If you are attending Worldcon in Reno this week and have an interest in semiprozines, we are once again calling on your support. There are two business meetings that may very well reshape the boundaries of the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award.
Quite often, people overlook the importance of the first business meeting, but this one is critical. It is at the Thursday morning meeting that the conflicting proposals and minority reports will be heard and resolved into a single proposal for vote on Friday. The committee report, discussed here, could be abandoned or rewritten before it even gets to a vote.
In the his minority report to the Semiprozine Committee report, Ben Yalow, one of the key people behind the original proposal to eliminate the semiprozine category, has indicated that he will attempt to have his proposal added to the committee’s proposed rules. Ben would like to see any magazine that offers authors a “pro” rate eliminated from the category. His model would eliminate 13 of the 20 publications people nominated last year and many others that have appeared since. The committee originally rejected this amendment because it eliminated too many semiprozines from the category. At this time, the only markets it has an immediate impact on are fiction magazines.
Other minority reports seek to have the whole proposal thrown out and leave the rules alone for another year. The committee proposal, if not perfect, is at least a step in the right direction. Given that approving a rules change takes two years, losing another year when progress can be made, is a bad idea. Passing the committee’s proposal would not prevent further corrections from being introduced next year, so why wait? According to Saul Jaffe, we should wait until we have an easily accessible definition for fans. If one existed, it would have been discovered by now. Personally, I don’t think it will take long for fans to adjust to any rules change. When certain people were saying “we don’t seem to have any nominees for this category apart from the five who get nominated each year” a simple campaign to educate voters worked effectively. It could easily be duplicated.
Since the proposal we mentioned yesterday will also be on the table, there is a high probability that there will be an attempt to eliminate the conflicts between the two. The “Keep the Fanzine Hugo nonprofessional and limited to words on paper or video screen” proposal carelessly makes all professional magazines eligible for Best Semiprozine. I know that there are some people who feel very passionately about maintaining the print purity of fanzines (I’ve not heard this coming from semiprozine people), but even if you feel that way, you should prevent unnecessary damage to the semiprozine category, strike down this proposal and toss your support behind a the Best Fancast proposal. If you don’t support the concept of a separate category for podcasts, etc., then vote no on both.
All this will happen this week at Worldcon:
Thursday Business Meeting, 10 AM – 1 PM, RSCC Room A02
We need people there on THURSDAY to vote against any amendments that try to undermine the category by either stripping or adding large numbers of potential nominees from the current committee proposal.
A majority vote is required to change the committee proposal. This is why it is important to have people there. Anyone and everyone attending the meeting gets a vote.Your vote counts.
We’ll need you to make sure your voice is heard again the following day…
Friday Business Meeting, 10 AM – 1 PM, RSCC Room A02
This will be the first vote on whatever proposal survives and comes out of Thursday’s meeting. If it passes, it will have to be voted on again in Chicago before becoming official.
In short: Thursday is important to protect the committee proposal from being co-opted. Friday is important to either pass the original proposal or reject the modified form.
Please attend if you can. If you can’t, tell someone who can.