Pixel Scroll 9/14/19 We Are All In The Pixel, But Some Of Us Are Looking At The Scrolls

(1) ONE STOP SHOPPING. [Item by Jonathan Cowie.] SF2 Concatenation’s Autumn 2019 edition is up. Voluminous seasonal news and reviews page of both SF and science which includes the major UK SF/fantasy imprint book releases between now and New Year.  (Many of these will be available as imports in N. America and elsewhere.)

(2) LEM V. DICK. [Editor’s note: I apologize for what amounts to misspelling, but characters that WordPress would display as question marks have been changed to a letter of the alphabet without marks.]

[Item by Jan Vanek Jr.] Yesterday the English-language website of the Polish magazine Przekrój published (and started promoting on Facebook, hence my knowledge) the translation of a 2,700-word excerpt (not a self-contained “chapter” as they claim) from Wojciech Orlinski’s 2017 biography of Stanislaw Lem detailing what led to “the famous Lem-Dick imbroglio” with PKD’s “famous Lem report to the FBI”: “access to previously unpublished letters […] resulted in what is likely the first accurate description of the incident, as well as the ultimate explanation as to how the concept of ‘foreign royalties under communism’ is almost as much of a mess as ‘fine dining under communism’ (but not quite as fine a mess)”:

…It all began with Lem’s depiction of Dick – in the third of his great essay collections, Science Fiction and Futurology as little more than a talentless hack. Lem had a poor opinion of almost all American authors, and never thought much of the literary genre of which he himself was an exponent (think of his equally critical view of Pirx the Pilot, for example, or Return from the Stars)….

I found it a quite informative and interesting read, although “Lem’s unfortunate expulsion from the SFWA” that ensued is mentioned only briefly and I think misleadingly (I have checked the Polish book and there is nothing more about it, but it has been described in American sources, many of them online).

(3) ABOUT AO3’S HUGO AWARD. The Organization for Transformative Works has clarified to Archive of Our Own participants — “Hugo Award – What it Means”.

We’re as excited as you are about the AO3’s Hugo win, and we are shouting it to the rafters! We are grateful to the World Science Fiction Society for recognizing the AO3 with the award, as well as to the many OTW volunteers who build and maintain the site, and all of the amazing fans who post and enjoy works on it.

The World Science Fiction Society has asked us to help them get the word out about what the award represented—specifically, they want to make sure people know that the Hugo was awarded to the AO3, and not to any particular work(s) hosted on it. Therefore, while we can all be proud of the AO3’s Hugo win and we can all be proud of what we contributed to making it possible, the award does not make any individual fanwork or creator “Hugo winners”—the WSFS awarded that distinction to the AO3 as a whole. In particular, the WSFS asked us to convey this reminder so that no one mistakenly describes themselves as having personally won a Hugo Award.

Thanks for sharing our enthusiasm, and consider yourselves reminded! We appreciate every one of your contributions.

So far there are 80 comments, any number by Kevin Standlee making Absolutely Clear Everybody Must Understand Things Exactly The Way He Does. One reply says, “You aren’t doing a particularly good job of reading the room here.”

(4) ARISIA PERSISTED. Arisia 2020 has issued its first online Progress Report. Key points: (1) It’s happening! (2) It’s (back) at the Westin Boston Waterfront. (3) The headliners are Cadwell Turnbull, Author Guest of Honor, Kristina Carroll, Artist Guest of Honor, and Arthur Chu, Fan Guest of Honor.

(5) BOO!  LAist primes fans for Universal Studios’ Halloween mazes: “Halloween Horror Nights: A Photo Tour Of The New ‘Ghostbusters’ & ‘Us’ Mazes At Universal Studios”.

Halloween’s almost here… well, OK, it’s more than a month away, but that means it’s time for Halloween haunts — aka Halloween mazes, aka scary Halloween things at theme parks and the like, to start.

Halloween Horror Nights has been taking over Universal Studios Hollywood for 21 years, and we got the chance to take a behind-the-scenes tour of two of the brand new mazes, Ghostbusters and Us. We were guided through by Creative Director John Murdy, the man in charge of creating the stories and the scares inside all of the mazes.

He works with an art director to design every moment, writing treatments for each attraction than can run up to 100 pages.

“It’s a narrative from the guest’s POV — everything I see, hear, smell, etcetera, as if I’m going through the maze,” Murdy said. “But it also has a very elaborate technical breakdown by scene, by discipline, down to the timecode of the audio cues.”

(6) DUBLIN 2019. Cora Buhlert’s report begins with — “WorldCon 77 in Dublin, Part 1: The Good…”. There’s also a shorter version for the Speculative Fiction Showcase: “Cora’s Adventures at Worldcon 77 in Dublin, Ireland”. Each has lots of photos.

…On Wednesday, the day before WorldCon officially started, I helped with move in and set-up at Point Square. This involved carrying boxes, assembling shelves for the staff lounge and crafting area, taping down table cloths and helping to set up the Raksura Colony Tree model. This was my first time volunteering at a WorldCon and it was a great experience. Not only do you get to help to make a great project like WorldCon happen, no, you also get to meet a lot of lovely people while volunteering. Especially if you’re new to WorldCon and don’t know anybody yet, I recommend volunteering as a way to meet people and make friends. What is more, I also got a handful of groats (which I used to buy a very pretty necklace in the dealers room) and a cool t-shirt.

(7) MEMORIAL. Jim C. Hines tweeted the link to his post about the Memorial held for his wife, Amy, on September 8, a touching and highly personal tribute.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • September 14, 2008The Hunger Games novel hit bookstores. (For some reason, the bookstores did not hit back.)

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 14, 1915 Douglas Kennedy. No major SFF roles that I see but he’s been in a number of films of a genre nature: The Way of All Flesh, The Ghost Breakers, The Mars InvadersThe Land UnknownThe Lone Ranger and the Lost City of GoldThe Alligator People and The Amazing Transparent Man. Series wise, he had one-offs on Alcoa PresentsScience Fiction TheatreAlfred Hitchcock Presents and The Outer Limits. (Died 1973.)
  • Born September 14, 1919 Claire P. Beck. Editor of the Science Fiction Critic, a fanzine which published in four issues Hammer and Tongs, the first work of criticism devoted to American SF. It was written by his brother Clyde F. Beck. Science Fiction Critic was published from 1935 to 1938. (Died 1999.)
  • Born September 14, 1927 Martin Caidin. His best-known novel is Cyborg which was the basis for The Six Million Dollar Man franchise. He wrote two novels in the Indiana Jones franchise and one in the Buck Rogers one as well. He wrote myriad other sf novels as well. (Died 1997.)
  • Born September 14, 1932 Joyce Taylor, 87. She first shows as Princess Antillia in Atlantis, the Lost Continent. Later genre appearances were The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the first English language Beauty and the Beast film, the horror film Twice-Told Tales and the Men into Space SF series. 
  • Born September 14, 1936 Walter Koenig, 83. Best-known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in the original Trek franchise and Alfred Bester on Babylon 5Moontrap, a SF film with him and Bruce Campbell, would garner a 28% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and InAlienable which he executive produced, wrote and acts in has no rating there. 
  • Born September 14, 1941 Bruce Hyde. Patterns emerge in doing these Birthdays. One of these patterns is that original Trek had a lot of secondary performers who had really short acting careers. He certainly did. He portrayed Lt. Kevin Riley in two episodes, “The Naked Time” and “The Conscience of the King” and the rest of his acting career consisted of eight appearances, four of them as Dr. Jeff Brenner.  He acted for less than two years in ‘65 and ‘66, before returning to acting thirty-four years later to be in The Confession of Lee Harvey Oswald which is his final role. (Died 2015.)
  • Born September 14, 1947 Sam Neill, 72. Best known for role of Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park which he reprised in Jurassic Park III. He was also in Omen III: The Final Conflict, Possession, Memoirs of an Invisible ManSnow White: A Tale of TerrorBicentennial ManLegend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’HooleThe Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas BoxThor: Ragnarok and Peter Rabbit. 
  • Born September 14, 1961 Justin Richards, 58. Clute at ESF says “Richards is fast and competent.” Well I can certain say he’s fast as he’s turned out thirty-five Doctor Who novels which Clute thinks are for the YA market between 1994 and 2016. And he has other series going as well! Another nineteen novels written, and then there’s the Doctor Who non-fiction which runs to over a half dozen works.  

