SFWA Passes Its Gut Check Moment

Greetings, gentlebeings! Little birdies flying to Ohio from down Austin, Texas way tell me that the incoming president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is Russell Davis, who won the position by a rather substantial margin over Andrew Burt. Also on the upcoming SFWA board: Elizabeth Moon as vice president, Mary Robinette Kowal as secretary and Amy Sterling Casil as treasurer.

I personally feel that this is a very strong slate of incoming officers, and I wish them all the best in their upcoming tenure. They certainly have my support.

37 Comments on “SFWA Passes Its Gut Check Moment”

  1. Jim C. Hines – Fantasy author of 50+ published short stories as well as the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. Active blogger. Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Lives in mid-Michigan with his family. More at www.jimchines.com
    Jim C. Hines

    Woo hoo! I doubt I’m the only one who’s been waiting for those results. Thanks, John.

  2. I was required to read one of Elizabeth Moon’s novels for an engineering survey class…

    …I kinda wish I would’ve read it…

  3. So is Burt going to flounce off Absute-Write-Newbie-Style and start his own club away from you big meanies?

    I’ve got an extra feather boa around here somewhere he can borrow.

  4. Also, you know, congratulations to Russell Davis and his incoming cabinet (which I probably should have said first), and congratulations to the SFWA and its members for winning the leadership draw this time around.

  5. Annalee Flower Horne:

    “So is Burt going to flounce off Absute-Write-Newbie-Style and start his own club away from you big meanies?”

    If you could read the SFWA private boards, Annalee, you’d know the answer to that already. Suffice to say Andrew Burt sees himself as the abused and misunderstood hero of this particular tale.

  6. Annalee: You think that might be a good slogan for a new membership drive? “SFWA: Join for the gossip…”

    And, G-d help me, I would LOVE to see what Burt is posting on the private boards. I am not a good person by any stretch of the imagination.

  7. It’s sometimes tempting to gloat when people one objects to fail in some way, but I don’t think it’s a good thing in the long term.

    I congratulate SFWA’s membership for doing the right thing here.

    I’m glad Burt didn’t end up in charge, as an outsider looking in. But I don’t think he’s evil. Greatly impedance mismatched with the modern world, perhaps, but not evil.

    Hopefully the process of pulling the SFWA organization into the 21st century can now begin.

  8. I think what’s impressive to me is that the winning slate consists of writers who I either know about or have read. Not yet eligible for SFWA myself, but such a result is likely to have a favorable slant when I do.

    Dr. Phil

  9. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, fan of boobs

    Bet The Naked Hand is bumming now! All that muck-stirring for nothing!

  10. Hope thats a sign of things to come for November. As opposed to the karma god going “Well, I’ll let one of Scalzi’s presidential candidates win this year. Let’s make it SFWA”.

  11. George William Herbert:

    Andrew Burt is definitely not evil, nor in my opinion should such a suggestion be made. In the context of SFWA, he’s other things, some importantly not positive. But evil? No, that’s too strong a word. So you are correct.

  12. That’s really good news! Hopefully, this will mark a positive turning point for SFWA, at the very least on the e-PR front.

  13. Join for the gossip? The gossip scares me. I want to hide from the gossip. *facepalm*

    But I digress.

    Congrats to Russell Davis and all the winners, and here’s hoping Jen Pelland wins a Nebula tonight!

  14. Posted:


    Results for the 2008 SFWA Election of officers:

    Russell Davis 330
    Andrew Burt 53
    Write Ins: Gregory Benford, Linda Dunn, Charles Stross

    Vice President:
    Elizabeth Moon 356
    Write Ins: Spiro Agnew, Greg Bear, Michael A. Burstein, Andrew Burt, Walter Burty, Stephan Lambiel, Mike Resnick, John Scalzi, Charles Stross, Connie Willis

    Mary Robinette Kowal 297
    Lee Martindale 79
    Write Ins: None

    Amy Casil 330
    Write Ins: Kevin O’Donnell Jr. (3 votes), John Scalzi (3 votes), Orlando Bloom, Walter Burty, Michael Capobianco, Milton Friedman, Megan Lindholm, David Moles, Jim Morrison, David Alexander Smith, Justin Staunchfield, Charles Stross

    Eastern Regional Director:
    Bud Sparhawk 95
    Write Ins: Angelina Jolie, Nick Mamatas, John Scalzi, Tom Welling

    And the only candidate to receive no write ins or opposition, with one of the biggest turnouts for his region in years ….

    Overseas Regional Director:
    Ian Whates 19
    Write Ins: None

  15. My only comment on the results.

    How many people are voting members of SFWA?

    I expect more than 383. WTF is up with the organization? NO one gives a hoot?

  16. Lots of organizations have board positions filled in elections that get a minority of members voting, I expect, Tom.

  17. the angry black woman – Remember, Brothers and Sisters, White Nationalism Put U In Bondage. As the name suggests, I'm a woman who is black and occasionally angry. I post about politics, culture, and life from my point of view. Posts might be about race, gender, sex, orientation, or anything else in my experience.

    it’s good to see that Walter Burty made such an excellent showing in the write-ins. Gives me hope for the org.

  18. I’m not an expert in how many people vote, but it seems to me it’s at least 30-40% more than I remember seeing from when they started posting the vote totals. I remember one, and it could have even been last year, when the winners had fewer than 200 votes – like maybe 150 or 170.

    There are about 1500 members overall, but not all members are able to vote. Only active members in “good standing” are supposed to be able to vote, and I believe there are fewer than 1,000 of them.

    I have now exhausted my limited knowledge. If I hadn’t decided to run for treasurer, I was going to help the election committee, which is Catherine Asaro, Brenda Clough, and Nancy Kress – and they have been the same team for a long time. This was to help them have some backup so they would have to keep doing it forever. They would know tons more. I think it was an extremely high turnout based on what I remember.

    In terms of moving into the future, I’ve already had a bunch of historical info. dumped on me. It’s all well and good. My basic idea has always been to support Russell. I’ll do the work he needs to get his job done for everyone.

  19. I am glad to see that Dr. Burt is sitting this year out.

    On a side note, I did get a kick out of some of the write-in candidates.

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