Friday Sasquan Business Meeting Commenter Hanger

As we await the start of the business meeting, John Pomeranz is handing out WSFS Businss Meeting Bingo cards. Kevin Standlee is the free space. Players are instructed to fill in the rest of the blanks of frequent participants and when they have bingo, get recognized and include the word Bingo in their statement.

369 thoughts on “Friday Sasquan Business Meeting Commenter Hanger

  1. @Andy H @rcade: re Gerrold’s comment about not being a good person. I read him being as skeptical that ‘good’ is a description that can be accurately applied to persons, rather than having any particular sense of himself as a grim antihero.

    Me too–notice how he specifies how he tries to behave, but I agree that if one spends a lot of time thinking one is a “good person,” it becomes too easy to believe everyone one does is “good” and thus to end up denying the harm that we can all do (even without intending it).

  2. Gerrold frequently refers to himself as a curmudgeon, and tries to make sure people don’t think of him as some sort of writing god, who will be perfect in all things. He’s often pointed out when he’s been wrong, and also said that just because he’s somewhat famous doesn’t automatically mean he’s a nice guy.

    I think in all the years he’s been well-known, he’s probably run into more than a few adoring fans who put him on a pedestal and were disappointed he isn’t what they expected. This is a defense mechanism against such expectations.

  3. 2 year eligibility: The Nebulas had that for years until they finally got rid of it. I haven’t seen any reasoning strong enough to say why the Hugos should adopt what the SFWA had decided to drop.

    @Patrick,
    Both Annihilation Score & Seveneves are on my provisional nominating ballot. AH with a different PoV character a breath of fresh air to an already strong series. And while I agree that Seveneves is not perfect, I was gripped and am still thinking about it, which says a lot.

  4. I don’t really get two year eligibility. There’s an order of magnitude, perhaps two, more than I can read in a year anyhow.

  5. Patrick –

    Other than that, I’m watching what people here recommend.

    Right now I would recommend Uprooted, The Autumn Republic (or the gunpowder mage series as a whole), and The Mechanical of books I’d nominate

  6. Soon Lee,

    Both Annihilation Score & Seveneves are on my provisional nominating ballot. AH with a different PoV character a breath of fresh air to an already strong series. And while I agree that Seveneves is not perfect, I was gripped and am still thinking about it, which says a lot.

    I was really looking forward to Mo as the viewpoint character in Annihilation Score. As I noted in my review, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

    While I won’t be nominating either novel, I certainly wouldn’t rank either below No Award if they end up on the ballot.

  7. Today’s meta-game: is a given post about OSL or Mornington Crescent? For instance, I guessed wrong on this one:

    @Aan

    Ok, thanks for the clarification. I think I almost grok the crucial difference, but will probably need quite some further reading and thinking to fully get there.

    The most fantastic element of Winter Soldier? Real-time multi-person teleconferencing that works. My team’s spread across a mere 3 cities, we’ve got what’s supposed to be state of the art equipment, and one (coincidentally spiky-haired) co-worker sounds like Max Headroom half the time. I don’t see the average hotel having a large teleconferencing room ever.

    (All those old time writers who speculated about the comm lag between the Earth and Moon got it wrong – it’s not going to come in smoothly after a delay, it’s going to come in fits and starts.)

  8. Gerrold believes a “good person” would not indulge in snarkiness ever, and would not impulsively vent at people ever, and perhaps has other limits that he doesn’t impose on himself. I find it helpful to keep his disclaimers in mind. There are times when he writes vulnerable self disclosures (or says them in person) that show his extraordinary capacity to love his fellow humans. But neither he nor any other human being is in that elevated place all the time.

  9. Hope you like them just as much as I did. Gunpowder Mage series is badass.

    The Water Knife and Nemesis Game were good as well I didn’t find them as good as previous books by the authors of those. Still haven’t read Seveneyes yet, 10th on my library wait list!

  10. Hahahaha…bravo, Bruce. That’s one of my favorite songs; I like the puppy parody of it!

  11. I don’t think I’d ever nominate one of the Laundry novels for a Hugo. They are fun but not great. The Annihilation Score was enjoyable but not the best of them. I liked that he tried to write one from Mo’s perspective but I think he struggled to make her distinctive as a narrator.

