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to eliminate the Semiprozine Hugo was defeated and committee assigned to take on the task of fixing an obviously outdated and broken definition.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.
The 2010 Best Semiprozine Hugo nominees are:
- 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.
The Spring 2010 issue of Space and Time should be arriving in bookstores this week.
* “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
* “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
* “Word Ninja” by Linda D. Addison
* L.W. Perkins
Interzone issue 227 is out now, with new stories by Chris Beckett, Nina Allan, Jon Ingold, Mercurio D. Rivera, Jim Hawkins, Steve Rasnic Tem; colour art by Warwick Fraser-Coombe, Jim Burns, Robert Dunn, Ben Baldwin, Dave Senecal; all the usual features by David Langford, Nick Lowe, Tony Lee, book reviews, Connie Willis interviewed…
For more details see their issue announcement.
The March issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is now online and features:
“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
“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
“Retro Robots” by Georgi Markov
On the 15th of February, their podcast will feature “The History Within Us” by Matthew Kressel.
The March 2010 issue of Ansible is now available.
The 2009 Nebula Awards ballot is now available and includes the following works originally appearing in semiprozines:
Congratulations to Clarkesworld, Interzone, Nora, Kij, Eugie and Jason!
The 2009 Locus Recommended Reading list has been published. The following short stories from semiprozines made the list:
- “Home Again” by Paul M. Berger, 3-4/09
- “Lady of the White-Spired City” by Sarah L. Edwards, 5-6/09
- “Butterfly Bomb” by Dominic Green, 5-6/09