2013 Hugo Award Nominations are Now Open

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.


Once Again Calling on your Support for Semiprozines

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.


Hugo Award Voting is Now Open

Please remember to vote for the 2009 Hugo Awards!

Via the Hugo Website:

Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, has released the ballot for the 2009 Hugo Awards. Members of Anticipation can vote online at the convention web site. Paper ballots are included in the convention’s latest progress report, which the convention recently mailed to members. You must be a supporting or attending member of Anticipation to vote. If you are not a member, you can buy a membership online.

The deadline for voting is midnight (2359hrs.) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) July 3, 2009. All ballots, paper or electronic, must be in the administrator’s hands by that time.

What you can do to help…

I’ve recently received several emails from people who want to know how they can help. I’m repeating some of what I said here in hopes of interesting others to get involved.

If you want to help save the Semiprozine Hugo:

  • Be familiar with the facts and opinions involved. To understand why this is happening, it’s best to start with the videos from last year’s business meeting: technical debate and substantive debate.
    • If you disagree with their reasoning, please make sure you attend the business meeting at Anticipation in Montreal this August. Only people present at the business meeting can vote. (See this post for details about the meeting process.) If you can’t attend, but know someone who can, let them know what is going on. Send them here for details.
    • If you agree with the motion to eliminate the semiprozine Hugo as it stands, please talk to us or at least keep an eye on this site. We may not change one another’s minds, but a good discussion could help us at least understand one another. (Yes, that matters. For some reason, emotions seem to run high on this issue.)
    • Undecided? Glad to help, if we can.
  • Read. Check out semiprozines and let people know what you think of them. Even if we lose, you’re still doing something of value to the publications and their contributors.
  • Click on “Promotional Materials” in the menu bar above. You can use anything we put there on your website, Facebook account, or blog.

If you also want to help semiprozines in general:

  • Tell a friend. Buy or share a copy. Send them a link.
  • Submit semiprozine websites (individual stories/articles when online) to sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, etc.
  • Buy a subscription or make a donation.
  • Review new issues on your blog or link to their websites in your sidebar.
  • Authors: Mention them during appropriate panels at conventions.
  • Authors: Submit a story.
  • Offer to write an article for this site or comment on what others say.
  • Offer to take postcards or flyers from your favorite semiprozines to a convention.

There are dozens of other things you can do as well. Feel free to toss in other ideas in the comments to this post. For that matter, let us know what things we (semiprozines or this site) can do to help spread the word as well.