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Frank and Ernest ask deep questions about Pokémon.
  • A Tom Gauld cartoon about The Testaments launch in The Guardian.

(11) LUCAS MUSEUM. George Lucas, his wife Mellody Hobson, and the mayor dropped by the site yesterday to see how things are going: “Force Is With Them! Construction Of George Lucas Museum In Full Swing”.

Construction of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is in full swing.

On Friday, Lucas — along with his wife and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — watched as construction crews helped bring his vision to life.

And he thanked them for the tireless effort.

“You’re doing the impossible — thank you so much,” Lucas said.

“Millions of people will be inspired by this building. We were just in our board meeting for the museum and George said you are the artists so you’re the artists of this art museum,” says Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the museum’s co-founder.

(12) LISTEN TO LIEN. Henry Lien is the Special Guest Star on this week’s episode of  The Write Process podcast, hosted by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program — “Henry Lien on Worldbuilding, Puzzle Stories, Middle Grade, & Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions”

Henry Lien teaches law and creative writing at UCLA Extension. A private art dealer, he is the author of the Peasprout Chen middle grade fantasy series, which received New York Times acclaim and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.

(13) COSPLAY ID’S. SYFY Wire has collected all the tweeted photos — “Detroit high school encourages students to dress as pop culture icons for ID photos”.

High school can be a turbulent time for any budding teenager, but when you’re allowed to dress up as your favorite movie or television character, facing picture day isn’t the daunting challenge it once was. Per a report from The Huffington Post, North Farmington High School in the suburbs of Detroit allowed its senior pupils to assume the persona of their favorite pop culture icon for the sake of ID photographs. What followed was a parade of Woodys (Toy Story), Shuris (Black Panther) Fionas (Shrek), creepy twins (The Shining), and so many more!

(14) GUTS. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna profiles YA graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier, whose autobiographical graphic novels have sold 13.5 million copies and  who attracted an audience of 4,000 to her talk at the National Book Festival. “Raina Telgemeier became a hero to millions of readers by showing how uncomfortable growing up can be”.

…Now, because her fans kept asking, she is getting more personal than ever. The Eisner Award-winning author who launched her publishing empire with 2010?s “Smile,” about her years-long dental adventures as a kid, is prepared to bare new parts of her interior world with “Guts,” available Tuesday, which centers on how fear affected her body.

 “This is the reality of my life,” Telgemeier told her fans. She quickly got to the heart and GI tract of the matter: “I was subject to panic attacks and [was] worrying that something was really wrong with me.”…

(15) SIGNAL BOOST. Naomi Kritzer offers an incentive for supporting a cause that needs a cash infusion.

(16) MARATHON SITTINGS. The Hollywood Reporter considers “The Long Game: Super-Sized Movies Are Testing the Patience of Audiences”.

And there may be a financial cost. Over the Sept. 6-8 weekend, New Line and director Andy Muschietti’s It: Chapter Two opened to $91 million domestically, a 26 percent decline from the first It, which debuted to $123.4 million on the same weekend in 2017. The sequel ran a hefty 169 minutes, 34 minutes longer than its predecessor.

“Andy had a lot of story to tell in concluding his adaptation of Stephen King’s book, which is more than 1,100 pages,” says Jeff Goldstein, chief of distribution for Warner Bros., New Line’s parent. “We strategically added more shows and locations to counterbalance losing a show on each screen.”

Adds a rival studio executive regarding It: Chapter Two, “look, $91 million is a great number. But anytime the second film in a hoped-for franchise goes down — and not up — that’s not what you wish for. And I do think the fact that it was so long didn’t help.”

(17) COLBERT. Stephen Colbert’s “Meanwhile…” news roundup includes a furry joke related to the movie Cats, and a bit on “The 5D Porn Cinema No One Asked For.” These items start at 2.02 — here on YouTube.

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Cinema verite of author Liz Hand on Vimeo. A 5-minute video of Hand at work and play

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

747 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/14/19 We Are All In The Pixel, But Some Of Us Are Looking At The Scrolls

  1. I could easily be mistaken, but I don’t believe fraudulently applying the label “Hugo Award Winner” is an example of nominative speech.

    As far as I can see everyone here has denounced fraudulent use of the Hugo name. The argument now is over whether making jokes in public qualifies as dilution of trademark and/or immoral behavior, and more importantly over which group was meanest to the other group and who started it.

  2. Contrarius, can I gently suggest you stop trying to make hay out of the “rando on the internet” bit? I call myself a rando on the internet all the time. I have called listeners to my podcasts that. (Usually affectionately, as in “gather round, my little internet weirdoes, let us speak of monocultural corn.”) I’ve said “ladies, gentlemen, those who identify as neither, random internet peeps, lend me your ears.” I’ve also called us all War Flamingoes, which is tangential, but funny.

    Now, possibly you are of a generation or relative location that has not absorbed this bit of slang and is taking it the wrong way! But calling people internet randos, in this context, is reeeeally not something you can use as a gotcha about them not being a community, insomuch as any place, like Twitter or Facebook or AO3 or File770, are also a bunch of internet randos who found their way to the same place. I realize you’re itching for a semantic fight, but that dog ain’t gonna hunt.

  3. Regarding standards of fame for dilution, here are 2 sources saying basically the same thing (with references to different case law):

    Showing that a mark is famous is no easy feat. A plaintiff must demonstrate that a mark is a “household name.” Nissan Motor Co., 378 F.3d 1002, 1011 (9th Cir. 2004). And courts are clear that this is a “rigorous standard” that is difficult to prove. ArcSoft, Inc. v. CyberLink Corp., 153 F. Supp. 3d 1057, 1065 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 28, 15) (internal citations omitted).

    Almost Famous: Trademark Owners May Find Dilution Claims Out of Reach (from 2016)

    This standard may be hard to satisfy, however, and a defendant should not presume the fame of the plaintiff’s mark. Some courts have characterized the test as requiring that the mark rise to the level of being a “household name” (see, for example, T-Mobile US, Inc. v. AIO Wireless LLC, 991 F. Supp. 2d 888, 930 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 22, 2014)). The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has remarked that the Lanham Act’s fame standard is rigorous, with protection extending only to highly distinctive marks that are well-known throughout the country (see Green v. Fornario, 486 F.3d 100, 105 (3d Cir. 2007)).

    How Famous is “Famous”? Considerations for a Dilution Defendant (2014)

  4. If a commenter on 770 says something that seems especially egregious, believe me, other Filers will jump in and take them to task for it — just look at this thread for a few examples. But I don’t see much of anyone over on AO3 trying to defend any kind of culture of civility over there.

    I’m given to understand and see that Filers are a much smaller and more tightly knit group of folks, with a lot of regular faces that tend to show up in the comments from post to post. It behooves you to keep each other in check in this way because it seems like a relatively small room, as it were. AO3 is a userbase of several thousand, some of which have proven hostile to other users within AO3 for various reasons, which can be as silly as making the wrong person top in fanfic. I think you haven’t seen anyone gird their loins and dive in to defend Kevin in part because we know very well it ain’t gonna go well or be productive. The productive conversation is happening here, by and large, not there. Which is what I would expect of a comment section accessible and easily found by thousands of users of varying levels of maturity. (Which isn’t, in any way, making any statement about the relative maturity of either userbase as a whole, just that there are varying levels within them.) Fighting against hundreds of users is exhausting and not something I’m going to volunteer for, because I can go do something with my time that doesn’t feel like shoving my brain through a meat grinder, frontal lobe first.