    Seveneves – I will definitely nominate short of several other substantially better books coming along. However, I don’t think it will win. It comes down to whether a reader finds the info-dumps an integral part of an epic story (as in Moby Dick) or turgid digressions that provoke this reaction:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1YmS_VDvMY

    The Mechanical I adore and it can do no wrong.

    Shorter fiction: my short fiction reading is increasing but I keep hitting great stuff that isn’t eligible for 2016. So I’m playing catch-up still.

  12. If I kind of squint, I can almost see the point of rolling two-year eligibility, especially for short fiction — it’d give you more time to find things, especially as they started being reprinted in anthologies, etc. But it’s probably still more trouble than it’s worth.

  13. Mike Glyer on August 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm said:

    Gerrold believes a “good person” would not indulge in snarkiness ever, and would not impulsively vent at people ever, and perhaps has other limits that he doesn’t impose on himself. I find it helpful to keep his disclaimers in mind.

    I’ve never met him in person but I encountered him online on several occasions in the mid-1990s. I can’t say for a fact that he is a good person but I can say he does an excellent impression of one if he isn’t IMHO.

  14. @Joe H.
    I can understand the sentiment but really, it just kicks the can down the road a year and turns it into a confusion of eligibility. That was certainly my impression of the Nebulas when they had it. There is a certain neatness comparing works within one calendar year only.

    Currently it’s only the Campbell that has a default two year eligibility, but there is a helpful website that tracks writer eligibility for that to make life easier for nominators.

  15. @Soon Lee — Yeah, I agree. Just sticking with one calendar year keeps things a lot cleaner.

  16. It makes sense for the Campbell, since it’s the author you’re judging – you wouldn’t want to have to make a decision based on a single short story.

  17. Camestros Felapton,

    The Annihilation Score was enjoyable but not the best of them. I liked that he tried to write one from Mo’s perspective but I think he struggled to make her distinctive as a narrator.

    100% agree.

  18. Joe H. on August 22, 2015 at 2:03 pm said:

    If I kind of squint, I can almost see the point of rolling two-year eligibility, especially for short fiction — it’d give you more time to find things, especially as they started being reprinted in anthologies, etc. But it’s probably still more trouble than it’s worth.

    I can see that it would be a logistical nightmare but with shorter works it is easy to miss stuff.

  19. Camestros Felapton on August 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm said:

    I can see that it would be a logistical nightmare but with shorter works it is easy to miss stuff.

    Which, after a fashion, brings us back to the purpose of an unsullied (or unpuppied) open nomination process — to allow as many people as possible to cast as wide a net as possible, in the hope that in most cases the best stuff will turn up on multiple nomination lists.

  20. Releasing the nominating data before the con ends is against the WFS constitution: And Standlee is clearly incorrect about releasing data about noms with less than 5 votes.

    3.11.4: The complete numerical vote totals, including all preliminary tallies for first, second, … places, shall be made public by the Worldcon Committee within ninety (90) days after the Worldcon. During the same period the nomination voting totals shall also be published, including in each category the vote counts for at least the fifteen highest vote-getters and any other candidate receiving a number of votes equal to at least five percent (5%) of the nomination ballots cast in that category, but not including any candidate receiving fewer than five votes.

  21. I found the first, longer part of Seveneves interesting and quite powerful. In my mind there is no doubt the book should be an awards contender.

  22. Releasing the nominating data before the con ends is against the WFS constitution

    I don’t read it that way. The language your quoted:

    shall be made public by the Worldcon Committee within ninety (90) days after the Worldcon

    Just says it is to be released within 90 days after the ends of the Worldcon. That puts an end limit on how long one can wait before releasing the data. It doesn’t put a limit on how early the data can be released.

    And Standlee is clearly incorrect about releasing data about noms with less than 5 votes.

    The language you quoted says that those totals don’t have to be released. It doesn’t say they can’t be released. It puts a lower bound on what is required, not what is permitted.

