It seems that some fans disgruntled over the fact that podcasts can compete in fanzine or semiprozine have submitted their own proposal for modifications to the semiprozine and fanzine categories to kick them out. The semiprozine committee saw this proposal before completing theirs and specifically chose not to include it.
Even if you don’t think podcasts should compete in either category, the hatchet job done to the rules for semiprozine SHOULD concern you. This is their definition, redlining things they have deleted:
3.3.12: Best Semiprozine. Any generally available
non-professional periodical publication devoted to science fiction or fantasy which by the close of the previous calendar year has published four (4) or more issues (or the equivalent in other media), at least one (1) of which appeared in the previous calendar year, and which in the previous calendar year met at least two (2) one (1) of the following criteria:
(1) had an average press run of at least one thousand (1000) copies per issue,
(2) paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication,
(3) (2) provided at least half the income of any one person,
(4) (3) had at least fifteen percent (15%) of its total space occupied by advertising,
(5) (4) announced itself to be a semiprozine.
Audio and video productions are excluded from this category.
The impact of this change would be to put EVERY magazine that isn’t a fanzine (or anything that doesn’t have “issues”, goodbye Daily Science Fiction?) INTO THE SEMIPROZINE CATEGORY. Yes, Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF… ALL of them would be eligible in the semiprozine category. Just ridiculous.
Don’t let them throw semiprozines under the bus to maintain “print purity” in the fanzine and semiprozine categories! Go to the business meetings this THURSDAY and FRIDAY morning at Worldcon and make yourself heard. More details to follow.
This blog has been silent for a while. It has been nearly two years since the attempt to eliminate the Semiprozine Hugo was defeated and committee assigned to take on the task of fixing an obviously outdated and broken definition.
You can read the committee’s 2011 report, proposal and some minority reports (committee members who either disagree with the proposal or feel it doesn’t go far enough, but couldn’t get sufficient support from other members) here.
As a member of the committee, I can say that this was a very difficult conversation among people with some strong opinions. In the end, this proposal represents significant improvement over the old. It draws real lines and eliminates several of the points that bothered people (for example, fanzines or prozines competing in the semiprozine category), but might introduce a few lesser evils in some people’s minds.
I am very opposed to proposals in the minority reports. Two effectively suggest that we do nothing or continuing looking, when we’ve already looked at all the aspects. The minority proposal from Ben Yalow would destroy the semiprozine category. Every year, they release a list of all the publications that received more than a handful of nominations in the category. Last year, there were 20 publications on that list of Semiprozines. Ben’s proposal would eliminate 13 of them as well as many other publications not on that list. It would be devastating.
Some will note that the proposal moves several of the 2011 nominees out of semiprozine and labels them professional magazines. Lightspeed, Locus and Weird Tales would be moved to professional based on their employee’s income or their publisher’s owner/employee’s income. There hasn’t been confirmation from Interzone, but they may be impacted as well. Clarkesworld, while not immediately eliminated, will probably pass the established threshold within two years. Is this a problem? I don’t think so. Publications that succeed and grow should move out of the category and allow the new blood their moments of glory. (Perhaps someday, as the number of professionals grows, we can bring back the Magazine Hugo to recognize the pros instead of focusing on Best Editor Short Form.)
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please keep the conversation civil. If you have questions about anything, I’d be happy to answer.
Editors: Charles N. Brown (editor-in-chief), Liza Groen Trombi (executive editor), Kirsten Gong-Wong (managing editor). Also, Carolyn Cushman (senior editor), Tim Pratt (senior editor), Amelia Beamer (editor), Jonathan Strahan (reviews editor), Mark Kelly (electronic editor-in-chief), Francesca Myman (assistant editor).
Locus Magazine, covering the SF field since 1968, is a full-size, monthly glossy-cover magazine which publishes news of science fiction, fantasy, and horror publishing; author interviews; extensive reviews; and listings of new SF books and magazines.
