May 2016

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
katster: (Default)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 08:54 pm

So the Hugo Award ceremony has come and gone, and the results were a Puppy rout, including five separate invocations of No Award in the five categories Pups had locked the ballot. At this point, I’m not interested in replaying the cultural war mishmash of the last seven months, to be honest. I just wanted to do a quick examination of why I voted the way I did.

First of all, I should state that I’m not a puppy. If you didn’t know that by now, I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve been dreaming of winning one since I was in high school and read Asimov’s pontificating about them, and I’ve been honored to be a participant in the process of choosing one since 2007, more or less. Some years are harder than others — the last couple have been eaten by personal problems. But I managed to vote this year.

This was my process:

1) Elimination of anybody who advocated that the Hugo Award should be destroyed. This affected only a small amount of people on the ballot, one of which was, of course the leader of one of the two slate campaigns. My reasoning for this was simple. If you express an interest in blowing the award up, then it’s fairly obvious that YOU DON’T WANT IT. This only affected three people, but eight nominations.

2) Reading all the stories. (And yes, despite my immediate elimination of the people above, I still read their stories, confirming that my decision as above was sane and rational — the works didn’t deserve the award anyway.)

3) Weighing all the stories in a complex matrix which did include, I admit, some bias against those folk who were going out of their way to accuse me, somebody who takes their Hugo voting rather seriously, of not bothering to read the nominated works. I read them — as I said, I take this *seriously*. In fact, there was a familiar name on the Puppy ballot this year — I voted for his novel to win best novel several years back. I don’t just go blindly in for the sake of diversity. This is important, Pups, as you will see in a moment.

I read and I read, and I read some more. And in the end, I backed away from my complete anti-Puppy pledge, voting for a couple of people here and there. Sadly, most of the works I did read were not worthy of a Hugo award, and I voted as such. However, I did end up giving votes to folks in both the short and long form editor campaigns — Jen Brozek is an awesome editor, and I expect she’ll win some legitimately soon enough, and I was impressed by the work Sheila Gilbert has edited.

There’s one editor I did place below no award that has the puppies screaming. That would be Toni Weisskopf, and this is my reason for doing so: I depend on the voting packet to help me with the editors. All I was given in regards to Weisskopf’s editing was a link to Baen Books. Weisskopf was not even the only Baen editor on this year’s ballot, and surfing over to that website gave me no clue as to who had edited what. If I cannot determine what you have edited, then I cannot fairly judge your work, and I must sadly concede that it is perhaps better to have no award be given than give an award which I cannot determine if the nominee is worthy.

If Ms. Weisskopf and Baen would like to prevent this in the future, perhaps either including a list of the works you have worked on in the packet or, if Baen is truly a tag-team sort of environment, mentioning what value you add to the process. I’m not all that familiar with Baen, partly because it’s not my particular cup of tea and partly because I get this feeling that I, even as a lifelong science fiction fan, am not particularly welcome in that particular publishing house.

But that’s the long and short of it. I voted based on what I read. It was a slog this year, instead of the joy it normally is.

I don’t think 2016 is going to be much better.

Mirrored from katster's closet.

katster: (Default)
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 03:28 am

And there was much rejoicing. Yay.

I’m going to chronicle my reading here on this blog, but I wanted to do a quick rundown of what is in this year’s Hugo Voter’s Package. Sasquan released the package yesterday afternoon, and I’ve been spending a bit of time putting it all on my Kindle.

It’s been an interesting year for the Hugos and I think the voter’s pack reflects that. So, category by category, here’s what’s in the packet and my thoughts on the matter.

I should note, before I get started, that the Hugo Packet is a gift from the participants to the voters to make us more informed voters, and that I am entitled to none of it. Sometimes I make comments that skirt that ground, but I do truly wish to say thank you to the publishers, authors, artists, editors, and other varied participants who make this effort to help us to be informed voters. It is appreciated.

The same goes to the folks back at Sasquan central who are administering the Hugo Awards. This has been a crazy year, and your diligence, patience, and hard work are appreciated by this voter.

