Sasquan Membership Numbers Keep Rocketing Upward

Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon has gained another 1,000 members in the past two weeks, however, nearly 90% of the newcomers are supporting members.

The con now has a total of 8,016 members, including 3,517 attending and 4,183 supporting. It has gained 2,550 members this month alone.

A $40 supporting membership is the minimum requirement to become eligible as a voter in 2017 site selection or to vote on the winners of the Hugo Awards.

Here is how the new count compares to the figures reported as of April 12:

Sasquan Total Members
4/12/2015 7,016
4/23/2015 8,016
Increase 1,000


Adult Attending Members
4/12/2015 3,418
4/23/2015 3,517
Increase     99


Supporting Members
4/12/2015 3,300
4/23/2015 4,183
Increase    883

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51 thoughts on “Sasquan Membership Numbers Keep Rocketing Upward

  1. In the SFnal tradition of ‘If This Goes On’:

    I’m wondering if 2015 WSFS memberships heading rapidly for the 10,000 mark isn’t going to convince more publishers to look skeptically at the Hugo Packet, and start (at least) acting along the lines Orbit did last year, limiting Hugo Packet inclusions to the same 15% sample size typically available for free via digital book sales sites.

    Orbit may have been ahead of the curve.

    The publishers know what they estimate the total potential sales market for a novel (or novella, novelette, short story, graphical story, etc.), so they are in a position to decide whether they’re prepared to shrug at and ignore 10,000 foregone possible sales to Sasquan members. Or 15,000? 30,000? Without access to those numbers (and the best I can find in Kindle rank which is just ordinal rank and not number of sales), we can’t really guess very well how they’ll see it.

    Rick Moen
    [email protected]

  2. Rick, I suppose that could eventually lead to a situation where there are more votes cast for the shorter works which are often available for free anyway than for the novel?

  3. Reducing the packets to samples is very short sighted, if publishers decide on that route.

  4. I understand the impulse more as regards the longer works… but speaking purely for myself, I’ll be damned if I’ll put money in someone’s hands for having used a slate.

    I do wonder which way Orbit is going to jump now that it has only one book among the finalists.

  5. Anecdotally, several people have said in various spaces that they join to get the packet and, in at least a few cases, they voted for something they hadn’t read to get it in the packet.

    I think publishers ought to take a look at the Packet and what it’s value is to them. And perhaps MidAmeriCon II as well.

    If Orbit had said outright last year that they were going to include an excerpt *and* discount their e-book editions during the voting period, that might have worked better than just announcing the excerpts.

  6. It appears we are being overrun. We aren’t even sure which side is overrunning us. While it might not be enough, I would still suggest KC should peg their supporting memberships at 50% of an attending membership. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t stop this large crowd of supporting members from nominating next year if they wanted to. However, it would cost them a lot more to participate in the final vote, and it would be a good precedent for future worldcons. If this didn’t discourage large internet crowds from trying to use us to send their messages, getting rid of the supporting memberships altogether would be the next step.

  7. It will be very interesting to see the final results of all this. I will place a small wager that the majority of the new members are planning to vote their personal preferences, not according to a slate and possibly in active opposition to the practice of slate nomination. SF fandom has been prodded out of its complacent drowse.

  8. I find it interesting that there are annually a dozen or more slates (our fine blog host posted links to this year’s batch), but nobody seems to have a problem with any of those slates (and they are generally slates by the definition used for SP and RP, five entries for the five available slots per category, not lists of ten or more potential nominees). I remain curious about what distinguishes one list with five slots per category from another list with five slots per category.

  9. Human- Best I can figure the excuse is the Puppies are bad because they are “political”(despite their nominations being very diverse), while the others are merely “recommendations” as to what the proposer thinks is best.

    Of course why they think Brad didn’t pick what he thought of as the best works I don’t know.

    It’s ridiculous as far as I’m concerned.

