The previously mentioned proposal that would have effectively eliminated the Semiprozine category was revised prior to the business meeting, but still contained serious flaws. Fortunately, it was never put up for vote and was instead passed along to a committee for review. The soonest this could come up for vote again is next year in Chengdu, but it seems unlikely that it would be put forward in its current state.
I have an editorial in the August issue of Clarkesworld that talks about a new proposal for Hugo rules that would effectively eliminate Best Semiprozine by categorizing all publications as either fan or pro. If it is not withdrawn, it will be put up for vote at the Business Meeting at Chicon 8. We urge anyone attending this year’s Worldcon to show up and vote against this proposal.
The deadline for all nominating ballots to be received by the Hugo administrator is Monday 31 March 2014, 11.59 pm PDT (7.59 am BST on Tuesday 1 April – UK time).
Members of Loncon 3 who have an Attending, Young Adult Attending or Supporting membership by 31 January 2014 are eligible to nominate for the Hugo Awards and the Retro-Hugos. Equivalent members of LoneStarCon 3 (the 2013 Worldcon) and Sasquan (the 2015 Worldcon) at that date are also eligible to nominate.
More details can be found here: http://www.loncon3.org/nominations.php
Please note that the rules for the semiprozine category have changed. The new definition can be found here and we have begun updating our semiprozine list to reflect eligibility under the new requirements.
Visit this site to find out how to nominate your favorite 2012 works for the 2013 Hugo Awards. According to the LoneStarCon 3 website, eligibility to nominate is:
open to anyone who has a Supporting or Attending membership in the previous, current, or following year’s Worldcon as of January 31. For LoneStarCon 3, this means members of Chicon 7 (the 2012 Worldcon), LoneStarCon 3 itself, and Loncon 3 (the 2014 Worldcon). During this stage, members can nominate any eligible work or person. The nominating period for 2013 is now under way and will close on March 10, 2013.
The committee proposal survived the business meeting in Reno last week. There were some revision to the fanzine portion of the proposal, but otherwise the amendments that would have hurt semiprozines were defeated.
The big news out of the meeting was the passage of a proposal for Best Fancast, which will move podcasts into their own category and out of competition with fanzines. I was pleased to see the fanzine people support a new home for podcasts rather than just kicking them out, but this strikes me as a very short-term solution. Semiprozines have long embraced podcasting (often as an add-on, but in singular form as well) and I think there is a huge difference between a radio-style drama and a straight reading. (Think script vs. story.) I can’t imagine that audio and video won’t find their way into “traditional” fanzines in the future. Amusingly, a traditional fanzine won this year causing some to wonder if their fears about podcasts were justified.
An attempt to make parallel changes in semiprozine (striking “or the equivalent in other media”) was defeated.
The Semiprozine and Fancast proposals now move onto the agenda for the Chicago Worldcon next year. If they pass there, they will become the official rules.
Thanks to everyone who showed up and participated at the business meeting.
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.
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-professionalperiodical 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.
From Kevin Standlee’s blog:
The video of the 2009 Main WSFS Business Meeting held Saturday, August 8, at Anticipation is now online. If you have difficulty viewing the video through Vimeo’s online viewer, you can download the video (WMV format) to your machine using the link in the lower right corner of the video’s web page.
Vimeo limits users to uploading 500 MB/week, although once uploaded, the files stay up there and new files do not displace them. I plan to post the Site Selection Business Meeting next week.
The Main Business Meeting dealt with amendments to the WSFS Constitution pending ratification after having received initial passage at the 2008 Business Meeting in Denver. The Main Event was the debate over the removal of the Semiprozine Hugo Award. Also on the agenda: The Graphic Story Hugo Award and the explicit expansion of Hugo Award eligibility to electronic (web-based) publication.
This information is not secret. Feel free to pass it along to anyone else you think might be interested. You can quote this message entirely if you wish.
So, if you weren’t there and want to see how the discussion and vote on the semiprozine went down, here is your chance.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported our cause and especially everyone who showed up at today’s business meeting. Our supporters spoke eloquently and with conviction. When the vote was finally held, we won by an overwhelming majority. The Best Semiprozine Hugo will continue.
A new committee to help redefine the semiprozine and related Hugos was voted into place shortly afterwards. It will be chaired by Chris Barkley. More information on that as it becomes available.
Again, thanks to everyone involved. I have to say that everything was handled very professionally (by both sides) and it does appear that we are united in repairing the category. This is a very good day.
The final vote on the Semiprozine will take place at Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon.
WSFS Business Meeting
Saturday, August 8th 10:00AM, P-518BC
The debate on the pending constitutional amendments, particularly the Semiprozine Hugo, will happen here. You must be present to vote.