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Argument by analogy will always have some inherent flaws. No two situations are exactly the same.

However, it strikes me that I've seen many of the arguments about the current state of the Hugo Awards before.

And if I say anything more than that, it will only result in people yelling at me.

Maybe I should just go back to bed now. If I do, maybe this post will let me sleep better. :)

On Awards

Apr. 5th, 2015 04:30 pm
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I see folks are talking about awards. So let's start from the smaller end of the spectrum and work up toward the larger one and see where I get to.

I'm a filker. I've won three Pegasus Awards (although I've always credited my joint win with Clif far more to him than to me; I was simply swimming in his wake) and been nominated a number of times. And I appreciate every one of them and I thank everyone who has ever nominated and voted for me over the years. I find that -- and I suspect this is no different from most people -- the affirmation is always a positive thing, win or lose. So thank you all again.

Of course, the Pegasus Awards are nominated by a small, self-selecting pool of people. There's no fee required to nominate, although the committee does try to make sure that the nominations are restricted to members of the filk community, because it would take very little for a small, outside group to massively skew the nominations. (Sound familiar?)

And I know there are various log-rolling efforts that have occurred over the years. I've pushed Juanita Coulson and her song, Chess, for a long time, because I consider it one of the seminal filk works that broke out of the more usual mode of filk a long time ago. And I was gratified when Juanita won a Pegasus Award for Best Writer/Composer a few years ago, as she'd never won one for anything over the years.

On a different note, I consider it a crime that Barry Childs-Helton has never won the Best Writer/Composer Pegasus. I could go on at length, but would you just listen to his body of work? Heck, just check out Dream of a Far Light. Consider that log pushed down the slope again. :)

Of course, the level of log-rolling above is pretty minor. (In my opinion. :) ) There've been more coordinated log-rolling campaigns, some that I've heard of, no doubt some others that I haven't. These things happen.

And all of this occurs for the Pegasus Awards, in an area where a "career" being affected by winning is a pretty unlikely concept.

So it pretty much has to be worse for the Hugo Awards.

Understand that the Hugo Awards don't have much truck with filkers. I still remember back when whatever Worldcon committee that it was decreed a category for the Watchmen Hugo so that they could get it the heck out of the Best Novel category. Of course, they had to find some other things that might in theory populate the category, so they declared that filksongs were eligible there too.

In the year that they were first performed. Not in the year that they were actually set in tangible media so that a larger group could hear them, but when they were first sung in a circle.

Thanks loads, guys. Well, at least they made their intentions pretty clear. A song that might have been heard by 50 people got to compete against publications with runs in the hundreds of thousands. I mean, you couldn't have expected the playing field to be level, but this one was pretty much vertical.

But I digress.

I do not have a lot of time to read SF lately. I'm lucky to read a half a dozen books in a year. I used to read every issue of Analog when it arrived at my home. But that was a long time ago.

And the SF field is much larger now. I'd have a great deal of trouble trying to keep up with what's out there even if I had the time to make the effort.

So I don't nominate for the Hugos since I dropped off the Worldcon circuit. I barely nominated in the years before I dropped off and a fair number of those were for people who suggested to me privately that maybe I could nominate their work.

(And no, I am not going to name any names. The names are not important. Please, please, please do not assume that any particular individual was engaging in this sort of private log-rolling because of my statement, because you are entirely likely to be wrong. Just take it as a fact that it happened -- and remember that I'm not exactly the most politically connected guy out there in fandom. :) )

How are people going to find things to nominate in a world with so much SF and fantasy out there that we can't consume the entire stream from the fire hose? Well, sometimes people make recommendations. Depending on who they are, their recommendations are going to carry more or less clout. That's not a great surprise either.

And sometimes, a group decides they don't like the mass of things that are on the Hugo ballot and that they need to make some recommendations of their own. And they're pretty aggressive about it. (In relative terms.)

And you get Sad Puppies.

Now my first opinion about this year's results is pretty straightforward -- I refuse to believe that one individual wrote three of the best five stories in a particular category in a particular year. Or at least I find it pretty unlikely.

Of course, I also found it unlikely that Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form should be dominated by Doctor Who episodes. And that went on for years.

So if you ask me what the first thing to do to fix the process is, I'd say that you should limit nominations for an author or a TV series to one per category.

But the second thing that I think is that the Sad Puppies have actually created a useful working model.