    I would also like to say that I feel you’ve contradicted yourself by saying we must acknowledge that these communities are not monolithic and these comments are not representative, and then demand that I, a person unrelated to any of those users, be responsible for their comments.

    @RedWombat

    insomuch as any place, like Twitter or Facebook or AO3 or File770, are also a bunch of internet randos who found their way to the same place.

    This is the exact context and meaning I had when I said that, thank you for helping to clarify.

  5. Also, more generally….am I seriously understanding correctly that this whole stupid mess is ACTUALLY because WSFS doesn’t actually have the money to protect their trademark? They can’t afford a lawyer to send a C&D, so Standlee did his song and dance in the AO3 comment section instead, thinking that somehow…uh…okay, not quite sure what the endgame was? That the AO3 comment section would somehow enforce a C&D for them that they couldn’t afford to send themselves? The Kickstarter people would be shamed? Something like that?

    Oh holy god, did they not mention trademark in their communication to OTW because they don’t actually have the money to hire a lawyer to ask what they should say, so we got…whatever that was…instead? And now that backfired so they’re talking about passing the hat to afford the lawyer to issue the statement that they didn’t issue in the first place?

    Someone tell me that’s not what’s happening. My heart can’t take it.

  6. (Why are so many people in sff named “Cat” or “Kat”? Could it be that the invasion of the SJW credentials is even more advanced than we think??)

    Okay, ya’ll have been bitching about OUR in jokes being unwelcoming? Until I read several clarifying comments I wasn’t clear if you were mocking me for being a “SJW” (in which case WTF), just making fun of my name (again WTF), or making some convoluted in-joke of which I was not privy.

    And I’ll be honest. That was not a fun couple of minutes.

  7. Cat Meier (fairestcat): And I’ll be honest. That was not a fun couple of minutes.

    I’m sorry that this happened. Most of us here love cats, both the feline kind and the Rambo / Valente kind. I love seeing people named Cat post comments here — and I really appreciate your good faith participation in this discussion.

  8. @Cat Meier (fairestcat):

    Ehh, I didn’t think it was all that funny even after the explanation. And I really don’t like humor that targets people’s names, whether it is for their unusualness or commonness (With a middle name like Peace, I am v. sensitive to such things. Also I doubt anyone with a name has not heard every mocking variant of it by the time they hit second grade.).

    I’m also not fond of in-jokes to which not everyone present is privy.

    (I recall a few years back in the very early days of the Sad Puppies, how they tried to align themselves with older, presumably more staid and traditional Campbellian fans against these radical young whippersnapper fans by name-dropping antiquated and obsolete fannish terminology and in-jokes from the middle decades of the 20th century. It seemed a calculated strategy to cozy up to fans old enough to remember Slans and Fuggheads while excluding presumably less informed youngsters not in on the jokes.)

  9. @Cat Meier (fairestcat)

    I’m sorry you had a bad few minutes; no one intended any slight against your or your name. As JJ noted, cats of all kinds are esteemed here, which is why Our Gracious Host has the Cats Sleep on SF feature.

    I’ve been trying to think of some other in-jokes to warn newcomers about, but the only one I can think of right this minute is “second fifth”, which I don’t have the energy to explain. But trust me, in context it makes perfect sense. Sorta. (ETA: and the time machine, with or without shoggoth. Not gonna explain that either, sorry.)

  10. None of the in-jokes here have any mean intent, confusing as they can be to those encountering them for the first time. Admittedly, some of them may be rather analogous to Johnny Carson being able to get a laugh by his quiet, nonverbal acknowledgment that a joke had landed completely flat. At least, for Filers and visitors who are Americans, and old enough to have watched The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. For everyone else, that’s just another unfunny in-joke they don’t get… I just don’t have another example handy of a thing that wasn’t funny in any reasonable sense, but it was familiar and loved and we all laughed.

  11. See also: Godstalk

    (Is it time to compile a glossary of File770 in-jokes?

    We could crowdsource it?

    I volunteer to be the Fifth contributor)

  12. @Lis Carey– I got that reference! And I’ll raise you a mayo jar left on Funk and Wagnall’s back porch.

  13. The shoggoth and the time machine may have to be explained at some point, given that they show up kind of randomly. (Who has the pulp fiction for the shoggoth, anyway?)

  14. Other Filer in-jokes:

    • Mark-kitteh“, which is pretty much self-evident.
    • “Meredith Moment”, named after the Filer who was always posting about sales on specific e-books of interest, which was taken up by other Filers when she was on hiatus.
    • “Tank Marmot”, anagram of the name of a now-banned toxic Puppy who would show up every time his name was mentioned to make repeated threats of committing violence and bodily harm.
    • “Appertainment”, virtual drinks that Filers earn for pointing out typographical and grammatical errors in Pixel Scrolls.
    • “Second Fifth”, originally referring to a so-called Hugo Award-nominated “Editor” who skilfully included two Chapter 5s in a book he produced, but now used to refer to the person posting the 6th or 10th comments, or pretty much any self-own by a graduate of Dunning-Kruger University.
    • “Godstalk”, something to put in the comment box in order to tick the “send me comment notifications”, a riff on that person who kept suggesting the book for Bracket competitions and Recommendation posts.
    • Running jokes about “The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere” and “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love”, because those were the two Hugo-winning stories that Puppies claimed proved that SJWs and teh gays had “destroyed” science fiction (even though the latter didn’t actually win a Hugo, but then Puppy claims are so rarely in the vicinity of facts).
    • “tavern”, a plot element for which the absence or presence indicates whether a book is science fiction or fantasy (see also “snow”).
  15. @JJ:

    That last item seems cribbed from Diana Wynne Jones’ Tough Guide to Fantasyland.

  16. @Peace
    Someone claimed that any story with a tavern in the snow was fantasy, not SF; ISTR it was in connection with “Ancillary Justice”. Which is definitely not a fantasy, though it does open with a tavern in snow.

    Another in-joke, going with the time machine: remarks about “here in the year n”.

  17. @Peace is My Middle Name: It’s great to see you again!

    The tavern could possibly also be from DWJ but it was also part of a negative review by a Sad Puppy (I cannot remember which one) about Ann Leckie’s opening scene in Ancillary Justice saying that the opening was confusing in terms of genres because having the protagonist find someone they knew face down in the snow outside the tavern meant the novel had to be or should have been fantasy, not science fiction. There being no taverns in science fiction, apparently, or at least not in the nutty nuggets. The reviewer was serious about the genre confusion as I recall.

    • The “time machine”, the bizarre date-time stamps from 5,700 years in the future or a thousand years in the past which show up periodically next to the comment box while composing a comment.
    • shoggoths“, eldritch creatures which somehow also got into Mike’s house when Filers came over and camped out while he was in the hospital.
  18. I remember the Ancillary Justice scene, and I think I recall that very odd review, too. Thanks to all for the explanation. (I was even posting in the comment thread where it came up, although it looks like my focus was on other things at the time.)

    It’s good to be back.

    (I like your new icon, @robinareid.)

  19. @Peace

    Yeah, I’m with you. My sister has a very rare first name, and I have a very common one. So I’ve very much seen the drawbacks of both.

    The answer to “why are so many people in SFF fandom named Cat/Kat” is “do you know how many common girls names of the last century can be very easily shortened to Cat or Kat?”

  20. It’s really nice to have you back, Peace.

    Sometimes when I’m looking for something someone posted here in the past, I’ll get into old comment threads and just kind of marvel at some of the conversations we had, especially back in the days when there were 20 pages of comments on individual posts.

