Pixel Scroll 12/19/21 Who Put The Clarke In The Rama Lama File Scroll?

(1) THE HUGO RUNOFFS. The Hugo Awards official site has the 2021 voting results online. (But you already know that, right?)

  • Final ballot placements and detailed voting counts are available here (PDF).
  • Nominating details are here (PDF).

(2) CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS. Nicholas Whyte’s “2021 Hugos in detail” gives his analysis of the voting statistics released after last night’s ceremony. Here’s a narrative hook for you –

Four categories saw the total number of votes for finalists other than No Award dip below 30% of the total poll – Best Fan Writer (28.8%), Best Professional Editor (Long Form) (28.2%), Best Fanzine (27.2%), and Best Fancast (26.8%). Best Fancast was within 43 votes of not being awarded at all, due to dropping below the 25% threshold….

His comments on the Best Related Work category include:

Unusually, DisCon 3 published No Award runoff figures for every place in every category (the constitution only specifies that this should be done in determining the winner). The numbers for No Award here were particularly high in the last four places, with 358 preferring No Award to 753 who preferred George R. R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun….

Pat Cadigan shared her opinion of the result in that category with her Facebook readers.  

Also relieved that the tirade against George RR Martin did not win the Hugo. I am still baffled as to how a screed like that could have been nominated in a category that has included complex, book-length works of biography, scholarship, art, and other far more worthy examples of associated work.

I don’t care what you think of George RR Martin. I don’t care if you think the author was right. That’s not my point. A blog entry or single article is not in any way equivalent to the winner, which is a translation of Beowulf by Maria Dhavana Headley. Translating requires a lot more care, actual knowledge, and hard work than merely venting your spleen.

That would-be polemic was the Donald Trump of Hugo nominations: unworthy.

(3) MASQUERADE PHOTOS. Kevin Roche responded to a request in comments for links to DisCon III Masquerade photos.

(4) CAVALCADE OF FORMER CHAIRS. The 2021 Worldcon Chairs Photo Session is online at YouTube. Nearly all of those present at DisCon III made it to the session. Also includes current chair Mary Robinette Kowal, and a Chengdu representative.

The traditional gathering of chairs of the World Science Fiction Convention, held at DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, in Washington DC. Videography by Lisa Hayes.

(5) CORRECTION TO DISCON III ART SHOW SALES. “DisCon III regrets that there was an error in how sales tax was calculated for sales in the Art Show,” says today’s news release:

Instead of the correct 6% rate, it was being calculated as 10%. If you were mischarged, we are providing you two options. 

(1) You can consider the additional 4% as a bonus to the artist. We will pay the correct sales tax amount to the District of Columbia, with all of the remaining amount going to the artist.

(2) You can request a refund of the 4% overcharge by sending an email to finance@discon3.org. Please submit your request by Wednesday, December 29 as we cannot pay the artists for their sales until we know the amount due them. If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, also address them to the Finance team.

(6) THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Kevin Standlee reports in “Worldcon 2021 Day 4: Final Business Meeting Results” what the meeting decided about seven new amendments to the WSFS Constitution that were taken up after the Site Selection report was made at Saturday’s business meeting. You can read the text of items F.1 to F.7 in the business meeting Agenda on pages 36-41. See Kevin’s post for his commentary about the proceedings.

  • F.1 One Episode per Series –– failed on a show of hands
  • F.2 30 Days Hath New Business — passed 34-15.
  • F.3 The Statue of Liberty Play — passed on a show of hands.
  • F.4 Shut Up and Take My Money — referred to a special committee 
  • F.5 A Matter of Days — adopted by unanimous consent
  • F.6 Non-transferrability of Voting Rights — adopted on a 35-22 vote
  • F.7 Best Audiobook — referred the proposal to the Hugo Awards Study Committee on a vote by show of hands.

(7) WHICH ONE IS THE FILER? Andrew (not Werdna) assures us, “I’m the non-Narn in this picture.” But he also knew that merely saying we could tell who he was by his distinctive headgear wasn’t going to be enough: “I was right — I ran into another guy with a button covered bucket hat.”