  10. “Human”, please provide a link to where these multiple five items or less slates, other than the Puppies, were listed. Note that while it may seem thin, there is a difference between someone saying “Here’s what I really like for the Hugos this year” and “Here’s a slate across almost every category and we want you to go vote this slate”. If nothing else, because such recommendations haven’t generally had that great a percentage ending up on the ballot (example: GRRM recommended a novel or two that isn’t on the ballot, because he didn’t phrase it “Vote for it my minions!”…and I’m pretty sure GRRM has more readers of his work than all the Puppies combined)

  11. Milt Stevens on April 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm said:
    “While it might not be enough, I would still suggest KC should peg their supporting memberships at 50% of an attending membership.”

    The WSFS Constitution says:

    “1.5.6: The Worldcon Committee shall make provision for persons to become supporting members for no more than one hundred and twenty-five percent (125%) of the site-selection fee, or such higher amount as has been approved by the Business Meeting, until a cutoff date no earlier than ninety (90) days before their Worldcon.”

    The Site Selection Fee last year (for MidAmeriCon II) was $40. They can’t charge more than $50, and in fact are charging $50 for a Supporting Membership next year.

  12. ULTRAGOTHA–I stand corrected. I had misread that section.
    So it would take a resolution of the business meeting at Sasquan to allow KC to raise their supporting rates. Ghu only knows what the business meeting might do, but it still may be a possibility.

  13. Yes, after months, I’m *still* waiting for a legitimate example of a slate published by anyone other than the Puppies.

    They rely on uninformed bystanders gullibly taking the Puppies’ word that such slates exist, rather than checking to see and finding out that, in fact, they do not.

  14. > So it would take a resolution of the business meeting at Sasquan to allow KC to raise their supporting rates.

    I believe any such resolution would need to be reconfirmed next year and could only go into effect in 2017.

  15. Still, 40 grand in two weeks ain’t half bad. Worldcon should spend it on consolation rockets for anyone finishing below “no award.”

  16. Glyer posts a ton (thanks, man!), so I’m trying to find the post where he rounded up links to multiple nominations. I may get tired and go to bed first, though, fair warning.

  17. Robert West–“I believe any such resolution would need to be reconfirmed next year and could only go into effect in 2017.

    It’s changes to the WSFS Constitution that require passage one year and ratification the next. Since this sort of a variance is specified in the constitution, it should need only the majority in one business meeting.

  18. The Lytherus slate isn’t much of a “Slate”, is it? It’s a post by a little-known blogger who says “My Hugo nominations list for 2015… Some of these stories and art are available online, so hopefully you’ll find some new reading/viewing/listening material at the very least. But also feel free to dive in and tell me how very wrong I am, and what you’d put on your own list!”

    Compare that to
    “SAD PUPPIES 3: the 2015 Hugo slate… If you agree with our slate below — and we suspect you might — this is YOUR chance to make sure YOUR voice is heard.”
    (which does not pretend that it’s intended to be anything other than a SLATE)
    “Rabid Puppies 2015: What follows is the list of Hugo recommendations known as Rabid Puppies. They are my recommendations for the 2015 nominations, and I encourage those who value my opinion on matters related to science fiction and fantasy to nominate them precisely as they are.”
    (which also does not pretend that it’s intended to be anything other than a SLATE)

    And let’s just see what a great job Lytherus did of gaming the Hugos…

    Nope, nothing in ANY of the Fiction categories…

    Oh, look, they did get Best Professional Editor Long Form, Sheila Gilbert — but she’s on the Puppy slates, too, so clearly a universal pick.

    Best Semiprozine, Lightspeed Magazine <– wow! Lytherus got one! Except that it's a wildly popular zine, so the influence there was probably negligible.

    Best Fancast, Galactic Suburbia <– wow! Lytherus got another one! Except that it's a wildly popular fancast, so the influence there was probably negligible, too.

    Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form, “Listen” Doctor Who <– wow! Lytherus got one! Except that it's a wildly popular TV show and episode, so the influence there was probably negligible as well.