  21. With regards to the Hugo being “broken” by the AO3 win, I think I found a better way to phrase what I was trying to get at.

    Transformative Works fans are really great at user/usability testing.

    (See Maciej Ceg?owski of Pinboard’s great presentation: Fan is a Tool-Using Animal)

    From our perspective we found a Bug in the Hugos process. That Bug – the inability to attribute an award to all the members of a collective endeavour – “breaks” the Hugos for us.

    But what feels like a Bug to a lot of us, is clearly a feature to a lot of less-Transformatively-inclined fans. And that’s fine! If that’s the general consensus then okay, I’ll accept it.

    But we are allowed to say, “your choice to see this as a feature rather than a bug is alienating and makes us feel unwelcome,” without being shouted down.

  22. Not really an in-joke – more of a culture thing, but this group does try very hard to avoid spoilers when reviewing fiction. Anything even remotely spoiler-like is encoded (encyphered?) under a ROT-13 cypher. And it’s left to the reader to find a ROT-13 decoder (disencypherer?) for themselves if they want to read it.

    I remember being confused by that in the beginning. Especially when the reviewer didn’t mention ROT-13 and just descended into gibberish.

  23. Cat Meier (fairestcat): But we are allowed to say, “your choice to see this as a feature rather than a bug is alienating and makes us feel unwelcome,” without being shouted down.

    I absolutely understand that there’s a big culture of making sure that everyone gets recognized and acknowledged and seen, that they get to personally take credit for community accomplishments, and that’s perfectly okay. (You can see that here in the daily Pixel Scrolls, where Mike makes a point of acknowledging all of the people who e-mailed him news items, as well as the person who came up with the title that gets used for the post.)

    I do feel that a couple million people getting to officially call themselves Hugo Award Winners would totally destroy the cachet and prestige of the award. And at that point, you would never know whether someone was legitimately making the claim, because there would be no way to verify it. “Hugo Award Winner” would end up having the same significance as “2006 Time Person of the Year”.

  24. I’ve just had a look at Twitter, and I’d like to say a couple of things.

    I’d be the first to acknowledge, and I think that most of the people here would openly acknowledge, that Worldcon members and File 770 members (which are intersecting circles on a Venn diagram, but certainly far from a single circle) absolutely have their own little in-jokes, idiosyncrasies, and culture. I don’t think that anyone here has claimed otherwise, but I’m not going to go trawling through previous pages of comments looking. If someone actually claimed that, they’re oblivious and dead wrong, and they need to poke their head out of the bubble they’re in.

    And to people who keep repeating the canard that if N.K. Jemisin gets to call herself a Hugo Award Winner because a work of fiction she wrote won in a fiction category, then all of the AO3 members get to call themselves Hugo Award Winners because the AO3 project won in a non-fiction category, that’s not how it works. If you want to keep saying that, you can, I guess, but it doesn’t change how it works. The names of the people who are officially Hugo Award Finalists and Winners appear on this page. Voter intentions don’t determine the finalists and winners, the category rules do.

    There are some other false claims being posted there, too, but I don’t think that there’s any point in trying to reason with the people who have decided that that when a person says one thing, “I say that it actually means this thing that’s completely different, and having decided that’s what they’re really saying, I’m going to blame and condemn them for it”. 😐

  25. Contrarius:

    A long while ago, lost in the mists of time (I’m sure some folks know the exact instance, but if I ever knew, I’ve forgotten), right-wing types of folks started referring to cats as “SJW credentials” (Social Justice Warrior) with the implication that right-wingers own dogs and left-wingers own cats.

    No, not that.

    JJ:

    Back in the Puppy days, when Puppy types kept referring to “SJWs” but could never seem to provide Filers with an explanation of exactly what an “SJW” is, Kurt Busiek said it would be a whole lot easier if we could all settle on a definition of “SJW”, and he suggested “people who own Siamese cats” (possibly because a lot of Filers have Siamese cats), because it’s a clear, easy, and (theoretically) unambiguous definition.

    Yes, that!

    [Have to maintain my creators’ credit — the Puppies can’t have it!]

  26. Kurt Busiek: [Have to maintain my creators’ credit — the Puppies can’t have it!]

    Darned right!

  27. robinreid: it was also part of a negative review by a Sad Puppy (I cannot remember which one)

    Since I happen to remember (not that it’s so important), that was Kate Paulk at Mad Genius Club.

  28. Kurt Busiek: Have to maintain my creators’ credit — the Puppies can’t have it!

    I still think it’s hilarious that they think they’re insulting the people here by calling us SJWs. Hell, yes, I support social justice. I will absolutely own that. WTF is wrong with them, that they don’t? 😀

  29. CeeV: AO3 was nominated and won in BRW. Ipso facto, it was nominated and won because it was “noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text”.

    I think it’s worth observing here that “primarily” doesn’t mean “exclusively”. The fictional text is not irrelevant, and neither are the people who make it. And of course many of those same people also do non-fictional things: leave comments, write code, create collections and exchanges, wrangle tags, answer help tickets…

    I feel like this is one of the things that really is not getting through to a lot of folks outside of the AO3 community. AO3 is a collective. There is no hierarchy of OTW the organization -> AO3 the project -> the users. It’s all the same people. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve seen saying “AO3 is us“. AO3 as “a project of the OTW” and AO3 as a community can’t be distinguished.

    Kiya’s analogy to conventions is spot-on: there are no real lines dividing conrunners and con attendees and con program participants, and there are no real lines dividing the people who “made” AO3 and the people who “improved” AO3 in 2018 and the people who “use” AO3. We’re all one community and a whole lot of us take on different roles at different times.

    You know the analogy is valid because if Worldcon won some kind of Best Convention award, all of fandom would immediately be plunged into exactly this kind of war over who was entitled to claim they’d contributed to that award win, only without the thin veil of “we must protect our trademark!” to disguise the fact that for a lot of people this is about raw tribalism and who gets to say they’re part of the club. AO3’s community is saying “EVERYONE IS PART OF THE CLUB” and whoo boy, the people in SF fandom who really want to divide the world into in-groups and out-groups are not comfortable with that.

    I don’t think it’s coincidence that this “who is worthy???” conversation is happening the same year that GRRM reminisced about the good old days when Charlie Brown got all the credit for Locus. Part of the sea change that’s happening in fandom is about recognizing the people who have long been overlooked, whether that means listing copyeditors and designers in the credits for the Best ___zine finalists, paying more attention to works by women (also very relevant to this conversation, since fanfic has often been sneered at in part because many of the people who write it and read it are women) and people of color, or adding Hugo categories to honor works and people that would previously have been ineligible. There’s a big cultural push within fandom to say that actually quite a lot of people are worthy, and some of those people have been systematically shut out, and it’s time to rectify that. The AO3 win symbolizes that for a great many fan writers. And in that context, all the “You don’t get to say you won a Hugo!” stuff sure looks a lot like the old guard desperately digging in its heels while the rest of us are trying to drag them into the Century of the Fruitbat.

    =====

    ULTRAGOTHA: Every single person who nominated AO3 for Best Related Work, and every single person who voted for it was a member of WSFS.

    I really wish the people who keep trying to say that fanfic fandom and SF fandom are separate communities and separate entities would keep this in mind. The Venn diagram has a LOT of overlap. Of course there are people in both groups who are wholly ignorant of the other group—as these discussions have certainly demonstrated—but you all saw how many people stood up during Naomi’s acceptance speech, right?