(8) RAYTHEON PRESENCE AT HUGOS. Gizmodo’s Justin Carter used his platform to presume that his opinion represents all fans’ opinions: “The Hugo Awards Face Backlash for Raytheon Sponsorship”.  But it’s true that some are protesting the decision.

…At time of writing, DisCon has yet to speak on the partnership with Raytheon for the event. For now, fans are left feeling soured that a night that should’ve been about a genre they loved had to brush up against a reality they hate.

(9) YOUR TURN IN THE BARREL. Amber Benson advises SFWA Blog readers about “Managing A Creator’s Public Profile and Navigating Audience Entitlement”.

….What happens when you step out of fandom into the pole position? A.k.a., ‘I’ve written a thing and it’s been published and now people are talking about it and me on the internet’?

Well, I’m not going to lie. You may be in for a very overwhelming and unsettling experience. Because all those feelings of ownership you had as a fan, well, they are now going to be applied to you and your work. By people you have never met before who have no compunction about @replying to you on social media in order to say mean things about you.

To a lot of these people, you have ceased to be a real live human being with feelings. You are now a “public figure” and that comes with many caveats, including being physically and emotionally vulnerable in a way that fans, with their ability to remain anonymous, are not. It also means you will be open to ridicule, judgement, and disdain online (and sometimes to your face). In balance, you will also be loved, put on a pedestal, and maybe even called a “genius.”

You and your work now belong to the world at large. And that world contains three kinds of people: fans who love what you create, critics who hate your output—and everyone else in the world who could give a crap that you make art. And between you and me, I’m not sure what’s more painful: the armchair critics who think you stink (at least they’re thinking about you) or the fact that 90 percent of the world, upon hearing your name, will only mutter: Who . . . ?

So how do you handle all of the attention—both positive, negative, and ambivalent—when you finally put your work out into this very complicated world? I have my thoughts on the subject and I will share them with you below….

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1938 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Eighty-three years ago, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas was first published by the Collins Crime Club. In the States, it bore first the title of Murder for Christmas and later A Holiday fur Murder when published in paperback.

Critics generally thought it was one of her best mysteries. The New York Times Book Review critic Issac Anderson said of it that “Poirot has solved some puzzling mysteries in his time, but never has his mighty brain functioned more brilliantly than in Murder for Christmas.”

The story was adapted for television in an episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, first aired in the UK on Christmas 1994. The BBC has produced it twice for radio with it first being broadcast on Christmas Eve 1975 with John Moffatt as Hercule Poirot. A second production was broadcast on Christmas Eve 1986 featuring Peter Sallis as Poirot. 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 19, 1902 Sir Ralph Richardson. God in Time Bandits but also Earl of Greystoke in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (which gets a remarkably great rating at Rotten Tomatoes in my opinion) and Chief Rabbit in Watership Down. Also the Head Librarian in Rollerball which I’ll admit I’ve never seen and have no desire to do so. And a caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And Satan in the Tales from the Crypt film. Oh, my he has had an interesting genre film career! (Died 1983.)
  • Born December 19, 1952 Linda Woolverton, 69. She’s the first woman to have written a Disney animated feature, Beauty and the Beast, which was the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. She also co-wrote The Lion King screenplay (along with Irene Mecchi and Jonathan Roberts). 
  • Born December 19, 1960 Dave Hutchinson, 61. Best known for his Fractured Europe series which won a BSFA Award for the third novel, Europe in WinterEurope at Midnight was nominated for a John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Clarke as well. I’ve listened to the entire series and it’s quite fascinating. He’s got some other genre fiction as well but I’ve not delved into any of those yet. 
  • Born December 19, 1961 Matthew Waterhouse, 60. He’s best known as Adric, companion to the Fourth and Fifth Doctors. He was the youngest actor in that role at the time. And yes, he too shows up in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. Theatre wise, he’s appeared in productions of Peter PanA Midsummer Night’s Dream (as Puck), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Hamlet. Oddly enough, he’s not, to my knowledge, done any Who work at Big Finish.
  • Born December 19, 1969 Kristy Swanson, 53. Her first starring genre  film role was in Wes Craven’s Deadly Friend, but no doubt her best known genre role was as the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She also shows up in Alfred Hitchcock PresentsThe PhantomNot Quite Human and The Black Hole. For the record, I like her version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! 
  • Born December 19, 1972 Alyssa Milano, 49. Phoebe Halliwell in the long running original Charmed series. Other genre appearances include on Outer Limits, the second Fantasy Island series, Embrace of the VampireDouble Dragon, the Young Justice animated series as the voice of Poison Ivy and more voice work in DC’s The Spectre excellent animated short as a spoiled rich young thing with a murderous vent who comes to a most fitting and quite bloody end.
  • Born December 19, 1975 Brandon Sanderson, 46. He is best known for the Cosmere universe, in which most of his fantasy novels, the Mistborn series and The Stormlight Archive, which was nominatedfor a Best Series Hugo at Worldcon 76, are set. He finished Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. He’s got several Hugos, both at LoneStarCon 3 for his “The Emperor’s Soul” novella and also for a Best Related Work Hugo for Writing Excuses, Season Seven
  • Born December 19, 1979 Robin Sloan, 42. Author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore which definitely has fantasy elements in it and is a damn fine read. His second novel which he sent me to consider reviewing, Sourdough or, Lois and Her Adventures in the Underground Market, is also probably genre adjacent but is also weirdly about food as well. And he’s a really nice person.