    Lytherus also got 3 of the Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form — but those needed no help from anyone, including Puppies, so this category really doesn't apply.

    Nope. That's not a "Slate". That's a list of picks.

    And if you aren't able to distinguish the difference, then you're either deliberately playing dumb, or actually just not terribly bright.

  19. Yeah, there’s a significant difference between “I’m a first year nominator, let me show you my nominating ballot… tell me what you would vote for!” and “Vote for these picks on your nominating ballot because [x].”

  20. Robert West: A “resolution” of the Business Meeting can be passed by a single Business Meeting. Only Constitutional amendments require two years vote. The wording in the Constitution about membership pricing refers to a single-meeting resolution.

    There are other things that can be done in one year: eligibility extensions are one of them. Other things are typically non-binding but can give guidance on what the Meeting means. The accumulated list of continuing resolutions to date (not including single-effect eligibility extensions) is on the WSFS rules site.

  21. Kevin, very interesting. I’m finding the WSFS site to be inaccessible at the moment, but are you saying it could be resolved that all work published in either 2014 or 2015 is eligible for consideration in 2016?

  22. Brian Z: The WSFS rules authorize an eligibilty extension only in limited circumstances. Being knocked off the ballot by Sad Puppies would not be one of them. See Section 3.4 of the Constitution.

  23. Looking at the publishers of the writers on the puppy ‘slates’, I would be very surprised to see them not include the works in the Hugo packet. Last year Ben included the entire series of Larry C’s nominated book, and does anyone think that Vox would NOT include the works published by his company?

    I know that works that were not in the packet last year got very little attention from me, and I expect hat for many voters (especially new supporting members), it’s the same thing.

  24. Ah, thanks. Here it says “So WSFS has been experimenting with extending eligibility for such works when they are first published in the US. Currently this rule is being renewed on a year-by-year basis and the precise details may change from year to year.”

    So that plus Kevin’s comment made me wonder how much scope there is for “experimentation.”

  25. There’s a big fat hairy difference between setting up the practice of a slate, with the same cutesy name (or this year one variant with a name and logo that refer to the cutesy name,) over the course of several years, on multiple blogs with lots of followers, who by now all know what they are expected to do regardless of whether, in addition to being told it’s a slate, they’re also told these are “recommendations”…

    And saying “these are what I voted for; what do *you* like?”

    Consider for a moment what would have happened if Scalzi, McGuire, GRRM and Mary Robinette Kowal had all posted the same or nearly the same slate, for three years in a row, encouraging their followers to get memberships to nominate them and their personal friends under some “Happy Kittens” name and a sham appeal to “outsider” status, culminating in a slate with 5 works per category, published or linked on all of their blogs, and frequently referred to in the weeks running up to the nomination deadline?

    The Puppies would have been crushed, is what. The Sad/Rabid Puppies didn’t win because their slate had no influence. The Sad/Rabid Puppies locked up the Hugo nominations because they were the only ones using a slate.

    The ignorant aren’t hanging around File 770, and surely conscience-salving can be done on Puppy blogs?

  26. Brian Z: The relevant section of the WSFS Constitution is Section 3.4.3. (Which loaded for me just fine just now.)

    3.4.3: In the event that a potential Hugo Award nominee receives extremely limited distribution in the year of its first publication or presentation, its eligibility may be extended for an additional year by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the intervening Business Meeting of WSFS.

    The Business Meeting would thus have to vote to extend the eligibility of any work that 2/3 of its attendees felt had received extremely limited distribution in its first year of publication. As Mike pointed out, I don’t think “extremely limited distribution” applies in this case.

    As to the other wording you found: I need to go update that. Section 3.4.2 supersedes it, as WSFS granted blanket eligibility extensions to works first published outside the USA to give them an additional year of eligibility when first published in the USA.

  27. “I remain curious about what distinguishes one list with five slots per category from another list with five slots per category.”

    An angry us-vs-them political campaign and either subtle or direct encouragement to vote for the whole list in its entirety, primarily.