    Hell, some cons ARE fanworks. In the 1990s I hung out in the alt.callahans and #callahans fan groups, both of which were essentially years-long no-rules collective RPGs set in someone else’s world—live-action fanfic. When we decided to have a get-together, we called it Callahanicon despite the lack of con-type programming, because a lot of us went to regional and national SF cons and it was natural to think of a gathering of likeminded fans as a convention. I also attended several iterations of Darkovercon (RIP), which morphed into something more like a traditional SF con but started out in 1978 as a meeting for fans of the Darkover series. I’m sure there are examples that go back further. Fanworks creators didn’t infiltrate SF fandom and aren’t newcomers in SF fandom. We have been here all along.

    Look at what fanworks are overwhelmingly fanworks of: SF/F books, films, and TV. And when we create fanworks of other things, we often put SF/F spins on them. (I highly recommend “Chjtolene” by afterism, which reimagines Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” as an eldritch horror.) Slashfic is named after Kirk-slash-Spock! I don’t understand what people think fanwork is if not deeply rooted in SF/F. Do you think we’re all out there writing fic of Gone Girl and The Corrections?

    (I mean, some of us write about mimetic works. I have personally written quite a lot of Persuasion fanfic. But it’s not the majority.)

    So I really caution everyone—and particularly the SF fans, who seem to be doing this a lot more—to steer clear of us/them language as though there are not a whole lot of us who are in both “us”es.

    =====

    Contrarius: Nope, they’re saying “Hey! We wrote Hugo-winning fiction!”

    Hm, I haven’t seen that. I have seen a number of people saying “I’m a Hugo winner!” or “I won a Hugo!” or similar.

    I am not aware of anyone at WSFS saying that their brand is damaged by, e.g., someone saying that N.K. Jemisin broke records by winning three Best Novel Hugos three years in a row, even though her work is in fact what won those Hugos. There is no Best Author Hugo, and yet there are authors of Hugo-winning work saying “I’m a Hugo-winning author!” all over the place, with no confusion and no intimation of trademark dilution. If an author gets to say “I’m a Hugo winner!” or “I won a Hugo!” when their work is actually what won the Hugo, so do we.

    If This Is How You Lose the Time War wins a Hugo for Best Novella, no one would dream of telling Max or Amal that they don’t get to call themselves Hugo winners because neither of them individually wrote a novella’s worth of words. It’s understood that significant contribution to a winning work is sufficient for one to call oneself a winner. The position of AO3’s community is that all contributions to AO3 are significant. It does not dilute the Hugo’s worth to say that a million or so people contributed to winning one, any more than it dilutes Uncanny‘s Hugo to say that seven people contributed to winning it. Unless you’re GRRM and worried about having to fit us all into a party, I think there is plenty of Hugo worth to go around.

    I believe WSFS defers to Best ___zine nominees on the matter of whom to list in the credits, and so it should defer to AO3 on the matter of who gets credit for AO3’s win. According to the person who gave AO3’s official acceptance speech, that is all of us.

    On the BRW issue, a lot of Hugo voters will have paid zero (0) attention to the criteria by which AO3 was determined to be eligible for BRW. People who voted for AO3 voted for what it said on the ballot: “Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works”. They were not asked to vote on whether “the 2018 adaptations made to An Archive of Our Own, including the tagging system, search and filter functions, and the Open Doors Project” deserved a Hugo. They were asked whether AO3 deserved a Hugo. And they said yes. So anyone who contributed in any way in 2018 to Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works—which is what won the Hugo—gets to claim part of the award.

    I think so much of the ire that’s being expressed here is discomfort with collectives and a default of inclusion. “How can you say EVERYONE gets to claim credit?” We say it because everyone matters. We have been told, for a long time, that we didn’t matter. We are still being told that we don’t matter. That’s why we made a place where we get to matter, where our wackiest ideas and deepest fantasies are given just as much weight as our most thoughtful and serious work, where the whole of each individual person is welcomed and made space for. And that’s why we, as members in good standing of an overlapping community, gave that place the overlapping community’s highest honor. Being able to say that we matter is that important to us. No one gets to take it away.

  30. Rose Fox:

    The answer here is kind of simple. If Worldcon 2037 won a Best Convention Award, it would be wrong of people to claim that they were award winning panelists, even if they had been panelists at that worldcon.

    Thank you for giving a good example for why not every member should call themselves an individual winner when the organization at large has won an award. Say “We at AO3 has won an award”. Don’t say “I’m an award winner”. There’s the difference.

    An award to a library wouldn’t mean that every author that donated a book could call themselves an award winning author. Not even if the author was employed by the library.

  31. Oh dear, I did not mean to plunge all of fandom into war over who would theoretically be entitled to claim they’d contributed to Worldcon winning a Best Convention Award.

    Personally, as a convention programmer, I would think panelists would be a substantial part of why a convention might receive such an award, especially an annual one, and they should certainly get their share of the credit. And that’s the worldview difference right there: collective vs. hierarchical.

  32. Rose Fox:

    Yes, I fully agree with that they should get their share of credit. For their part in the win. But that does not mean the right to claim to be an individual award winner or to have to written awarded fiction.

    As an example, when File 770 won one year, I was mentioned in the victory speech. That was giving me credit for my help and my part. It doesn’t make me a winner. I can’t say that I’ve won a Hugo. But I, together with everyone here, have certainly contributed.

    Not being named as an individual winner does not mean that you aren’t deserving of credit and that you shouldn’t feel included in the group effort. You are still part of the groups win.

    I sometimes wonder if this is a geographical disconnect, where Americans have a hard time thinking of group efforts and solidarity, instead preferring to move everything into an individualistic framework.

  33. @JJ:

    And to people who keep repeating the canard that if N.K. Jemisin gets to call herself a Hugo Award Winner because a work of fiction she wrote won in a fiction category, then all of the AO3 members get to call themselves Hugo Award Winners because the AO3 project won in a non-fiction category, that’s not how it works. If you want to keep saying that, you can, I guess, but it doesn’t change how it works. The names of the people who are officially Hugo Award Finalists and Winners appear on this page. Voter intentions don’t determine the finalists and winners, the category rules do.

    Since you bring up the category rules, they say there is no such thing as people being Hugo Award finalists and winners for Best Novel. Only novels are. “Redshirts by John Scalzi (Tor)” (so as not to keep taking Nora’s name in vain) is so listed presumably to distinguish it from other books by the same name that have different authors. Nothing in the WSFS constitution that I can find states how the finalists and winners should be listed or who gets credit, except for

    3.11.4: The Committee shall, on or with the final ballot, designate, for each finalist in the printed fiction categories, one or more books, anthologies, or magazines in which the finalist appeared (including the book publisher or magazine issue date(s)).

    In short, authors can’t be finalists for or winners of Hugos for Best Novel, unless those authors are also, by sheer coincidence, science fiction or fantasy stories of forty thousand (40,000) words or more in which the text is the primary form of communication.

    The WSFS constitution does say this:

    3.10.1 Worldcon Committees shall use reasonable efforts to notify the finalists, or in the case of deceased or incapacitated persons, their heirs, assigns, or legal guardians, in each category prior to the release of such information. Each person notified…

    But that’s the only reference I can find equating “finalists” with “persons” where it’s clearly intended to include the creators of works that are finalists. There is no reference that I can find to winners being persons.

    So is John Scalzi a Hugo Award winner or isn’t he? The category rules say he’s not. But if WSFS had attempted to tell him to stop calling himself a Hugo-winning author, issue C&Ds to all news organizations calling him that, make sure it doesn’t appear on his book jackets or in his author bios, etc. I expect we would have heard about it by now.

  34. What Rose Fox said a couple of comments above is an essential point, one that others in this thread have also tried to convey, but which manly Filers seem to have entirely missed. AO3 is a paradigm-shift in the mental model of communities.

    It’s a shift that other fannish communities have approached, in various ways. As a result, there are some analogies. But the analogies are imperfect, and it’s easy to get distracted by those imperfections and miss the cognitive leap they invite.

