Pixel Scroll 7/27/19 Baby Is 3, Jeffty Is 5, Now We Are Number 6, Who Is Number One?

(1) MACMILLAN APPLIES LIBRARY EMBARGO ACROSS THE BOARD. Publishers Weekly outlines the expanded policy — “After Tor Experiment, Macmillan Expands Embargo on Library E-books”.

More than a year after imposing a controversial four month “test” embargo on new release e-books in libraries from it’s Tor imprint, Macmillan announced today that it will now impose a two month embargo on library e-books across all of the company’s imprints. The terms take effect November 1.

Under the publisher’s new digital terms of sale for libraries, “library systems” will be now be allowed to purchase a single—that is, one—perpetual access e-book during the first eight weeks of publication for each new Macmillan release, at half price ($30). Additional copies will then be available at full price (generally $60 for new releases) after the eight-week window has passed. All other terms remain the same: e-book licenses will continue to be metered for two years or 52 lends, whichever comes first, on a one copy/one user model. A Macmillan spokesperson confirmed to PW that the single perpetual access copy will be available only for new release titles in the first eight weeks after publication—the option to buy a single perpetual access copy expires after that eight week window, and the offer is not available for backlist titles.

And the American Library Association goes on the warpath: “ALA denounces new Macmillan library lending model, urges library customers to voice objections”.

The American Library Association (ALA) denounces the new library ebook lending model announced today by Macmillan Publishers. Under the new model, a library may purchase one copy upon release of a new title in ebook format, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo on additional copies of that title sold to libraries.

“Macmillan Publishers’ new model for library ebook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all,” said ALA President Wanda Brown. “Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for patrons most dependent on libraries.

“When a library serving many thousands has only a single copy of a new title in ebook format, it’s the library – not the publisher – that feels the heat. It’s the local library that’s perceived as being unresponsive to community needs.

“Macmillan’s new policy is unacceptable,” said Brown. “ALA urges Macmillan to cancel the embargo.”

The new Macmillan ebook lending model is an expansion of an existing policy that went into effect in July 2018, when the company, without warning, issued a four-month embargo applying solely to titles from the company’s Tor imprint. At the time ALA stated that the delay would hurt readers, authors and libraries.

Since last fall, Hachette Book Group (HBG) and Penguin Random House (PRH) have eliminated “perpetual access” for libraries and replaced it with a two-year access model. Simon & Schuster changed from a one-year to two-year access model. While re-evaluating their business models, none of these firms implemented an embargo—deciding that equitable access to information through libraries is also in their business interest. HarperCollins continues with its 26-loan model. Macmillan now stands alone in its embargo policy among the largest (Big 5) publishers….

(2) FOOD OF THE GODZILLA. SYFY Wire browses the latest from Sideshow Collectibles and other toymakers in “Important Toy News: This ramen-eating Godzilla is priceless, Charlie Brown feels shame”.

But all of this money-spending is making us hungry. And what do you do when you’re hungry? That’s right: you eat. You eat ramen, and just like Godzilla, you look so unbelievably adorable when you do it that it makes your face explode and you cry tears of unyielding madness.

(3) BEST RELATED WORK. A writer who goes by “Building Worlds” has written an appeal to voters: “AO3, the Hugos, and Fandom” on Medium.

I’ve seen an argument online that a distinction voters are struggling with regarding AO3 is that they believe it is not noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text (all the fan fiction).

I’d argue that the most noteworthy thing about AO3, /r/Fantasy, and other online fan forums, is that they are venues for users to come together and discuss the speculative fiction they love, run by volunteers. To me, the Hugo Awards and WorldCon itself are about bringing fans together around the work we all love. Ultimately, that’s about the purest reason to vote for a Hugo as any I can think of.

(4) SFF ART GOES UNDER THE HAMMER. Bids are being taken by Heritage Auctions for the August 13 – 14 Glynn and Suzanne Crain Science Fiction Collection Signature Auction. Robert Emil Schulz’ cover for PKD’s The World Jones Made 1956 paperback is the poster for the event.

(5) COLLECTIVE NOUN. New Voices in Orbit #19 asks writers: “What do you call a group of dragons?” Kendall says, “And yes, I’m thinking of Meredith when I send you this. But also everyone.”

(6) SNAPS COURTESY OF THE HUT. Esquire has posted “133 Photos of Comic-Con 2019’s Biggest Celebrities”.

Jay and Silent Bob, Elizabeth Henstridge, Chloe Bennet and more stopped by the Getty Images Portrait Studio delivered by Pizza Hut.

Shohreh Aghdashloo, Frankie Adams, Dominique Tipper, (Bottom L-R) Steven Strait, Wes Chatham, and Cas Anvar of ‘The Expanse’ pose for a portrait during the Pizza Hut Lounge at 2019 Comic-Con International: San Diego on July 19, 2019 in San Diego, California.

 (7) WHEN E.T. COMES TO STAY. Science & Futurism with Isaac Arthur episode 196 discusses “Invasive Aliens.”

Alien Invasions have been a staple of science fiction for years, with motherships and UFOs assaulting Earth, but how realistic is such a thing? We’ll take a look at what might motivate an attack, how it might happen, what alternatives might make more sense, and what might prevent extraterrestrials from trying.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • July 27, 1940 — Bugs Bunny made his cartoon debut.
  • July 27, 1994 Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 went direct to video.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 27, 1874 Frank Shannon. He’s best remembered now as the scientist Dr. Alexis Zarkov in the three Flash Gordon serials starring Buster Crabbe between 1936 and 1940.  The serials themselves were Flash GordonFlash Gordon’s Trip to Mars and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. (Died 1959.)
  • Born July 27, 1938 Gary Gygax. Game designer and author best known for co-creating  Dungeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson. In addition to the almost beyond counting gaming modules he wrote, he wrote the Greyhawk Adventure series and the Dangerous Journeys novels. (Died 2008.)
  • Born July 27, 1939 Sydney J. van Scyoc, 80. Her first published story was “Shatter the Wall” in Galaxy in 1962. She continued to write short stories throughout the Sixties and Seventies, and published Saltflower, her first novel in the early Seventies. Over the next twenty years, she published a dozen novels and likewise number of short stories. For all practice purposes, she’s not available in digital format. 
  • Born July 27, 1948 Juliet Marillier, 71. She’s a New Zealand-born and Western Australian resident fantasy writer focusing entirely on historical fantasy. She has a number of series including Blackthorn & Grim which at two volumes is a good introduction to her, and Sevenwaters which at seven volumes is a serious reading commitment. She’s a regular contributor to the fiction writing blog, Writer Unboxed.
  • Born July 27, 1949 Robert Rankin, 70. Writer of what I’d call serious comic genre fiction. Best book by him? I’d single out The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse as the best work he ever did bar none. Hell, even the name is absolutely great. 
  • Born July 27, 1950 Simon Jones, 69. He’s well known for his portrayals of Arthur Dent, protagonist of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He first portrayed the character on radio for the BBC and again on television for BBC Two. Jones also featured in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy film in a cameo role. He’s in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, Brazil and 12 Monkeys as well. 
  • Born July 27, 1968 Farah Mendlesohn, 51. She’s an historian and prolific writer on genre literature, and an active fan. Best works by her? I really like her newest work on Heinlein which I’m reading now, The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein. Her work on Diana Wynne Jones, Diana Wynne Jones: Children’s Literature and the Fantastic Tradition, is a fascinating read. And I highly recommend her Rhetorics of Fantasy as we don’t get many good theoretical looks at fantasy. 
  • Born July 27, 1973 Cassandra Clare, 46. I read at least the first three or four volumes of her Mortal Instruments series which I see means I’ve almost completed it. Damn good series. Anyone read her Magnus Bane series? 