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Edd Lai is the guy – “Guy Creates Terrifying Comics That Don’t End as You’d Expect” at Pupperish.

Over the last decade or so there has been a good selection of web comics that tell some brilliant stories in a variety of different art styles. From Shen to Yehuda Devir, these brilliant comics have gained a bunch of recognition. One artist named Edd Lai has made some uplifting comics that set themselves up as horror comics and surprise you with their endings. Here are a selection of these brilliant comics. Let’s give them the recognition they deserve.

(14) WHERE IS IT? We’ve heard of unwritten codes – now Marvel gives us non-written codes. So to speak: “Marvel Comics Overhauls Digital Copy Redemption Program” at CBR.com.

Readers were taken aback this week when Marvel’s new releases did not include the traditional stickers in them that can be removed to reveal a special code that can be used to redeem a digital copy of the issue online using the Marvel Comics app. When someone inquired with Marvel as to whether it was simply a printing error, a Marvel representative revealed that it was not.

The representative explained, “Hi, Chris. It’s not a misprint, but a process update. Please follow the instructions on that code page, they will tell you step-by-step how to get codes for your comics, and any other details you need to know. Thanks!”

…If customers just have to go through a different system to get the same digital copies, this is not that significant, but fans are naturally wondering whether this is the first step towards once again stopping the digital redemption program.

(15) WITHOUT LIMITS. James Davis Nicoll tells Tor.com readers about “5 Stories in Which Great Power Is Not Always Used Responsibly”.

Imagine, if you will, that fate has imbued you with extraordinary power. Would you use that power responsibly? Would you even know what “responsibly” means? It’s easy to set out with the best of intentions, only to discover too late one has fallen into profound error. Consider these five novels.

(16) TIMELESS. [Item by Hampus Eckerman.] Not sure why this movie about a man travelling in time to celebrate Christmas in the year 2020 is listed as a Comedy. A tragedy seems more fitting. IMDb listing for the Hallmark Channel’s A Timeless Christmas.

Charles Whitley travels from 1903 to 2020 where he meets Megan Turner and experiences a 21st Century Christmas.

(17) TOP DOLLAR. An Edward Gorey illustration for a Frank Belknap Long sff collection set an auction record. Goreyana has the story: “A New Record for Gorey Art at Auction”.

…This was followed shortly thereafter by a new record auction price for original artwork by Edward Gorey – $27,500.00 (hammer price plus buyer’s premium) for a 1964  pen & ink book cover design for The Dark Beasts, a paperback collection of stories by Frank Belknap Long (this piece has not been added to my collection)….

(18) LOAD THE CANON. StarWars.com tells comics fans to mark the date: “Marvel’s Han Solo & Chewbacca Series Coming March 2022”.

The galaxy’s greatest smuggler and his Wookiee co-pilot are taking on a new job: starring in their own comic.

