Pixel Scroll 8/27/20 Don’t Pixel Me, ’Cause I’m Scrolled To The Edge, I’m Trying Not To Get Outraged

(1) PAPERS PLEASE? Here in the future, an unpredictable surge in demand for books on paper has run afoul of a world-threatening pandemic: “Printer Jam: Serious Supply Issues Disrupt the Book Industry’s Fall Season” reports the New York Times.

This spring, when the pandemic forced bookstores across the country to close and authors to cancel their tours, many editors and publishers made a gamble. They postponed the publication of dozens of titles, betting that things would be back to normal by the fall.

Now, with September approaching, things are far from normal. Books that were bumped from spring and early summer are landing all at once, colliding with long-planned fall releases and making this one of the most crowded fall publishing seasons ever. And now publishers are confronting a new hurdle: how to print all those books.

The two largest printing companies in the United States, Quad and LSC Communications, have been under intense financial strain, a situation that has grown worse during the pandemic. LSC declared bankruptcy in April, and the company’s sales fell nearly 40 percent in the fiscal quarter that ended June 30, a drop that the company attributed partly to the closure of retailers during the pandemic and the steep fall of educational book sales. In September, LSC’s assets will be put up for auction. Quad’s printing business is also up for sale; this spring, the company had to temporarily shut down its printers at three plants due to the pandemic.

At the same time, there has been a surprising spike in sales for print books, a development that would normally be cause for celebration, but is now forcing publishers to scramble to meet surging demand. Unit sales of print books are up more than 5 percent over last year, and sales have accelerated over the summer. From early June to mid-August, print sales were up more than 12 percent over the previous 10 weeks, according to NPD BookScan. The surge has been driven by several new blockbuster titles, including books by Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, John Bolton and Mary Trump. Publishers have also seen an unexpected demand for older titles, particularly books about race and racism, children’s educational workbooks and fiction.

“The infinite printer capacity hasn’t been there for a while, now enter Covid and a huge surge in demand, and you have an even more complex situation,” said Sue Malone-Barber, senior vice president and director of Publishing Operations for Penguin Random House, which is delaying titles at several of its imprints as a result of the crunch.

(2) DIAL M. A trailer dropped for Come Play, a horror movie about creatures that live inside a cellphone.

Newcomer Azhy Robertson stars as Oliver, a lonely young boy who feels different from everyone else. Desperate for a friend, he seeks solace and refuge in his ever-present cell phone and tablet. When a mysterious creature uses Oliver’s devices against him to break into our world, Oliver’s parents (Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr.) must fight to save their son from the monster beyond the screen. The film is produced by The Picture Company for Amblin Partners.

(3) HUGO RULES PROPOSAL. Jay Blanc tweeted a link to their first draft of a proposed amendment to the WSFS Constitution that would provide a standing Advisory Committee for the Hugo Awards. See the text at Google Docs. Blanc’s commentary justifies the need for a new committee:

Commentary:

The intent of this amendment is to correct a point of failure in the current way the Hugo Awards are administered, a flawed institutional memory and a lack of any consistent infrastructure.

The innate problems of “reinventing the wheel” when it comes to infrastructure became obvious when the 2020 Hugo Awards online-ballot process failed to be ready for use for the ballot deadline. When it did become ready to use, after the ballot deadline was pushed back, it was discovered that it did not correctly register votes for some users. 

There had been a pre-existing online ballot system, used by Helsinki and Dublin, this system was robust and had an open development process. However it is unclear why this system was not used, or if it was why it was heavily modified and those modifications kept private and unreviewed. This is a clear failure of infrastructure that can be fixed by having standing advice on applying online balloting systems.

Further, there appears to have been some issue with confusion over information provided to Hugo Award finalists, and a lack of clear communication lines and recording of any complaints raised.

While the unique localised structure of the Worldcon is overall beneficial, these problems can only be addressed by having some form of standing committee. This amendment does not mandate this committee as replacement for the Worldcon Committee’s handling of the Hugo Awards, but does establish a weight of advice and infrastructure. I would expect Worldcon Committees to opt-in to accepting this advice and infrastructure, rather than continue to reinvent the wheel. But this amendment leaves it open to any individual Worldcon to choose to go it’s own way in the administration of the Hugo Awards if it decides that is correct….

(4) OPTIONS. “‘No aspect of writing makes you rich’ – why do authors get a pittance for film rights?” The Guardian tries to answer the question.

…Stephen King requests only a token amount from anyone optioning one of his novels; the “option” reserves a book for a limited time, usually a year, with the big bucks coming if and when that option is exercised. “I want a dollar,” King said in 2016, “and I want approvals over the screenwriter, the director and the principal cast.” That’s a snip until you realise that the back end is where he makes his real movie money: he got an eight-figure cheque from the recent adaptation of It.

More common are those tales of writers whose work takes an interminable time to reach the screen – Caren Lissner, for instance, whose book Carrie Pilby was optioned on several occasions between publication in 2003 and the film’s production in 2016 – or those that never get greenlit at all.

How realistic is it for writers to get rich from selling adaptation rights? “It’s just not,” says Joanna Nadin, whose YA novel Joe All Alone was adapted into a Bafta-winning 2018 television series. “It’s unrealistic to think any aspect of writing can make you rich.” Nadin confesses that she gets dollar signs in her eyes when she learns that a book of hers has been optioned. “For about 10 minutes, I revamp my Oscar acceptance speech, choose my mansion and dine out on imaginary caviar. Then I try not to think about it, knowing that, if anything happens, it won’t be for many years.”

(5) SCRIBE OF MARADAINE. The Austin Chronicle’s Wayne Alan Brennervisits “The Many Worlds of Author Marshall Ryan Maresca”.

Marshall Ryan Maresca’s debut novel, The Thorn of Dentonhill, came out from DAW Books in February of 2015. Five years later – now, in 2020, smack in the midst of a global pandemic – Maresca is publishing four different series of novels with DAW, each series already three books in, each one set in his originally devised city of Maradaine. And there are many more books on the way.

Even those of us who write almost creatively, day-in, day-out, to meet the relentless deadlines of journalism are like, “Maresca, how the hell? How do you write so much so quickly? And how do you sell novel after novel after novel when other writers we know can’t even seem to land a publisher?”