  23. As Aaron said, I don’t see anything in 3.11.4 that forbids either a release of the data on Sunday or the inclusion of data on nominees receiving less than 5 votes.

  24. Chris:

    no doubt there will be major internet revisionism when VD becomes, I believe, the first person to lose to No Award twice.

    Aaron:

    Three times. He already has one loss to No Award on the scoreboard.

    He could conceivably set a record for number of losses to No Award and lose it to John C. Wright the same night.

  25. rcade on August 22, 2015 at 12:51 pm said:

    I suspect no truly thoughtful person can honestly conclude that they are a good person, particularly in light of all the horrors committed historically by people who firmly believed — or at least asserted — that they were good people.

    That’s way too bleak an outlook for me. I think plenty of thoughtful people also consider themselves good.

    If skinny people called themselves fat it wouldn’t make me thin.

    Eh, I don’t think of it as bleak. I think thinking of oneself as a good person can get in the way of thinking clearly about how to make things better.

    Some of the best people I have known have been quite mistrustful and careful of their own motivations and actions.

    ETA: I believe Terry Pratchett considered himself pretty curmudgeonly, for example.

  26. Aaron: I can see that interpretation for early release. I don’t agree with it, but that’s not unfair

    However making “including [this]… but not including [that]” to mean “all is permitted” was a mistake.

  27. However making “including [this]… but not including [that]” to mean “all is permitted” was a mistake.

    No. The rule clearly sets out a requirement. It doesn’t set out a limitation. If a limitation was intended, the rule should have read something like “but data concerning any candidate receiving fewer than five votes shall not be published”.

  28. So what does this mean?

    but not including any candidate receiving fewer than five votes.

    Glyer says he wrote the rule. Says Standlee got it wrong.

    Because the stakes are so small!

  29. So what does this mean?

    It means they aren’t required to release that data. It doesn’t say they cannot.

    Glyer says he wrote the rule. Says Standlee got it wrong.

    The author of a rule doesn’t determine what its meaning is once it is passed. This is how legislation works. They are determined by what the language actually says, not by what the proposers meant to say, because what the voters voted upon what the text, not the intent.

  30. So “shall…be published, including [W, X, and Y]….., but not including [Z]”
    means “go ahead and include [Z] if you want to”?

    Anyways, we’ve made our points.

  31. Anyways, we’ve made our points.

    Did you ever have one? Because so far you’ve only made wrong statements.

  32. Aaron: Standlee treated the limiting language as having no effect which as you know is contrary to how courts interpret law, in that the do not treat any words in a statute as surplusage.

  33. Standlee treated the limiting language as having no effect which as you know is contrary to how courts interpret law, in that the do not treat any words in a statute as surplusage.

    It isn’t surplusage. It permits an Administrator to withhold that information should they choose to. As written, it exempts that data from the “shall” direction.

  34. @Peace: Some of the best people I have known have been quite mistrustful and careful of their own motivations and actions.

    David Endawi, EarthForce Intelligence: This is quite irregular, Mr. Garibaldi! I was assured that Captain Sheridan or Commander Ivanova would be available!
    Michael Garibaldi: They got called away on urgent business.
    Endawi: What kind of business?
    Garibaldi: I’m not authorized for that kind of information.
    Endawi: But…you’re the head of Security.
    Garibaldi: And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I’m not supposed to know? [I mean,] I know what I know because I have to know it, and if I don’t have to know it, I don’t tell me, and I don’t let anyone else tell me, either. Now look, we’ve tried most of the other ambassadors. Why don’t you speak to G’Kar? Maybe he knows something about this ship.
    Endawi: Under the terms of our recent treaty, I am not authorized to have any official conversation with the Narn without Centauri approval.
    Garibaldi: So you’ll ask unofficially. And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so.
    Endawi: [slowly] Because you won’t tell yourself about it.
    Garibaldi: I try never to get involved in my own life. Too much trouble.
    Endawi: [confused] This is a very strange place you have here, Mr. Garibaldi.
    Garibaldi: Thank you.

  35. However making “including [this]… but not including [that]” to mean “all is permitted” was a mistake.

    If the WSFS Constitution does not forbid something, under what grounds would you forbid a Worldcon convention committee from doing it? It seems to me that “anything that is not forbidden is permitted” is the best approach, given that each year brings a new convention and new organizers.