    As Cat Meier said,

    …we can’t conceptualize the archive as anything other than a holistic whole – trying to split it into “the infrastructure” and “the contents” genuinely breaks my brain.

    I don’t know how, apart from maybe getting someone like Ada Palmer to write a book about it, this fundamentally science fictional concept of a different paradigm of community can be more clearly conveyed than in language like that.

    Is it a perfect community? No, it has tradeoffs, strengths and weaknesses, magic and failure modes, like any human endeavor. But they’re different than, say, those of File 770, because the community, the endeavor (it’s inseparably both) is fundamentally different.

    How that paradigm-shifted definition of a community fits the un-shifted constraints of a Hugo is of course a matter to be dealt with. But to discount that mindshift, or to pretend that many Hugo voters weren’t voting for AO3 from within its mental framework, is to make communication, and indeed comprehension, impossible.

    (I am not a member of AO3, for the same reason that some people avoid TV Tropes. But I know a sensawunda-worthy science-fictional paradigm shift when I see one.)

  35. @Hampus Eckerman:

    I sometimes wonder if this is a geographical disconnect, where Americans have a hard time thinking of group efforts and solidarity, instead preferring to move everything into an individualistic framework.

    As an American, I wouldn’t know. There has certainly been at least a century of concerted effort to suppress and deprecate collectivism in America, so I wouldn’t be surprised if many Americans found it hard to overcome that. I can’t find any stats about the locations of AO3 users, but from my personal experience I believe a substantial fraction are Americans. I don’t think generalizations can be made in that regard.

    I suspect gender balance is probably more of a driver, based on my experiences in both the SF/F community and the romance community. The romance writing and publishing community is often called Romancelandia, implying that to be in it is, broadly, to be a citizen of it. There’s huge emphasis on mutual support. If there were a RITA for Best Related Work and AO3 won it, there would probably be some handwringing of the “o noes fanfic cooties on our professionally published work” variety, but I think there would be far greater understanding of the “AO3 is us, we are AO3” mindset.

  36. Abi Sutherland:
    .

    “What Rose Fox said a couple of comments above is an essential point, one that others in this thread have also tried to convey, but which manly Filers seem to have entirely missed.”

    No. We haven’t missed that argument. We just do not agree with it. There is absolutely no paradigm shift caused by AO3. It is not very much different from WSFS that is strongly anti-hierarchial and where every member has the same rights. Where no board exists.

    Seeing AO3 as a whole, the sum of all, means that you can’t say that a specific person was a winner. It is the entity as a whole. There is no “I was a winner”. There is no “I won for my fanfic”. It is “we won”.

    You are trying to take a collective win for a whole entity and strip it into pieces, saying that every piece has been awarded. And I don’t think you have any arguments for that.

  37. Rose Fox, I’m only slightly familiar with AO3’s culture and customs, but I’m guessing that commenters there are expected to read the other comments before chiming in. Is this not the case?

    Because it is the culture to do so here. When somebody comes in and makes a post that they seem to think is a fresh take, when it reality it’s just a rehash of things which have already been asked and answered several times, it’s really poor etiquette and it makes that commenter look… not cool, to say the least.

    I know that there have already been a lot of comments on this thread checks header 633 comments, in fact. I know it’s a hell of an undertaking to go back and read all of those comments before giving in to the urge to post one’s own comment.

    I’ll try to keep it as brief as I can. More expansive explanations are available in this comment thread if you go looking for them.

    1) Most people do actually “get” that AO3 is a collective, that there is no hierarchy of OTW the organization, and that AO3 the project is an amalgam of the platform, the interface, and the members of the community. I haven’t seen anyone dispute that yet, ever.

    2) If Worldcon won a best convention award, most conrunners wouldn’t be posting “I’m an Award-Winning Conrunner!” on their bios. They’d be posting something like “Part of an Award-Winning Convention!” on their bios. That’s the Worldcon ethos — that we’re all a team, and that it’s not right — not ethical — for someone to take credit for an honor that isn’t personally theirs. And that’s why a lot of people are having the disconnect with the AO3 members who are posting “Hugo Award-Winner” on their bios.

    3) You claim that this is about Worldcon members wanting to make this about in-groups and out-groups. You actually have quite a few claims like this in your post, where you presume to tell Worldcon members what their thoughts and motivations are, instead of listening to what they’re actually saying. Consider not doing that — because it tends to make a lot of people like me really hostile, to be told by someone else what I think and what my intentions are. To me, it looks like you are deliberately lying to serve your own agenda, even though you genuinely believe what you are saying.

    4) It’s not about “in-groups” and “out-groups”. It’s about people trying to claim an honor that they haven’t personally earned. People are quite happy for AO3 members to brag and celebrate that they’re a Contributor to a Hugo Award-Winning Project. The problem is that, even though that by itself is a lot of glory, for some AO3 members that’s not enough glory. They want more. They want to be able to claim an honor that they haven’t personally earned.

    4) You say “I don’t think it’s coincidence that this “who is worthy???” conversation is happening”. But that’s not the conversation which is actually happening. The conversation which is actually happening is “Do people have the right to claim more credit than they’ve actually earned?”

    5) A great many Worldcon members are well aware that there is a huge overlap between fanfic fandom and SF fandom. Those of us who were at the Hugo ceremony saw that at least 10-15% of the people in the auditorium stood up when Naomi asked them to. A significant number of the commenters here at File 770 are also AO3 members, and they talk about their fanfic and their fandoms from time to time. The fact that there is a significant overlap is really not news to a lot of people.

    6) You say “There is no Best Author Hugo, and yet there are authors of Hugo-winning work saying “I’m a Hugo-winning author!” all over the place, with no confusion and no intimation of trademark dilution. If an author gets to say “I’m a Hugo winner!” or “I won a Hugo!” when their work is actually what won the Hugo, so do we. ” This may be the case for how AO3 members perceive their project. But it’s not actually not the case for the Hugos. When a book by N.K. Jemison won Best Novel, it was her fiction, won by her, in a fiction category, her name is on the trophy, and her name is in the official Hugo records. When AO3 won the Related Work category, it was for a fandom project done by a collective in a non-fiction category, and there were no names on the trophy or in the official records — because the Hugo went to the project, not to the individuals behind it. Of course the people credited in the official Hugo Award records get to call themselves Hugo Award Winners. There’s a reason their individual name is engraved on the plaque on the trophy.

    Now you say that the project is indistinguishable from the people behind it, but that’s not how the Hugo Awards work. As Cat Meier (fairestcat) pointed out, that seems to be a “bug” to AO3 members. But to Worldcon members, that’s how the Hugo Awards work. You can continue to insist that it’s a “bug”, but that doesn’t mean that you get to change how the Hugo Awards work.

    7) You say “I believe WSFS defers to Best ___zine nominees on the matter of whom to list in the credits, and so it should defer to AO3 on the matter of who gets credit for AO3’s win.” This is true, and this is what happened. OTW was almost certainly given the opportunity to specify some individual names as part of the AO3 Finalist entry, just as The MexicanX Initiative, which involved 50 people, was given that opportunity. Unlike the M.I., the OTW Board of Directors chose not to specify any individual names, preferring not to elevate any member over any other. I think that was a wise choice. But while the acceptance speech was really lovely in its recognition of all the members, and Naomi Novik is an awesome person, she does not make the Hugo rules, and she is not the Hugo Administrator. She does not have the ability to declare that every individual in AO3 is personally an official Hugo Award Winner.

    8) You say “I think so much of the ire that’s being expressed here is discomfort with collectives and a default of inclusion.” Again, this is because you’re not listening to what is actually being said. It’s discomfort with people trying to take more credit for something than they have actually earned, according to the Hugo Award rules and culture.