…”When I started this particular project,” says Maresca over a cup of java and safely distanced at a picnic table outside Thunderbird Coffee on Manor, “I’d already had the world stuff built out, but it wasn’t quite working for me. I thought that, since I’d done all the world-building, I needed to show all of it to the reader at once. Which was a terrible idea, and it didn’t work. But when I was working on that book – which is now sitting in a drawer and will never see the light of day – I had this sort of wild idea, that drew in part from inspiration from comic books.”

Note: Maresca’s favorites among comics are West Coast Avengers, Chris Claremont’s classic run of X-Men, and Mark Gruenwald’s many-charactered D.P.7 – all adding, he tells us, to the authorial influence of such unillustrated story cycles as Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s Green Sky trilogy and David Eddings’ Belgariad. But, the wild idea?

“I thought, instead of trying to show everything,” says Maresca, “why don’t I just show one city, different aspects of that? And from there, I could tell different kinds of stories and have them be somewhat interconnected. And so, somewhere in my file cabinets, there’s a handwritten piece of paper, where I’ve written four story tracks: one vigilante-by-night, one old-time warrior, one two-brothers-heists, one two-cops-solve-murders. And that was the origin of everything. And so I slowly built up my outlines of what all these were – and part of that also came from just the way the publishing industry is. I wrote Thorn of Dentonhill first, and then, while I was shopping for agents, I was also like, well, I should just keep writing. But it’d be silly to write a book two of this series without knowing if I sold book one. So I wrote a different book one – the first book of a different series. And then, as I was looking for someone to buy Thorn, I got that second book one done. And I was like, okay, now that I have an agent interested, I’m gonna write another book one. So that, by the time my agent Mike Kabongo was shopping things around, and the editor at DAW was interested, I had the first book of each of the four series already done.”

 (6) ILLUSTRATING KINDRED. Artist James E. Ransome is interviewed by Aaron Robertson for LitHub in “An Illustrator Brings Realism into Octavia Butler’s Speculative Fiction”.

The Folio Society recently published a special edition of Octavia Butler’s 1979 novel Kindred, a time-travel narrative set between modern-day Los Angeles and a pre-Civil War US. I interviewed the book’s illustrator, James E. Ransome, about what it took to depict scenes of slavery, Ransome’s artistic influences, his dream projects, and more….

AR: Had you read the Damian Duffy/John Jennings graphic novel of Kindred before working on this?

JR: I hadn’t read it beforehand, but I came across it at a bookfair in the middle of working on this project. I was impressed. It was good to see a graphic novel with an illustration for every scene, and as a creator I enjoyed getting another take on the material.

AR: How did you decide which scenes to showcase?

JR: The Folio Society’s art director, Sheri Gee and I discussed it in a series of conversations. We were looking for dramatic scenes that would be interesting to capture. Things that were more dynamic than, say, two people sitting at a table talking. The very beginning scene, with the boy drowning, was a natural choice. Butler’s chapter titles—“The River,” “The Fire,” etc.—were also helpful leads.

(7) RUH-ROH. Scooby-Doo’s co-creator and former children’s TV mogul Joe Ruby passed away August 26. The Hollywood Reporter has the story: “Joe Ruby, Co-Creator of Scooby-Doo, Dies at 87”.

Ruby met Ken Spears when both were sound editors and then staff writers at the cartoon powerhouse Hanna-Barbera, and they created the supernatural kids show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which centered around a talking Great Dane and bowed on CBS in September 1969. All but four of the first 25 episodes were written and story-edited by them.

In the early 1970s, then-CBS president of children’s programming Fred Silverman hired Ruby and Spears to supervise the network’s Saturday morning cartoon lineup, and they followed the executive to ABC for similar duties in 1975. (Scooby-Doo joined that network’s lineup as well.)

Two years later, ABC set up Ruby-Spears Productions as a subsidiary of Filmways, and the company launched Saturday morning animated series around such characters as Fangface, Plastic Man, Mister T and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Ruby-Spears was acquired by Hanna-Barbera parent Taft Entertainment in 1981.

…In the 1980s, legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby was hired by Ruby to bring his vision to Ruby-Spears Productions. As a result, the Ruby family owns the rights to hundreds of original Kirby-designed characters and more than two dozen projects developed by Ruby. The intellectual property rights to those characters, artwork and projects are now being offered for sale.

(8) BOOK ANNIVERSARY.

  • In August sixteen years ago, Catherynne M. Valente published her first novel, The Labyrinth. Described by the publisher as “a journey through a conscious maze without center, borders, or escape–a dark pilgrim’s progress through a landscape of vicious Angels, plague houses, crocodile-prophets, tragic chess-sets, and and the mind of an unraveling woman”, it was published by Prime Books with an introductory essay by Jeff VanderMeer. It is not currently in-print. (CE)