- News about the science fiction, fantasy, and horror publishing field, with stories about publishers, awards, and conferences in sections called The Data File, People & Publishing (rights sold, books sold, books resold, books delivered, publishing news, promotions, people news and photos about vacations, weddings, and births), and Obituaries
- Interviews with well-known and up-and-coming writers (and sometimes editors and artists), usually 2 per issue
- Reviews of new and forthcoming books, usually 20-25 per issue, by notable SF critics including Gary K. Wolfe, Faren Miller, Russell Letson, Paul Witcover, Adrienne Martini, and Carolyn Cushman, plus short fiction reviews by Gardner Dozois and Rich Horton
- Reports from around the world about the SF scenes in various countries
- Listings of US and UK books and magazines published (monthly), bestsellers (monthly), and Forthcoming Books (every 3 months)
- Convention Reports, with lots of photos
- Annual year-in-review coverage, with extensive recommended reading lists, summaries, and the annual Locus Poll and Survey
Awards and Recognition:
29 Hugo Awards
Other Items of Interest:
Locus Awards; co-sponsors Science Fiction Awards Weekend with SF Hall of Fame in Seattle
Information provided by Charles N. Brown.
The third volume of Jonathan Strahan’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year is scheduled to be published soon. It includes the following stories selected from semiprozines:
The following stories from semiprozines have been selected by Rich Horton for his 2009 year’s best collections:
Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2009
Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2009
- “Suicide Drive” by Charlie Anders (Helix #7, January ’08)
- “The Golden Octopus” by Beth Bernobich (Postscripts, Summer ’08)
The Locus Magazine Recommended Reading list is published annually in their February issue and represents a consensus view by Locus editors and reviewers.
The following 2008 novelettes and short stories were selected from the pages of semiprozines:
- “Offworld Friends Are Best” by Neal Blaikie (Greatest Uncommon Denominator, Spring ’08)
- “The Man Who Built Heaven” by Keith Brooke (Postscripts, Summer ’08)
- “The Sky that Wraps the World Round, Past the Blue into the Black” by Jay Lake (Clarkesworld Magazine, 3/08)
- “The Thought War” by Paul McAuley (Postscripts, Summer ’08)
- “[a ghost samba]” by Ian McDonald (Postscripts, Summer ’08)
- “The Small Door” by Holly Phillips (Fantasy Magazine, 5/08)
- “His Master’s Voice” by Hannu Rajaniemi (Interzone, 10/08)
- “Snatch Me Another” by Mercurio D. Rivera (Abyss & Apex, 1Q/08)
- “Talk is Cheap” by Geoff Ryman (Interzone, 6/08)
- “Marrying the Sun” by Rachel Swirsky (Fantasy Magazine, 6/08)
- “A Buyer’s Guide to Maps of Antarctica” by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld Magazine, 5/08)
The table of contents for David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer’s Year’s Best SF 14 (EOS) and Year’s Best Fantasy 9 (Tor.com) have been released. The following stories were originally published in semiprozines:
Year’s Best SF 14
- “The Ships like Clouds, Risen by Their Rain” by Jason Sanford (Interzone, Issue 217)
Year’s Best Fantasy 9
The fate of the Best Semiprozine Hugo will be determined during the WSFS business meeting at Anticipation this August. I’ve invited Kevin Standlee, WSFS Business Meeting Chair, to give us an overview of how the process will work. Here’s his response:
The proposal to eliminate the Semiprozine Hugo Award and make existing semiprozines ineligible passed at the 2008 WSFS Business Meeting in Denver. If the proposal is ratified at the 2009 WSFS Business Meeting in Montreal, the Semiprozine Hugo ceases to exist at the end of Anticipation, and no Semiprozine Hugo will be presented in 2010 or thereafter.
Every attending member of the 2009 Worldcon may attend the Business Meeting and vote on the ratification. The debate and vote are expected to happen sometime after 10 AM on Saturday of the convention. If you want to vote on this proposal, you must be present in person at the time of the vote. Voting takes place only in person, not by mail, ballot, or by proxy.
The longer version of this piece that follows goes into much more detail about the background and process, including details of how the debate process works. It sounds more intimidating than it really is, if you just watch the other people present and follow along.
This is a website born from an ongoing attempt to abolish the Best Semiprozine Hugo. In the course of trying to eliminate the category, some disparaging remarks have been made against semiprozines. By and large, I consider their statements about the worth and health of the semiprozine field uninformed. As such, I have invited (and continue to invite) the people involved with these publications to join me in providing content for this blog.
Our goal is to be both educational and informational. We’ll be featuring specific venues, providing current news, and offering some of our opinions on the state of the field as well as the Best Semiprozine Hugo. We encourage you to ask questions, suggest topics, and help spread the word.