Hugo Awards Study Committee Report Online

The final Hugo Awards Study Committee Report is now online at the Worldcon 76 WSFS Business Meeting page along with the draft agenda for this year’s Business Meeting.

Committee chair Vincent Docherty says:

The committee got going much later than planned (entirely due to my own lack of time due to other commitments) but once we got started there was very energetic participation by the 20+ committee members. The report summarises the discussion and makes a number of recommendations, including four specific proposals which are on this year’s Business Meeting agenda (three updates to categories and continuation of the committee), as well as a number of topics for further discussion next year, assuming the committee is continued.

The committee welcomes feedback from interested fans. We’re aware of some online reaction to the specific proposals already, which might result in adjustments to the proposals when we get to the Business Meeting.

My thanks to the committee members for their work this year.

Direct link to the report: “2018 Report of the Hugo Awards Study Committee”

An excerpt from the overview of their recommendations —

…Understanding that the overall operation of the categories works well, the Committee found several places for improvement:

The Committee found that the present definitions in the Fan Artist/Professional Artist category were potentially problematic. The Fan Artist category was initially designed in 1967, seeking to honor those offering their artistic talents to the broader community of fandom for little or no compensation. Such contributions were often in the form of illustrations for fanzines and convention programs. In the last fifty years, however, the form that fandom has taken has changed, and the result is that the definition of Fan Artist was found to be outdated. This was given an extensive examination. The Committee also acknowledges that some further examination of the other fan/professional categories may be in order, and has proposed to carry forward at least one further change in this area.

The Committee found the term “Graphic Story” problematic. Just as “comic book” has come to be taken as including work not literally comic, “graphic story” has come to be taken as excluding work appearing in comic books or comic strips. The Committee proposes re-titling to “Best Graphic Story or Comic.”

The Committee feels that altering “Best Fancast” into a “Best Podcast” category and removing the restriction on eligible productions receiving money is desirable. Many podcasts generate income from either limited advertisements, tip jars, or other small streams of income. While these are often not sufficient to support someone making a living, the income can still be substantial. As also discussed in the context of the Fan/Professional Artist categories, the use of fixed income thresholds was also found to be problematic.

In addition to the Artist categories, the Committee gave some consideration to cases of category overlap and/or gaps in categories in general, and would propose to continue examining this both in the context of current and proposed awards. This arose, in particular, in discussions surrounding the future of Best Novel and the proposed Best Translated category.

The Committee also briefly considered several other questions, including how well the Hugo Awards have handled the digital/print divide and differences between how terms are used in an “industry” context in non-industry discourse (e.g. by Worldcon attendees/WSFS members who are giving the awards) and in the Hugo Award definitions themselves. Consideration of various such questions fed into the discussions on specific proposals.

The second question, ‘How well do the categories honor what we wish to honor?’, generated more questions for examination. Given the interaction of this question and the question of how many Hugo Awards should be awarded, most of these questions have been recommended for passage forward for further consideration in the next year. In particular:

A Best Translated category was proposed relatively late in the Committee’s deliberations. As a result, the Committee did not have the time to study this potential award in sufficient depth alongside the rest of its workload, and there were multiple ideas as to what form this category should take (e.g. whether it should be limited to novels, cover all written works) and, if recommended, whether the award in question should be a Hugo or a non-Hugo award given by Worldcons. In particular, the Committee proposes to examine whether such an award is presently feasible.

A potential reorganization of the Best Dramatic Presentation categories was considered, and has been proposed to be passed forward should the committee be continued. Multiple alternatives, including a possible addition of one (or more) categories and redefining the Long/Short division into a TV/Movie division, would be given consideration if the committee is reauthorized.

A readjustment of the Best Semiprozine and Best Editor categories has been proposed and will be considered if the Committee is reauthorized. In particular, the Committee feels that the nature of the internet may have reduced the advantage that professional magazines have over non-professional productions, and that allowing professional publications to compete in a “Best Magazine” category would allow them to once again be honored. The Committee also noted various complications with the Best Editor categories; several proposals, including a possible realignment into “Best Anthology” and “Best Imprint,” will be evaluated if we are authorized to do so….