Han Solo & Chewbacca, a new series from Marvel, will launch in March 2022, StarWars.com can exclusively reveal. Written by Marc Guggenheim and pencilled by David Messina, the monthly comic follows Han and Chewie a few years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, as the duo teams up with Greedo — in better times, apparently — on a heist for Jabba the Hutt….

 The comic’s writer does a Q&A in the post:

…StarWars.com: And Chewie?

Marc Guggenheim: Chewbacca’s been alive hundreds of years longer than Han. He tries to offer Han the benefit of his experience, to offer a more evolved perspective on things, but Han usually goes his own way. And the thing is, Chewie is just fine with that. He’s good to go with the flow and let Han call the shots because he knows that, no matter what, Han’s got his back. Chewie’s an interesting character to write, obviously, because he only speaks Shyriiwook, so a lot of this I have to get out by dint of the circumstances Han and Chewie find themselves in, as well as Han’s reactions to what Chewie is saying.

I’m gonna be doing a future issue exclusively from Chewbacca’s point of view, so that should be a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can get into Chewie’s head in a way we never have seen before….

(19) STARSHIP TITANIC. Michael Palin’s Starship Titanic is available to listen to at BBC Radio 4 beginning today. It will be online for another 29 days.

Michael Palin stars in an exclusive adaptation of Terry Jones’s comic novel. A tale of interstellar skulduggery, romance and unhinged robots based in Douglas Adams’s universe.

Far off in the centre of one of the less well-chartered quadrants of the universe, a vast civilisation is preparing to launch the most technologically advanced starship ever – Starship Titanic While the galaxy’s media looks on, it unfortunately undergoes SMEF (Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure) and disappears. Leovinus, the designer of the ship, uncovers shoddy workmanship, poor cybernetics and a series of increasingly eccentric robots. The owners, Scraliontis and Brobostigan, were intent on destroying the ship and claiming the insurance.

Meanwhile in Oxfordshire, four humans are inspecting a property they intend buying, only to see it crushed under the re-materialising Starship. This disaster is swiftly followed by an invitation from an over-attentive robot to come aboard, and Lucy, Dan and Nettie are catapulted into a series of increasingly bizarre encounters.

Stylistically emulating the work of the great Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the late Terry Jones weaves a fabulously mad and comic tale, adapted by Ian Billings and directed by Dirk Maggs, who also directed the last four editions of the Hitchhiker’s sagas.

VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Last night’s Saturday Night Live was mostly repeats because of Covid.  They rebroadcast a 1991 holiday special on global warming featuring Tom Hanks as Dean Martin and Mike Myers as Carl Sagan.  The news is that Isaac Asimov was a character, played by Phil Hartman (who arrives at the 5:00-minute mark). I thought George RR Martin was the only sf writer parodied on SNL, but Asimov was caricatured at least once.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Sheila Addison, Dann, Nicholas Whyte, Andrew (not Werdna), Kevin Roche, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jim Janney.]

131 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/19/21 Who Put The Clarke In The Rama Lama File Scroll?

  1. One thing I’d like for Worldcon that would make money from a very small set of people (that may just be me) with real-world identities that have money and a more relevant one that doesn’t have money, would be a non-voting membership so I could legitimately buy two (or three) memberships without it being cheating.

  2. I like the minimum word count idea, but it is not clear if it’s applicable to all types of “work”. From Nicholas Whyte’s post:

    A convention event is clearly work for those organising it; it’s a bit less clear if it constitutes a work, but the wording of the rule is “any work”, so like it or not, I think it’s covered.

    How would one define “word count” if conventions are eligible?

  3. Bartimaeus: How would one define “word count” if conventions are eligible?

    Why would conventions need to be eligible in Related Work?

    Certainly conventions are worthy enterprises – but they’re not what the Related Work category is intended to recognize, and I don’t see any need for the rules to accommodate them.

  4. @Bartimaeus

    From my perspective, excluding conventions would be a feature, not a bug. An experience – something where “you had to be there” (even if some of it remains/is put online afterwards, it will never be the whole) – is inappropriate for an award like the Hugos in much the same way I think Best Editor Long is inappropriate. How do the voters even assess the finalists? Besides, Hugo nominators already have a bit of a habit of self-referential nominating: I really don’t want to see last year’s Worldcon start to make it’s way onto the yearly ballot as well as the odd speech and so forth.