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Frank and Ernest encounter a vending machine that’s too intelligent.
  • When was the last time a B.C. strip made me laugh out loud? July 27….

(11) HE’S THE REASON FOR THE “GOOGLE 15”. Fast Company claims “This snack curator for Google is one of the most powerful people in food”.

…As urban legend has it, Google cofounder Sergey Brin once instructed office architects that “no one should be more than 200 feet away from food.” And so they rarely are. On any given day, the 1,300 “microkitchens” located within Google’s 70 or so offices around the world, from Pittsburgh to Istanbul, brim with dried seaweed, turkey jerky, kombucha, and other eclectic treats that rotate according to season, popularity with employees, local tastes, and food trends.

Google takes its snacking very seriously. That’s why it has a dedicated team overseeing it and a chef named Matt Colgan at the helm at many of its western campuses, where he (along with menu architects, wellness managers, and nutrition specialists at Google Food) has quietly emerged as one of the most powerful gatekeepers in the packaged-food world.

“When you’re feeding this many people,” says Colgan, culinary director for Google’s food operations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colorado, “you encounter every diet imaginable, every request.” You also get bombarded by sales reps at food companies, who are hungering after snackers—and these snackers in particular. They see Google employees, the drivers of Silicon Valley tech innovation, as having the clout, and appetite, to set snack trends.

(12) RIGHT TO THE SOURCE. Michael Cassutt was interviewed by the Washington Post’s Eryn Brown for the obituary of long-time Mission Control director Christoper C. Kraft, Jr., who died on July 22 at age 95.

When Gemini 4 astronaut Ed White lingered during the first U.S. spacewalk in 1965, enjoying the scenery, Mr. Kraft commandeered the communications system and ordered him, “Get back in!” the ship.

“This is the saddest day of my life,” White said, before heading back into the cockpit.

The incident was indicative of the culture that Mr. Kraft set.

“It was, ‘I, the flight director, am in charge. Not you the astronaut, and not the head of NASA. You come to me,’?” said author Michael Cassutt, who writes about the space program. “Much of the NASA culture as we envision it really derives from Chris Kraft.”

(13) BEHIND THE PAYWALL. An article in the July 20 Financial Times by David Cheal tells how musicians are inspired by space and space travel.

“In 2015 the British band Public Service Broadcasting released an album that celebrated the golden era of space travel.  The Race for Space knitted together propulsive, often funky music  with spoken-word clips (Kennedy:  ‘We go to the moon because it is hard’) to recapture the sheer excitement of Sputnik, the Moon landing–and also tragedies such as the deaths of three Apollo 1 astronauts in 1967.  The music was refreshing because it eschewed the notion that spsce has to be electronic, using a range of often acoustic instruments.  In 2018  the Northern Irish composer and artist Hannah Peel released Mary Casio; Journey to Casiopeia, which follows the dream of a fictional stargazer to travel from her home in Barnsley to the constellation of Cassiopeia.  Peel’s music combines synthesizers with brass.

But one band have gone further and faster than any other in their exploration of the possibilities of space and music:  Muse.  The British trio’s interstellar adventures show how far space-themed pop music has travelled since the early days of Joe Meek:  bass and synths that thrum and pulse like gravitational waves, guitars that shriek and howl like the geysers of Enceladus, wailing, otherworldly voices that sing of “Space Dementia,’ ‘Starlight’ and, most epically of all, a ‘Supermassive Black Hole.'”

(14) WHERE ARE YOU IN TIME? Doc Brown drove a DeLorean to his future – now your past! Today they’d like to sell you a watch whose look is inspired by the car — “DeLorean, the Eternal Design”.

(15) KEEPING TRACK OF YOU. Wired points out how “Netflix’s The Great Hack Brings Our Data Nightmare to Life”.

The new documentary about Cambridge Analytica uses thoughtful narration and compelling visuals to create a dystopian horror movie for our times.

If you’d rather not think about how your life is locked in a dystopian web of your own data, don’t watch the new Netflix documentary The Great Hack.

But if you want to see, really see, the way data tracking, harvesting, and targeting takes the strands of information we generate and ties them around us until we are being suffocated by governments and companies, don’t miss the film, which premieres today on the streaming platform and in theaters. […]

(16) THINKING INSIDE THE BOX. Where do you land in this grid of Writing Style Alignments?

(17) ACTING CREDENTIALS. Kittens recreate horror movies. (From 2015.)

You won’t believe how adorable these kitties are as they star in ‘The Purring’ (1980), ‘The Texas Chainpaw Meowsacre’ (1974), ‘Psycat’ (1960), and ‘Cattie’ (1976).

(18) THE POINT. Finland was a magnet for competitors in the inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting Championship.

The AP story: “Purl jam: Finland hosts heavy metal knitting championship”

Armed with needles and a yarn of wool, teams of avid knitters danced Thursday to the deafening sounds of drums beating and guitars slashing at the first-ever Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship in eastern Finland.

With stage names such as Woolfumes, Bunny Bandit and 9? Needles, the participants shared a simple goal: to showcase their knitting skills while dancing to heavy metal music in the most outlandish way possible.

“Heavy Metal Knitting World Champion 2019” was won by “Giga Body Metal” from Japan.

Finland is the promised land of heavy metal music. There are 50 heavy metal bands per 100 000 Finnish citizens, which is astonishingly many and actually more than anywhere else in the whole world. The number of needlework enthusiasts is equally high, as according to even the most modest estimates there are hundreds of thousands of people in Finland who are immersed various kinds of needlework crafts, knitting included. What combines them both is the great joy of creativity. When playing guitar as well as knitting stitches it is all about the pleasure of creating something cool with your hands. And – it’s all about the attitude!

(19) DOUBLE DOWN. Gemini Man Official Trailer 2 has dropped:

Who will save you from yourself? From visionary director Ang Lee, watch the official trailer for Gemini Man, starring Will Smith. In theatres October 11. Gemini Man (#GeminiMan) is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith (#WillSmith) as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Hampus Eckerman, Kendall, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Cat Eldridge Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

102 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/27/19 Baby Is 3, Jeffty Is 5, Now We Are Number 6, Who Is Number One?