The report advances three proposed changes, and recommends further study of four more:

Part II: Specific Proposals

(1) Proposed continuation of the Hugo Study Committee

(2) Proposed Changes to the Fancast Hugo Category (with slight changes to the Semiprozine and Fanzine categories to maintain consistency)

(3) Proposed Changes to the Professional Artist and Fan Artist Hugo Categories

(4) Proposed Changes to the Best Graphic Story Hugo Category

(5) Proposal Recommended for Further Study: Addition of a Best Translated Work Hugo Category

(6) Proposal Recommended for Further Study: Replacement of Semiprozine and Best Editor Hugo Categories with Professional Magazine, Anthology/Collection, and Publisher/Imprint

(7) Proposal Recommended for Further Study: Potential Alterations to Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Categories

(8) Proposal Recommended for Further Study: Best Art Book and Alterations to Best Related Work

(9) Proposal Not Recommended for Further Consideration: Best Novel Split

[Thanks to Vincent Docherty for the story.]

61 thoughts on “Hugo Awards Study Committee Report Online

  1. Considering the staggering number of youtube vloggers out there, changing best fancast to best podcast is a bad idea.

    Dramatic presentation: If short and long dramatic presentation is redone as tv and movie, then there needs to be an “other dramatic presentation” category for audio works, theatrical productions, and so on.

  2. I just looked into the Fancast/Podcast proposal in the document. They literally only want to change the word “Podcast” to “Fancast” (and add a half a sentence: “that was originally released as a podcast”). As far as I understand Youtube Vloggers would still be eligible.

  3. The suggested definition for “Podcast” includes videos:

    Any generally available nonprofessional audio or video periodical devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects that by the close of the previous calendar year has released four (4) or more episodes, at least one (1) of which appeared in the previous calendar year, was originally released as a podcast, and that does not qualify as a dramatic presentation.

  4. A procedural question:
    Is there any way that I, as a former-and-hopefully-future Worldcon member, but not attending 76 specifically, can volunteer to join one of the proposed committees (if they indeed are formed)?

  5. At first glance, the committee seems to have read my mind and proposed exactly what I would like to see. Yay!

  6. Standback on August 9, 2018 at 5:55 am said:

    A procedural question:
    Is there any way that I, as a former-and-hopefully-future Worldcon member, but not attending 76 specifically, can volunteer to join one of the proposed committees (if they indeed are formed)?

    I suggest writing to businessmeeting@worldcon76.org, addressing the Chair of the Business Meeting, expressing your desire to join. You do not need to be a member of a Worldcon to be on a WSFS committee.

    Glaurung on August 9, 2018 at 3:26 am said:

    Considering the staggering number of youtube vloggers out there, changing best fancast to best podcast is a bad idea.

    I expect that excluding non-audio content was unintentional, and that “podcast” wasn’t meant to be “exclusively audio,” anymore than it is “exclusively for listening on the Apple iPod” which is where the term originated.

  7. However, ISTM that most people would read “Podcast” as being exclusively audio. I’ve looked through the report and am guessing (since it isn’t explicit) that some on the committee felt that “fan” meant “purely unpaid” and so had to be dropped — but there have always been fanzines subscribable for money to cover production costs (“sticky quarters”); semiprozine is a level above this. If enough people feel that “fan” excludes tipjars etc., ISTM that Standback’s suggestion of “mediacast” is a good choice even if it seems a bit tautologous.

  8. However, ISTM that most people would read “Podcast” as being exclusively audio, just as they may use “kleenex” for any tissue. I’ve looked through the report and am guessing (since it isn’t explicit) that some on the committee felt that “fan” meant “purely unpaid” and so had to be dropped — but there have always been fanzines subscribable for money to cover production costs (“sticky quarters”); semiprozine is a level above this. If enough people feel that “fan” excludes tipjars etc., ISTM that Standback’s suggestion of “mediacast” is a good choice even if it seems a bit tautologous.

  9. Chip Hitchcock: ISTM that Standback’s suggestion of “mediacast” is a good choice even if it seems a bit tautologous.

    It seems to me that “mediacast” would include TV broadcasts, which, according to the commentary in the report, they were specifically trying to exclude.

