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Sasquan Opens Hugo Voting

For those who are already members of worldcon, Sasquan has opened Hugo voting. With the electronic ballot, you can go and post some preferences and votes now, then return a day later, or a week later, or a month later, and change them, or add some more rankings. Your vote does not get counted until balloting closes.

The ballot is here: http://sasquan.org/hugo-awards/voting/

If you have not voted the Hugo Awards before, please note that it is an "Australian ballot," a preferential system whereby one ranks the nominees. You don't just vote for one. You can rank NO AWARD as if it were any other finalist; ahead of some nominees, behind others.

(Which is the way I believe one should use NO AWARD. As I have stated previously, I am opposed to the nuclear option of just blindly voting NO AWARD in every category).

Of course, you need to member to vote. Supporting Memberships will cost you $40. You can sign up to buy one at https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php

In addition to voting privileges, a Supporting Membership will get you the convention's program book (usually a handsome item, though it varies from year to year) and other publications.


Apr. 29th, 2015 09:26 am (UTC)
As I understand it, putting any other choice after No Award may end up counting as a vote for that choice in the event that there is no clear outcome from the ballot at an earlier stage, so putting e.g. No Award first then all of the Puppy nominations afterwards in a given category is VERY likely to end up as a vote for one of the Puppy candidates. Putting No Award in 4th position and a Puppy in fifth may also end up as a vote for the 5th choice, though that's less likely.
Apr. 29th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
This is true. But anything ranked below NO AWARD only becomes a vote for that nominee if and when NO AWARD is eliminated.

If all the Puppy candidates are the same to you, and you feel none of them are worthy of a Hugo, then you don't rank them at all.

But if you feel, hypothetically, that neither X nor Y is Hugo worthy, but X is just mediocre whereas Y is reprehensible, then you'd want to list NO AWARD, then X, then Y.
Apr. 29th, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC)
I discussed No Award in exhaustive detail on my LJ a few days ago.

Remember that Hugo voting has an extra "No Award Showdown" step, so even if your behind-NA award led to a work being the preliminary winner, it will still have to beat No Award in a head-to-head showdown, where only ballots that marked either No Award or the Preliminary Winner (or both) are counted. So while you can influence the selection of a less-bad finalist with a sub-No Award vote, you aren't really voting for it.

The way you should mark your ballot is to put a 1 by what you want to win, then look at the ballot and say "if 1 wasn't there, for whom would I vote" and mark it 2. Keep doing this until you run out of choices or reach the point where you say, "I don't care how the rest of the works finish," and leave them blank. If you marked NA in any position, you've now ranked all of those "unranked" works tied for last place on your ballot. If you did not mark NA, you've abstained when it comes to deciding amongst the unranked works.

Edited at 2015-04-30 04:09 pm (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2015 12:19 pm (UTC)
Spreading around
As a new fan (I had never heard of A Song of Ice and Fire until two years ago, oops), the whole controversy has been fascinating to read (infuriating at moments, but fascinating nonetheless). I had no previous knowledge of any awards or conventions. I suddenly heard about all these authors mentioned on both sides of the conflict, and I started piling up titles on my to-read list, and I love that. I'm aware that there are far better ways of finding new reading material, but I wonder how many new readers have discovered these stories and this whole fandom world because of the conflict.
Whatever happens to the actual awards this year, I want to think it's highly probable that this conflict creates a bigger desire of participation in corners of the fandom that were more passive, more new fans discovering these stories and authors, voting. It's certainly possible. I know I signed up!
May. 4th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
Require past Worldcon attendance to nominate
I haven't seen this suggested yet. Leave voting for the awards open as it is now, but require past physical attendance to nominate. It's easy to kick in $40 and fill out a form on the web. Actually going to the con is a much bigger barrier to entry, and implies a level of commitment to the organization (I don't think you'll see many people there just to crash the con).
Phillip Hallam-Baker
May. 14th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
Thinking laterally
One of the comments I have seen elsewhere is that perhaps it is time to completely rethink the Hugos because the medium has changed so much. I think this is worth considering irrespective of the puppy issue.

Today most of the categories are for short form works. Back in the days when Azimov started, short stories were the principal medium for SF. Today the market for paid short stories is practically non existent. The market is looking for big novels and preferably series like ASOIAF. But there is only one award for novels and series only get recognition on the basis of individual books.

So some reorg of the categories to give more recognition for the longer works seems necessary.