    (All that being said, I’m not even sure it would, if minimum duration was also in there – and I think it should be, because the video finalists have largely been very good – and there were no other adjustments. Conventions indisputably exceed, say, thirty minutes..!)

    The AO3, which I love very much and which I was overjoyed to see nominated and then win, would also be excluded, but at this point the grab bag just isn’t working. Too many “fuck it, it’s probably eligible because everything is, why not?” and “fannish thingamy of the moment” finalists drowning out the scholarship the category was made for.

    (Hat tip to Cora, whose dedicated rhetorical slog is in large part responsible for talking me, a grab bag lover, around over the last few years.)

  5. I’d missed the part about narrowing eligibility to text/video – yes, I agree that would be a good thing.

    I remember reading that this used to be the case, but people expanded the category because of a feeling that there may not be enough worthy books eligible (without any evidence of this).

  6. Andrew (not Werdna): Thanks for the shout-out in your comment on the first page.

    I’m still selling from my website, nancybuttons.com, and planning on an update. I’m also planning on updating my prices, so this might be a hint to buy them sooner rather than later.

    As Jeanne (Sourdough) Jackson kindly noted, my name is Lebovitz. I remember Golden Apa very fondly. People frequently get my name wrong, and I suspect people mostly don’t notice what doesn’t match what they’re used to.

    There’s a Sheckley story (possibly “Warm”) about the Everything People Don’t See. The one I’m thinking about is the one where the main character’s wife is two levels above him in knowing what’s going on.

    Bruce Arthurs: I don’t come up with stories, I come up with ideas for stories, and one of them is a nightmare future where small drones are constantly flying around, moving slowly, looking into people’s eyes so that they can identify who they’re supposed to kill.

  7. There’s a Sheckley story (possibly “Warm”) about the Everything People Don’t See. The one I’m thinking about is the one where the main character’s wife is two levels above him in knowing what’s going on.

    In “Warm” (a deeply creepy story) the hero doesn’t have a wife – he has a fiancee’ whom he starts to see as merely a skin-covered bag of organs responding automatically to stimuli, just as he eventually sees everyone else in the world (including himself) https://www.gutenberg.org/files/29509/29509-h/29509-h.htm

  8. @ Camestros Felapton – what would be the point of buying multiple memberships? If it’s just about giving the convention more money, most Worldcons are run by some form of non-profit org that would be happy to take your money directly. And that doesn’t mess up the membership data or make more work for the Hugo and Site Selection admins in correctly identifying non-voting members.

  9. Andrew (not Werdna): I wasn’t sure it was “Warm”. There’s definitely a Sheckley story about a man who notices a man giving a newspaper to a vendor and getting a quarter(?) back instead of the other way around. Then he starts noticing that a lot about the world isn’t what he thought. What’s really in people’s briefcases? What’s in those big buildings he doesn’t go into?

    A woman makes a play for him, and that’s when his wife points out she knows more of what’s happening than people who’ve just learned a little.

  10. “A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.” – William S. Burroughs

  11. Kevin Standlee says Worldcons are required by the WSFS Constitution to submit annual reports of their income and expense to the WSFS Business Meeting until such time as they have spent all of their income. Their most-recent report (November 18) is on page 22 of the final version of the 2021 Business Meeting Agenda, which was published on the DisCon III website.

    And there’s not a single word about the sponsorships therein that shows how much either Google or Raytheon contributed. I keyword searched that either document with finding either word. So tell me, how much did both companies pony up? I suspect that you know. Surely it’s not a secret, is it?

  12. @Nancy: It sounds like a great story; I’m going to try to find it. “Warm” happens to be a story that had a big impact on me, so I was eager to talk about it – sorry about jumping on you to do so.

  13. Deeply frustrated that the Raytheon discussion is taking up all the air and leaving almost nothing for failures of disability access on site, complete with unfair and inaccurate remarks implying that disabled fen were exaggerating the problem.