  10. Ok, ok, just split it into multiple categories:

    * Best Podcast
    * Best Videocast
    * Best Fan Podcast
    * Best Professional Nondramatic Videocast
    * Best Semipro Aromacast
    * Best Related Tactilocast (Long Form)

  11. I mean, if the committee can recommend a category be called “best graphic story or comic” then “best podcast or videocast” shouldn’t be an issue, no? It doesn’t roll off the tongue but then neither does “semiprozine” or “dramatic presentation (long)”. It’s significantly easier to understand than the first of those – I’d suggest that slightly longer plain language names are a lot more accessible than coming up with new terms that won’t mean anything to anyone who comes in later…

    ETA in general, I really like these suggestions and am pleased the fancast change isn’t intended to exclude videos – there’s plenty of talent on Booktube that’s just begging to pop up in this category and I’m looking forward to the year when it does!

  12. At a glance, I generally like the suggestions, but I still need to go back and read the whole thing more carefully.

    I echo Arifel’s thoughts about “podcast or videocast”. I think that people already tend to forget that “fancast” does include video. (I can’t wait to see Booktubers break into this category either! I keep nominating them!)

  13. I don’t know exactly what the term “podcast” includes or doesn’t include, but the Hugo definition includes the words “audio or video” and that’s not being changed in the amendment. So I don’t see where it says that the change is deleting vloggers from eligibility.

  14. Yes, the change still includes video podcasts or vlogs. But if they’re adding “or Comic” to “Graphic Story”, they might as well make this title more explicit too.

  15. I feel like using “or” in an award title is pretty clunky. And I don’t follow the committee’s claim that graphic story “has come to be taken as excluding work appearing in comic books or comic strips.” Like, everything nominated in the category this year was a comic book except for one, and comic strips have been nominated in the past.

    I don’t really vote in the artist categories, but “for which the rights to reproduce that artwork have been given without direct compensation to one or more non-commercial publications or for use at or by non-profit science fiction or fantasy conventions” seems unnecessarily restrictive, and excludes a lot of stuff your average voter would imagine to be “fan art.” I guess this matches of the origins of the award, but doesn’t match what people in the present day think of as the divide between fan and professional art.

    Were I attending Worldcon, I would vote against both of these proposals. (I have no opinion on the fancast one.)

    I mostly like Proposal B on p. 18, except I say no to “Best Publisher or Imprint”; just cut those three categories down to the two of Magazine and Anthology/Collection. (Much like the commenter on p. 19.)

    I agree with the tenor of pp. 21-2 that there is some awkwardness about the Dramatic Presentation categories, but that all alternative options are worse.

  16. Steve Mollmann: everything nominated in the category this year was a comic book except for one

    This year’s finalists are bound volumes which are considered Graphic Novels. If you read the commentary, “Comic” refers to the floppy individual issues.

     
    Steve Mollmann: [the proposed Fan Artist definition] seems unnecessarily restrictive, and excludes a lot of stuff your average voter would imagine to be “fan art.”

    That is deliberate. This proposal is being spearheaded by old-time fans who feel that the category should be returned to its historic purpose of only recognizing artists who have donated work for free use by fanzines, conventions, fan-run websites, other fan activity, etc. The proposed Professional Artist definition would include everything else (although a couple of people want to put income restrictions on that, which I think is totally unfair as well as unworkable, and I will be voting against that alternate Pro Artist proposal).

  17. Linda Deneroff: Are you under the impression that the link isn’t already given in the post?

  18. Many thanks to the committee!

    In re. “Best ___cast”: Most folks I know think of podcast as audio, or primarily audio, myself included, so I’m not a fan of “Best Podcast” as a rename. Also the addition of “first released as a podcast” to me just muddies things – doesn’t help clarify things. (I haven’t read the whole explanation, so I should do that first I know, sorry.)

    It sounds like I’m not the only one here who thinks of podcasts as primarily audio. Well, look at how some folks say their definition of a series is XYZ, and who cares what the definition in Best Series is, they’ll use their criteria based on the word “Series” and what it means to them. We’ll run into the same thing here, no doubt.