  28. Kevin, I just tried again and the site is fine loading now, thanks. Yes, limited circumstances indeed.

    Given that there were some overwhelmingly popular and/or “slated” works this year that were generally thought or else formally ruled to be ineligible due to prior publication on a blog: do you think there might be a case for a vote to extend eligibility for such works, since there had not been print distribution? Or is “extremely limited distribution” understood to mean “seen by a very small number of people”? Has this been discussed in the past?

  29. I put the link to my personal website, because that’s where I’m putting market information, etc.

    Aggregate, George R.R. Martin unquestionably has more sales than Larry Correia, but Larry Correia’s books were among the only SF/F books moving in our local B & N store on our recent “secret shopper” survey. There’s been a collapse in the past 3-4 months (beginning over the holiday season) in “traditional” or previous-favorite sci-fi/fantasy book sales across different segments.

    There are 2 pictures in the article that illustrate the lack of activity (George R R Martin shelves, Insurgent/Divergent endcap). The YA section is more evidence, with many “favorites” of the past going unpurchased, while classic or more traditional titles (non-SF/F or those little-recognized as such, like Lois Lowry’s The Giver) having more sales.

  30. Though perhaps answering part of my own question, I just looked at Andy Weir’s Reddit AMA and saw The Martian was in fact self-published on Amazon, not just posted on his blog, in late 2012.

  31. “I remain curious about what distinguishes one list with five slots per category from another list with five slots per category.”

    An individual making their recommendations on a single site vs. an identical slate reprinted on multiple sites

  32. Brian Z:

    “Extremely limited distribution” has generally been held to mean “Unlikely to have been seen by a significant proportion of the likely Hugo Award electorate.” Examples: A movie shown at a film festival over Christmas 2014 with general theatrical release in May 2015 is technically eligible only for the 2015 Hugo Awards, but is unlikely to have been seen by a significant number of voters until after the nominating ballot closed. It’s the responsibility of anyone who thinks the work should have its eligibility extended to bring a resolution to the Business Meeting requesting the extension. WSFS will not go proactively seeking out such works.

    It’s hard to fathom that there is a reasonable case to be made that works that are postulated to have been “squeezed out” by a curated slate designed to dominate the shortlist received “extremely limited distribution,” but you’re welcome to try and make the case otherwise to the other members. I won’t rule the motion out of order.

  33. Kevin, no I wasn’t asking about “squeezed out” works – that seems clear.

    I asked about works initially posted on a blog. I was mostly thinking of The Martian, first published on Weir’s blog, which I at least had not heard of until after someone bought the rights. (But I see Weir’s book was also self-published on Amazon.)

    There may be several cases where only readers of one specific blog saw the work. In fact, since you mention Christmas, wasn’t one a Christmas-themed story?

  34. Brian Z: I get why you’re exploring this, and I totally sympathize, truly I do. Like you, I feel really bad that a lot of works which would have been on the Hugo ballot due to widespread popularity had they not had their places usurped by a small number of bloc votes will never have their opportunity now. Their chance is gone forever now, and that is just so unfair.

    But what you’re talking about it just another way of gaming the Hugos. This is *not* acceptable. And I will stand up and speak out against it very vehemently and articulately, should you or anyone else try to get something of this nature passed at the WSFS business meeting. We aren’t Puppies. And we are by the gods not going to get down in the mud with them and behave the way they do.

  35. JJ, that’s OK and thanks for your sympathies. I am really just hoping to understand the scope of what is possible in the course of a single business meeting – and it is very limited indeed.

  36. MIlt wrote:
    It appears we are being overrun. We aren’t even sure which side is overrunning us. While it might not be enough, I would still suggest KC should peg their supporting memberships at 50% of an attending membership. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t stop this large crowd of supporting members from nominating next year if they wanted to.