  1. Mike Glyer: Hasn’t experience shown that the phrase “or the equivalent in other media” is treated by Hugo Administrators as allowing many things besides periodicals to compete in the Best Fanzine category?

    I can’t see that any of the finalists in that category in the last n years would be comparable to either AO3 or r/Fantasy. But that doesn’t mean that the Hugo Admin wouldn’t allow it, since their recent decisions on numerous things related to the Hugo Voter Packet seem to be entirely arbitrary and bear little relation to the actual rules in the WSFS Constitution. 🙄

  2. @Bob Roehm:

    Standback, many bookstores sell bookplates in packets of 25 or so. Check you local indie or B&N.

    Thanks, Bob 😀
    I’ve tragically few indie bookstores in my general vicinity, but I think I’m going to make an effort to reach one before the flight.
    Otherwise I might do something rash, like get a simple design up and print a bunch of labels up myself…

    I’m really curious whether there’d be likely to be any for sale at Worldcon itself. Heck, this would make fantastic convention merchandise — I’d love to have Worldcon-brand bookplates to have signed.

    I feel compelled to add, however, that I disapprove of bookplates in general, with the exception of what you want them for, or if the book’s owner is famous themselves! Otherwise, bookplates usually detract from a volume’s value.

    Yeah, on that front, I’m probably the crappiest collector on the planet 😛
    Chalk it up to limited shelfspace or limited energy, but even when I’ve gotten quite nice things (usually by winning random contests…), I don’t have the resources to keep any of them in remotely collectable shape — especially if I want to read the actual books. So I just consider the signatures as warm mementos, and focus on reading and enjoying the actual book.

    Pursuant to this theme, a bunch of these bookplates are going straight in some beat-up paperbacks. (And I hope I’ll be able to press Ada Palmer for an advance-signature for Perhaps the Stars…)

  3. @P J Evans:

    It’s nominated for its structure and tagging, not for its literary/artistic content.

    I would dearly love to see the dozens of ballots phrasing their nominee as “AO3 Structure and Tagging System.” 😛

  4. I mean, yes, I get it, and yes, AO3’s infrastructure is amazing.

    But it’s a little motte-and-bailey to argue that since AO3 can’t possibly be nominated for BRW as a whole, or in a way that recognizes its fiction, therefore it is specifically the technical infrastructure (and possibly the community moderation?) that’s being nominated. That’s a very strong assumption about the opaque motivations of a whole bunch of nominators (and now voters).

    I’d venture that “I heard I can nominate AO3; can I nominate AO3? Which category does it go in?” is a plausible scenario for many nominating ballots. While my plausible scenario for the award admin would go something like “Welll, a bunch of people nominated AO3 for BRW. Does this count? Is it eligible? Well, I’m not sure it’s not eligible. BRW’s explicitly a grab bag. Guidelines on BRW are basically to let the membership decide what they want in there. Well, let’s let it through.”

    The implicit assumption that somebody has made a firm, binding ruling on this nomination’s scope and eligibility vis a vis WSFS rules (but not actually said so) seems suspect to me. Let alone the implicit assumption that everybody has made such a ruling, and with the same result 😛

  5. I wouldn’t compare the AO3 proponents to the puppies or the 20Booksto50K folks, but nonetheless the nomination of AO3 has been due to a campaign that has been running for a couple of years now. That in itself isn’t bad, e.g. the nomination of Shimmer was also at least partly due to a deliberate campaign. But it isn’t as if a critical mass of Hugo voters woke up one morning and thought, “Hey, I’m going to nominateAO3 for best related work.”

    And the behaviour of some of AO3’s proponents (likely a minority) has been awful. Again, not nearly as bad as the worst of the puppies, but that’s a low bar to clear. But the smug “We are the real fans (TM) and those of you who don’t use AO3 are evil gatekeepers/old farts who should die already” attitude of some AO3 supporters is infuriating. Also, why does everybody who criticises the nomination of AO3 in the best related work category constantly feel the need to reiterate what a wonderful and valuable project AO3 is (and it absolutely is, but it should be possible to discuss it without constantly singing its praises)? It’s because of the behaviour of the AO3 proponents towards everybody who disagrees with them.

    Regarding documentaries at the Hugos, in 2014 a docudrama about the making of Doctor Who was nominated in best dramatic short. At the time, there were discussions whether to nominate it in best related or best dramatic short, which obviously went in favour of best dramatic short.

    As for the greying of fandom, it’s quite possible that US WorldCons skew older, but I was surprised at how many young people and even children I saw at WorldCon 75. It was notable, however, that most of the young fans were Europeans, whereas the American fans were notably older on average, probably because of the travel costs.

    Regarding the Retro Hugos, they do have their share of flaws, including several headscratching finalists who seem to have been nominated on name recognition rather than merit, but I do find them valuable, even though it would be ridiculous to pretend that the same works would have been nominated in 1944. And better recommendation systems might well help to fix those issues. Besides, no one had to participate in or care about the Retro Hugos, if they don’t want to.

  6. @Cora:

    Also, why does everybody who criticises the nomination of AO3 in the best related work category constantly feel the need to reiterate what a wonderful and valuable project AO3 is (and it absolutely is, but it should be possible to discuss it without constantly singing its praises)?

    Because nuance.
    File770 is my home ground; I don’t feel threatened or bullied here by any means. I’m not worried that I’m gonna get jumped.
    But I do feel like it would be very easy to misinterpret my formal, technical objections, as me being unfond of the actual finalist in question. As me thinking it’s not a “real” contribution, as it not being “worthy.” I know very, very well that these are real arguments that AO3 writers and readers suffer through all the time — and so, it’s very important me to distinguish that my own remarks aren’t coming from that place. And, yes, I need to keep saying it — because it’s very easy to jump into the middle of a conversation without context, or to forget who it was that said what.

    I reiterate my appreciation for AO3 out of respect and sensitivity to those supporting it for BRW; not because I’m afraid of them.

    (And if it had been some other finalist I didn’t have the same degree of respect for, then I’d reiterate the appropriate proviso for that piece.)

  7. Standback: But it’s a little motte-and-bailey to argue that since AO3 can’t possibly be nominated for BRW as a whole, or in a way that recognizes its fiction, therefore it is specifically the technical infrastructure… that’s being nominated. That’s a very strong assumption about the opaque motivations of a whole bunch of nominators (and now voters)… The implicit assumption that somebody has made a firm, binding ruling on this nomination’s scope and eligibility vis a vis WSFS rules (but not actually said so) seems suspect to me.