    I feel like along with improving the title, improving the description would help (“was originally released as a podcast” sounds to me like it means originally releases as audio [ETA: though from comments above, that’s not what it means…but it sounds like it regardless]).

    Hmm, I’m not a big fan of this term, but what about “Best Netcast”? (cringe) “Best ‘Cast”? (gak)

    Anyway just some rambling thoughts. I’ll get to reading the full report (not just this part) this weekend, hopefully. 🙂

  19. JJ: I would like to clarify that an income requirement for Best Professional Artist was not proposed by the committee. As you said, “a couple of people want to put income restrictions on that”. The committee report says “one of the Committee members strongly preferred the following proposal instead”.

  20. Since people can’t decide if Youtube video blogs are podcasts or videocasts or mediacasts or what the hell to call them to lump them in with the other stuff, clearly we should rename the award the Ursula K. LeGuin, and leave all the rest in the definition.

  21. No, but yours seem to link to an earlier, uncorrected format, draft; e.g., some bullets are .missing from some items that are there but should have bullet points.

  22. Yes, I just discovered that while my Word document is correct, the pdf didn’t translate some bullets correctly. I’m fixing that now. But I couldn’t delete my post. I’ll let you know when it’s posted. (The title will also show”Appendix B” because the MPC Report is Appendix A.

  23. New corrected file is uploaded. I’m on the road. If there’s any problem let me know and I’ll fix it this evening.

  24. If I may weigh in on the podcast/fancast/mediacast topic as a linguist…

    In the context of crowdsourced award nominations, the formal definition of a category may be less important than the category structure that the label calls to mind. If a category is labeled “best podcast” and if a majority of people consider that the prototypical model of a “podcast” is audio and not video, then labeling the category “podcast” will subliminally disadvantage videocasts. It’s very much like the “comic book” vs “graphic novel” distinction — the first will subconsciously prompt people to focus on individual issues, while the second will prompt people to select for bound collections.

    It doesn’t matter if the “dictionary definition” of a category is inclusive, if the label that people interact with leads them to subconsciously assume that certain category members are “better examples”.

  25. I kinda hate all of these except #6. I am all about Anthology, there are so many good ones each year.

    I really hate narrowing Fan Artist just b/c some Olde Pharts are peeved that we don’t run off our fanzines on offset presses any more. I did that myself for many a year, believe me (with an illo from the legendary Rotsler once!), but I’m fine with how it is now. You can’t tell me that Spring’s rocket, unicorn, etc. jewelry isn’t art of a fannish nature. And it’s not like the old school stuff is left out — I’ve seen this year’s finalist Steve Stiles’ work in honest to Ghu printed and mailed “Ansible”.

    And if they’re splitting into Movie/TV instead of long/short, where does that leave entries like clipping. or short films? Better be a new category.

    @Kurt: snerk!

  26. Lurkertype on August 10, 2018 at 9:18 pm said:

    And if they’re splitting into Movie/TV instead of long/short, where does that leave entries like clipping. or short films? Better be a new category.

    I think that unlikely. Not speaking about the committee specifically (I’m on it), but I’m pretty sure that most people calling for that kind of narrowing simply don’t think of anything outside of those two buckets and don’t care. Or if they do, they don’t think they should be eligible for awards. I’ve read complaints about some of the non movie/TV items that have made the ballot, saying those things ought not to have been there in the first place.

  27. Lurkertype wrote:

    I really hate narrowing Fan Artist just b/c some Olde Pharts are peeved that we don’t run off our fanzines on offset presses any more.

    There is nothing in the proposal requiring fan art to be run off on offset presses. Characterizing anyone who cares about the amateur nature of fandom as peeved old phart luddites is just wrong, and comes across as rather peevish.

    The proposal clarifies the difference between professional and fan (amateur) work. Fandom operates on a volunteer basis. It is a great and good thing to have an award that specifically recognizes artists for both the excellence of their work and their service to the community.

    You can’t tell me that Spring’s rocket, unicorn, etc. jewelry isn’t art of a fannish nature.

