One Additional Thing For You to Consider For a Hugo, Not From Me
Posted on January 9, 2012 Posted by John Scalzi 10 Comments
I believe the correct category for this would be “Best Related Work,” and it’s related, obviously, because it was inspired by (and commissioned by me for) my novel Fuzzy Nation. Paul Sabourin and Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo (otherwise known as “Paul & Storm“) are the songwriters.
Note: For everyone else wanting to suggest things (not from me) for awards this year, I’ll have a fan suggestion thread coming up, probably in the next few days. Patience.
Hm, it might be a Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, rather than a Related Work. I can see how it might fit into either category. There’s precedent for audio works to be in Best Dramatic Presentation (Blows Against the Empire and a Firesign Theatre album in the 1970s).
(I do not speak in any official capacity here.)
I think it’s definitely Dramatic Presentation Short Form, per last year’s precedent of putting the song/video for “F*ck Me Ray Bradbury” there.
No, because the Dramatic Presentation was the actual video itself. Likewise “Blows Against the Empire” was a concept album, which told a story, hence the dramatic presentation there. Likewise Firesign Theater were skits, i.e., dramatic performances, in audio form.
The song isn’t telling a story, other than in a most tangential way, and there’s no video, other than that particular still frame. So Short Form Dramatic Presentation is in my opinion not the correct category for it. However, Best Related Work fits it quite nicely. Thus: Best Related Work.
The song feels like it is set within a moment in a narrative context, rather than merely evocative of a setting or theme. That’s why I’d consider it a dramatic presentation.
“The song feels like it is set within a moment in a narrative context”
It’s so not.
Guys: I really do recommend if you consider it, you consider it as a related work, not as a dramatic presentation. Aside from being the correct category for this particular work, it’s also more likely to need fewer nominations in order to get on the short list for the category when it’s not competing with Doctor Who and Fringe and whatnot.
It won’t get on the ballot at all if the administrator rules that it’s been nominated in a category in which it’s not eligible. For example, it doesn’t matter if 1,000 people nominate it in Best Graphic Story; it’s definitely not eligible there.
Best Related Work is not really as much of a “catch all” category as you may think, and Dramatic Presentation is more than just “moving pictures on a screen.” There’s more precedent than you may think for songs to be considered in DP.
(I am Not a Current Hugo Award Administrator, and I Speak Only For Myself in this matter)
“For example, it doesn’t matter if 1,000 people nominate it in Best Graphic Story; it’s definitely not eligible there.”
I agree it would be stupid to nominate it in a category for which it is not eligible. I also know that from the wording of the category, it would be eminently qualified in the Best Related Work category, so the implication that I see it as a “catch-all” category is not really on point. And as a former nominee in the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category for an audiobook presentation, I find it mildly ironic that you would choose to remind me that Dramatic Presentation is not just “moving pictures on a screen.”
Indeed, that nomination is useful for this discussion, since it was the first time an audiobook was nominated in that category, which suggests that the Hugo administrators in general are interested in accommodating the nominating voters unless there is an explicit bar in the rules for a work to be in the category.
I know that I wouldn’t nominate “Fuzzy Man (Fuzzy Nation)” in the Dramatic Presentation category, since I’m pretty sure it doesn’t belong there; I don’t see it as a “dramatized production,” in the manner that the previous musical nominee in the category was. I am pretty sure it belongs in the Related Work category, which is why I suggest people nominate it there, should they wish to nominate it.
However, if people want to be extra sure, they could just nominate it in both categories. But if they choose only one, I would strongly suggest the “Related Work” category.
Yes, I know of the irony here. Let me try putting it a different way. I’m going to paraphrase what someone else said elsewhere about this. This is person with whom I have had numerous differences and thus have no personal reason to support, but I think he’s probably on target here.
“Dramatic,” in this case, does not solely mean “tells a story.” The WSFS usage implies a distinction between a text by itself (long recognized to belong in the written categories) and a text which is enhanced by a performer or performers. For what it’s worth (and I found this disconcerting when it was presented to me), a documentary would fall into “Dramatic Presentation” even though it is non-fictional.
The phrase “dramatic presentation” can’t be understood just from the meanings of the two words in isolation, but has to be taken in the context of its legislative intent and history.
Somewhere in the middle of the song, I thought I noticed some “Little River Band” influence.
The gesture being made on the cover by Mr. Scalzi can be interpreted in different ways, according to location. In the:
Mediterranean: Your wife is being unfaithful
Malta and Italy: Protection against the Evil Eye (when pointed)
South America: Protection against bad luck (when rotated)
USA: Texas University Logo, Texas Longhorn Football Team
I don’t actually know which one he’s intending to show.