    Oh, I don’t think for a moment that was the rationale of most of the nominators. I think the campaign organizers wanted to get it on the ballot, and Related Work was the only category where 1) a case could be made that it was eligible, and 2) it actually had a realistic chance of making the ballot. And all the other supporters who heard about the campaign just nominated it where they were told to.

    Hence the reason why so many of the AO3 contributors are still proclaiming themselves Hugo nominees, because they don’t understand the category rules, they just know that AO3 is a Hugo finalist, and Hugo Awards are given out for SFF fiction, and a lot of them are assuming that the nomination is for the fan fiction.

    I do feel reasonably certain, based on this Hugo Admin’s past decisions and decision documents, that it was allowed to remain on the ballot for its platform, and not for its fiction. If that reasonable case could not have been made — that the platform itself is worthy as a Related Work — the Hugo Admin would have been pilloried by the vast majority of WSFS members for allowing it to remain, just as the Hugo Admins in 2002 would have been pilloried if they had allowed the Writers of the Future Anthology to remain on the ballot in Related Work (but of course, they didn’t).

    And hopefully we are going to get another set of decision documents this year, which will explain the Hugo Admin’s thinking on the Related Work finalists.

  8. Standback: Oh! I didn’t know about decision documents! Where do I see decision documents?

    Occasionally, the admins will include brief info in the final stats document on individual nominees which were disqualified, such as “run time exceeds the limit for BDP Short” or “published in 2013, not eligible as a 2014 work”.

    Nicholas Whyte put out something a lot more extensive in 2017.

  9. Most of the Hugo Award administrator decisions are in the post-ceremony stats that we’ve tried to include with the information with each year’s Hugo Awards. (So you do have to read them year-by-year.) These documents sometimes get lost, because in the rush to get them up immediately after the ceremony when there is a clamor for them, we’ve typically just linked to wherever the current Worldcon has put them. Then, when that Worldcon’s web site dies — and most of them do after a few years — the link dies with it if we don’t remember to download the document and then put it up directly on TheHugoAwards.org, which in theory should have a long lifespan than any particular Worldcon.

    Bear in mind that a lot of the stuff that goes up on THA.org immediately after the Hugo Awards ceremony is being posted in some hit-or-miss conditions, often from a location where the staff are trying to shoo everyone out because the Hugo Awards ceremony just ended. Then, because the immediate crisis is over, we simply forget to go clean it up later.

  10. @JJ: you are making an assumption about Mendlesohn’s market. My observation of her suggests that her intended market is academia; fandom is incidental, and possibly more interesting as a source of papers rather than a destination.

    @Lis Carey: so same old story: corporate buys a success and breaks it? Oh well.

    @bill: that is the same rule for its/it’s I learned; however, if you read @OGH’s clip (which correctly reproduces the top of the story) rather than my excerpt, you’ll see it begins

    More than a year after imposing a controversial four month “test” embargo on new release e-books in libraries from it’s Tor imprint,

    Reading this as a contraction rather than a possessive makes no sense. (The antecedent of my comment wasn’t 100% clear.)

    @Cora Buhlert: so, the Who in 2014 was a docudrama rather than a documentary. Does The Hobbit Duology get dramatically licentious with the facts?
    wrt aging: it’s possible that travel costs (flights, or some days in a car with when-will-we-get-there — US rail travel is pretty much dead) are also reducing the number of younger fans at US Worldcons. (Europeans sometimes don’t realize how big the contiguous US is; I remember explaining to a British mundane in Greenwich that Athens was less than half as far from us as the US west coast was from its east coast.) There used to be a tradition of just-barely-independent fans doing long road trips in elderly cars (e.g., I know from editing of blocks of NYC fans in the 1950s going to Midwestcon and continuing to Westercon, and I drove a car that needed two sets of repairs to KC from the east coast in 1976); I have this vague impression that’s less common now, but no idea why. (US gas costs are certainly not higher in proportion than they were in the 1950’s, and lower than they were in the 1970’s.) Perhaps there are more cons focused on interests less shared with elders (comics, anime, gaming, cosplay), or even combining all the interests into a 20-ring circus (Dragoncon) drawing younger fans away from ~traditional cons.

    @JJ: wrt your reason (2): I haven’t seen figures for this year, but based on my recollections of past years I’d say AO3 had a better chance of getting nominated as a fanzine than as a related work; Whyte’s statistics (mentioned later in this thread) support this. (The lowest BRW got 88 points; the 2nd-lowest fanzine got 77 and the lowest ~50.) Do you have other recent figures on the number of nominations to get on the final ballot in those two categories? Whether the administrators would have refused it a slot is a trickier question (cf the discussion here), and one I’m not sure the AO3 boosters were thinking about.

    @Kevin Standlee: I quite understand the missing figures; getting people to do post-work is always hard. (I remember the almost-five years it took to get out the N2 (1980) post-con general-interest report, but memory goes back further — there was a reason that shows at my college were supposed to leave the stage and hall completely clean before the last-night party started.) Perhaps WSFS needs a history committee to go with the Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee? Someone (or ones, in case of other obligation) whose recognized job is to help conventions move material that will be useful later from temporary sites, file drawers, and whatnot into a permanent location? (ISTM that storage is so cheap nowadays that WSFS could store old websites in toto, without general access, for not-very-much requested from each Worldcon, and pick through them at leisure, but I don’t know nearly enough about public providers to argue this convincingly.)

  11. It might be (should be) possible to track down old Worldcon sites via archive.org’s Wayback Machine, if you know the old URL.

  12. Chip Hitchcock says to JJ: you are making an assumption about Mendlesohn’s market. My observation of her suggests that her intended market is academia; fandom is incidental, and possibly more interesting as a source of papers rather than a destination.

    Chip, I would assume you’re correct that most of these works are bought by academic libraries, not individuals. If individuals are buying them, it’s likely they are mostly getting the cheaper digital versions.

  13. @Cat Eldridge @Chip Hitchcock
    I have some academic works about genre fiction in my personal collection, though the prices can be very high and it’s likely that the main customers are university libraries.

    However, that doesn’t mean that fans don’t read them. After all, many academics are fans and many fans are academics. I read a lot of SFF criticism via the university library, which had all those books that were either out of print or that I couldn’t afford.

    Talking of university libraries and SFF, I recently talked to a former colleague, a professor of linguistics. We talked about language and gender and I said, “Say, have you read Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie? It’s a science fiction novel, which uses the generic feminine throughout.”

    And he said, “No, I haven’t heard of this book, but that sounds fascinating. I’ll ask the university library to order it.”

    And this is how Ancillary Justice (and hopefully Sword and Mercy as well) ended up in the collection of the library of the University of Vechta.

  14. Cora Buhlert says However, that doesn’t mean that fans don’t read them. After all, many academics are fans and many fans are academics. I read a lot of SFF criticism via the university library, which had all those books that were either out of print or that I couldn’t afford.