    Do you really think that the difference between a professional and a fan artist is the style of the work? That makes no sense. There are professional artists who do wonderfully fannish art for a living. And there are fan artists who do elegant, professional-quality art for free.

    And it’s not like the old school stuff is left out — I’ve seen this year’s finalist Steve Stiles’ work in honest to Ghu printed and mailed “Ansible”.

    This shouldn’t be about old school vs. new school. There are younger fan artists who deserve to be recognized, not just as artists, but as fans contributing to the community of fandom.

    Nominating artists for Best Fan Artist based on their professional work is unfair to the fan artists who deserve recognition and end up not making the final ballot. It’s really doubly unfair, because artists doing professional work also qualify for the Best Professional Artist award and for the Chesley Awards. They have multiple opportunities to get recognized, where fan artists have just the one.

    What I would really like to see is a thriving scene where fan art is just as common online on fannish sites like file770.com as it was in fanzines. There could be a virtuous circle where fan art is valued and appreciated, and fan artist are inspired and recognized. Or we could continue in the current trajectory, which looks much more like a death spiral, and squabble over who to give the Best Fan Artist award to when there aren’t any more fan artists.

  28. @Tom Becker: “Or we could continue in the current trajectory, which looks much more like a death spiral, and squabble over who to give the Best Fan Artist award to when there aren’t any more fan artists.”

    What a weird implication that fan art is dying because . . . not all nominees fit your definition of a “fan artist” or something, I guess. If there are no more fan artists by your (or whoever’s) definition because they’re not winning awards, this implies they’re creating art for the wrong reason – to win the Best Fan Artist Hugo! Gak, I sure hope not (I’m skeptical that’s the case – any of it).

    A problem with the first proposal: The pro one says “or publicly displayed” while the fan one says “or other public, non-professional display,” but then there’s no definition of non-professional display and the commentary only talks about public display – not what the difference is between non-professional display and professional display.

    Another problem: The Fan Artist proposed definition seems to contradict itself, saying art given to cons is eligible . . . except then it says it’s not. Which is it?! I’m confused about the hair that’s being split here – can you explain? Is it just artists guests (of honor or not) who are excluded from having their work in convention materials considered fan art? I don’t get it; sorry if I’m just dense. Is this just an attempt to mind-read why artists let the conventions use their art – because they’re fans or because they’re trying to promote themselves? I don’t believe you can actually tell.

    BTW, regarding “Nominating artists for Best Fan Artist based on their professional work is unfair to . . . ” – I’m not convinced you can know, let alone police, why someone nominated an artist – just whether or not they qualify for Pro, Fan, or both. Since Hugo admins don’t like bucking the will of the nominators, I wonder how this’ll play out.

    Sorry in advance if I’m just misreading some stuff here; IMHO the commentary doesn’t explain the proposed category wording well. Thanks in advance to whoever on the committee can explain what they’re really going for here.

  29. The first change in Best Semiprozine as part of the proposed fancast changes has identical text stricken and added – “fantasy” and a comma:

    Stricken (red): fantasy,

    Underlined/added (blue): fantasy,

    Was some actual change intended here? The “fancast” to “podcast” change is an actual word change, but this isn’t. (BTW why wasn’t the original definition “science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects, which . . .” – the punctuation/wording is odd here.)

  30. Tom Becker: The proposal clarifies the difference between professional and fan (amateur) work.

    No, it doesn’t.

    Some of the things you said in this lengthy post are true. Some are just wrong.

    Neither of the Professional Artist nor Fan Artist proposals has anything to do with “amateur” art.

    Fan Art — as defined in this proposal — is not amateur art. It is art which has been gifted to fannish endeavors. This is different from fan art, which is any art inspired by genre works and created by fans of those works. Neither of those things is by definition “amateur”. I have seen the most amazing fan art which equals or surpasses so-called “professional” art. Please, just strike the word “amateur” from the conversation.

    Fan art is not in any danger of dying. Claiming that the current trajectory is a “death spiral” is just ridiculous hyperbole. The production of fan art is flourishing, more now than ever before.