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born August 27, 1922 – Frank Kelly Freas.  Three hundred covers, over a thousand interiors (I think; I lost count twice) for us; five hundred saints for the Franciscan Order; MAD magazine 1957-1964 with Alfred E. Neuman front, advertising-parody back covers; airplanes while serving in the U.S. Air Force; Skylab; comics; gaming.  Interviewed in GalileoInterzone, LighthouseLocus, PerigeeSF ReviewShadowsSolarisThrust.  Eleven Hugos; three Chesleys (with wife Laura).  LASFS (L.A. Science Fantasy Soc.) Forry Award (service to SF); Skylark; Inkpot; Phoenix; Frank Paul Award.  Writers & Illustrators of the Future Lifetime Achievement Award.  Fellow, Int’l Ass’n Astronomical Artists.  SF Hall of Fame.  Guest of Honor at DeepSouthCon 10, 14, 26; Boskone 10, Lunacon 34, Balticon 31, Loscon 27; Chicon IV (40th Wordcon), Torcon 3 (61st Worldcon; could not attend).  Eight artbooks e.g. A Separate StarAs He Sees It.  This famous image was adopted by the Judith Merril Collection in Toronto.  This famous image was adapted by the band Queen for its album News of the World.  Here is John Cross in Slan. (Died 2005) [JH]
  • Born August 27, 1929 Ira Levin. Author of Rosemary’s BabyThe Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil. All of which became films with The Stepford Wives being made twice as well as having three of the television sequels. I’ve seen the first Stepford Wives film but not the latter version. Rosemary’s Baby would also be made into a two-part, four hour miniseries. (Died 2007.) (CE) 
  • Born August 27, 1942 – Robert Lichtman, 78.  Leading fanwriter, faneditor.  Fourteen FAAn (Fan Activity Achievement) awards, as a correspondent and for his fanzine Trap Door.  TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate.  Secretary-Treasurer of FAPA (Fantasy Amateur Press Ass’n, our oldest and highest-regarded apa, founded 1937) since 1986.  Edited Ah! Sweet Laney! (F.T. Laney collection; named for FTL’s I’m-leaving-goodbye zine Ah! Sweet Idiocy!), Some of the Best from “Quandry” (Lee Hoffman collection; her zine Quandry so spelled), Fanorama (Walt Willis collection; his columns in Nebula); co-edited last issue of Terry Carr’s fanzine Innuendo.  Fan Guest of Honor, Westercon 55.  [JH]
  • Born August 27, 1945 Edward Bryant. His only novel was Phoenix Without Ashes which was co-authored with Harlan Ellison and was an adaptation of Ellison’s pilot script for The Starlost. The only short stories of his that I’m familiar with are the ones in the Wild Cards anthologies. Phoenix Without Ashes and all of his short stories are available from the usual digital suspects. (Died 2017.) (CE)
  • Born August 27, 1947 Barbara Bach, Lady Starkey, 73. She’s best known for her role as the Bond girl Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me.  (A Roger Moore Bond, not one of my favored Bonds.) One of her other genre appearances is in Caveman which her husband Ringo Starr is also in. It’s where they first hooked up. (CE) 
  • Born August 27, 1952 – Darrell Schweitzer, 68.  Three novels; two hundred fifty shorter stories, as many poems; anthologist, bookseller, correspondent, editor, essayist, historian, interviewer, reviewer.  “Books” in Aboriginal, “The Vivisector” in SF Review, “Words & Pictures” (motion-picture reviews) in Thrust and Quantum.  Editor, Weird Tales 1987-2007 (sometimes with J. Betancourt 1963-  , G. Scithers 1929-2010).  If sandwich man were still a current expression one could pun that DS often serves dark and horror on wry.  A few essay titles: “Naked Realism versus the Magical Bunny Rabbit”, “Prithee, Sirrah, What Dostou Mean by Archaic Style in Fantasy?”, “Halfway Between Lucian of Samosata and Larry Niven”.  Two Best Short Fiction of DS volumes expected this year.  [JH]
  • Born August 27, 1955 – Steve Crisp, 65.  Two hundred twenty-five covers, a dozen interiors, for us; illustration, photography, outside our field.  Here is Best Fantasy Stories from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  Here is The Worlds of Frank Herbert.  Here is a Fahrenheit 451.  Here is a Neuromancer.  Website here.  [JH]
  • Born August 27, 1957 Richard Kadrey, 63. I’m admittedly way behind on the Sandman Slim series having only read the first five books. I also enjoyed Metrophage: A Romance of the Future and The Everything Box. I’ve got The Grand Dark on my interested in listening to list. (CE)
  • Born August 27, 1962 Dean Devlin, 58. His first produced screenplay was Universal Soldier. He was a writer/producer working on Emmerich’s Moon 44. Together they co-wrote and produced Stargate, the first movie to have a website.The team then produced Independence Day, the rather awful Godzilla rebootand Independence Day: Resurgence which so far I’ve avoided seeing. They’re also credited for creating The Visitor series which lasted just thirteen episodes, and The Triangle, a miniseries which I’ll bet you guess the premise of. (CE) 
  • Born August 27, 1965 – Kevin Standlee, 55.  Long active in San Francisco Bay Area fandom. Fan Guest of Honor at Baycon 1993, Marcon 43, CascadiaCon (8th NASFiC; North America SF Con, since 1975 held when Worldcon is overseas), Westercon 72 (with wife Lisa Hayes and her bear Kuma); co-chaired ConJosé (60th Worldcon; with T. Whitmore); chair of Westercon 74 (scheduled for 2022).  Has chaired World SF Society’s Hugo Awards Marketing Committee, Mark Protection Committee; has chaired Worldcon and other con Business Meetings, no small task, notably and heroically at Westercon 64, when no bid for Westercon 66 got enough votes and site selection fell to the Bus Mtg in a contentious 3-hr session.  Patient explainer of parliamentary procedure.  [JH]
  • Born August 27, 1970 – Ann Aguirre, 50.  Forty novels, a dozen shorter stories, some under other names, some with co-authors.  Honor Bound (with R. Caine) a Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Book for 2020.  Withdrew Like Never and Always from RITA Award consideration.  “Can you tell us a two-sentence horror story?”  “It’s just like the flu.  Don’t worry about taking precautions.”  [JH]
  • Born August 27, 1978 Suranne Jones, 42. Not a long genre performance history but she shows up on the Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures as Mona Lisa in “Mona Lisa”. Yes, that Mona Lisa. More importantly, she’s in “The Doctor’s Wife”, an Eleventh Doctor story as written by Neil Gaiman. She’s Idris, a woman hosting the Matrix of the TARDIS. She’s Eve Caleighs in The Secret of Crickley Hall series, an adaption of the James Herbert novel. (CE) 

(10) YOU ARE DEEP SIX. Camestros Felapton takes notes while “Timothy and I Watch Patriotic Submarines”.

  • Camestros: There is literally nothing I want to watch here…
    • Timothy: We could…
  • Camestros: No, no, we are not watching Cats again. Look, maybe it’s time to go outside?
    • Timothy: No way! It’s a hellscape out there! A seething dystopian nightmare! Woke mobs are cancelling cats for not wearing masks! It’s EU commissioners herding us inside our borders and stealing our holiday homes in the South of France and forcing us to use metric! It’s Attack on Titan but with giant buck naked Boris Johnsons eating people! There are SCOTTISH people about!

(11) PRESELLING LOVECRAFT COUNTRY. Variety delves into “How HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’ Marketing Campaign Spotlighted the Blerd Community”.

…In late July and early August before the series aired, the network sent out stylized packages made up of “Lovecraft Country”-inspired items from Black-owned businesses, brands and creatives. The gift bag included a backpack from Life on Autopilot, sunglasses from Bôhten Eyewear, a “Sundon” candle by Bright Black, a Grubhub gift card for recipients to order from Black-owned restaurant; as well as the novels “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi, “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and “Lovecraft Country” by Matt Ruff (provided by Amalgram Comics & Coffeehouse).