The SF fire hose is too big for almost all of us to consume.

In the world that we live in, a recommended and well-publicized set of nomination suggestions from people whose opinion you trust is invaluable in telling you what to go read and consider nominating. Whether you call them Sad Puppies, or slate-makers, or curators, or reviewers, this sort of slate can perform a valuable function.

In fact, it's even useful if you disagree with the opinion of the people who put together the slate. As Spider Robinson long ago observed, a book reviewer who you disagree with 100% of the time performs a valuable service for you. If he likes it, you don't want to read it. :)

So it may be that the best way forward for the Hugo Awards is for there to be a lot of trusted slate-makers out there giving you their recommendations -- because if they don't, you just end up drowning in the fire hose and you don't find the stuff that you like so that you can nominate it on a timely basis.

I could be wrong about this, of course.
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I finally had a chance to poke at some of the concerts that were recorded at Chicon 7 last year.

As far as our concert goes, well, we wanted bright active children... :)
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[livejournal.com profile] qnofhrt called my attention to some lovely pictures of Julie at Worldcon that Kristine Smith posted here.

And now you can see them too. :)

Home Again

Sep. 3rd, 2012 09:24 pm
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And we're home from Worldcon after a short drive. We're pretty tired, so more tomorrow.
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Katie and Julie have been dropped off for a half-day of school each in advance of Worldcon. [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise will pick them up, while I head down earlier with [livejournal.com profile] catalana and Steve to open up the tables.

See some of you there!

Setup

Aug. 29th, 2012 10:36 pm
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The Dodeka and ISFiC Press tables are mostly set up.

[livejournal.com profile] catalana and Steve should be here soon. Tomorrow morning, we'll cross the remaining i's and dot the t's.

Or something like that...

Gack!

Aug. 28th, 2012 11:51 pm
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The CDs are in the car. Well, except for one order that is apparently held up in customs. And a couple of other orders that were never acknowledged and probably aren't coming at all.

I'll pack clothes shortly, as they go down tomorrow to minimize the Thursday luggage transport.

The inventory list is updated, the new albums are ripped to the iPod. The directions to the hotel are printed out (and possibly accurate).

Tomorrow, I walk Katie over to school and then we dive into the van and start the fun.

Wish us luck. We'll probably need it. :)
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Worldcon is being exceptionally complicated for an in-town convention, because we are running two dealer tables -- ours and the ISFiC Press table. So we will pack up the van tonight with the Dodeka merchandise (some of which is still in the basement) and our main luggage.

Tomorrow, we will drop Katie off for kindergarten. Then [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise, Julie, and I will set off for the Hyatt loading dock. Once the van is unloaded, I will leave Gretchen to start unpacking and head off to Deerfield to pick up some 30 boxes of ISFiC Press books, Julie in tow.

Once I get those back to the loading dock and unloaded, I will turn the van and Julie back over to Gretchen and go continue unpacking both tables. If and when I finish (ok, when I finish), I'll hop on the Blue Line and head out to River Road where Gretchen can pick me up.

Later that night, [livejournal.com profile] catalana and Steve should arrive at our house. I'll head down with them in the morning to open the table. Gretchen will drop Katie and Julie off at school and pre-school respectively. She'll pick them up at lunch and will head down to the Hyatt, arriving -- with any luck! -- in time for the concert that Erica, Gretchen, and I have at 1:30 PM.

After that, it gets simpler...

Glub

Aug. 26th, 2012 10:33 pm
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It was good that we went to the pool yesterday, because it rained all day today and was not fit for swimming. Unfortunately, not a lot of progress was made as both Katie and I are feeling a little punk.

With any luck, Katie will feel good in the morning, as it's her first day of kindergarten.

And I'll feel good by Worldcon. :)
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And I've now managed to successfully get Win Some, Lose Some uploaded to BookBaby and started through their system. We'll see how it goes...
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Well, I thought that I had all of the information that I needed to submit the e-book version of Win Some, Lose Some, but it looks like our printer didn't change the ISBN internally when converting the file to an e-book and -- if I understand correctly -- we need a different ISBN for the e-book in any case.

So we'll try this again...
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So we've decided that the course of least resistance for getting an ISFiC Press e-book into the distribution channels is to pay BookBaby to do it. And Mike Resnick's upcoming Win Some, Lose Some is the guinea pig.