    9) Yes, people have been arguing that as voters and nominators their intent was to recognize each individual involved with AO3. But nominator/voter intent is not what determines how the Hugo Awards work. The rules determine that.

    10) You say “Being able to say that we matter is that important to us. No one gets to take it away.” I don’t think that there is anyone who will dispute you on this, and no one is trying to take that away from you. Every member of AO3 does indeed matter, no matter whether their contribution is coder, interface designer, tag wrangler, fic writer, fic artist, or board member. Every single AO3 member is important. Every single AO3 member contributed to the wonderful thing that AO3 is.

    This does not, however, mean that every single AO3 member gets to call themselves an official Hugo Award Winner, no matter how much you would like to make it so, no matter if that is how it’s done in AO3 culture.

    If 2 million people all got to call themselves official Hugo Award Winners, the Hugo Award would have the same significance as the 2006 Time Magazine Person of the Year Award. Surely you can understand why Worldcon members might feel that that is a dilution and a devaluing of their Award.

  38. @Abi Sutherland:

    this fundamentally science fictional concept of a different paradigm of community

    Thank you for this framing; I think it stands better odds of getting through.

    How that paradigm-shifted definition of a community fits the un-shifted constraints of a Hugo is of course a matter to be dealt with.

    I suddenly realized why a lot of this feels familiar: it’s like what happens when I attempt to explain what “I have nonbinary gender” means. When people who are stuck in binary gender thinking practice very hard, they can generally remember to use they/them pronouns for me, but it’s a struggle every time because they can’t stop seeing me as someone with binary gender. If they put in the effort to rewire their brains and start genuinely believing that there is such a thing as nonbinary gender, suddenly the pronouns get a lot easier, because when they look at me they see a nonbinary person, and then they use the correct pronouns for the nonbinary person they see.

    I won’t say that AO3 the first group to have this kind of collective mindset (I am certain it’s not) but it’s clearly a new thing to some of you. So y’all are going to have to rewire your brains, and that’s hard. I have sympathy for how hard it is, right up to the point where people outside of AO3 say AO3 is a thing that it’s not—a business or a magazine or a movie or any number of the other analogies that have been tossed around. You can’t make AO3 be a hierarchical organization or a structure or a concept or a bunch of code. You have to expand your horizons, really listen to people talking about their lived experiences, and accept that it’s something different. Once you do that, I think it will be a lot easier for you to understand why “every AO3 user is a Hugo winner” is a concept that makes sense within the collective AO3 framework.

  39. @JJ:

    Whew, there’s a lot there. You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I have just wandered over from AO3; I’ve actually been a File770 lurker for quite a long time and posted now and then, so I am familiar with the local etiquette. I did my best to read everything, but by the time I’d finished writing my initial comment there were several new pages of comments, so I hope you will forgive me for having missed a few.

    Since, as you say, the point has been made many times over that there’s substantial overlap between fanfic fandom and SF fandom, I’m certain you did not automatically assume that I’m not part of SF fandom just because I say “we” and “us” about fanfic fandom.

    Most people do actually “get” that AO3 is a collective, that there is no hierarchy of OTW the organization, and that AO3 the project is an amalgam of the platform, the interface, and the members of the community. I haven’t seen anyone dispute that yet, ever.

    It keeps coming up because people keep making analogies that don’t fit (like “if a library won an award, authors who donated books wouldn’t get to say they were award winners”).

    If Worldcon won a best convention award, most conrunners wouldn’t be posting “I’m an Award-Winning Conrunner!” on their bios. They’d be posting something like “Part of an Award-Winning Convention!” on their bios. That’s the Worldcon ethos — that we’re all a team, and that it’s not right — not ethical — for someone to take credit for an honor that isn’t personally theirs.

    It’s about people trying to claim an honor that they haven’t personally earned.

    The conversation which is actually happening is “Do people have the right to claim more credit than they’ve actually earned?”

    It’s discomfort with people trying to take more credit for something than they have actually earned

    But this is exactly why I say this is about who is “worthy”. You’re using “earned” instead, but there’s not a fundamental difference—you’re just saying that worth has to be earned by passing some threshold of contribution. And I agree! I just think the threshold is much, much, much lower than you do. I think the threshold for AO3 is “did you contribute”.

    And as a conrunner, I think that’s the threshold for conventions too.

    You claim that this is about Worldcon members wanting to make this about in-groups and out-groups. You actually have quite a few claims like this in your post, where you presume to tell Worldcon members what their thoughts and motivations are, instead of listening to what they’re actually saying.

    I have been in convention fandom for checks watch 24 years, a conrunner for 10. (Coincidentally, that’s almost exactly as long as I’ve been reading and writing fanfic.) The in-group/out-group thing is a thing we in convention fandom do, all the time, and it’s a thing we are doing here. Since I’m part of your “us”, I hope you will listen to what I am saying.

    for some AO3 members that’s not enough glory. They want more. They want to be able to claim an honor that they haven’t personally earned.

    You’re presuming to tell AO3 members what their thoughts and motivations are, instead of listening to what they’re actually saying. Consider not doing that… even though you genuinely believe what you are saying.

    (I don’t think you’re lying—I think you’re wrong, which is different—and I am not inclined to be hostile, hence the ellipsis.)

    Now you say that the project is indistinguishable from the people behind it, but that’s not how the Hugo Awards work.

    It is now, since the voters gave the Hugo Award to a project that’s indistinguishable from the people behind it.

    If 2 million people all got to call themselves official Hugo Award Winners, the Hugo Award would have the same significance as the 2006 Time Magzine Person of the Year Award. Surely you can understand why Worldcon members might feel that that is a dilution and a devaluing of their Award.

    As a past and likely future Worldcon member and Hugo voter, I feel no such thing. You’re presuming to tell etc.

    I co-edited an anthology that was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, and if the anthology had won and AO3 then won a WFA Special Award – Non-Professional, I would be overjoyed to share the award with the two million AO3 members and count each and every one of them a winner. It’s not dilution. It’s inclusion.

    Surely you can understand that. And even if you can’t understand it, it’s still true.

  40. @Rose Fox

    “Look at what fanworks are overwhelmingly fanworks of: SF/F books, films, and TV. […] Slashfic is named after Kirk-slash-Spock! I don’t understand what people think fanwork is if not deeply rooted in SF/F. Do you think we’re all out there writing fic of Gone Girl and The Corrections?”

    This is a dramatic over-statement, and ignores fan cultures outside the SFF and so-called “western media” fandoms (ie, English-language books, tv, and movies). Even the word “slash” is specific: “m/m” and “BL” are much more common terms in English-speaking anime/manga communities, for example.

    I understand the point you were trying to make about SFF fans and people who create/consume fan works having a lot of overlap. That’s absolutely true! And if you were looking strictly at AO3, that relationship looks even stronger because historical & usability problems make the site less than ideal for fandoms outside of the heavily SFF “western media” sphere. But you can make that point without erasing the RPF writers, the doujinshi creators, the wrestling fans, etc.

  41. I do think listening to people’s lived experience and checking out their culture before diving in are excellent practices.

    Perhaps if the WSFS had paid a little more attention to AO3’s board culture before diving in, this whole misunderstanding might have been avoided.

    @Rose Fox:

    Hi, good to see you!

    I too had the peculiar experience of being presumed to be an AO3 person (which I’m not) and not a long-time poster on File 770 (which I am), which, it eventually dawned on me, was probably coloring people’s attitudes about what they thought I was saying.

    To be fair, I have been away for a few years, during which one of my children came out as LGBTQ and I received considerable enlightenment on the difficulties that community faces. So, you know, things are different now.

    I mean, I like to think I always believed in listening to people’s lived experiences, but now I’ve had more practice putting my money where my mouth is.

  42. Rose Fox: It keeps coming up because people keep making analogies that don’t fit (like “if a library won an award, authors who donated books wouldn’t get to say they were award winners”).