With all that said…let’s get to it.


NOVEL
3 complete novels:

  • The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
  • The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson

2 extracts:

  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher
  • Ancillary Sword, Anne Leckie

My thoughts: Orbit continues the practice they did last year of including an excerpt of a novel in the package. Last year, they did it with Ancillary Justice, Neptune’s Brood, and Parasite and those novels went 1-2-3 in the voting, so it didn’t hurt them. Butcher is published by Penguin. The three whole novels are all Tor. It’s interesting that Tor (and Baen) seem to be the publishers that get that this is a goodwill thing. Ah well, I have a copy of the Butcher and I’ve read Ancillary Sword, although I would have loved to get another chance to make it fresh in my memory.


NOVELLA
All works made available.

My thoughts: It’s interesting that they put all five of John C. Wright’s nominations into one ebook, but I guess that saves time. I’m not sure if I’m up to reading all five Wright works back to back to back, so I may have to put in chasers. Luckily, swapping ebooks is not a hard process.


NOVELETTE
All works made available.

My thoughts: A minor quibble that the Flynn is only in PDF, but I can live with that. I’m getting these for free, after all, and my kindle does read them.


SHORT STORY

All works made available.

My thoughts: Wow. Baen included the whole book that one of the short stories was in. That’ll make for some fun non-Hugo reading. (I don’t really have a problem with Baen. They’re sci-fi — yeah, maybe a bit conservative and gun fetishy at times, but they’ve also got some really good authors, like Lois McMaster Bujold and Eric Flint. PS: If you haven’t been reading Eric Flint’s take on the whole Hugo kerfluffle, you really ought to check it out.


RELATED WORK:

4 complete:

  • “The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF”, Ken Burnside
  • Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth, John C. Wright
  • “Why Science is Never Settled”, Tedd Roberts
  • Wisdom from My Internet, Michael Z. Williamson

1 extract:

  • Letters from Gardner, Lou Antonelli

My thoughts: “The Hot Equations” is represented by a complete copy of Riding the Red Horse, which I believe covers entries in Related, Short Story, and Editor Short Form. It also covers the lone fiction credit for ESR in the Campbell, although that’s not stated in the notes attached to the files. “Why Science is Never Settled” is PDF only, as is the extract from Letters from Gardner. I wish there were a way to get a digital copy of Letters From Gardner because I’d like to read it in its entirety and $18.50 is a little steep for my budget at the moment. That said, I know the publisher of the book does good quality stuff (I have a copy of their version of Who Killed Science Fiction? around here.)


GRAPHIC STORY
4 works represented:

  • Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
  • Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery
  • Saga Volume 3
  • Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick

My thoughts: The press release from Sasquan hints that the missing nominee (Zombie Nation #2) may be coming to the packet at a later date. It was also the only one that the guy who owns my comic book shop had never heard of. These two thoughts may or may not be related.


DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG/SHORT
No representation

My thoughts: This isn’t unusual. The Hugos are not the Oscars, and digital video isn’t quite there yet.


EDITOR SHORT FORM
Contributions from all active members

My thoughts: This is one of two categories affected by late withdrawals, so there is nothing from Edmund R. Schubert. (Of course, he’s put out, independently, what he would have submitted, and I need to go through that.) Day is represented by the aforementioned Riding the Red Horse and the works of John C. Wright elsewhere on the ballot. Schmidt includes the anthology he co-edited with Brozek; Brozek includes another anthology that she edited. Resnick put a list of what he’s edited together.


EDITOR LONG FORM
Editorial bibliography from Anne Sowards, editorial bibliography and sample chapters from Sheila Gilbert, and a link to editorial bibliography by Toni Weisskopf.

My thoughts: Perhaps the most interesting thing here is this note included with the file: “Vox Day has no submission.” I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but it’s hard to judge somebody in this category without a nod towards what they’ve edited. Can Day truly say that he’s been No Awarded because of evil social justice warriors when he can’t even provide an editorial bibliography? I assume that because Weisskopf’s link is to Baen Books, that she edits all the long form stuff coming out of Baen — there’s no easy link on the site to tell. And whatever happened to Jim Minz? (And I thought he was Baen too…) Maybe this is stuff that will get sorted out.


PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
Four artists have sample work in this category.

My thoughts: I glanced through the sample artwork, and by and far, all of it is good stuff. I’ll do closer diligence when I hit this category. The missing artist is Carter Reid, the artist of the missing graphic novel above, so I will have to assume that his delayed submission will cover him here.


SEMIPROZINE
All candidates have sample work.

My thoughts: Nothing to write home about here. Abyss and Apex only has a PDF copy of their semiprozine, whereas the other four included epub and mobi copies, but that, as I have noted before, is a minor quibble.


FANZINE
Three candidates have sample work.

My thoughts: This is the second Hugo category affected by a late withdrawal, and thus only has four members in it. The missing candidate is Elitist Book Reviews. (Again, guys, don’t go blaming your loss on an SJW conspiracy when you don’t get stuff into the packet.)


FANCAST
All fancasts have a sample episode.

My thoughts: I’m not big on podcasts — I read much faster than I listen. But I’m going to give all five of these a try. I need to make sure they get on my phone. All episodes are in the mp3 format — of course, that’s generally the standard on the Internet.


FAN WRITER
All writers have sample work.

My thoughts: Everybody’s present here. Freer, Sanderson, and Green have work in multiple formats, whereas Johnson and Mixon have PDF only, but again, a minor quibble.


FAN ARTIST
All artists have sample work.

My thoughts: Foster, Schoenhuth, and Aalto have a URL to see more of their work elsewhere on the web, but all artists contributed something to the package itself. I flipped through the work in the packet and found much to admire. And I really need to bug both Brad and Steve for fanzine art…


CAMPBELL (not a hugo)
Three writers have submissions in this category.

My thoughts: English, Chu, and Cordova all have something in the packet. I haven’t looked closely to see what those things are. I think Chu is a novel, and Cordova had two items — both may be novels or they may be stories. I think English is primarily a short story author at the moment, but I could be mistaken. Although there is no note, I know Raymond’s only professional sale has been his story in Riding the Red Horse, which we have elsewhere in the packet. I have no idea what’s going on with Nelson.

***

…phew. That took some time to write up.

Mirrored from katster's closet.

katster: (Default)
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 09:57 pm

Over the last few days, I have been voraciously combing the internet, reading anything and everything I can find on the nominees for the Hugo awards and wrestling with my own conscience. I think I have finally come to a conclusion as to what I am going to do.

I will read all the Hugo nominees as if this were a normal year. I cannot betray my own sense of professionalism and well, I’ve read Glenn Beck and the entire Left Behind series without throwing the books through the window or across the room. I am, as I said in my earlier post, not looking forward to this. I am not reading these because the Sad Puppies demand that I must — I am because I feel an obligation to my own conscience to do so, just as I would any other year.

That said, I will rank all the nominees on either the Sad Puppies or Rabid Puppies slates below No Award.

There are some things on the ballot for which it pains me to have to do this. I have loved the Dresden Files ever since my good friend Eileen introduced them to me by giving me the books for Christmas — but Jim Butcher is on the slate. Guardians of the Galaxy was my favorite movie of the year and a work I might have actually nominated if I’d felt well enough to turn in nominations. Nope. The Lego Movie is right behind it in terms of movies I loved last year, and would have been a very close #2 to Guardians. Sorry.

I am especially grieved to make this decision in cases like Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Black Gate, and Annie Bellet. It grieves me because Jen Brozek, a person I know and respect, is on the short form editor ballot and I would love to see her win a Hugo.

But I can’t vote any of these folks above No Award. I am sorry, but this is what my conscience demands of me. I will read your work in my packet. I will consider you for my own nominations in 2016 — and I plan to participate in the nomination round next year. But any ranking you may earn by the quality of your work will go after No Award this year.

