Snow! In Winter! Amazing!


The good news is that it’s no longer so cold that it can’t actually snow. On the other hand, well, we’ve got snow and lots of it — the first actual accumulation this winter — and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. We’ll have to see if we’ll actually be able to leave the house tomorrow morning. Tonight, at least, we don’t have to go anywhere. And it is pretty.

On Speaking Aloud

Mary Robinette Kowal, who did such a lovely job performing “The Sagan Diary,” writes up a piece about what happens when the words you’re reading don’t exactly trip off the tongue. And she includes an audio file to make the point. Fun and instructive!

A Series of Casual Thoughts I Had While I Was Filling Out My Hugo Nomination Ballot and Looking at the Best Fan Writer Category

(Preface Note: The following entry will be all but incomprehensible to non-SF geeks. You’ve been warned)

Initial Condition: Looking at the Best Fan Writer category on the Hugo Award nomination form
—-First Thought: Who besides Dave Langford should get the award this year?
——-(Parenthetical thought: Not that Dave Langford isn’t a lovely fellow)

Ameliorative Action: Read eligibility information to see if it jogs some names
—-Eligibility Criteria: Category is open to any person who
——-* Writes in a fanzine, or;
——-* Writes in a semiprozine, or;
——-* Writes in generally available electronic media;
——-* In 2006.

Lateral Observation: By this description, I am eligible to be nominated in the Best Fan Writer category
—-Check Eligibility Criteria:
——-* Am I a person? Yes
——-* Did I write in a fanzine in 2006? No
——-* Did I write in a semiprozine in 2006? No
——-* Did I write in generally available electronic media in 2006? Yes
———* “Whatever” is published in the electronic medium;
———* “Whatever” has readership >20K/Day, i.e generally available;
———* “Whatever” not written for profit (although this not strictly specified for catgeory);
———* SF/F-related topics frequently essayed in “Whatever”
———–Ironic Note: This entry prime example

Secondary Lateral Observation: Not only am I eligible, but many pro SF/F writers are also eligible
—-Examples of other pro sf/f writers eligible (not limited to following field)
——-* Elizabeth Bear
——-* Patrick and/or Teresa Nielsen Hayden
——-* Nick Mamatas
——-* Tobias Buckell
——-* Cherie Priest
——-* Hal Duncan
——-* Indeed, anyone with a blog who writes on SF/F themes

Initial Conclusion: Entertain the idea of nominating sf/f pros who are bloggers for Best Fan Writer

Point in Opposition (PiO) #1: Best Fan Writer Hugo meant for fans, not pros
—– Hence the category name: Best Fan Writer

First Rebuttal to PiO #1: WSFS Constitution does not make that distinction for category eligibility
—– Category open to “any” person
——- Pro sf/f writers subset of “any”
——– Pros also quite frequently come from sf/f fandom; i.e., are fans

Second Rebuttal to Pio #1: 20-time category winner Dave Langford a professional SF writer
—– Langford has written/co-written at least three novels;
—– Langford winner of 2001 Best Short Story Hugo, a “pro” category;
—– Langford nominee for 2006 Best Related Book, a “pro” category

Point in Opposition #2: Opening up category to pros damages character of category
—– There are fan awards and pro awards for a reason; pros shouldn’t dip into fan categories

Rebuttal to PiO #2: Other fan categories make allowances for fan/pro movement
—– Fan artist category notes someone nominated for Best Artist category is ineligible that year for Fan Artist, implying fluidity between the categories

Point in Support: Best Fan Writer category desperately moribund
—– Same winner in category since 1989
—– Only four winners in 30 years
—– Nominating well-known pros could make the category more competitive
—– Conversely, it could motivate nominators to look at a wider cross-section of fan writers

Final Conclusion: Definitely entertain the idea of nominating sf/f pros who are bloggers for Best Fan Writer
—– Did I nominate myself? No
—– Did I nominate others? Maybe