    People keep saying that because that is the way that the Hugo Awards work.

    Ultimately what this boils down to is that some AO3 members, you among them, want Worldcon members to change the way the Hugo Awards work to match those AO3 members’ cultural expectations. And this is why it’s generating hostility among some Worldcon members.

  43. Rose Fox:

    “I have been in convention fandom for checks watch 24 years, a conrunner for 10.”

    Ah, so you are one of the Old Guards then? Be careful, we newer members might drag you into the Century of the Fruitbat. 😉

    (I never saw myself as part of Fandom until I started to hang out here at the start of the puppy years)

  44. JJ:

    Ultimately what this boils down to is that some AO3 members, you among them, want Worldcon members to change the way the Hugo Awards work to match those AO3 members’ cultural expectations. And this is why it’s generating hostility among some Worldcon members.

    I think that’s quite an oversimplification of “this” (though I guess I don’t know which “this” you’re referring to). It doesn’t mention the trademark issue, for instance, which is what got this all started. But of course culture is relevant to the trademark issue, because culture is why WSFS does not tell John Scalzi that he’s diluting or infringing on WSFS IP by calling himself a Hugo-winning author despite there being no Hugo award for (pro) authors.

    I don’t want to change the way the Hugo Awards work. I’m not proposing anything different from the current situation: when a work wins an award, the people who created the work get to say that they, personally, are Hugo winners. This is not in the Hugo rules, and a strict interpretation of those rules would forbid it, but it is most assuredly the custom within the community, to the point where—as you pointed out—authors’ names are put on Hugo trophies even though the trophy properly goes to the work and not the author. I think that if WSFS treated authors the way it’s treating AO3’s creators, there would be a huge outcry. It’s understood that creators matter and that award-worthy work reflects on its creators.

    The hostility seems to be directed at members of the AO3 community who want to be included in this Worldcon cultural custom, not to change it.

    But I’ve spent most of my life explaining in other contexts that equality, respect, and inclusion don’t constitute special treatment or trying to break society, so I’m pretty done here.

  45. Rose Fox: I don’t want to change the way the Hugo Awards work. I’m not proposing anything different from the current situation: when a work wins an award, the people who created the work get to say that they, personally, are Hugo winners.

    But that’s exactly what you are saying: You want to change it so that when a non-fiction anthology wins Related Work, everyone who has an essay published in that anthology gets to call themselves a Hugo Award Winner, when a Semiprozine or Fanzine wins, everyone who had a story or article published in that zine gets to call themselves a Hugo Award Winner, everyone who commented on File 770 in 2017 or sent a news item to Mike for a Pixel Scroll gets to call themselves a Hugo Award Winner.

    You keep eliding the fact that authors of fiction works are themselves indeed considered Hugo Award Winners. This is not a current “custom”; this is how the Hugo Awards have always worked: the author’s name goes on the trophy, and their name goes into the official Hugo Award records.

    The hostility is being directed at the AO3 members who are expecting Worldcon members to change the way the Hugo Awards work, to conform with AO3 cultural expectations.

  46. @JJ:

    You want to change it so that when a non-fiction anthology wins Related Work, everyone who has an essay published in that anthology gets to call themselves a Hugo Award Winner, when a Semiprozine or Fanzine wins, everyone who had a story or article published in that zine gets to call themselves a Hugo Award Winner, everyone who commented on File 770 in 2017 or sent a news item to Mike for a Pixel Scroll gets to call themselves a Hugo Award Winner.

    Yes, this does come down to who gets to be considered a creator, doesn’t it? But all the examples you cite are hierarchical, where AO3 is not. There’s no equivalent on AO3 to the anthology contributor or the File770 commenter whose work can be accepted or rejected by an editor; we are all equally granted the right to contribute as much as we like. This is why we keep emphasizing the collective aspect, despite many people telling us they get the point, because… it doesn’t seem that you get the point.

    As an anthology editor, I would personally have no problem with authors getting a share in awards for anthologies, but I recognize the culture is very strongly opposed to that, and there’s no Best Anthology Hugo anyway. Though there should be. Anyway, I have no issue with awards for staffed/curated/edited things going to all the staff, curators, and editors. But AO3 isn’t one of those things.

    The closest book analogy I can think of (and this will still be a flawed analogy, because AO3 isn’t a book and didn’t win a Hugo for fiction) is if a bunch of people contributed chapters to a shared-world novel, edited one another’s work or let it go unedited altogether, and then self-published it, and it won the Best Novel Hugo. No curation, no hierarchy, just creativity in collaboration. Presumably you would have no problem with all of the contributors considering themselves Hugo winners, even if they chose not to have their names listed on the official nomination. Or would you still say that none of them were Hugo winners, despite them having collectively produced a Hugo-winning work for which no one else could reasonably take credit?

    When I say “custom” I mean “not in the WSFS constitution”. I don’t know what you mean by “how the Hugo Awards work” if you don’t solely mean the rules for how the Hugo Awards work but also don’t mean the customs that fill in the lacunae left by the rules. I’m really not sure why you’re bristling at the not terribly controversial concept that anything done the same way over and over but not mandated by written rules would be considered customary.

    The rules do not say anywhere that authors are winners. They just don’t. If there were a rule about who was considered a creator of a work, we could debate that rule, consider proposing different rules (I’m sure several are already in the works), and so on. But there isn’t anything in the Hugo rules about it.

    The author’s name is put in the records but the records do not say that the author has won anything, because they haven’t. The rules don’t specify that records of any kind should be kept, or dictate how finalists are listed on the ballot other than that the publisher—not the author!—of printed fiction should be stated, or explain whose name is included in a nomination and whose is not. The ballot that says “Redshirts by John Scalzi (Tor)” could say “Redshirts, ISBN 9780765334794 (Tor)” or even “Redshirts (Tor)” and be accepted under the rules. If it could be done differently without breaking the rules, it’s a custom and a matter of culture, no matter how long it’s been done that way. I’m sure the Hugo administrators have a style sheet someplace that says things like “actors are not listed for Best Dramatic Presentation”, but that’s not in any rule that any WSFS member ever voted on. It’s just How Things Have Always Been Done, which is to say, custom.

    In current Worldcon culture, everyone accepts that authors are creators of books and artists are creators of art, and therefore they get to call themselves Hugo-winning creators when their creations win Hugos. Some people accept that copyeditors and designers are creators of magazines, while others believe they are not. And what we are discussing is whether the members of a collective that receives an award are creators of that collective. You think they aren’t. I think they are. But there’s no rule either way. It’s just about whether we think collective members are analogous to authors (because they directly and personally craft the work) or analogous to magazine contributors and blog commenters (because there are a lot of them and their individual contributions are small). That’s it. It’s literally all in our heads.

    We as members of SF fandom get to decide, without a business meeting and without a vote, who is accepted by the community as a creator and who is not. We can keep our thoughts the way they are or we can change them according to what we believe is factually and morally correct. I’m not asking for the rules or even the customs to change. I’m asking for mindsets to change about how those rules and customs are applied and who is perceived as qualified and acceptable and valid and valued. (Which is why I said this is an in-group/out-group thing.)

    So are you going to stay the way you are, or are you going to change? Not the Hugo rules, not even the Hugo customs—your understanding of who’s a creator and who’s not. Are you going to stay focused on whether people “earn” (by what metric?) the right to call themselves Hugo winners? Or are you going to consider a more expansive concept of who is deserving, included, and welcome? Are you going to decide that How Things Have Always Been Done is too exclusionary, or that the exclusion of some deserving creators is a small price to pay for the guaranteed exclusion of all undeserving creators? Or that everything is perfect exactly the way it is and anyone who disagrees should be argued down or ignored?

    It’s up to you.

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