There is also the question of recognition of video games as an emerging medium. Its almost 30 years since I wrote video games. In the 8 bit era there was no scope for anything like a plot. But virtual worlds like Skyrim and MineCraft have changed that entirely.

Building an immersive environment like Skyrim is an enterprise as complex and high risk as an action movie. The budget for Skyrim was $80 million, about the same as a season of GoT or an upper midrange feature movie. Since the return was over a billion it is most likely that the next installment of the Elder Scrolls will cost more to make than the next Bond movie.

This is a serious medium that offers different opportunities and constraints to traditional forms. We already have Westeros in Minecraft, Skyrim is clearly building on and extending the fantasy form. It isn't exactly Westeros but it would be fairly easy to build Westeros using the Skyrim game engine: Just take out the use of magic for combat, add white walkers and import the geography from the HBO opening credits and it is 50% there.
May. 14th, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Thinking laterally
Video games have their own awards. The Hugo voters are primarily fans of prose fiction -- books -- and have no special expertise in video games.

(I opposed the creation of the graphic novel category for the same reason. I lost that one. Even so, for comic book writers and artists, the Eisner is a far more meaningful award).

You may have a point about the three short fiction awards. They are relicks of an earlier and more innocent time.
May. 16th, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Thinking laterally
Fair enough on the video game thing and the Hugos. But I think worth bearing in mind if we work out how to defeat the puppy types, its the gamergate poison that has given them the boost this year. I have no sympathy for the gamergate misogyny, but they are actually right about game reviews in magazines being fixed. Its just that the reason has nothing to do with journalists sleeping with producers of indie games, it is the fact that the magazines get most of their revenues from advertising by the producers of the games they review.

On the books thing, collapsing the three short form awards into one would allow awards for different types of novel. The logical new category that would come to mind is best novel that is part of a series.

Right now there is evident pushback against blockbuster novels like ASOIAF and Harry Potter that threaten to swamp the best novel category simply because everyone who attends a con has heard of them which some see as an unfair advantage. It is a fair point. The printing of the final Harry Potter permanently changed the way books are printed and distributed in the US. The logistics of delivering a print run of 12 million copies on the day of release were quite hilariously extreme.

Some people argue that such a situation is its own reward but it seems rather more sensible to recognize that these as two different categories. The series award isn't going to go to a blockbuster every year of course.
Frank Probst
May. 16th, 2015 07:26 pm (UTC)
Dramatic Presentation, Long & Short Form
Sorry to keep asking (and you can just tell me to shut up if this is getting repetitive), but can you start a thread on the Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award nominees? We're still waiting on our Hugo voter packets, and I've just seen the last of the Dramatic Presentation nominees, and I'm dying to talk about them.
May. 16th, 2015 08:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Dramatic Presentation, Long & Short Form
I already said what I had to say about those categories in one of my previous posts.
Frank Probst
May. 16th, 2015 08:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Dramatic Presentation, Long & Short Form
Doh! My bad. I missed it. Sorry!
May. 18th, 2015 10:13 pm (UTC)
What is Sasquan going to be like?
Hi GRRM, All,

what is a Worldcon like for an average scifi/fantasy reader?

I never went to conventions but this year I am thinking of going, perhaps with family and a friend. I am trying to understand roughly what to expect if I register as an on-site participant and show up. Does it make sense, or it is not very meaningful for a reader, more for writers and very active members of the community?

The closest event that I have attended is a scientific conference. Should I expect something similar: a formal agenda with talks, townhalls and panels, with one or two social events thrown in? Is it less formal? How many people attend? Is it possible to bump into GRRM between the events and chat for a few minutes, or he is assaulted by hordes of screaming fans and is actively hiding (I exaggerate ... maybe)?

What's your advice, GRRM, hardcore fans/attendees?
May. 18th, 2015 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: What is Sasquan going to be like?
Worldcons are more about the fans than the writers.

They are not formal at all, except for the Hugo Awards... and even there, though many people dress up, it is not compulsory.

During the day there are panels, readings, autographings, and other programming, along with the dealer's room where books and collectibles are sold. There's also an art show and an exhibits hall.

But the real soul of the con are the parties, which take place at night. Some are by invitation only, but most of them are open for anyone who wants to attend. There is also a fair amount of action in the bar every night.

Attendance varies. Spokane will probably be a smaller worldcon. Last year London drew 10,000; I would surprised if Spokane manages half that number.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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