For Gagne and her team, the creation of the kit was also about saluting “Lovecraft Country’s” creator Misha Green and the Black heroes of her story, so the package also included direct nods to the show with a “South Side Futuristic Science Fiction Club” sweatshirt from BLK MKT Vintage and a notebook which serves as a “field guide” to understanding the cultural context behind all of the items in the bag, as well as information on the businesses themselves.

With “influencer kits” and their focus on Black-owned businesses, Gagne says, “given everything that’s going on, I think that that’s something that people really embrace and honor and really want to support in a big way.”…

(12) READING TIMES. Amal El-Mohtar’s Otherworldly column for the New York Times deals with “Power and Passage: New Science Fiction and Fantasy”.

The discourse about reading fiction during the pandemic has followed two broad tracks: There are those who take comfort in the activity, and those who have found reading impossibly difficult. I belong to the latter camp, but I’m all the more excited to share the following books, which, while very different in genre and mode, shook me out of listless distraction with their originality.

DANCE ON SATURDAY (Small Beer Press, 318 pp., paper, $17) is Elwin Cotman’s third collection of short fiction. We tend to call fiction “short” when it’s not a novel, but the six stories in “Dance on Saturday” are long, deep and rich, each so thoroughly engrossing and distinctive in its style that I had to take long breaks between them…

Also praised:

THE SPACE BETWEEN WORLDS (Del Rey, 327 pp., $28) is Micaiah Johnson’s debut, but that word is utterly insufficient for the blazing, relentless power of this book, suggesting ballroom manners where it should conjure comet tails…

(13) THE HYDROGEN BOOM. “New Video Shows Largest Hydrogen Bomb Ever Exploded”  reports the New York Times.

Hydrogen bombs — the world’s deadliest weapons — have no theoretical size limit. The more fuel, the bigger the explosion. When the United States in 1952 detonated the world’s first, its destructive force was 700 times as great as that of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

And in the darkest days of the Cold War, the Soviets and the Americans didn’t only compete to build the most weapons. They each sought at times to build the biggest bomb of all.

“There was a megatonnage race — who was going to have a bigger bomb,” said Robert S. Norris, a historian of the atomic age. “And the Soviets won.”

Last week, the Russian nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, released a 30-minute, formerly secret documentary video about the world’s largest hydrogen bomb detonation. The explosive force of the device — nicknamed Tsar Bomba, or the Tsar’s bomb, and set off on Oct. 30, 1961 — was 50 megatons, or the equivalent of 50 million tons of conventional explosive. That made it 3,333 times as destructive as the weapon used on Hiroshima, Japan, and also far more powerful than the 15 megaton weapon set off by the United States in 1954 in its largest hydrogen bomb blast…

(14) THE EYES HAVE IT. Cora Buhlert shows off her handiwork.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Check out Klaatu on top of the Capital Records building (along with some other famous guy named Ringo)… From 1974.

[Thanks to David Doering, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, JJ, John Hertz, Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title cedit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

122 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/27/20 Don’t Pixel Me, ’Cause I’m Scrolled To The Edge, I’m Trying Not To Get Outraged

  1. @cathy:

    (3) Perhaps I’m reading it wrong, but it seems like the committee would have no power at all unless the seated worldcon turned over administration of the Hugos to the advisory committee, and I can’t see any worldcon doing that. and if that’s the case, the proposal is kind of pointless.

    The “consistent point of contact and information about the Hugo Awards for Finalists and the General Public” language makes me think it would also take over the duties of the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee, at least insofar as they are related to the Hugo Awards specifically. Like, I read that as requiring that the Advisory Committee would control the Hugo Awards website.

    I’m not really sure if this is the intent of the proposal (nothing in the commentary seems to address it) but if it isn’t, I (while still unlikely to support it for the reasons given by others) would like to see a modification to make that more clear.

  2. If a new Worldcon admin doesn’t know how to get the tools that previous ones used, this would be useful. However, my uninformed view is that new admins already know previous admins pretty well, and channels already exist to transfer corporate knowledge if desired.

    Since there’s been software, there has never been an admin who didn’t know who the people in the years in front of them were.

    This proposal is being made by people who clearly don’t understand what happens and is trying to “correct” a problem that has never existed.

  3. The folks who have been connected to this stuff and care are making sure there are tools available to the convention, but we don’t take offense when the tools are not used because we know the decisions there are not as simple as they appear from the outside.

    I appreciate you taking the time to provide so many details on how the sausagesoftware is made. It sounds like there are some people who act as the “institutional memory” of Worldcon IT and make sure the things that need to be passed along are passed along. Is there a place like a private repo for code and documentation?

  4. Is there a place like a private repo for code and documentation?

    Not a single consistent one because things have come from several places. Given the nature of the beast and each convention’s ability to make up it’s own mind about what it would like to do, it isn’t something that I think will actually happen….but it may if folks from year to year start making more consistent decisions…though I am not advocating that being consistent means the decisions are correct. Each convention faces unique challenges all over the place, decisions will be made differently from time to time.

  5. Oh, and to toot NZ’s horn a bit….they didn’t decide to do everything from scratch.

    They worked on an updated front end and used previously existing administration tools. The tool needed to be tweaked somewhat for the front end, but they did not decide to reinvent the whole wheel….they just made decisions about the front end and a need for something that fit them better there.

    The administration package is (in my biased view) the trickier bit….and their decision there was to go with something previously used and proven.

  6. PhilRM on August 28, 2020 at 8:33 am said:
    @lurkertype: …with emotions running high…
    Pre-coffee, I read that as “with emoticons running high”.

    Riffing off “American Pie”:

    Emoticons high, and Scrolling fast….

  7. Dave McCarty: This proposal is being made by people who clearly don’t understand what happens and is trying to “correct” a problem that has never existed.

    I think that there are definitely problems which Worldcons should look at addressing, some of which have occurred two or more times. However, the person behind this proposal has made assumptions about what causes those problems, and their assumptions are wrong — so the proposed committee isn’t going to be able fix them.

    They’ve also made no provision for the committee to be able to accumulate and pass on institutional knowledge, they’ve just said “make it so”. And because they’re not familiar with WSFS or the Business Meeting, they’re not aware that such a mechanism already exists (although that mechanism really needs some updating and renewed engagement).