    What has happened is that some WSFS members are decidedly unhappy about art which is publicly-visible but has not been gifted to fannish endeavors having been recognized in recent years by the Fan Artist Hugo. This is their attempt to steer the award back to recognizing gifted fan art — which again, has nothing to do with that art being “professional” or “amateur”. I have some mixed feelings about this proposal, but overall I support it — as long as the other Artist category remains open to any artist producing genre art.

    And make no mistake: your assertion that “artists doing professional work also qualify for the Best Professional Artist award and for the Chesley Awards” is merely a pleasant façade. The artists who will be getting nominated for those awards will only be the top 1% of all artists producing genre art.

  31. JJ: …amateur art. It is art which has been gifted to fannish endeavors. This is different from fan art, which is any art inspired by genre works and created by fans of those works. Neither of those things is by definition “amateur”. I have seen the most amazing fan art which equals or surpasses so-called “professional” art. Please, just strike the word “amateur” from the conversation.

    I think this is a misunderstanding — amateur is something “done for love,” or in this context, done without compensation. I believe that’s what Tom Becker has in mind.

    On the other hand, if anybody equates “fan” with “amateurish” that should be objected to.

  32. Kendall: Was some actual change intended here?

    It looks as though the intent was to delete the extraneous “or” and add a comma after “science fiction”, to be consistent with the wording of the other two categories, and the wrong change has been highlighted:

    devoted to science fiction or fantasy, or related subjects

    devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects

  33. Mike Glyer: I think this is a misunderstanding — amateur is something “done for love,” or in this context, done without compensation.

    The definition for “amateur” also includes “non-professional”. This is why the word “amateur” needs to be stricken from the conversation, and “art gifted to fannish endeavors” should be used instead.

  34. JJ, professional is “done for money”, as opposed to “amateur”, done for love (or for fun). Amateur is NOT a “dirty word”.

  35. @JJ:

    gifted fan art — which again, has nothing to do with that art being “professional” or “amateur”

    Do you mean the style or quality of the art? If so, I think that’s a misunderstanding. The definitions of eligibility for Best Professional Artist and Best Fan Artist are not in any way about the style or the quality of the art. For “Best” it should be high quality regardless. The Hugo Award rules never specify the style of what works can be nominated. That is up to the Worldcon members, and rightly so.

    By the way, “gifted” can also mean “talented”, but I get it that isn’t what you meant. Words! They never mean just one thing.

  36. Tom Becker: Do you mean the style or quality of the art? If so, I think that’s a misunderstanding.

    Well, you are the one who used the word “amateur” twice. As I said, the definition of “amateur” includes “non-professional”, which is why the word needs to be omitted from the conversation.

  37. @JJ: By this point you know quite well what the definition of “amateur” is. It is based on the Latin word amare, “to love”. You also know there are multiple fans who are proud of it, do not consider it to be ambiguous or confusing, and are not about to let you make it an unword.

    If you were wondering what I meant by my use of a word, you could have asked a question. Words have shades of meanings. Many different fannish cultures come together at Worldcon. If I’m asked what I meant by something, I’m happy to answer. We’re fans. Most of us think words are really cool and we are happy to talk about them.

    Getting back to the point, you wrote that instead of “amateur” we should use the phrase “art gifted to fannish endeavors.” That seems to align with the proposal from the Hugo Study Committee. Does this mean you agree with the proposal?

  38. Kendall on August 11, 2018 at 3:11 pm said:

    The first change in Best Semiprozine as part of the proposed fancast changes has identical text stricken and added – “fantasy” and a comma:

    It’s supposed to change “science fiction or fantasy” to “science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects” but the strikeout/underline type got put in slightly the wrong places. Inasmuch as this is a non-substantive grammatical change, should it pass, the Secretary will clean it up.

  39. Tom Becker: Does this mean you agree with the proposal?

    Please go back and read my last post again.

    http://file770.com/hugo-awards-study-committee-report-online/#comment-846921
    I get very annoyed when people expect me to repeat myself simply because they can’t be bothered to read — never mind that it gives me an estimation of their cognitive abilities as being subpar.

    As far as the use of the word “amateur”, you’ll note that I did not ask you what you meant. This is because I was not wondering what you meant, and therefore did not need to ask the question. Your condescension is noted and logged.