  14. Worldcons are expensive: they are million-dollar operations, with most, but not all, of the cost borne by the members. People already complain bitterly about how much memberships cost and claim it’s too much. I wonder how much more those same people complaining about the cost would they be willing to pay to make it so that Worldcons don’t have to have any outside sponsorships?

    I would be completely willing to give up all the bells and whistles of the Hugo Ceremony, to avoid the brand of a weapons manufacturer. Also, I don’t know who complained about membership costs, but I was never one of them. And I have given free labor to several Worldcons, on top of paying my membership. I would also gladly give money to the Never Need To Take Money From Arms Dealers Ever Fund.

  15. There was the beginnings of a discussion but the structure of a daily Scroll tends to move the spotlight away from earlier posts.

    I’ve noticed there are some topics that only persist on earlier Scrolls due to the heat level of a few participants.

    I will be linking to Mari Ness’ blog post today, perhaps that will refocus interest in the issue.

  16. @Camestros Felapton

    There’s a moral case for acting against terror groups and authoritarian states but that moral case is very much based on ends justifying means. If the ENDS aren’t accomplished then the means aren’t well justified.

    The ends aren’t accomplished…yet.

    Given the feckless nature of the modern American electorate, I’m quite frankly doubtful that we will ever be able to accomplish anything close to what was accomplished in the post-WWII era ever again. So over the long term, you may well be right.

    That doesn’t change the fact that our engagement in Yemen was a response to Iranian-sponsored mayhem and not the proximate cause of it.

    Regards,
    Dann
    In the storm, the tree is glad of the root, Not of the branch. – Protesilaus – from Harrow the Ninth

  17. A Worldcon attendee shared this on the DisCon III Facebook group Tuesday afternoon:

    I’m sorry to have to tell you that when I had my Covid test to return to Canada, it came out positive. I had no symptoms while I was at the con, and only a very slight cough Monday morning.

    I feel terrible that I may have infected anyone.

  18. @Mike Glyer

    Definitely wasn’t trying to criticise your coverage, which is the best I’ve seen by some considerable margin.

    And, to be honest, while there’s certainly a lot of WSFS members who are angry about Raytheon’s sponsorship, a great deal of the noise around that is quite clearly coming from people who don’t know much of anything about the Hugos or Worldcon or the finalists beyond some nebulous concept of them being Bad. None of them are going to care about something that’s pretty insider baseball that mostly impacts on the people who actually value those things. It doesn’t make nearly as convenient a lever to attack the Bad as yelling about weapons manufacturers does.

    It’s just very frustrating. I’m not seeing the overall will in WSFS fandom to really do anything about it – not compared to pushing to restrict sponsorship options. Just sad noises and no change, year on year. No-one’s suggesting an extra fund to pay for more access, more ramps, better venues, captions, interpreters, memberships. At this point, even if I saved up the money for Glasgow, which would be difficult, I don’t think I could justify putting myself through something like that. I don’t have any professional obligation to network, after all. It hurts when the thing you love doesn’t care about you back.

  19. One thing that struck me with Ness’ post was the lack of information. The rollercoaster of hope and doubt. I wonder how much could be helped by not just pledging to make everything accessible, but starting of with documenting the starting point and making it publicly available.

    If nothing else, with a map of the hotel and photos made available the year before, it would be much easier to never enter the hope camp to be disappointed at a later stage with higher spending. But I guess it still won’t catch everything before room planning is done.

  20. Meredith: I didn’t feel criticized, only convicted (in the sense of asking myself, “you value this kind of discussion, too, is something structural keeping it from happening?”) I wanted to avoid an answer that shifted more of the burden to you. You’re already doing everything one commenter can to get the ball rolling.

  21. I remember reading that this used to be the case, but people expanded the category because of a feeling that there may not be enough worthy books eligible (without any evidence of this).

    My longlist of non-fiction SFF related books to check out as potential nominees is a lot longer than six every single year. If you add in documentaries and non-fiction books I missed or have no interest in, you get even more. There are several essay collections about genre-related TV shows or movies (and occasionally authors and books) published every year, plus biographies and memoirs, popular and academic works about genre history, documentaries related to the genre, etc…

    The Robert E. Howard Foundation manages to find several non-fiction books (plus essays and articles) about Howard alone to nominate for its awards every year and the wider genre offers even more riches. The problem seems to be that a lot of Hugo nominators just don’t read non-fiction books.