I have the converted e-book files from Thomson-Shore. I have the ISBN. And now it's time to put the book up through BookBaby.

Oops. This would be easier if I had the cover blurb. And the cover bio for Mike. Neither of those are part of the converted e-book file.

I've now sent off an e-mail asking for them and then we'll just keep going with the process and see what I need next. :)
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And the CD reorders are now finally in the e-mail.

Time for bed now! :)
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The Hugo nomination deadline is tonight at 11:59 PM PDT.

If you were thinking about nominating, this would be a good time to do so if you haven't already and are awake.

If you were thinking about nominating Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension in the short-form dramatic presentation category, this would also be a good time to do it. And if you were expecting a last e-mail blast about the nominating deadline, it didn't happen, at least that I remember seeing.

Edited to reflect the category that the P&F movie is eligible in at the suggestion of the good Mr. Higgins. :)
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Well, at least we settled the issue of whether or not I'll be doing anything for Chicon 7 tonight.

[livejournal.com profile] shsilver had invited me up to the announcement party at the Westin tonight and told me to go ahead and bring the kids -- incidentally making it possible for [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise to come along. So I figured, why not?

We were having a pleasant conversation with Elaine when Erik got the video running from Australia. (And kudos to Erik for managing the tech.) Unfortunately, the sound was a bit spotty and Julie was initially being a bit loud as we tried to quiet her. One of the committee members with whom I have a bit of history told us we would have to get her to be quiet or take her out. So we got her to be quiet -- at least as quiet as a non-sleeping two-year old ever is. Pretty much the occasional happy toddler noise at a low level. And the same person told us to take her out.

So I erupted. And I grabbed Julie, told the committee member to "F*ck off", and told Gretchen to grab our things.

And we left.

I'm sure it will be a lovely convention. And I'm equally sure that they really don't need me for anything, so I probably don't need to be a source of irritation.

*sigh*

(As Gretchen observed, this particular committee member has a fine history of chattering away during committee meetings and convention panels. I suppose that wouldn't help.)
billroper: (Default)
Well, at least we settled the issue of whether or not I'll be doing anything for Chicon 7 tonight.

[livejournal.com profile] shsilver had invited me up to the announcement party at the Westin tonight and told me to go ahead and bring the kids -- incidentally making it possible for [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise to come along. So I figured, why not?

We were having a pleasant conversation with Elaine when Erik got the video running from Australia. (And kudos to Erik for managing the tech.) Unfortunately, the sound was a bit spotty and Julie was initially being a bit loud as we tried to quiet her. One of the committee members with whom I have a bit of history told us we would have to get her to be quiet or take her out. So we got her to be quiet -- at least as quiet as a non-sleeping two-year old ever is. Pretty much the occasional happy toddler noise at a low level. And the same person told us to take her out.

So I erupted. And I grabbed Julie, told the committee member to "F*ck off", and told Gretchen to grab our things.

And we left.

I'm sure it will be a lovely convention. And I'm equally sure that they really don't need me for anything, so I probably don't need to be a source of irritation.

*sigh*

(As Gretchen observed, this particular committee member has a fine history of chattering away during committee meetings and convention panels. I suppose that wouldn't help.)
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This is a stupidly late hour to be up at on a work night. On the other hand, I had several things that I really needed to take care of and they're done, so...

It turns out that sales at Worldcon were worse than we thought, because ISFiC Press actually sold more than $1000 worth of books at retail. Good for ISFiC Press, not so good for us. :)
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This is a stupidly late hour to be up at on a work night. On the other hand, I had several things that I really needed to take care of and they're done, so...

It turns out that sales at Worldcon were worse than we thought, because ISFiC Press actually sold more than $1000 worth of books at retail. Good for ISFiC Press, not so good for us. :)

Midland

Aug. 29th, 2006 09:40 pm
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We left Las Cruces at the leisurely hour of 10 AM, arriving in Midland a bit before 5:30 PM, counting the time change back to Central time. The 80 MPH speed limit is quite nice and lasted from outside of El Paso to the county that Odessa is in. However, it's a daytime speed limit only, so just as well that we waited until the next day so we weren't condemned to drive 65 MPH (or break the law in some substantial fashion).

I've now converted their wireless router to use a 128-bit key which Judy has printed out and put in a safe place.

Geek Squad, bah! (Ok, there was some wireless security, which is more than I can say for their neighbors. :) )

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