The 2012 Hugo Award Nominees for Best Semiprozine

Congratulations to this year’s nominees!
  • Apex Magazine, edited by Catherynne M. Valente, Lynne M. Thomas, and Jason Sizemore
  • Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
  • Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams
  • Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, et al.
  • New York Review of Science Fiction, edited by David G. Hartwell, Kevin J. Maroney, Kris Dikeman, and Avram Grumer
Notes:
  • This is Apex Magazine’s first semiprozine nomination.
  • NYRSF returns for their 22nd nomination after a two year absence from the ballot.
  • Locus and Interzone are the only nominees this year that have previously won the award.
  • Assuming the new category rules are ratified at Chicon, this will be the last time Locus is eligible for nomination.

Semiprozine Results at Worldcon

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.

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.

 

Another Proposal that Impacts Semiprozines

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.

A long silence… and now a proposal

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.

2010 Best Semiprozine Hugo Nominees

The 2010 Best Semiprozine Hugo nominees are:

Best Semiprozine

  • Ansible edited by David Langford
  • Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, & Cheryl Morgan
  • Interzone edited by Andy Cox
  • Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
  • Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

There were 377 ballots cast in this category. It placed 6th in the categories with the most ballots behind Novel, Dramatic Long Form, Short Story, Editor Short Form, and Novelette. Semiprozines received more nominations than Novella, Campbell Award, Pro Artist, Fan Writer, Fanzine, Editor Long Form, Dramatic Short, Best Related, Graphic Story and Fan Artist.

Space and Time Issue 110, Spring 2010

s-t-110The Spring 2010 issue of Space and Time should be arriving in bookstores this week.

Contents:

Fiction:
* “One Lone Mountain, Shining White” by Richard Parks
* “Spacer’s Gamble” by Josepha Sherman
* “Another Fine Messiah” by F. Gwynplaine McIntyre
* “Parallel Moons” by Mario Milosevic
* “Barbara Bloodbath” by Chet Gottfried
* “The Tortoiseshell Cat in the Dark Box” by Tim W. Burke
* “The Hungry Wind” by William Gerke
* “In the Dreaming House” by Darrell Schweitzer

Poetry:
* “Quantum Passion” by Carolyn Clink
* “Dream Fix” by Paul A. Friedlander
* “Giving up the Ghost: California, Circa 2013” by Stephen Wilson
* “Vaccination Scifaiku” by Francis W. Alexander
* “Botanical Quasi-Dactyl” by Michael McAfee
* “Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing Butterflies” by Carol Allen
* “(tanka)” by Joshua Gage
* “Pluto” by Bruce Golden
* “Moon Boat” by Gary Every
* “I Am” by Scheila Scheffler

Non-Fiction:
* “Word Ninja” by Linda D. Addison

Cover Art:
* L.W. Perkins

Crossed Genres Issue 16: STEAMPUNK

Issue 16: STEAMPUNK is now available on the Crossed Genres website and features:

FICTION
Dead’s End to Middleton” by Natania Barron
Whirligig Fingers and Globular Thumbs” by Polenth Blake
The Vostrasovitch Clockwork Animal and Traveling Forest Show at the End of the World” by Jessica Reisman
Twentieth Century” by Michael Glenn Farquhar
The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue” by Dawn Vogel

ARTICLE
Doctor Tsoundpounder’s Euterpean Soliliquizer” by J.C. Hay

ART
Rotterdam Bay” by Shaun Lindow

Clarkesworld Magazine #42, March 2010

The March issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is now online and features:

FICTION
Alone With Gandhari” by Gord Sellar
Alone With Gandhari” (AUDIO VERSION) by Gord Sellar, read by Kate Baker
The History Within Us” by Matthew Kressel

NONFICTION
A Terrifying Mix of Honesty and Rigor: A Conversation with Kij Johnson” interview by Jeremy L. C. Jones
Future Brains: Neuroscience Fiction versus Neuroscience Fantasy” by Luc Reid

COVER ART
Retro Robots” by Georgi Markov

On the 15th of February, their podcast will feature “The History Within Us” by Matthew Kressel.