    I’m one of those ‘overrunning’ you this year – because I’m mad at the juvenile canines and their antics, and so are many others joining. A lot are first-time members, because they didn’t know about either supporting memberships or how the Hugos are selected.
    (A supporting membership is a week’s groceries for me, and I can’t afford to attend a convention any more.)

  37. “An angry us vs. them”

    Oh really? So when we have SF “fans” and Gaurdian journalists being caught on Twitter posting fake reviews (that were an “experiment”) then that isn’t angry. Hmmm…fascinating. Do tell us more.

    I really do tire of this blatant hypocrisy.

  38. “Worldcon should spend it on consolation rockets for anyone finishing below “no award.””

    I see xdpaul is now calling for participation trophies for Castalia House.

    You’re still more than welcome to show up in person at the Hugo Losers party. I’m sure you’ll get an enthusiastic response.

  39. xdpaul: The post-Hugo party typically produces a small prize for the finalists who did not win. They’ll have to be content with that.

    Brian Z: Oh, I see. Yes, stuff you post on a web site, blog, etc. at least in theory could be considered “limited distribution” if you could convince 2/3 of the Business Meeting about it. The JCW work that was disqualified would have been eligible for an extra year if the following year’s BM had granted it an eligibility extension, for example.

  40. Milt Stevens: I’m another who is “overrunning”. I’ve been around sf fandom since my early teens, and am going to turn 50 this year. My oldest friendships are all fannish ones. I’ve done my share of con going and fanac. I’ve never bought a Worldcon membership before this year, but did so this time to add one more long-time fannish voice against the Puppies’ vandalism. I like to think that I am not part of the problem, and that people like me are not part of the problem, and is frankly off-putting to see anyone leaping to the view that pushing me away would likely help. I can’t travel to cons, thanks to autoimmune troubles nearly as long-running as my love of sf/f, and I’ve always appreciated the sense of being part of the community despite that.

  41. @JJ: A couple of examples, more high-profile than the one Human mentioned:

    This is Abigail Nussbaum’s:
    This is an interesting example because she is on record for discussing her desire to engineer the Hugo nominations for political reasons (to “promote diversity” i.e. giving awards to the people who share her political ideas and getting those who don’t out of the ballot). She also says “I’m particularly pleased to see several nominees that I championed on the ballot, some of which–like Mandie Manzano and Sarah Webb in best fan artist, or XKCD’s “Time” in best graphic story–make me think (rightly or wrongly) that my endorsement played a real role in getting them a nomination.”
    She also insults people who voted for The Wheel of Time, saying that they should be ashamed of themselves.

    Another example:

    They never say “vote exactly for these works”, but then neither did Torgersen.

    And when we come to self-award-pimping, of course the master is John Scalzi. One of my favorite examples is how he basically gave himself a Best Fan Writer Hugo, and then instructed his followers to stop voting for him in that category (since his winning more of those would just be ridiculous and get more attention to his award pimping, which is now reserved for the fiction categories).

  42. I still fail to see how individual voters posting copies of their own ballots is equivalent to soliciting the masses for nominees and then curating those suggestions into a politically-motivated slate for others to vote.

  43. I hadn’t read everything on the ballot the last Hugos I voted on. So I read everything in the Hugo packet … And then went out and bought hard copies of some of its books I really liked.

    I have no idea how typical I am, but I find reading ebooks to be a bit of a strain. I much prefer hard copy.

    The Hugo reading packet does not lose any sales from me, at any rate.

  44. You say Nussbaum “is on record for discussing her desire to engineer the Hugo nominations for political reasons”. [Citation needed]

    “She also says ‘I’m particularly pleased to see several nominees that I championed on the ballot, some of which… make me think (rightly or wrongly) that my endorsement played a real role in getting them a nomination.’ ”

    Nussbaum is not un-influential in Speculative Fiction fandom (she does, after all, have a Hugo nomination for Best Fan Writer). However, she is probably not as influential as she might hope. Her blog’s Alexa ratings are
    Nussbaum at 1,222,423 (Global) and 255,023 (U.S.)
    Correia at 123,483 (Global) and 17,311 (U.S.)
    Scalzi at 84,268 (Global) and 18,980 (U.S.)
    The claim that there are a bunch of NussPuppies out there gaming the Hugo nominations is pretty laughable.

