Chicon 8, the 2022 Worldcon, has published the initial draft of the Business Meeting agenda. It can be downloaded here. (Subsequent updates will be found on Chicon 8’s Business Meeting page.) This includes the usual spate of new WSFS Constitution proposals with clever titles meant to entertain fellow business meeting regulars and baffle everyone else.
Among the proposals are several from the Hugo Study Committee created at the 2019 Business Meeting.
The full text of the proposals plus supporting statements are at the link.
MOTIONS TO EXTEND HUGO ELIGIBILITY
There are four resolutions to extend the Hugo eligibility of these science fiction films: After Yang, Strawberry Mansion, Neptune Frost, and Mad God; all proposed by Nana Amuah, Olav Rokne, and Cora Buhlert.
BUSINESS PASSED ON FROM DISCON III
Several amendments to the WSFS Constitution ratified in 2016 in connection with the E Pluribus Hugo voting reform that included a 2022 sunset clause must now be re-ratified in order to remain in effect.
Then, there are these new rules changes which received first passage at DisCon III (2021) that are up for ratification.
“30 Days Hath New Business” creates a deadline for submission of new business.
“The Statue of Liberty Play” removes the requirement to pass on to the next Worldcon postal addresses as part of the contact information of people “who have given permission for that data transfer and only for the purposes for which permission to use that data was given.”
“A Matter of Days” adjusts existing rules language from months to a specific number of days.
“Non-transferability of Voting Rights” replaces the supporting/attending Worldcon membership structure with “WSFS memberships” and “attending member supplements”, with the WSFS memberships being non-transferable (e.g., could not be sold on by the owner.)
NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
“The Zero Percent Solution” proposes to repeal Section 3.12.2 of the Constitution which sets conditions for not awarding a Hugo in any category where the total number of valid ballots cast (excluding those cast for “No Award” in first place) is less than twenty-five per cent (25%) of the total number of final Award ballots received. The case for this change is made by Olav Rokne in his File 770 article “Hugo Voting Threshold Reform Proposal”.
The Olav Rokne (and company) proposal is opposed head-on by the Hugo Study Committee’s “To Defuse the Turnout Bomb, Cut the Red Wire…” which moves to preserve the 25% rule but limit its application to circumstances where “the total number of valid ballots cast for that category, excluding those cast for ‘No Award’ in first place, is fewer than 200.”
The Hugo Awards Study Committee has also introduced these other proposals:
“Clearing Up the Artist Categories Forever (No, Really, We Swear It This Time!)” proposes to change the definition of “Best Professional Artist” to “One or more collaborators on a body of work first displayed during the previous calendar year and created as i) work for hire, ii) on paid commission, or iii) for sale (either directly or via a paywall-like structure).” And to change “Best Fan Artist” to “One or more collaborators on a body of work first displayed during the previous calendar year in a fashion that did not qualify for Best Professional Artist – i.e. neither work for hire, nor commissioned for pay, nor for sale.”
“One Rocket Per Customer, Please!” is actually about eligibility for the Best Series category, not how many trophies can be distributed. Previous winners of the Best Series Hugo would be barred from future eligibility in the category (they current are eligible once certain conditions are met). So would any series “containing an individual installment which has won a Hugo Award of any type in its nominated format.” Also, no series would be eligible in the same year as any of its installments makes the final ballot.
“A Work, By Any Other Name…” is a second not-mutually-exclusive amendment regarding Best Series intended to bar “any series from appearing on the final ballot for the Hugo Award for Best Series only in a year where an installment for that series also appears on the final ballot. It was, however, drawn more broadly in order to also restrict (for example) a short story appearing in the same year that a fix-up novel containing such a story was published. Thus, ‘content’ was used in lieu of ‘work’.”
“An Aristotelian Solution to Fan vs Pro” according to the Committee “seeks to establish a uniform set of boundaries between the two general categories of content, as well as to ensure that no ‘gap’ emerges where something is considered Fan in one sense, Professional in another sense, and therefore not eligible in either category.” The proposal replaces the existing language of 3.2.11 with this text:
A professional publication is a publication produced by professional activity. Any category including language pertaining to non-professional or professional activity will be understood to use the definitions in 3.2.X and 3.2.Y.
3.2.X: Professional activity shall be that which was undertaken with the expectation of sale or other direct profit (by the creator or any co-creators), or which can only be accessed after a payment is made (other than incidental fees, e.g. convention membership fees).
3.2.Y: Non-professional activity shall be that which was not undertaken with the expectation of sale or other direct profit (by the creator or any co- creators), and which can be accessed in a full and final version without any payment.
3.2.Z: All activity shall be considered either Professional or Non-Professional. In cases where there is some doubt as to which category applies to a given work or activity, the will of the nominators should be considered, as should the greater need to protect fan (non-professional) activity against professional activity than the reverse.
“If a Tree Falls in The Woods and Nobody Is Around…” creates a mechanism that requires low-voter-participation categories to be considered for removal by the Worldcon Business Meeting:
3.12.3: In the event that the total number of valid ballots cast for a specific category (excluding those cast for No Award in First Place) is fewer than ten per cent (10%) of the total number of final Award ballots received in a non-Retro Hugo vote in two years out of three successive years, an amendment effecting the removal of that category from the list of enumerated Hugo Award categories shall be automatically placed on the agenda for the next Worldcon’s Business Meeting.
The Agenda says the Hugo Awards Study Committee (“HASC”) for 2019-2020 consisted of Cliff Dunn (Chair), Alex Acks, Andrew A. Adams, Ira Alexandre, Paul Cornell, Joni Brill Dashoff, Todd Dashoff, Vincent Docherty, Kathryn Duval, Martin Easterbrook, Lisa Garrison, Helen Gbala, Colin Harris, John Hertz, Kevin Hewett, Tim Illingworth, Kat Jones, Marguerite Kenner, Guy Kovel, Joshua Kronengold, Michael Lee, Perrianne Lurie, Mark J. Meenan, Farah Mendlesohn, Lisa Padol, Hanne Paine, PRK, Martin Pyne, Oskari Rantala, Mark Richards, Claire Rousseau, Ann Marie Rudolph, Kate Secor, Kevin Standlee, Corina Stark, Kelly Strait, Don A. Timm, Kári Tulinius, Jo Van Ekeren, Lew Wolkoff, Betsy Wollheim, and Ben Yalow. The agenda does not state whether any changes were made to the Committee’s membership in subsequent years.