    They’re also proposing to insert an extra communications layer between Worldcons and the Hugo Award Finalists — which is a huge recipe for trouble and will never work successfully, it will just cause even more problems.

    And there’s no teeth in the proposal. There’s no good reason or motivation for any Worldcon committee to permit outsiders to tell them how they have to run their convention — in fact, doing so would likely cause a great many more problems than it might fix — and nothing in this proposal is going to change that.

  8. Thanks, Dave – as ever.

    Just to correct two points of alleged fact in the proposal:

    the 2020 Hugo Awards online-ballot process failed to be ready for use for the ballot deadline.

    Incorrect. The online ballot was ready on 9 July; the original deadline was 15 July, postponed to 22 July. Far from ideal – very far, frankly – but not as bad as is alleged.

    it was discovered that it did not correctly register votes for some users.

    Misleading. No votes were registered incorrectly, as this somewhat weaselly statement implies. A very few were not being registered at all, tied as far as we could tell to a specific browser and unknown aspects of individual user settings (none of us were able to replicate the problem). I am not certain that the number of people really affected was even in double digits, but we thought it better to raise the alert – conscious of the reputational hit we might take – than to risk losing votes. Again, not ideal, but not as bad as is alleged.

    Establishing the structure proposed here would have made no difference to these and other problems in 2020; it is ridiculous to think that terror of the consequences of an unsatisfactory report at the business meeting would have intimidated CoNZealand into different behaviour. There were much much bigger things to worry about.

    The fact is that for most aspects of the Hugos, including but going beyond the administration of the awards, there is a well-established Worldcon playbook which generally works rather well (apart from the Losers Party, where the situation has kept changing in recent years, as has been chronicled here and elsewhere). This year, some parts of that playbook could not be implemented because of the global pandemic, and some parts were ignored for other reasons, wisely or unwisely, with consequences that are well known. So we are where we are.

    The existing playbook includes a “Voice of the Hugos” role to communicate with finalists on behalf of the WSFS Division. (I didn’t actually use that myself in 2017 or 2019, preferring to communicate directly with finalists, but we did have such a role this year.) An innovation worth considering, to try and avert a recurrence of this year’s issues with eg programming, the ceremony and the souvenir book, might be a dedicated Hugo finalists liaison officer or team, located closer to Guest of Honour liaison than to WSFS, to champion finalists’ interests horizontally across the whole convention.

    Or it might not. Individual conventions get to choose, and sometimes they get it wrong, and I hope that we all try to learn lessons from that.

  9. Thanks, Dave – as ever.

    Well, you know, I have to get my fan writing in somewhere….

  10. Thank you Nicholas for the direct refuting of the incorrect points of the original commentary, and to Dave for the explanations.

    I’m just hoping that going off on social media half-cocked is not going to become a Worldcon tradition. It seems to get a little worse each year and there’s been far too much of it this year!

  11. Going off on social media half-cocked is a social media tradition. Fans going off half-cocked isn’t new either. We could all benefit from more self-restraint.

  12. @Cliff,

    Wait, that was one of mine? I’d forgotten it!

    It’s a sunny Sunday morning here and all going well, we will be relaxing COVID19 restrictions from Level3 to Level2 midnight tonight. We’ve had a resurgence after three months of no community cases. This current cluster has 133 COVID positive cases, but thankfully no deaths. President Trump called this “a big outbreak”…

  13. Soon lee says It’s a sunny Sunday morning here and all going well, we will be relaxing COVID19 restrictions from Level3 to Level2 midnight tonight. We’ve had a resurgence after three months of no community cases. This current cluster has 133 COVID positive cases, but thankfully no deaths. President Trump called this “a big outbreak”…

    Trump’s an effing idiot. He visited a Covid-10 swap factory earlier this summer and had to voice harsh words on our Democratic Governor who’s kept us from having nearly any outbreak. Though last week, a wedding party that ignored her mandates has caused over a hundred active cases and one death so.

  14. I had actually wanted to hold off on bringing my proposal here, until I had a more solid second draft.

    As someone mentioned above. There is a Hugo website. It exists in a hazy limbo, where there is no official continuity that guarantees its existence, and mainly continues through no Worldcon suddenly deciding it needs to take direct control of it. I’m not going to comment on if it should or should not be under some long term maintainer, but surely that is something that the WSFS should be able to consider?

    As to questions about software. Kansa IS an open source platform. It is entirely possible to alter Kansa to meet the needs of any particular Worldcon. Nor am I requiring Kansa in particular, merely that there be an official attempt to maintain infrastructure so that it does not become lost. I would note, that I can’t seem to find any attempt to contribute any changes NZ made to Kansa back to the original github project.

    My main concern is that there is in essence already a Hugo Infrastructure Committee… But it’s entirely informal, and no one is charged with maintaining assets or keeping records, and any errors can be conveniently blamed on individual Worldcons. And I would note that all errors in the handling of the 2020 Hugo Awards are being left behind in New Zealand with a shoulder shrug and an expression of “Nothing to be done about it, that’s just how Worldcons work, maybe it’ll be better next time”.

    No one seems to want to take responsibility for the long term function of the Hugo Awards.

  15. Jay Blanc: And I would note that all errors in the handling of the 2020 Hugo Awards are being left behind in New Zealand with a shoulder shrug and an expression of “Nothing to be done about it, that’s just how Worldcons work, maybe it’ll be better next time”.

    There’s always a powerful lobby for the status quo in the Business Meeting. You need to prepare yourself for more of that.

    You’re right that it doesn’t make sense to build a new railroad every year. So I hate to discourage you, however, even if you could add a Hugo advisory committee to the rules, it would do nothing to improve the status quo. If you have a passion for working on this problem, I hope you will find people to talk solutions with. The naysayers (especially one who’s already working to repeal EPH) just want you to shut up. I hope that won’t happen.

  16. I’m certainly not married to any particular solution, and I’ll support anything anyone thinks can get through the Business Meeting in order to provide some continuity of responsibility for the Hugo Awards.

    It is a truly bad situation where the blame for failures get dumped on individual Worldcons, but the same names are repeatedly involved in the administration of the Hugos.