    My point is that, as Heather Rose Jones pointed out above, It doesn’t matter what the “dictionary definition” is — or, for that matter, what the Latin root of it is 🙄 — some people will associate “amateur” with “amateurish” and “non-professional”, as in, “the person who did this art is not a professional artist”, and that is why the word needs to be stricken from the discussion of these categories.

  40. @JJ

    I think you’ve made your point and now you’re mostly just rephrasing it. Not sure it’s worth your time and effort to continue to do so, especially since some people are going to disagree based purely on fannish tradition and that’s unlikely to shift over the course of a single conversation.

    @Tom Becker

    Fanart is doing great these days. Tumblr, for all its many faults, has been a really good thing for fanartists and the fanart culture there is thriving.

  41. Meredith: I think you’ve made your point

    I thought that I had, too — but when someone who is slow on the uptake continues to question me, I’m going to do them the courtesy of responding to them.

  42. @JJ & @Kevin Standlee: Thanks and LOL, that’s just what I was thinking it should be. Groovy.

  43. JJ: I really miss the late, great Suzette Haden Elgin. One her books was “How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable”. What you’re doing is a classic example of how to be disagreeable without disagreeing.

    I went back to your comment and found “I have some mixed feelings about this proposal, but overall I support it.” OK. I don’t know what the mixed feelings are. And it followed five paragraphs where you were telling me how wrong I was, and it was followed by yet another paragraph where you told me how wrong I was. So please forgive me that I failed to fully appreciate the semi-agreement in the middle of the onslaught of criticism. Now that I’ve gone back and reread it, I’ll take it.

    There still is more disagreeableness in your latest comment. You have let me know how you are really annoyed. You called me condescending. You told me again that I can’t use a perfectly good word that other fans have told you is unobjectionable.

    It’s really funny that you think it is inappropriate for me to use a term that means “non-professional” in the context of an award where we’re trying to distinguish between “Best Professional Artist” and the other “Best Artist” category that is not professional. What’s up with that?

    I’m going to go ahead with the idea that we’re in basic agreement on the proposal. You care about recognizing and supporting artists doing noncommercial work for the service of fandom, as do I. Again, that’s all good as far as I am concerned. I would appreciate it if you could dial back on the disagreeableness, but that’s not the main issue at hand.

  44. @Meredith: Yes, Tumblr is a good example. Fan artists have so many new ways to show their work. That’s all good. I’d just like to see a stronger connection between other forms of fan activity and the fan artists. I think the Hugo Study Committee proposal will help. It isn’t like we can just offer the fan artists more money.

  45. @Tom Becker: Thanks for the condescension! I hadn’t had enough mansplaining this week. You evidently missed reading that I *AM* an Olde Phart and don’t like these narrow definitions. Which will, indeed, lead to no Fan Artists in the future.

    Fan art is doing just fine outside of cons. Tumblr is full of it; so is Deviant Art. There’s some really gobsmacking work going on there, better than what I see in convention art shows, or things “gifted to fandom”. There’s never been more good SF/fantasy/related subject art done just for the love of it.

    @OGH: I am not in favor of anything that’s going to leave out things like clipping, that short film by Shaun Tan, Chris Garcia’s speech, “F Me Ray Bradbury”, etc.

    Heck, I’ve already got Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer” down for next year’s BDP Short. It’s a short movie. But I saw it on MTV. On an actual television. So is it a movie or a TV show?

    And how do you define “TV” these days, anyway? This year’s BDP Short has:

    Free-to-air with adverts US (Good Place)
    On-air with fee UK/cable, satellite, streaming in the rest of the world (Doctor Who) paid streaming US/Netflix or cable elsewhere (ST: Discovery)
    free-to-air with adverts UK/Netflix US/other elsewhere (Black Mirror)

    Even if we say “that’s all TV”, then wouldn’t something like previous finalist “Stranger Things” (all of season 1, on Netflix) get an automatic boost over one solo episode of GoT, Black Mirror, Doctor Who, or The Expanse? Simply by having more time to tell a story.

    It ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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