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A Rocket For The Editor, Part Two

For all those who have been waiting for the t'other shoe to drop... I talked about some worthy choices for the Hugo for Best Professional Editor (Long Form) down below, so it behooves me to say a few words about Best Professional Editor (Short Form) as well.

This is the second category that was created when "Best Editor" was split in 2007, but in some ways it feels more like a continuation of the older category. Magazine editors almost always won Best Editor before the split, and of course magazine editors have dominated the new Short Form category as well... though not to the same extent. Anthologists, who were always eligible even before the split but almost never won, have been holding their own in recent years, mostly in the person of the redoubtable Ellen Datlow. Datlow has won Short Form three times since the split. Sheila Williams of ASIMOV'S has won twice, Gordon Van Gelder of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION has won twice, and Stanley Schmidt of ANALOG has won once... in his final year of eligibility, after his retirement was announced.

The "usual suspects" syndrome is strong in this category. Since the division, a whole new phalanx of bridesmaids has come forth. Jonathan Strahan, Neil Clarke, and John Joseph Adams have all been nominated multiple times, but none of them has ever taken home a rocket. Unlike Long Form, which has become a de facto lifetime achievement award thanks in large part to the example set by David G. Hartwell, none of the Short Form winners have ever retired themselves from the competition. Of course, some have been retired by, well, retirement... Stan Schmidt and Gordon Van Gelder, for instance, no longer edit ANALOG and F&SF, respectively, and are no longer eligible.

Last year, this was another category completely dominated by the Puppies. All five of the finalists were first-time nominees... which was good. But all five were from the slates, which was not so good. Four of the five were nonetheless legitimate nominees worthy of serious consideration: anthologists Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Edmund R. Schubert of ORSON SCOTT CARD'S INTERGALACTIC MEDICINE SHOW, and Mike Resnick of GALAXY'S EDGE. (Schubert subsequently withdrew his name from consideration, which was commendable, but he did it too late to be replaced on the ballot).

Conspicuous by their absence from the ballot were a number of past winners and runners-up, including Datlow, Strahan, Adams, Clarke, Williams, Anne Vandermeer, Gardner Dozois, and others, all of them pushed off the ballot by the Puppies. Which made the final ballot a bit of a joke. You're going to give a Best Editor, Short Form award, but you're going to exclude the most prominent and distinguished short fiction editors in the field? Sure. That's like starting the NFL Playoffs by excluding the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks on the grounds that they've won too much lately. Hey, maybe those teams get eliminated along the way... as they did this year... but you have to at least let them in the tournament. To be the champ, you need to beat the champ... and in our field, the champion short fiction editors are folks named Datlow, Williams, Dozois, etc.

All that being said... the slates, by whatever means, did throw up some legitimate Hugo-worthy nominees in this category last year, though not as many as in Long Form. One of those stood well above the others, IMNSHO. The Hugo really should have gone to MIKE RESNICK. Resnick has a long and distinguished career as an anthologist, one stretching back decades, and while he has plenty of rockets on his mantle at home, and even more crashed upside down rockets on the shirts he wears at worldcon, he had never been recognized for his work as an editor before. In addition, Resnick had founded a new SF magazine, GALAXY'S EDGE; in an age when the older magazines are struggling just to keep going, starting up a new one is a bold act (maybe a little insane) that deserves applause. But even more than that, Resnick has been a mentor to generations of new young writers, featuring them in his anthologies and now his magazine, advising them, nurturing them, teaching them, even collaborating with them. His "writer babies," I have heard them called. In a way, Resnick is a one-man Clarion. Finding and nurturing new talent is one of an editor's most important tasks, and Resnick has been doing it, and doing it well, for decades. He got my Hugo vote.

He got a lot of other Hugo votes as well. But not enough to win. As with Long Form, this category went to No Award. The work that the Sad and Rabid Puppies began to wreck this Hugo category was completed by Steve Davidson of AMAZING, Deirdre Saoirse Moen, and the rest of the Nuclear Fans. Resnick was never part of the slates, fwiw. He took no part in the Puppy Wars on either side, preferring to stay above the fray. And he did deserve a Hugo. But guilt by association prevailed, and he was voted down with the rest. A real pity.