    One alternative I have thought about is to make Hugo Administrator a named WSFS Officer who has to take continuing responsibility for things. The reason this wasn’t my first choice is because it turns out this would be the most complicated amendment to draft, because of how many different parts of the WSFS Constitution directly mention the Worldcon having direct control over the Hugos.

  17. @Jay Blanc
    I think your proposal would be better received here if it looked like you had polled previous Worldcon administrators and committees, found out from them what problems they had and how they think the problems should be resolved, and that proposed amendments would specifically address what you had learned.

    Instead, it looks like you are aware that software is written anew each year, made presumptions about other problems, and decided on changes to Worldcon structure and procedures that in your mind would “fix” these problems. There’s no reason for me to believe that the problems you hope to address are in fact the right problems, or that your solutions will in fact fix those problems, with or without introducing new unintended ones.

    I actually have no idea what prep work you’ve done, or how much research you’ve done to get to this point. I’m going off perceptions. If you’ve taken the steps I mentioned, say so. And if you’ve got hard input from people who’ve previously worked on Worldcons, get their endorsements.

  18. I attempted discussion with a former Hugo Administrator and current Deputy Hugo Administrator, but they have repeatedly declined to provide constructive input, and I am still waiting for them to come up with their own ideas on how to make lasting fixes to problems.

    The other problems that occurred with the Hugos this year and in past years have been well reported by the site you are commenting on.

    The status quo is that all these problems were the sole responsibility of previous Worldcons, and nothing can be done now but hope for improvement in the future. There are a lot of fingers pointing at different directions as to who made what mistakes, but no one seems to want to step up and take responsibility for preventing them happening over and over again.

    Since it appears that the ‘status quo’ lobby would seek to prevent any advisory committee actually working anyway, I am currently minded to withdraw this proposal, and replace it with one that will mandate someone to take on-going responsibility for the Hugo Awards.

  19. Jay Blanc: There is a Hugo website. It exists in a hazy limbo, where there is no official continuity that guarantees its existence, and mainly continues through no Worldcon suddenly deciding it needs to take direct control of it.

    Who told you that?

  20. As the WSFS constitution stands, any incoming Worldcon Committee could shut down the Hugo Website, or re-direct it to the website of their Worldcon, or anything else if they wanted to. It’s possible that you could interpret the Marks Committee as ‘owning’ the Domain Name, but what to do with it comes under Hugo Administration, which is the gift of any incoming Hugo Committee.

    Who’s to say that some future Worldcon Committee won’t look at the Hugo Website and decide it needs to be redesigned to meet their unique requirements?

  21. Jay Blanc: As the WSFS constitution stands, any incoming Worldcon Committee could shut down the Hugo Website, or re-direct it to the website of their Worldcon, or anything else if they wanted to.

    This is completely untrue. I don’t know who’s been giving you your information, but the fact that your proposal and other statements show such a profound lack of understanding about how WSFS works is probably not going to get your proposal a good reception at the business meeting.

  22. Authority over the website is historically and currently delegated to a subcommittee of the Marks committee. But nothing requires an incoming Worldcon to continue doing so.

    I suggest you need to check your own assumptions about “how things work”.

    Unless you are suggesting that the Marks Committee has secretly been the Hugo Administration Committee this whole time?

  23. Jay Blanc: Authority over the website is historically and currently delegated to a subcommittee of the Marks committee. But nothing requires an incoming Worldcon to continue doing so.

    No incoming Worldcon has any authority over the MPC or over WSFS, nor do they have the ability to take over WSFS’ websites (there are 3 of them).

  24. WSFS Constitution: “3.2.12: The Worldcon Committee is responsible for all matters concerning the Awards.”

    There is a discontinuity between how you think the WSFS Works, and what the WSFS Constitution says. If it was intended for the WSFS to retain control of certain aspects of the Hugo awards, it should be amended to say so.

    I encourage you to make a proposal to amend the WSFS Constitution to provide the WSFS authority over Hugo Award infrastructure.

  25. Jay Blanc: I encourage you to make a proposal to amend the WSFS Constitution to provide the WSFS authority over Hugo Award infrastructure.

    No need, someone’s already taken care of that.

    From the 2020 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda (all proposals up for ratification have been continued to next year’s meeting):

    D. BUSINESS PASSED ON
    The following items were initially passed at Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon, and
    must be ratified by ConZealand in 2020 in order to become part of the WSFS
    Constitution.
    D.1 Short Title: Clarification of Worldcon Powers
    Moved, to amend Section 3.2.12 by deleting  and adding words as follows:
    3.2.12: The Worldcon Committee is responsible for all matters
    concerning the  their Awards.

    https://conzealand.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-CoNZealand-Business-Meeting-Agenda.pdf

  26. I am not sure that this change in wording would prevent any future WorldCon still demanding control over the Website, for example for the purposes of Live Streaming the event, or presenting the results in a format of their choosing.

  27. The WSFS Constitution, like all constitutions, cannot anticipate every possible failure mode and write something to accommodate it (a parliamentarian analog of Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorems). Fortunately, the people who run Worldcons are generally of good will and intention, and don’t go looking for ambiguities that must be resolved RIGHT NOW. Further, they are too busy to go looking for websites to take over, especially when there’s no need.

    Again, it looks as if you’ve decided something is a problem on behalf of someone else, without finding out if it actually is a problem (see above; re: Proposed WSFS Constitution amendments).

  28. Jay Blanc: I am not sure that this change in wording would prevent any future WorldCon still demanding control over the Website, for example for the purposes of Live Streaming the event, or presenting the results in a format of their choosing.

    Any Worldcon can demand anything they want, it doesn’t mean they will actually get it. Worldcons can do the live-streaming of the awards and present the results in any format they want on their own website, or via a service they pay for. But they do not have access to, or control over, WSFS’ websites, and no amount of demanding will ever get a sitting Worldcon those rights.

  29. There have been failings in the administration and presentation of the Hugo Awards. The Website is merely being brought up because JJ was trying to demonstrate that I didn’t understand the WSFS constitution. I probably should not have taken the bait.

    The problem is that there’s an unofficial Hugo Administration committee in essence, that Worldcons delegate Hugo administration to. But rather than take responsibility for problems that come up, they get blamed on the outgoing Worldcon. And there’s no one to complain to, because supposedly the whole thing dissolves at the end of the Worldcon to be recreated anew. Only it just happens to be a lot of the same people coming back next year to administrate the Hugos.