    One of the Birthdays tonight will celebrate the woman who ensured authors are paid a fee in the UK when their books are lent through libraries there. And yes she’s one of us.

  15. Chip Hitchcock: you are making an assumption about Mendlesohn’s market. My observation of her suggests that her intended market is academia; fandom is incidental, and possibly more interesting as a source of papers rather than a destination.

    No, I am not. Once again, it’s not “about fandom”, it’s “related to fandom”.

    The reason that Mendlesohn and other academics have engaged in so much study of science fiction and fantasy writing is because it has had such a profound effect on culture, including on other writers. And fandom gets a great deal of the responsibility for that profound effect. Were it not for fandom, those academics would have a great deal less to study.

  16. Chip Hitchcock: wrt your reason (2): I haven’t seen figures for this year, but based on my recollections of past years I’d say AO3 had a better chance of getting nominated as a fanzine than as a related work

    I’m not talking about numbers, I’m talking about ability to convince a Hugo Admin to let it remain on the ballot as a finalist in the Fanzine category on the basis of its content — which is not formatted or organized in the form of any sort of periodical publication. It’s an archive, not a publication.

    I think the chances of that would be a lot more dicey than it being allowed on the ballot in the Related Work category on the basis of its platform functionality. But then, given that some of the bizarre recent Hugo Admin decisions have been all over the map, it’s hard to say.

  17. JJ
    AO3 IS NOT A FANZINE. And it wasn’t nominated as one.
    Stop trying to be a gatekeeper.

  18. P J Evans: AO3 IS NOT A FANZINE. And it wasn’t nominated as one.

    Yes, that was exactly the point I was making to Chip Hitchcock.

     
    P J Evans: Stop trying to be a gatekeeper.

    Please explain what it was I said that was “gatekeeping”.

  19. @Standback: It seems like you should be able to find bookplates in a book or stationery store in Dublin, but #1 I suppose I can’t be 100% sure (though it seems logical) and #2 I don’t know whether you’d have time in Dublin pre-Worldcon to shop for this anyway.

    I’ve ping’d my brother (who lives in Dublin), but it’s possible he, his wife, and their daughter just haven’t noticed them for sale, or you won’t have time, or there’s nothing useful near the convention, or whatever. So this might turn out to be a useless idea and/or question to him. (But I’m sure he loves fielding my weird questions. And it’s rare I get to say “asking for a friend” and mean it, heh.)

    Your idea of home-grown ones sounds kinda cool, actually. 😉

    [ETA: My line of space-separated dashes to separate that comment from the one below was eaten by the comment system. More Markdown weirdness?]

    (13) BEHIND THE PAYWALL. Oh yeah, Muse! I have a bunch of their stuff, though I have to be in the right mood for them and I definitely like some of their songs noticeably less than others.

  20. @P J Evans: “If all y’all don’t want AO3 in “best related work”, then all y’all need to find a category for fannish works and websites.”

    No, Worldcon really doesn’t need to. Not everything needs to be eligible for a Hugo and not every concept has to have a category. Some concepts just don’t fit the Hugos well, or are too niche to get a lot of interest. There’s nothing wrong with that; there’s no moral imperative to make sure everything and everyone on the planet can be given a Hugo for everything they do (yes, I’m being hyperbolic to make a point).

    NOTE: I’ve said this here before, related to other finalists, potential finalists, and new-category proposals (when I feel they aren’t a good fit for the Hugos).

    That said, many types of fannish works and web sites are already eligible in various categories.

    “It’s nominated for its structure and tagging”

    No matter how often people say this or related things (like people pointing out in previous discussions that AO3 added X or Y feature), it sounds like post-nomination rationalization. I don’t believe the majority of nominators put anything like this on their ballots; I believe they put AO3 on there, period. I’ve read previous “explanations” of why AO3 fits BRW and why it qualifies as a 2018 work specifically, but none of that means that’s why it was actually nominated.

    @Cora Buhlert: Oh yes, I get tired of anything relating to AO3 being nominated having to disclaim “oh but of course it’s amazing etc.” I feel like I’m one of the very few people who doesn’t do this here.

    Of course, in pointing this out, you felt compelled to parenthetically concur it’s wonderful and valuable. 😉 ARGH!

    @JJ: I suspect the admins’ explanation, if provided, will boil down to “The Will Of The Voters” plus coming up with a way to shoehorn it in, never mind that I agree with you that it was not nominated for any post-nomination justifications, but just because some folks wanted it to get a Hugo.

  21. Perhaps WSFS needs a history committee to go with the Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee? Someone (or ones, in case of other obligation) whose recognized job is to help conventions move material that will be useful later from temporary sites, file drawers, and whatnot into a permanent location?
    — Chip Hitchcock

    This falls under the aegis of the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee, which among other things maintains the Hugo Awards website (http://thehugoawards.org).

    I’ve spent the last couple of years digging up old nominating and voting statistics from sources such as old Usenet posts on Google Groups, old fanzines, archived con websites, and various historical documents which have been scanned and made available online.

    We have access to archived versions of all of the old websites. Where we’ve run into missing information are cases such as the 1999 Hugo administrator storing all of the Hugo documents on his personal university academic website rather than on the con’s website, and the Wayback Machine archiving Worldcon website pages but not PDF documents to which they link.

    In some cases, we have the actual statistics documents released by the Hugo Admins, but they do not contain grand totals for nominating and voting ballots. In most cases, I have been able to find these on old voting ballots and the post-Hugo con newsletters.

    In some cases, fanzines only printed the voting results up to the first 3 places, or just the order of finish without the IRV round details. And in some cases we have nominating totals only for the finalists, with no longlists.

    And then there’s the case of 1981, the first year that Hugo Admins were required by WSFS rules to publish the statistics, when the editor of a prominent paid-subscription-only SFF magazine apparently cut a sweetheart deal with the Hugo Admin for exclusive access to those statistics. By the time the Admin finally stopped stonewalling all the fanzine editors and released them to everyone else 6+ months later, none of the fanzines were interested in printing what had become extremely old news, so we don’t have those statistics. (I would love to hear from anyone who has access to the September 1981 issue of that magazine, which I will euphemistically call Sucol.)

    There are a number of people at FANAC.org and Fancyclopedia.org who’ve been working hard to ensure that as many of the older documents as possible are scanned and put online, to prevent them from being lost in the sands of time, and the HAMC has been making efforts to preserve old copies of the WSFS Constitution, Business Meeting minutes, and videos of Hugo ceremonies and WSFS meetings, so that members can see how the rules and the categories have changed over time, and the reasons for those changes.

  22. Kendall: Oh yes, I get tired of anything relating to AO3 being nominated having to disclaim “oh but of course it’s amazing etc.”

    Yes, it’s really tiring to be accused of gatekeeping simply for commenting on something without making any value judgments. I’ve voiced my opinion that AO3 is a resource of great fannish value on several occasions; I shouldn’t have to keep repeating that every single time its nomination in Related Work is discussed.

