The Expectation Management Entry (SFWA Related)

Here’s a graphic from Technorati of how often SFWA was discussed in blogs over the last week:



I’ve received a lot of support and enthusiasm from folks since announcing my SFWA bid (often couched in “Dude, what’s wrong with your head?” phrasing, but even so), and I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who who have cheered me on. I appreciate it, and yes, I’m wondering what’s wrong with my head, too. So are others; someone recently suggested I’m doing this as a bit of a publicity stunt, which gave me a giggle. Doing this as a publicity stunt would be a little bit like attempting in vitro fertilization just for the kicky fun of it; the problem is that in both cases if it works, there’s fairly significant obligation at the end of the stunt. There are better ways to publicize myself, I’d say.

I am serious about running (a fact which causes my editor no end of grief), but I think I would be remiss not to manage expectations. There are lots of reasons I might not win, including:

1. I’m a write-in candidate;

2. I may have waited too long and too many people may have already turned in ballots;

3. Michael Capobianco may simply be the preferred candidate of the majority of SFWA voters, based on platform/experience/personality/rugged good looks;

4. I may just irritate the crap out of enough SWFA members that they actively vote against me;

5. People who intend to vote for me may get distracted by a marathon Veronica Mars DVD-watching session and simply forget to vote in time.

Realistically, I’m the underdog in this particular election. I think I can win, otherwise I wouldn’t be running; more to the point, I’m campaigning to win (sorry, PNH). But whether I will win is another matter entirely — and whether I will breathe a sigh of relief if this particular cup gets passed from me is another matter, too.

Part of the reason I mention this is that if I don’t win, I intend to chalk it up to a combination of the five points above and not, say, a massive conspiracy that goes to the very top of SFWA to crush all who oppose the status quo. Honestly, SFWA’s not that organized. And although Mr. Capobianco is (clearly) not my choice to lead the organization, I don’t suspect he’ll lead it to ruin. SFWA will live to see another election.

In short, this is the expectation management entry. I’m not the “project boundless optimism” type; I prefer reality. If you’re supporting me in this election, I hope you keep reality in mind as well. Hope for the win, plan for the future if not.

No matter what, two good things are coming out of this election: one, SFWA voters will have a choice, with candidates with distinct philosophical differences; two, a lot of issues regarding the organization are going to get dragged out into the light for everyone to look at. Hopefully this will make a difference the next time elections come around. Both of these matter; I’m glad to be able to help bring them about.

13 Comments on “The Expectation Management Entry (SFWA Related)”

  1. Everyone’s blogging about the SFWA?

    Must be something up at the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area.

    Or maybe San Francisco Women Artists are having an exhibition?


  2. I think you’re the first person I know of to mention the tendency for Veronica Mars watching to end up epic without offering up the phrase “Veronica Marsathon.”

    I hope you win… if you’re the right man for the job. You could prove to me that you are by simply pledging to campaign to the SFWA members to include more Jet-packs in their fiction. You don’t see much talk of them these days, even though they’re still the obvious personal transport choice of future generations… or will be, once they’ve all been converted to use ethanol.

  3. You go! You’ve already done a great public service by getting people to blog about SFWA. I think public conversation can only help the organization.

    I’d vote for you if I could. (I don’t meet the membership criteria yet.)

    Best of luck.

  4. Silly person, Ethanol doesn’t have a high enough specific impulse to make jet packs practical. Of course, neither does jet fuel.

    The answer is obvious of course. We need inertia cancelling beam rocket packs powered by Allotropic Iron. Oh, and of course, everyone will need a pair of DeLameters to complete the look.

  5. “I’m campaigning to win (sorry, PNH).”

    Joking aside, John, not only do I think SFWA needs someone like you at its head, I’ve actually asked the appropriate officials whether I can vote in this election if I rejoin right now. From the silence I’m presuming the answer is “no” (fair enough, really), but if I could cast a vote it would be for you. Moreover, if you do win, I’ll rejoin.

  6. PNH, I don’t think you’re the only person that’s trying to join or rejoin over the last few days and I think those appropriate officials are figuring out the whats and the hows.

    I’ve been in contact with one ex-member who hasn’t heard back from repeated attempts at communication. I pointed out to her that she’s still listed in the online directory, which she thought was odd since, she said, she’s not paid dues in years.

  7. Strangely enough, I’ve even tried joining at the lowly level I’d be qualified for… mostly because Scalzi’s told me that if he wins he’s going to be requiring me to help on projects, and if I’m going to help, I might as well be a part of the organization.


  8. You will not win this year, Scalzi, although I will write you in. And you will not win next year, for I will remember to send my declaration of candidacy in prior to the deadline. Of course, my first order of business will be to send you and all potential rivals to the salt mines, so please try to finish up your next book prior to the next, and last, election.

    When was that deadline anyhow? Do we have a scandal in the making? Was the ballot coordinator confused by my stated intention to “serve” as SFWA’s Maximum Leader for Life?

    Anyhow, one point you might want to think about is why the SFWA doesn’t incorporate credits for game writing or do anything to foster a relationship with the game designers. We pay writers between 25k and 40k per year, sometimes more, and their work is “read” by a lot more people than any best-selling SFWA writer. And yet, they credit movie scripts, which has far less writing, little of it even original.

    I enjoy being an SFWA member, but seriously, most of the membership has zero clue about how things operate post-1980 or thereabouts. Who CARES about conventional publishing minutae, traditional books are lovely, but they’re only one part of the whole now.

  9. Vox Day:

    And you will not win next year, for I will remember to send my declaration of candidacy in prior to the deadline. Of course, my first order of business will be to send you and all potential rivals to the salt mines, so please try to finish up your next book prior to the next, and last, election.”

    I’ll get right on that, Vox.

    If you were to run, heads would simply explode. which would be amusing.

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