    And how did Nussbaum do at logrolling the Hugo nominations?

    Novel (3 recommendations) – 0 nominees on ballot
    Novella (5 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Novelette (7 recommendations) – 0 nominees on ballot
    Short Story (10 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Graphic Story (2 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (4 recommendations) – 0 nominees on ballot
    Professional Artist (5 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Fan Artist (4 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Fan Writer (5 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Fanzine (4 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Semiprozine (2 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Campbell Award (4 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot

    and, not that it counts, as these movies were wildly popular and needed help from no one:
    Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (4 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot

    Nussbaum’s lists aren’t a “Slate”. They’re a list of her nomination picks, and hardly any of them made it onto the Hugo ballot. Hell, I’ve never had a Hugo nomination for Best Fan Writer, and more of MY nominations than hers showed up on the final Hugo ballot.

    When I read her personal insult regarding the Wheel of Time last year, I, and a whole lot of other people, were pretty displeased, and rightly so. I don’t care who you are, you don’t get to insult someone else’s fandom. I didn’t have the series first on my voting ballot — but I have read all the books (the first 11 of them twice), and I strongly agree that it deserved its place on the ballot.

    Yes, Nussbaum behaved poorly. So what’s your point? That insult of hers is still petty change compared to the bad behavior of the Puppies. The Puppy leaders this year have made an industry out of insulting other peoples’ fandom. Surely you don’t think that’s acceptable?

    As far as Aidan Moher’s list of picks being a “Slate”, Deirdre Saoirse Moen has thoroughly fisked that spurious claim here:

    But as you’re not likely to make an effort to actually go read that, I’ll include her summary here, with a hat tip to her:
    “Aidan’s list includes two Best Novel nominees, one Long Form nominee (shared with the puppies), one Best Pro Editor Short Form nominee, one Best Professional Artist nominee, and three Best Semiprozine nominees.”

    “What’s particularly interesting — and perhaps most compelling given how much of Aidan’s blog is about art — is that his sole Fan Artist nomination wasn’t on the final ballot at all. This was the sole puppy-free category, too.”

    “1. Aidan didn’t highlight his own work. Do I need to explain how the puppy slates differed in that regard?”

    “2.Aidan posted it on March 9th… and nominations closed less than a week later.”

    “3. A slate with little to no effective conversions… is not a slate. Given that the fan artist influence didn’t push his candidate up and over, I think the “slate” argument is truly a non-starter.”

    And finally, please, PLEASE do provide evidence of the following:
    Scalzi “basically gave himself a Best Fan Writer Hugo”.

    I’m just dying with anticipation to see what sort of handwaving you conjure up to try to support this spurious claim.

  45. What I do not understand is why anyone takes an argument like “Other people have done bad things too” seriously enough to try to argue whether the assertion is true or not. That generally descends into a pointless morass, because regardless of facts enough people will stubbornly stick to their argument and insist on repeating it ad nauseum.

    Whether it is true or not is not relevant. What is relevant is, how does anyone else’s bad action make the speaker’s bad action not a bad thing?

    Logically, it cannot and does not. Unacceptable behavior remains unacceptable no matter how many people do it.

    If someone’s only argument is ‘Someone else did it too,” they are conceding that they know full well that what they have done is wrong.

    If they are lying about that someone else, well, that’s an extra wrongdoing. But arguing over that is a distraction from the main point.

  46. @Peace Is My Middle Name: You are right that someone else acting wrong does not excuse your acting wrong yourself. I’m merely pointing out that the Hugos were already open both to political maneuvering and personal maneuvering, and that seemed to be generally accepted. When you bring politics into the award, you can’t be that surprised that politics get into the award. Read the 3rd and 4th comments here, for example:
    The difference between what people were already doing and what the puppies have done is more quantitative than qualitative.