I have decided this because I care about the Hugo. I have cared about the Hugo ever since I found out about it in an introduction in one of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels, and I dream of winning it someday. But in order to keep that dream alive, I have to make sure the Hugos survive. If it comes to a slate vs. slate situation, I would have even less chance of ending up on the Hugo ballot than I already did. So the only thing I can do is express my horror and displeasure at slate voting, and use what few tools I have to express that displeasure.

For those who are saying that I am only doing this because I disagree with the political stances of Sad/Rabid Puppies, I would be doing this if it were the John Scalzi/Making Light Slate of Rainbow Joy Kittens.

My mind is my own, and I make my own decisions.

It doesn’t really matter. I am just one person, and my blog is so minuscule that it won’t register. My vote is but a drop in an ocean, but it is mine. My mind, my thoughts, my opinions — they are my own.

Mirrored from katster's closet.

katster: (Default)
Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 06:56 pm

In no particular order:

  • My souvenir book and program guide for the worldcon just concluded in Montreal came today. My cat is thankful to the committee for providing her with cat toys. Cat toys? I hear you ask. Well, you see, in order to keep the souvenir book flat, somebody attached package straps, and my cat seems to think these make wonderfully awesome toys. This is why I voted for the folks in Montreal; I knew they would be thoughtful like that. ;)
  • Had to take my car in for servicing today — it needed an oil change. Not a big deal. On the way home, I found somebody with a car that had a license plate of RIP BUD, a license plate frame that read “In memory of my son Bud”, and one of those in memoriam stickers in the back window. I understand that grief is a powerful thing, but I’ve got to wonder what the story is that made somebody feel the necessity of shelling out for personalized plates to bear his/her grief. Guess this is one of those things to file away and let the brain see how they can make fiction from it.
  • Got my first distribution of the eAPA out as the OE. It’s a bit scary being the dude in charge, but I think I can handle it. It’ll get easier from here on out, I’m sure. That said, I’ve got to start trying to figure out how to get new members — I love the ones we have, but new members are always fun. So if anybody out there reading this who isn’t already in on the fun that is the eAPA and want to join in, it’s once a month in pdf (and if you don’t have a pdf writer, I can turn it into pdf from Word or Open Office documents without a problem). The folks in the APA are nice and we don’t bite unless you ask really nicely. So come on…whatcha waiting for? Join in the fun. Toss me an email.

And I think that’s pretty much all the news that is news across the nation. At least, at the moment.

So we’ll leave this with a question: what sort of detritus is in your head at the moment?

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Monday, August 10th, 2009 10:28 am

So another Worldcon winds down. If all goes well, I should be at the next one, but at the moment I’m not expecting it to go well. However, unless things go absolutely pear-shaped, I’ll be at the one in 2011, since, y’know, it’s just over the hill from Sactown.

But that’s not the point of this post. The point is to prod at the news from Montreal. And here’s my thoughts. Note: these are just my thoughts. blathering beyond this point, proceed at own risk )

And I think that’s most all the news from Montreal. I’ll sign off now.

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Friday, May 22nd, 2009 07:37 pm

Current ribbon count: 31, plus gopher ribbon, plus three I haven’t attached to the badge yet, for a total of 35.

Current fun being had: Loads.

Permission for live broadcasting from the Fanzine Lounge: Authorized.

Picture taken of me: Possibly for the newsletter, need to get somebody to snap me with my own camera, probably in my natural habitat (in front of a door).

Things that are crucial: Make up signs for the unofficial Sactown BOF in the consuite tomorrow.

Things that have made me feel really awesome: Getting a nice note from the lady who cleaned our room since we left her a tip. Getting mentioned at ribbon panel as having one of the possibly hot ribbons of the con.

And that’s about it.

More later, or you can always check my twitter feed as I can get to that on my phone and may be inclined to update it more frequently. Or not. I mean, as it is, I’ve made more posts this week than I have in weeks…

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 08:51 am

So I participate in a couple APAs. One of them is not relevant to this story. The other is.

You see, the next issue of eAPA will be its sixtieth. Since it’s a once a month APA, the sixtieth edition means that it has been going for five years. In celebration of this milestone, we’ve been asked to project what fandom might look like five years down the road. It’s an interesting question at the moment, as people I follow have been nattering about the future of Worldcon, among other things.