  30. Jay Blanc: The Website is merely being brought up because JJ was trying to demonstrate that I didn’t understand the WSFS constitution. I probably should not have taken the bait.

    No, the website was brought up by you when you made these false statements:

    Jay Blanc: There is a Hugo website. It exists in a hazy limbo, where there is no official continuity that guarantees its existence, and mainly continues through no Worldcon suddenly deciding it needs to take direct control of it.

    Jay Blanc: As the WSFS constitution stands, any incoming Worldcon Committee could shut down the Hugo Website, or re-direct it to the website of their Worldcon, or anything else if they wanted to..

     
    Jay Blanc: There have been failings in the administration and presentation of the Hugo Awards.

    Yes, there have, and it’s something which needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, your proposal is not going to accomplish that. What might accomplish that would be talking to the people who actually know how things work, getting a good understanding of how everything works, and then figuring out ways to address those problems which might actually be effective.

  31. And would you like to actually offer some of that understanding? Or suggest ways to address the problem?

  32. Jay Blanc: And would you like to actually offer some of that understanding? Or suggest ways to address the problem?

    Are you actually finally willing to start listening? What I’ve seen thus far is a whole lot of you deciding for yourself how everything works, getting almost all of it wrong, and then arguing repeatedly with other people when they try to explain how things work and why they are the way they are.

  33. Jay Blanc: Again, would you like to suggest some ways to address the problem?

    You want an easy answer. There isn’t one (or someone would have figured out how to solve it already). And the first step to coming up with answers to hard problems is to develop a good understanding of how everything works.

    Several of the people who’ve been involved in Hugo Administration have commented on this post. Contact information for them is easy to find with a simple Google search (one of them has even given you their website URL), and sending an e-mail to the CoNZealand Hugo Division ([email protected]) with a request that your enquiry be passed on to a specific person(s) involved with the Hugos, or to the Mark Protection Committee, can get you additional resources for information.

  34. I will quote Whyte’s reply.

    Or it might not. Individual conventions get to choose, and sometimes they get it wrong, and I hope that we all try to learn lessons from that.

    There is a supposed ‘robust playbook’. That Whyte himself acknowledged he felt free to disregard because he thought he could do some particular thing better. It is unclear to me who maintains this ‘playbook’, and how it gets passed along to each Worldcon. It is clear that the playbook has tissue thin respect in practice, and is insufficient to prevent re-inventing of the wheel and memory-holing of past complaints.

    WIth all due respect, I continue to stand by my previous statement – All errors in the handling of the 2020 Hugo Awards are being left behind in New Zealand with a shoulder shrug and an expression of “Nothing to be done about it, that’s just how Worldcons work, maybe it’ll be better next time”.

  35. Jay Blanc: I will quote Whyte’s reply… WIth all due respect, I continue to stand by my previous statement…

    All I see here is you continuing to complain, instead of taking steps to learn as much as you can in order to understand the problems and try to find a way forward.

    The comment section at File 770 has always been a place where people could post almost anything, including complaints, so it’s not as if you’re not allowed to do that. But I don’t know what you think it’s going to accomplish.

    Your current proposal is a complete non-starter. WSFS Constitutional change proposals and Worldcon Site Selection Bid filings aren’t the first step in a process; they’re the last step in a lengthy process which involves a lot of work. If you aren’t able or willing to do that work, that’s fine — but continuing to beat this dead horse isn’t going to get you anywhere.

  36. I am quite willing to put in the work to draft what ever it takes to establish some way for complaints to be addressed.

    I am unwilling to work with people who spend all their time telling me I’m doing it wrong, but not offering any tangible assistance in how to do it right.

    Thank you for you contribution to this discussion. I have already withdrawn the proposal you strongly object to, on the basis it is clear that people consider an Advisory Committee to simultaneously be a draconion imposition on Worldcons, that they would just ignore.

  37. Jay Blanc: I am quite willing to put in the work to draft what ever it takes to establish some way for complaints to be addressed. I am unwilling to work with people who spend all their time telling me I’m doing it wrong, but not offering any tangible assistance in how to do it right.

    Oh? So you’ve already sent several e-mails asking for information since my previous comment suggesting it?

  38. If you wish to dictate I work to your schedule and put in over-time, my rates are $250 an hour.

  39. Jay Blanc:: If you wish to dictate I work to your schedule and put in over-time, my rates are $250 an hour.

    And that, right there, is the issue. You say that you’re willing to do the work, but the only work you’re willing to do is demand that someone tell you what to put in your proposal which will make it be effective. You have zero interest in doing the work which is required to come up with an effective proposal.

  40. Thank you for your contribution to this discussion, I will no longer be replying to you.

  41. Jay Blanc on August 31, 2020 at 11:14 am said:

    As someone mentioned above. There is a Hugo website. It exists in a hazy limbo, where there is no official continuity that guarantees its existence, and mainly continues through no Worldcon suddenly deciding it needs to take direct control of it.

    Whatever gave you that idea? The Hugo Awards web site (and the sister web sites worldcon.org, wsfs.org, and nasfic.org) are managed by the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee, a subcommittee of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee. Presumably you’re aware that the MPC is not any individual Worldcon committee, so there would be no way that a Worldcon could “take direct control of it.”

    I’m not going to comment on if it should or should not be under some long term maintainer, but surely that is something that the WSFS should be able to consider?

    WSFS has already considered this, and decided to put the sites under long-term maintenance of a committee that reports to the only ongoing WSFS committee other than a convention committee, with long-term “perpetual” existence. Were you unaware of this? It is mentioned in the MPC reports to WSFS, most recently this year on pages 34 and 42 of the Business Meeting Agenda. Furthermore, the details of the report include all of the domains that the MPC manages, and the specific agent responsible for each domain and the scheduled renewal dates. Also included in the report are the names of the committee members, so we can’t be considered anonymous.

    I do most of the routine maintenance on the WSFS web sites, but multiple other people on the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee have the credentials to edit it. As far as I can tell, we don’t have the “single point of failure” problem that the WSFS web sites once did. There are at least four people located around the world (in the USA, UK, and New Zealand) who have the “keys” to the site, which also reduces any single-point-of-failure risk, (save maybe during Worldcon itself).