    It’s really tiring to have to point out the obvious. Even though he is a professional writer, Scalzi was pimping himself for Best Fan Writer. A quick googling shows posts like this. Feel free to investigate more:
    The category gets much fewer votes than Best Novel, so it’s easier to influence it. He got the Hugo. The following year he instructed his followers to stop voting for him in that category (although he would continue campaigning for himself in the other categories):
    If the proof you require is a signed declaration from all the people who voted for Scalzi saying that they were influenced by his campaigning then no, as you know expecting that proof is not realistic, but one needs a lot of gall to deny that his campaigning had an influence.

    Regarding other slaters not getting that many of their candidates into the ballot, it’s like I said: a quantitative difference, rather than qualitative.

  47. Seriously? You’re going to claim THAT is evidence Scalzi, a Fan Writer *** gave himself a Hugo *** for Best Fan Writer???

    He’s pointed out that he is eligible (as, indeed he was). He’s also listed 7 OTHER FAN WRITERS who are also eligible. Gee, that doesn’t look like logrolling to me.

    People get Hugos for Best Fan Writer because they do a lot of writing related to SFF — AND because they develop a large fan following, because their fan writing is GOOD and ENJOYABLE. Both are required not just to get that nomination, but to win the category. Of COURSE he influences people — that is the whole point of the Best Fan Writer category!

    Any one of Scalzi’s blog posts frequently garners from dozens to *hundreds* of fan comments. His blog is wildly popular. The guy also sells dumptruckloads full of books*:

    Old Man’s War, 122,000 copies
    The Ghost Brigades, 100,000 copies
    Locked In, hardcover only, 10,100 copies
    Redshirts, trade paperback, 32,000 copies

    * totals do not include e-books

    It’s a safe bet that many of his fans also read his blog. Each of his blog posts gets anywhere from dozens to *hundreds* of comments from fans.

    Scalzi didn’t give himself a Hugo. SFF fans, of whom Scalzi has many, gave him that award. Sorry to burst your little bubble, but the fact that you don’t personally like him does not negate the opinions of thousands of other SFF fans.

    And you seem to be implying that because he’s a professional writer, he should not be eligible for Best Fan Writer. The award wasn’t given to Scalzi for his published books. It was given to him because he’s a kickass writer from a fan perspective.

    The Hugos have long recognized that many of the pro writers themselves got into the field BECAUSE they were huge fans. And if you were at all involved as an SFF fan before heeding the call of the high-pitched Puppy whistle, you’d know that being a pro does not preclude being eligible for nomination as Best Fan Writer. Piers Anthony, Bob Shaw, Dave Langford (20-time winner), Tansy Rayner Roberts, and SF Grandmaster Frederik Pohl.

    It’s clear that your involvement with SFF fandom, the Hugos, and Worldcon is relatively new and uninformed. You know what, that’s okay. The door is wide open. Come on in, and sit down and discuss SFF with the other thousands of fans who have been involved with the Hugos for years.

  48. And with regard to the fact that almost all pro SFF writers started out as simply fans of SFF: Some years ago, I went to a Worldcon, all by myself. I arrived the day before, checked in, and went down to the dealers’ room. I was standing at a bookseller’s table perusing the offerings, and looked up to see the nametag of the older gentleman who happened to be standing next to me. “Ohmigod!” I said. “I’ve been reading your books for decades, ever since I was 10 years old and my mother [who had been watching what I checked out from the library] gave me a copy of “World’s Fair 1992!”

    The gentleman laughed and said, “You know, I finally knew I had made it, when I was at a Worldcon and a fan walked by and said, ‘Ohmigod! It’s Asimov, and Clarke, and Heinlein… and Silverberg!’ ”

    That wonderful gentleman then graciously proceeded, at my request, to sign the back of my Kindle and have a couple of photos taken with me.

    The pros were ALL fans before they were pros. But once they were published, they never stopped being fans.

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