So here’s the question. Aside from me accepting my first Hugo at the possibly-European Worldcon of 2014, what do you think fandom will look like in five years?

(Okay, so I’m kidding on the Hugo thing, but ever since I got into science fiction enough to understand just what a Hugo was, I’ve always wanted one of them rocket thingys. Although 2014 might be a bit soon…)

Anyway, I’d really like the comments to be on my blog, so I’m funneling LJ comments over here. Also, feel free to pass this URL onto anybody who might care to comment, as this is the sort of thought I’d like to get from anybody who’s got an opinion on the matter. While this is mainly concerned with science fiction fandom (and all its various components), I’d love to hear from folks who are into anime or comics or media or games, because I suspect those fields tie into the general fandom.

Also, since Chuck, our esteemed editor, would kill me if I failed to mention this, eAPA is always looking for new members. It’s all digital, as we do it in PDF. If you’d like to hang out and wait for the open issue next month, that’s cool, but if you want to get involved in this, Chuck’s address is on the eAPA page at efanzines, which I’ve linked to above.

Originally published at retstak.org. Please leave any comments there.

katster: (Default)
Sunday, August 17th, 2008 12:11 am
The collection of Worldcon books

The collection of Worldcon books

I finally got around to unpacking the 38 lb duffle and decided to take this picture. This is the collection of books I had signed at Worldcon (or otherwise was collected around that period). Technically, I got my copy of Plague War before Worldcon, but my original plans were to get it and have Jeff Carlson sign it at Worldcon — luckily, Jeff was doing a signing at the Roseville Barnes and Noble the Saturday before Worldcon. Also, the Feghoot book was a lovely parting gift for attempting to compete at Win Tom Whitmore’s Books, and is not signed, although it comes from this worldcon. There are also two unpictured books as they were not in the bag in question, but I’ve listed them below.

No, I did not have an ounce of fun in Denver. I resent the implication that I might have had fun. ;)

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Monday, July 14th, 2008 12:12 pm

I’m about to enter the pay period just prior to Worldcon. That means that I’m about three weeks out. I think it’ll be three weeks tomorrow that I get on a plane and leave for Denver. That means I need to figure out what has to be done in those three weeks.

  1. I need to get my ribbon order into the ribbon printers. I know Worldcon isn’t as ribbon-happy as Baycon (there are very few places that are as ribbon-happy as Baycon, and I have the badge to prove it), but does anybody out there care to give me an estimate of just how ribbon-happy Worldcon can be?
  2. I need to find and pack books that I might want to get signed while I’m in Denver. This will require a long perusal of the attendance and a trip to the storage shed. It’s cheaper to mail than to take the box on the plane with me — I’m already going to have trouble keeping myself to one bag to avoid the $25 charge for the second. The book box needs to be mailed no later than Monday August 4th, and probably should be mailed the Thursday or Friday prior. Also, doublecheck with Mal that the address you have is correct.
  3. I need to check with [info]ceemage about what plans are being made that may require my technical expertise.
  4. I also need to put together an issue for the August eAPA mailing. This is mandatory for two reasons — one, I skipped July, which means I’m falling dangerously close to failing to meet minac, and two, I’m trying to make plans to meet those members whom are going to Denver. I should probably start on that sometime this week so the end of the month doesn’t creep up on me. Again.
  5. The weekend prior (Aug 2nd and 3rd) I need to make sure that most everything is packed. I need to doublecheck this on Monday. Tuesday is going to be a whirlwind of a day, as I’m working a full eight hours and catching a flight to Denver, and there will not be time for last minute packing such as I’m famous for. If I’m packing on Monday, it’s a problem.
  6. Hopefully the preliminary schedule will be up soon so I can go over it. It’s probably a good idea to walk into this at least having a vague idea what might be coming up.
  7. Anything else? I know I’m missing something, but I’m not sure what that might be. Any help from those who have attended prior Worldcons?

It is going to be an interesting three weeks.

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.