  23. @ Jo Van Ekeren

    I would love to hear from anyone who has access to the September 1981 issue of that magazine, which I will euphemistically call Sucol.

    I long since disposed of my copies of the magazine from that era, but I’m sure there are more dedicated collectors who keep full runs. As I am local to the offices of that publication and have contact information for at least a couple members of the local staff, it is within the realm of possibility that I might be able to make arrangements for photocopying. But a general request into the internets might turn up a copy more directly.

  24. @Jo Van Ekeren
    Why not contact the magazine directly? Surely they should still have that issue in their archive and should be able to help you out.

  25. @JJ

    I don’t see how either AO3 or r/Fantasy would be eligible as a Fanzine, since neither of them is what can be classified as a “periodical”.

    OGH has already addressed this, but was it not the case that once online fanzines became eligible, that “periodical” was interpreted to mean “regularly updated”? In what sense is, for example, File770 a periodical? Or Rocket Stack Rank? or any of several other electronic fanzines that have been nominated (and won)?

    I don’t think that Mendlesohn would claim that her works are not “related to fandom”, given that the vast majority of people for whom her works have great appeal are fans,

    Given that the definition of BRW has SF, fantasy, and fandom listed as separate fields, it seems to me that administrators view them as having existence separate from each other. But I don’t see how your definition separates them — do you consider any work about SFF to be related to fandom? I don’t — “The Immortal Storm” is related to fandom, and the Heinlein biography isn’t. If “related to” is so broad that it becomes meaningless, then what’s the point?

    @P J Evans

    It’s nominated for its structure and tagging, not for its literary/artistic content.

    Well, that’s one theory.

    Would you nominate something for “best fanzine” based on its printing and collating?

    Not likely, but if someone took the type of content that one typically finds in fanzines, and put it together or distributed it in a new and innovative way, I might find that worthy of recognition. What was the first fanzine distributed by email? On usenet? The first apazine? If they were of comparable quality to contemporary mimeo/photocopied zines, I would have considered novelty and efficiency of distribution in possibly allowing them to nose ahead of everything else, and might have nominated them.

    @Chip Hitchcock
    I was looking at the wrong “it’s” — the one in the first line of your post, where you brought the issue up. It looks correct to me. But the one you’ve since specified, in the linked article, I agree is wrong. So my bad.

  26. bill, I’ve already addressed this more than once, I’m not going to repeat myself for people who can’t be bothered to read. 🙄

  27. @Heather Rose Jones, @Cora Buhlert, thank you. I’m still working on formatting the statistics I have found for posting to The Hugo Awards website, and finding someone who has that magazine issue is on the list of things to follow-up… the very, very long list of things to follow-up.

    @bill, I’ve only got some of what I’ve found posted to the website thus far, but all I’ve got for 1979 is the finalist nomination total ranges and the final voting category totals. Anything more than that would be most welcome! If it’s online, I’d be delighted to have the URL(s), or if it’s an attachment(s), I can be reached at my full name as all one word, at the Google mail place. The Hugo Award Marketing Committee and I thank you for your help.

  28. @bill A random tidbit, unrelated to your main point: an apazine, or the apa as a whole, couldn’t have won a Hugo for “best fanzine” on the grounds of being a new way of distributing fanzines, because apas predate not only the Hugos, but fandom, by decades. Even ignoring the non-fannish history of amateur press associations, FAPA is significantly older than the Hugos.

    And, more practically, most apazines were deliberately sent to limited audiences–the members of one apa, which might have been 20 or 30 people–so even the best were unlikely to be seen by enough people to be nominated for a Hugo. When I was publishing a fanzine, I got occasional zines in trade from people who also distributed them through FAPA, but I didn’t think of them as apazines and don’t think the publishers did either. I was also writing and distributing several apazines, for a variety of different apas; they and the standalone fanzine felt like different, though of course related, things.

    APAs are about as old as the mimeograph: Wikipedia says the first was formally organized in 1876, the same year in which Edison was granted a patent for what was later called a mimeograph.

    /digression We now return to our discussion of fandom and the Hugos, already in progress…

  29. It may be of interest to commenters here that Vicki Rosenzweig was longlisted for the Best Fan Writer Hugo in 1999, and her fanzine Quipu was longlisted for the Best Fanzine Hugo in 2000.

  30. @JJ Yes, you have said repeatedly that “related to fandom” is broad. The only thing I can take from your posts on the issue is that everything related to SF or Fantasy is also related to Fandom (and I have read your posts). I think that reasonable people can make finer levels of distinction than that, and that it therefore follows that some works should be judged as primarily related to (for example) Fantasy, and thus are not appropriately judged as related to Fandom. Maybe you don’t.

    @Jo Van Ekeren
    The 1979 Hugo history page has winners and finalists listed, and a link to a dead NESFA page that had pretty much the same data. The Wayback Machine still has the NESFA page, and it might be useful to capture and archive this on the Hugo page (Wayback Machine links do go away sometimes).

    The NESFA link included rankings of the finalists that did not win; the Hugo History page only listed them. The NESFA link also includes finalists which were withdrawn and not otherwise ranked in the listings. Neither includes vote totals, but it sounds like you already have them. I’ll note them here anyway:
    Best Novel: 1064 votes
    Best Novella 1012 votes
    Best Novelette: 976 votes
    Best Short Story: 978 votes
    Best Dramatic Presentation: 1079 votes
    Best Professional Editor: 1052 votes
    Best Pro Artist: 989 votes
    Best Fanzine: 848 votes
    Best Fan Writer: 848 votes
    Best Fan Artist: 870 votes
    John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: 892 votes

    Neither the Hugo History page nor the archived NESFA page includes the Gandalf Awards of the year, which were “Not a Hugo” awards given out at the time, like the John W. Campbell awards.

    Gandalf Award for Grand Master of Fantasy: 1059 votes
    1st: Ursula K. Le Guin
    2nd: Roger Zelazny
    3rd: Ray Bradbury

    Gandalf Award for Best Book-Length Work of Fantasy: 945 votes
    1st: The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
    2nd: The Courts of Chaos by Roger Zelazny
    3rd: Saint Camber by Katherine Kurtz
    (Michael Moorcock’s Gloriana was on the printed ballot and he withdrew it from consideration).

    The Hugo History page does not reflect that in Best Fanzine, “No Award” was in 3rd place (but the archived NESFA page does).

    These data came from Science Fiction Review Nov, 1979, online here. Some commentary from that issue seems familiar:

    It strikes me [Richard Greis] that the novel sweep by women writers [women swept 1st-2nd-3rd] and the near-dominance in the other fiction categories suggests that the charge of male chauvinism in s-f and fandom is a dead letter. In fact, if this keeps up there may soon be charges of a women’s voting bloc.

