as one in which the author(s) and/or the publisher specifically targeted a potential nominee to this intended audience. In the event of any confusion on the issue, the Hugo Administrator may inquire with the author(s) of potential nominated work for clarification.)

Note: The parenthetical phrase is part of the proposed rule.

Barkley and others submitted a YA Hugo motion last year at Renovation which was disposed of by a vote to object to consideration, although this was done in the expectation he would come back with a revision in 2012.

Denying the YA Mafia

John Scalzi cannot believe there’s a conspiracy among YA writers to crush the careers of rival authors who say bad things about their books — it would just be too much bother:

Because, I gotta tell you, after everything else I do on a daily basis, I don’t have a lot of time left over to take your dreams, lovingly cradle them in my arms and then just when they feel safe fling them into a pit filled with gasoline and napalm and laugh boisterously while they shrivel and burn.

I guess John’s gotten awfully busy since he was elected President of SFWA. Because he always had time for those things when he was a fan writer.

[Thanks to Janice Gelb for the hilarious link.]