Sean CW Korsgaard, Assistant Editor & Media Relations for Baen Books, recently cast suspicion on SFWA’s 58th Nebula Awards finalists after zero works published by Baen Books made the ballot, offering as support what he claimed was a near-deadline screencap of the Nebula nomination voting tally for Novel showing a Baen author out in front.
Korsgaard expressed his doubts about the results in comments on a Facebook post by author M.A. Rothman who had written, “Well, one might ask, when was the last time any author published by Baen won this so-called award?”
However, Korsgaard’s screencap so strongly resembled the Nebula Awards Suggested Reading list compiled from members’ recommendations that File 770 asked SFWA if that’s what it really is. The Nebula Reading List has been public-facing since 2015 – with a parallel version visible only to members that also contains a tally of how many recommendations works have received.
Rebecca Gomez Farrell, SFWA Communications Director, confirmed the observation.
“The screenshot is from the member-facing version of the Nebula Suggested Reading List, which still shares the number of recommendations with SFWA members. We ask our members not to share internal information/discussions that take place in our online spaces. The screenshot is missing the language at the very top of the page (which is on our public-facing and internal lists) that reads in bold, ‘Please note this list is not the preliminary ballot or nomination tally and does not affect the Nebula Award nominations or final results in any way.’
“The numbers you are seeing on the ‘Total’ column only reflect the number of SFWA members who had recommended (not officially nominated) a work to their fellow members at the given time this internal screenshot was taken. The reading list and the nomination and final ballots are completely different systems.”
To recap, there are:
- The reading recommendations, which anyone can see.
- The reading recommendation list with a tally of how many members have recommended a work, which is only accessible to members. The screencap Korsgaard presented is from this members-only recommendations list.
- Another completely separate system used to track members’ nominating votes.
If Korsgaard is really looking for “a piece I’m missing”, he can find it here.