    Other Hugo History things I’ve noted recently:

    The 1958 Hugo History page lists awards for “Best Novel or Novelette” and “Best Short Story”. The actual ballot showed those awards as being for “Author of the Best Novel or Novelette” and “Author of the Best Short Story”; that is, for the writer, and not for the work. Perhaps the historical listings should be changed (or at least noted)?

    And the History page for that year leaves “Awards Administration” blank, but the ballot was to be sent to Len Moffatt, secretary of Solacon. Was he the administrator?

    The archive of rules for WSFS meetings does not include 1958. Those rules may be found here and here.

    The voting for Detroit in 1959 over Chicago was 125 to 45.

    In 1959, you did not have to be a member of the convention to nominate or to vote — anyone at all could do either (see the nomination ballot “You are NOT required to join the convention to nominate and vote for your choice, all nominations and votes will be given an honest count without regard to whether the person writing has sent in his membership fee!”

  31. @Standback

    I might do something rash, like get a simple design up and print a bunch of [bookplate labels] up myself…

    Harvard has a huge archive of bookplates online; perhaps you could “borrow” one and print them up?

    More bookplate resources.

  32. bill: I am not JJ, but as it happens I think “Related to SF/F” is also related to fandom, because these are the things we are fans OF and therefore without them there would be no fans.

    There are some things related to fandom but without which SF/F media, and analysis thereof, could survive without (3 examples: Stuff directly related to SMOF history, stuff related to the running of conventions, EPH) But I am harder pressed to think of anything related to Fantasy which has no relation at all to fandom. Can you come up with an example?

  33. It’s a matter of usage and meaning, and of imposing a that usage and meaning onto Building Worlds’ essay in a way that isn’t appropriate.

    I am not saying that there are SFF works that have no relation to Fandom. We are all (to different extents) fans of speculative fiction/fantastic literature/[insert your own name for it]. Any creative work can have fans, and those fans can organize into fandom.
    I am saying that if you say that every SFF work is related to Fandom (as JJ seems to be doing), then it is meaningless to say something in particular is related to fandom. To me, if that is the only criteria for defining related to Fandom, then there is no justification for the BRW rules to include “related to Fandom” in its definition clause, because by including SF and Fantasy, you are already capturing Fandom. And if the BRW definitions didn’t include Fandom along with SF and Fantasy, it would be very easy to ignore a work that is primarily related to Fandom (like Moskowitz’s books, that I mentioned earlier) when coming up with potential awardees.
    I think that “related to Fandom” is included in the rule so that works that are Fandom-centered (something like, for example, Fancyclopedia) are pulled into consideration. If “related to Fandom” wasn’t specifically mentioned, I think that it would be considered by many to be an “edge case”, when coming up with nominees, and at a disadvantage. (Hypothetical thought process: “Fancyclopedia isn’t related to SF, it’s about Fans. It is two degrees of separation, while that collection of John Campbell letters is directly related to SF.”) And that the rule-writers wanted such works to be on an equal footing with author biographies, art books, criticism, etc.
    I think that someone like Building Worlds thinks that Fandom-specific related works haven’t gotten as big a share of the pie as he would have liked, and that if you say “He’s wrong, all of the BRW winners to date have been related to Fandom” then you are evading his point (and I say this without regard for whether his point is valid, or if the share of Fandom-centered works to date is too high or too low.) Even if one maintains that a book about Chesley Bonestell is related to Fandom, it seems painfully obvious that it isn’t primarily related to Fandom, and that if one is interested in Fandom for its own sake, rather than SFF artwork, then an award to the Bonestell book won’t be as satisfying as an award to a book about the history of TAFF.

    So, to sum up: Looking at the vast majority of the nominees/winners over the life of the award, the ones about SF are also related to Fantasy and Fandom, the ones about Fantasy are related to SF and Fandom, and the ones about Fandom are related to SF and Fantasy. But it makes sense to put some of them into a Fandom stack, and to say that others are pretty far from that stack; and that it is a reasonable shorthand to say that these are related to Fandom and those are not.

    [Even if you want AO3 to win an award, for whatever reason, I think that saying “AO3 celebrates Fandom, which has gotten a raw deal from the BRW voters, and they should vote for AO3 to make up for it” is not a winning strategy. But OTOH “No, Fandom has not gotten a raw deal from BRW, because everything is related to Fandom, so there is no need to vote for AO3” is not a good counter-argument, not at all.]

    Having said all that, to answer your specific question, I think the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” is a Fantasy work that has such a minimal relationship to Fandom that it is reasonable to say that it is not related. And I say that fully aware that there are huge numbers of fans of the movie and that they have an organized Fandom with fanzines and books and conventions and everything. I just don’t think that defining “related to Fandom” in a way that it captures that relationship is particularly useful, or what was intended by the drafters of the rules. And as a counter-example, the book “Bored of the Rings” or the movie “Galaxy Quest” are self-aware enough about Fandom that it is fair to say that they are related to Fandom.

  34. @Jo

    It’s certainly of interest to at least one Filer: either nobody told me I was longlisted at the time (I think that was less of a concept for the Hugos 20 years ago) or I’d forgotten. Thank you.

  35. bill: But OTOH “No, Fandom has not gotten a raw deal from BRW, because everything is related to Fandom, so there is no need to vote for AO3” is not a good counter-argument, not at all.

    I don’t see where anyone has made that argument, so I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up.

    The reason that “related to fandom” was added to the Related Work category definition was precisely because of the sort of rules-lawyering about what constitutes a “related’ work in which the person who wrote the Medium article is engaging.

    The article’s author is claiming that almost all of the things which have been nominated in the Related Work category over the years haven’t actually been related to fandom, and therefore really shouldn’t have been recognized. I’m saying that those works are almost all related to fandom, and the article’s author is wrong.

    The “related to fandom” part was added, not because it wasn’t already implicit in the definition, but because of people trying to rules-lawyer the definition. It’s not there because without it the definition doesn’t include it, it’s there to make it very explicitly clear that it’s included.

  36. all: please note that the now-removed page on Hugo history that was at nesfa.org had some conspicuous errors (e.g., presenting the LAcon 1 special award to Again, Dangerous Visions as a Hugo) and had not been updated in several years for reasons I won’t go into here. It may have some info not yet on the official Hugo site, but AFAICT the official site has more people involved in making it correct.

  37. The 1979 Hugo history page has winners and finalists listed, and a link to a dead NESFA page that had pretty much the same data.
    — bill

    Yes, those are the 1979 statistics I have (as a matter of fact, I got them from the archived copy of File 770).

    Neither the Hugo History page nor the archived NESFA page includes the Gandalf Awards of the year, which were “Not a Hugo” awards given out at the time, like the John W. Campbell awards.
    — bill

    The Gandalf Awards were given out by SAGA (Swordsmen and Sorcerers Guild of America), which is probably why they aren’t on the official Hugo Awards pages.