    Maybe this is news to you: Worldcon committees do not own “Worldcon,” “WSFS,” or “The Hugo Awards.” Those service marks belong to WSFS. Individual Worldcon committee have, in effect, a non-exclusive license to use those service marks, with some limited rights to sub-license them, but they can’t sell them, because they don’t own them. Those Worldcon committees do have a seat on the table of the entity that does manage the service marks that WSFS owns, but it’s only about 1/15th of the control. I can tell you a whole lot more about this if you want to know about it, but before you ask more questions, you might consider reading about the WSFS Mark Protection Committee on the WSFS web site. None of this is secret. And if you’d asked any of the people who have been involved with running Worldcons and the Hugo Awards, they could have pointed you at all of this documentation.

    As the WSFS constitution stands, any incoming Worldcon Committee could shut down the Hugo Website, or re-direct it to the website of their Worldcon, or anything else if they wanted to.

    How could they possibly do that? No Worldcon committee owns the relevant domain names or the web sites attached to them.

    I am not sure that this change in wording would prevent any future WorldCon still demanding control over the Website, for example for the purposes of Live Streaming the event, or presenting the results in a format of their choosing.

    Well, other than the fact that no individual Worldcon actually owns The Hugo Awards or Worldcon or WSFS. Besides, live-streaming of the Hugo Awards is something done by each individual Worldcon already. It isn’t done through TheHugoAwards.org or any other WSFS-owned web site. The only things done by TheHugoAwards.org has been (except this past year) to provide lower-bandwidth text-only coverage of the awards ceremonies.

    Worldcon committees already present the results in the format of their own choice on their own web sites. The HugoAwards.org team (most often me) reformats that information into the same format as we use for each year’s awards for consistency, but we don’t dictate formats to individual Worldcon committees.

    You seem to think that TheHugoAwards.org has something to do with the administration of the Hugo Awards. It doesn’t. It’s the long-term archive and news source because individual Worldcons come and go, but THA.org doesn’t administer the Hugo Awards, and therefore no individual Worldcon has any authority over it.

    The problem is that there’s an unofficial Hugo Administration committee in essence, that Worldcons delegate Hugo administration to.

    What “unofficial”? It’s specifically mentioned in Section 3.13 of the WSFS Constitution. It’s not “unofficial.” It’s a specifically-named subcommittee established by the current Worldcon.

    Jay, you seem convinced that you Understand Everything, and yet so many things you say here are riddled with multiple factual errors that make it clear that you don’t really understand what’s going on. Who told you all of the nonsense about “any Worldcon could take over the web site at any time” or made you think that TheHugoAwards.org administers the Awards, or any of the other things that I and others have explained to you? I’m genuinely puzzled at how you could have gotten so many basic things that are well-documented so wrong.

  42. “There shall be a Mark Protection Committee of WSFS, which shall be responsible for registration and protection of the marks used by or under the authority of WSFS.” This does not speak of marketing, websites et al… All of this has been delegated to the MPC without there ever being an amendment to the WSFS constitution actually granting the MPC the power to do so.

    What happens when some future Worldcon decides that Marketing their Hugo Awards is something they want control over. The WSFS constitution as it stands doesn’t actually stop them, because the MPC’s explicit powers are restricted to Marks Protection, not Marketing or anything else.

    If you strongly feel that the MPC should have formal control over certain aspects of the Hugo Awards, I suggest you propose an amendment making that their clear remit.

  43. Jay Blanc on August 31, 2020 at 3:15 pm said:

    I am not sure that this change in wording would prevent any future WorldCon still demanding control over the Website, for example for the purposes of Live Streaming the event, or presenting the results in a format of their choosing.

    Regarding the purpose of that wording change, I suggest that you read the 2019 WSFS Business Meeting minutes, which includes the legislative intent and discussion about what it means. A Worldcon committee is responsible for the administration of the Hugo Awards presented at their individual Worldcon. They don’t have any authority over any past Hugo Awards, nor any future Hugo Awards. They can’t take away a past winner’s award, change the rules about the Hugo Awards, or take over TheHugoAwards.org. Conversely, nobody can tell them how to administer the Hugo Awards as long as they stay within the license granted to them by the members of WSFS who voted to give them the right to hold that Worldcon.

    For example, a Worldcon committee could decide to not conduct nominating or voting online and to return to paper-only nominating/voting. They couldn’t go to online-only voting, because of section 3.11.1 of the WSFS Constitution. But just because they could doesn’t mean that they are likely to do so; I only give it as an example of something that is within an individual Worldcon’s Hugo Award administration authority to do.

    I sometimes wonder if we do a better job of making WSFS look like it’s a single, monolithic, centralized organization than it is, given how many people make fundamental errors of fact in approaching it like some of those that you have made.

    If you’re a student of US history, consider that WSFS is in my opinion organized roughly the way that the United States of America was governed under the Articles of Confederation, with WSFS being the Confederation Congress and Worldcon committees being the individual states. And if you know that history, you know just how loosely the word “government” describes the First American Republic.

    The “government” of WSFS is an organization set up by people who in my opinion, formed by participation in the process since 1984, fundamentally distrust centralized government and work on the principle of “I trust naught but thee and me, and I’m none too sure of thee.”

  44. A student of history might inform you of why the US is not still governed under the Articles of Confederation. Non-American Worldcon members might want to ask exactly why the WSFS is based around an American centric libertarian political theory.

    I also suggest that if you’re setting the bar of involvement in the process at “You must have an in-depth understanding of all the un-codified norms and how every sub-committee functions”, you have actually created quite a monolith.

  45. Jay Blanc: I also suggest that if you’re setting the bar of involvement in the process at “You must have an in-depth understanding of all the un-codified norms and how every sub-committee functions”, you have actually created quite a monolith.

    That’s not the bar for involvement. The bar for involvement is low.

    That’s the bar for enacting major changes. And what you say you want to do would be enacting major changes.

  46. Speaking for myself, I don’t think you need an in-depth understanding of all things WSFS, but you have shown that you haven’t even done a cursory investigation of how the WSFS & Worldcons work. That’s why you are getting pushback.

    I have an interest but it wasn’t until the Sad Puppy slating in 2015 that I got involved. I ended co-sponsoring (with many others) E Pluribus Hugo at the Business Meeting to change the way Hugo finalists were decided. Along the way, I watched, listened, asked questions. Might I suggest to take a less condescending approach? Maybe you’ll get a better reaction.

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