    Any concerns about a convention releasing too much data could be addressed by a future prohibition.

  36. That makes sense. But I had the feeling that some people were heavily invested in its being a Hugo.

    When this was being discussed last time over on Making Light, I made the suggestion that it be a seperate award ala the Andre Norton. I have a couple of reasons why I think a YA award is necessary part of the Hugo ceremony and if a seperate award is needed to get it up there I am totally cool with it.

    If it were named after Diana Wynne Jones do think it would be coloquialised as the ‘Dawj’ or the ‘Wyjee’?

  37. ““anything that is not forbidden is permitted” applies to individuals, but not organizations. Let’s apply that to an organization like, say, AnywhereInTheWorldCon. Any such con could add Hugo categories at will.

    Section 3.1: Introduction. Selection of the Hugo Awards shall be made as provided in this Article.

    There’s nothing anywhere in there from prohibiting a con adding as many categories as any con wishes. Heck, Standlee just said you could add more.

    Me: “anything that is not permitted is forbidden”.
    <5 votes was expressly forbidden.

  38. The YA stuff has been going on for 20+ years FFS.
    Make it a Hugo for YA Novel (40k+) length, sunset it in 5 years. Let’s see how it works.

    The hand-wringing has been going on for over 20 years.

    Big fan of sunset provisions. Let’s TRY stuff.

  39. Any such con could add Hugo categories at will.

    You do realize that some WorldCons have done exactly that, right?

    <5 votes was expressly forbidden.

    Except by the actual language of the provision, it wasn’t.

  40. I suspect Viktor is a strict follower of rules, assuming hse isn’t a juvenile canid.
    Unfortunately, rules are frequently ambiguous, and sometimes need to be broken for the system to work correctly. (I have occasionally argued for a rule change because of situations where following the rule as written at the time would result in unfortunate problems. Or gotten a variance in a case where all the solutions were bad, but one was less bad.)

  41. Any such con could add Hugo categories at will. … There’s nothing anywhere in there from prohibiting a con adding as many categories as any con wishes.

    The WSFS Constitution allows a convention to create one special Hugo category (or none). See 3.3.17.

    <5 votes was expressly forbidden.

    Nothing you’ve quoted forbids that.

    The data’s only being released to analyze EPH. If data for nominees who received under 5 votes was omitted, the data analysis might be faulty because it is incomplete.

  42. Going to miss any livestreams because I’m an elite literati anti-Slate redneck and I’m going to eat chicken wings and watch wrasslin’. Early congrats to the winners whomever they might be. As far as the Puppies go, maybe next year talk more about the books you like and want to win instead of SJWs or culture war BS.

  43. What’s forbidden, if anything, is publishing vote totals for items receiving fewer than 5 votes. What we requested via the business meeting resolution was nominating ballots, not vote totals. For the purposes of evaluating EPH, getting the data with the names of the nominees anonymized would be as useful.

  44. I guess from here on out whenever Aaron contradicts the correct interpretation of the fewer than five rule I will have to correct him. Or we could all drop it for now. But I am tired of seeing this misstatement repeated.

  45. rcade:
    Gotta say, you got me on that one. But adding Not-A-Hugo categories could be done. Like have a Best Saga But It’s Not A Hugo, etc, etc. (Yes, I moved the goal posts a bit.)

    Does the special additional category from one con sunset before the next? Or could it be carried over to the next and another category added? There’s no sunset on 3.3.17 that I see. We could accumulate Hugos categories one at a time.

  46. There’s no sunset on 3.3.17 that I see.

    My read is that the limit of one added category per convention would prevent an accumulation of categories. If Sasquan added one and MidAmeriCon kept it, it could add no others.

  47. I guess from here on out whenever Aaron contradicts the correct interpretation of the fewer than five rule I will have to correct him.

    You don’t get to determine “the correct interpretation”. You get the language that was passed, and it doesn’t really seem to align with your interpretation. It certainly doesn’t rule out Standlee’s interpretation.

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