    Thank you for the award title corrections; we will see that those get updated.

    And another little nugget from the 1959 ballot is that that is the year the Hugo Awards went from a September to August eligibility year to a calendar eligibility year.

  38. @JJ @bill
    I assume that the “related to fandom” bit was added specifically to cover works like last year’s best related work finalist Crash Override by Zoe Quinn, which doesn’t have a whole lot to do with science fiction and fantasy, but is very definitely related to fandom and some particularly toxic subgroups thereof.

    However, this doesn’t mean that something like Rhetorics of Fantasy or any of the other academic finalists over the years are not of interest to many fans. Not to mention that there are academic studies of fandom, which would theoretically be eligible as well, though I don’t recall if any of them has ever been nominated.

  39. I don’t read BW’s article as “rules lawyering” — he’s saying that mostly, nominees have been more about speculative fiction than about Fandom. He wants AO3 to win, and he’s emphasizing that it should be viewed as being about Fandom, and that voting for it would redress (what he sees as) the imbalance.

    It’s not “rules lawyering” to recognize that “Chicks/Queers Dig Time Lords” is more about Fandom than the recent Le Guin collections, it’s simply a straightforward recognition of the nature of the works.

    The article’s author is claiming that almost all of the things which have been nominated in the Related Work category over the years haven’t actually been related to fandom, and therefore really shouldn’t have been recognized.

    Where did he say that anything shouldn’t have been recognized?

    The “related to fandom” part was added, not because it wasn’t already implicit in the definition, but because of people trying to rules-lawyer the definition.

    If you were there, then I defer to your first hand knowledge. But the addition about “fandom” was proposed in 1986 and ratified in 1987, and the minutes don’t speak to the reasons.

    The award was originally for “Non-Fiction Book”, and the language was “book whose subject is…”, later changed to “work whose subject is related to. . .” “Work whose subject is related to …” was changed to “work related to …” for the 2009 constitution, and the ratifying minutes seem to indicate the change was made as one of several to explicitly allow web items rather than solely books.

  40. In what way is Chicks Dig Time Lords more about fandom than the Le Guin collections? Chicks Dig Time Lords was a collection of essays about a popular SFF TV show. Some of them were written from a fan perspective and or even about the show’s fandom, but the collection also contained essays by and interviews with women involved with the show. And at least going by the titles (I haven’t read the collection – that was before I was regularly voting), some of the essays seem to have been written from a more academic perspective whereas others are from a pure fan perspective. This also matches my impression of similar essay collections about topics of fannish interest that came out around the same time (Ben Bella Books used to specialise in this sort of thing). A wild grab bag of essays ranging from “Squee” to serious critical discussion. And yes, I have cited the Ben Bella collections in academic papers, though not the Squee articles, but the more thoughtful essays.

    Meanwhile, the Le Guin collections were a wild grab bag of reviews, blog posts, think pieces, poems and Ursula K. Le Guin talking about her cats (and this year’s Le Guin finalist is a collection of interviews). I also recall a piece where Ursula K. Le Guin remembers how she won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1970, which is surely a fannish topic. Plus, fandom cares about Ursula K. Le Guin, because she was one of us. And Ursula K. Le Guin probably would have identified as a fan as well as a writer and would have been eligible for best fan writer on the basis of her blog posts at the Book View Café.

    Taking a look at this year’s finalist Astounding, here you have an excellently researched tome on the general history of the genre, the history of a specific publication as well as the biographies of several people linked to said publication. There also is a lot about the development of early fandom in Astounding, including photos of conventions, club meetings and the like. And while Astounding wouldn’t be out of place on the shelves of an academic library, it’s an accessible book that everybody interested in the history of our genre can enjoy.

    So what makes Chicks Dig Time Lords more fannish than Astounding or the Le Guin collections? They probably appeal to different parts of fandom, e.g. I bought Astounding before it was a Hugo finalist, but probably wouldn’t pick up Chicks Dig Time Lords, unless I was a hardcore Doctor Who fan. But all these books are related to science fiction and fantasy and also related to fandom.

    Regarding Building Worlds (BTW, do you know that they’re definitely male, Bill?), the way I read their post they define “fandom” as contemporary media fandom with a strong emphasis on fanfiction. And thus Chicks Dig Time Lords (focussed on a currently popular media property and addresses said media property’s fandom) fits their definition of fandom more than Astounding or the Le Guin collections, which involve parts of fandom they are not particularly interested in. Also, it seems to me as if Building Worlds is the sort of person who dismisses everything that happened longer than 10 to 20 years ago. Reminds me of the article we had linked here a while back from a very young person who called a book that came out in 2012 old.

  41. Kendall said:

    “It’s nominated for its structure and tagging”

    No matter how often people say this or related things (like people pointing out in previous discussions that AO3 added X or Y feature), it sounds like post-nomination rationalization. I don’t believe the majority of nominators put anything like this on their ballots; I believe they put AO3 on there, period.

    As one of the AO3 nominators, I did in fact write simply “Archive of Our Own” on my nominating ballot, but that doesn’t mean that I intended to nominate it for its fanfic. The nomination category I put it under was Best Related Work; ipso facto, I was nominating the archive because I considered it “noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text”.

    (I mean, the fact that AO3 contains 5 million fanworks isn’t insignificant, but I see that more as a proof of its relevance. Nominating a fanfic archive that nobody uses would be a bit like nominating a fridge for the Best Refrigerators Award, despite the fact that none of its owners actually used it to store and chill food.)

    I’ve been part of transformative works fandom since the mid-’90s and have participated in it on mailing lists, message boards, web rings, fanfiction.net, single fandom archives, Livejournal, del.icio.us, and AO3. I’ve had it comparatively easy, compared to people older than me who participated pre-internet and who had to pay for fanzines, etc. But even acknowledging my relative good fortune, AO3 has been a sea change in how I experience transformative works fandom.

    It is so easy now to find the fanworks I want to see, to exclude the ones I want to avoid, to discover new favorite authors and artists, to explore new fandoms, to download fic to my Kindle… Fanfic is wonderful, but on AO3 as it does pretty much everywhere else, Sturgeon’s Law applies, and I don’t believe that the sum of those 5 million fanworks is Hugo-worthy. The archive itself, though? That’s something I really consider worth celebrating.

  42. @Cora Buhlert

    In what way is Chicks Dig Time Lords more about fandom than the Le Guin collections?

    In one way, the very title of the book is a fannish statement.

    BTW, do you know that they’re definitely male, Bill?

    No, I don’t. I used “he” in a standard sense, “used generically, without consideration of gender” (as the OED puts it).
    You, OTOH, used the plural “they” — do you know that BW is more than one person? (see what I did there? I deliberately misunderstood what you were doing. Like you must have done with your question.)

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