The Aurora Arbitration

I apologize to Tamara Sheehan for scoffing at her claim to be an Aurora nominee. At the end of “What Makes an Aurora ‘Nominee’?” I invited any Canadian fan who knew the history and usage of the Aurora Awards to chime in, and at Tamara’s suggestion I copied the question to Clint Budd, the Aurora Award webmaster. Clint says he thinks her short story would be defined as a nominee in their two-step process and I’m happy to adopt his view.

Clint says his earlier e-mail (quoted here) did assume the question was whether her story received any nominating votes at all.

Once Clint understood the larger question he pointed to the relevant section of the CSFFA Constitution:

Section 8: Nominations: Selection of nominees for the final Award voting shall be done by a poll conducted by the Canvention Committee, in which each nominator shall be allowed to make three (3) equally weighted nominations in each category. Assignment to the proper category of nominees nominated in each category, and eligibility of nominees, shall be determined by the Canvention Committee. 

Then Clint observed:

It uses the word “nominate” in a variety of forms and, despite somewhat awkward phrasing, I think its clear enough that the “Aurora public” send in “nominations.”

During this phase, the “nominees” have greater or lesser numbers of “nominations.”

When this period ends the number of nominations for each nominee are counted up and a new group emerges – the 5 that have the most nominations – referred to only as “the short list.” They are the candidates for the election phase.

If this terminology diverges from the usage of the Hugos and the Nebulas I don’t actually know. For better or worse – we have our own set of rules.

Where our website says “The Aurora awards are closest to the style of the Hugo awards …” it only says that we are “closest” – in comparison to others – not that we intend to exactly follow the Hugos in any specific regard.

For all practical purposes it’s the same as the Hugo nominating process. Even the WSFS Constitution refers to “the five eligible nominees receiving the most nominations,” and I’d been applying the precedent that a person named on a Hugo nominating ballot would not style himself a nominee unless he was a finalist.

Now that I have discovered the Aurora administrators use these terms differently, as Clint has explained, I will follow their usage when discussing that award. And again, I apologize for causing Tamara Sheehan such distress.

4 thoughts on “The Aurora Arbitration

  1. The Aurora Awards may do as they like, of course. But the Mythopoeic Awards, which use a two-ballot process, do not release the first ballot specifically to avoid this problem. The works on the first ballot have undergone no sorting whatever. They’re just a list of possibilities for consideration. Only the finalists have received the consideration that makes the tag “nominee for the Mythopoeic Award” a fair description, with all it implies about the award committee’s thumbs-up.

  2. The Sidewise Awards generally post our reading list before we announce the nominees. We’ve had people see their name on that reading list and assume they were nominees, which has made for some awkward e-mails.

    Of course,w e’ve also had nominees, winners, and others consistently spell the award name Sideways, which we also try to correct.

  3. Pingback: In Which I Eat Some Crow « Ridiculosity

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