  22. Cat Eldridge on December 21, 2021 at 8:32 am said:

    Kevin Standlee says… And there’s not a single word about the sponsorships therein that shows how much either Google or Raytheon contributed. I keyword searched that either document with finding either word. So tell me, how much did both companies pony up? I suspect that you know.

    How would I know? You should ask the Chair (Mary Robinette Kowal) or someone in the convention’s financial area. The only things I know about DisCon III’s finances is what is published in their financial statements.

    The Hugo Award Administrators rarely have much to do with the Hugo Awards Ceremony. Indeed, I asked what we were supposed to do for the ceremony, and were told “They don’t have anything for you to do,” so I sat with two of my fellow administrators down in the audience.

  23. As others have mentioned, the administration of the awards is (rightly and constitutionally) kept within a walled garden in the WSFS division of Worldcon. The presentation of the awards is normally in Events.

    This Worldcon was clear throughout that they were short of money (though a couple of thousand supporting memberships from China at the last minute probably sorted that out, but far too late for financial decisions) and the possibility of sponsorship is often very attractive to teams in that position.

  24. People have tried on the DisCon III Facebook group in this post and in email to get an explanation of the Raytheon sponsorship. No one is responding.

  25. rcade says People have tried on the DisCon III Facebook group in this post and in email to get an explanation of the Raytheon sponsorship. No one is responding.

    I find it interesting that I can’t find any tangible statement of how much the sponsorship was worth. Nowhere can I find any statement of what Raytheon or Google paid. If anybody knows what they paid, I’d really like to know.

  26. I think it possible that this article of the WSFS Constitution might be of interest to some people in the context of this discussion:

    Section 2.8: Financial Openness. Any member of WSFS shall have the right, under reasonable conditions, to examine the financial records and books of account of the current Worldcon or NASFiC Committee, all future elected Worldcon or NASFiC Committees, the two immediately preceding Worldcon Committees, and the Committees of any NASFiCs held in the previous two years.

    This is known as the “Sunshine Rule.” I don’t know whether anyone has ever attempted to make a Sunshine Rule request of a Worldcon committee, however.

    Another section of the Constitution that is relevant for those people complaining at The Hugo Awards website and Twitter accounts:

    Section 1.6: Authority. Authority and responsibility for all matters concerning the Worldcon, except those reserved herein to WSFS, shall rest with the Worldcon Committee, which shall act in its own name and not in that of WSFS.

    Worldcons don’t own “The Hugo Awards.” They only have a license to use the name. However, the Hugo Awards Ceremony isn’t regulated by the Constitution. It’s a section 1.6 item; that is, it’s optional, and it’s completely the responsibility of the current Worldcon.

    However, I fully understand that most people do not know and do not care that “The Hugo Awards” and the current Worldcon aren’t exactly the same thing, and that the Hugo Awards website, the Hugo Awards Twitter, and for that matter, even the current Worldcon’s Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee don’t have much control over what the current Worldcon does in the way of sponsorship. I am grateful to see some people out there who do understand this and see the distinction, but they are the exceptions, I fear. I would not be surprised if you asked most (not all) of the outraged people out there how things work, they would assume that there was a single Big Company that runs Worldcon and the Hugo Awards. The semi-anarchy that we really have would be met with uncomprehending looks if not outright disdain and comments of, “You can’t expect me to believe that! Nobody would ever run things that way!”

  27. Cat Eldridge on December 22, 2021 at 3:18 pm said:

    I find it interesting that I can’t find any tangible statement of how much the sponsorship was worth. Nowhere can I find any statement of what Raytheon or Google paid. If anybody knows what they paid, I’d really like to know.

    If you were a member of DC3, or are a member of DisCon III, or were a member of the 2019 or 2020 Worldcons, you might want to make a section 2.8 “Sunshine” request of DisCon III. I don’t know the answer to your questions, but I haven’t asked, either.

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