((FWIW, at my Hugo Losers Party at Sasquan, I presented an Alfie Award to John Joseph Adams, who had the highest number of nominations of all those pushed off the ballot by the Puppies. And some other folks, whose identity has yet to be revealed, later sent Mike Resnick something called a 'Jovian Award,' for having the most votes of those who lost to No Award. Both Adams and Resnick were robbed last year; the former by the Pups, the latter by the Nukes.))

Which brings us to this year. When I hope we do not make the same mistakes. Let us hope that we won't need more Alfies or Jovians. Let's give a Hugo to the best short fiction editor in our field.

There's certainly no lack of worthy candidates. Starting with the magazine editors. SHEILA WILLIAMS is still at ASIMOV'S. At ANALOG we have a new editor, Stan Schmidt's successor, TREVOR QUACHRI. There's no new editor at F&SF as well: CHARLES COLEMAN FINLAY. Beyond the Big Three, we have the newer magazines and their editors: NEIL CLARKE of CLARKESWORLD, EDMUND SCHUBERT of ORSON SCOTT CARD'S INTERGALACTIC MEDICINE SHOW, WILLIAM SCHAFER of SUBTERREANEAN, and, yes, MIKE RESNICK of GALAXY'S EDGE.

Oh, and we must not forget the e-magazines. Especially not TOR.COM, which has become one of our field's most important venues for short fiction. Tor.com has a legion of editors, though, so it's a little harder to determine which one should be nominated.. if indeed you think the stories they've published are Hugo calibre. (Maybe someone from Tor will come and tell us?)

And then there are the anthologists. JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS, last year's Alfie winner, stands at the forefront of that group, together with ELLEN DATLOW, GARDNER DOZOIS, and JONATHAN STRAHAN. But, hey, there are lot of good anthologies published every year, so plenty of other editors are eligible. It is hard to know who to nominate in Long Form, as we've discussed, hard to know who edited what. It is easy in Short Form. What was your favorite magazine? What was the best anthology you read last year? The name of the editor is right there.

Oh... and it would disingenuous of me not to mention that I am eligible for nomination myself in this category, on the basis of OLD VENUS, the original anthology I co-edited with Gardner. Now, I'm very proud of OLD VENUS, and I think there are a number of wonderful stories therein worthy of Hugo recognition that I hope you'll remember when time comes... but I don't really regard myself as a serious contender in Short Form. Maybe some other year, when I've had several anthologies published... but there was no new Wild Cards book in 2015, so OLD VENUS was my only qualifying work, and I only did half of that. If you really really loved OLD VENUS and think it was worthy of Hugo recognition, well, nominate the stories, and nominate Gardner Dozois... he deserves just as much credit for the book as I do, and he did lots of OTHER editing besides, including his mammoth and long-running BEST OF THE YEAR anthology, the assembly of which is a task that would make lesser men weep.

Gardner Dozois will certainly be on my ballot. So will Mike Resnick, and... some others.

If you agree, you should nominate them as well. If not, nominate someone else.

But nominate.


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Gregory Hullender
Feb. 10th, 2016 03:58 am (UTC)
Analysis of Original Fiction from Short-Form Editors
You mention the editors of the Tor.com stories. I did an analysis of short-form editors (including Tor) based on which of their stories earned recommendations. Only two of the Tor.com editors actually seem to be eligible for the award: Ellen Datlow and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. The rest either haven't edited enough work or didn't edit any original fiction that got recommended by the nine reviewers we followed.


Yeah, I know; you're going to object again that this is too mathematical. The beauty of it is that you can ignore the math and just look at the pretty charts. :-) Seriously, I think it collects together a lot of data that's hard to find otherwise. Oh and I'll edit it to reflect the fact that you don't want to be nominated for it.

Feb. 10th, 2016 06:01 am (UTC)
Only members of the WSFS can vote...
Dear Mr. Martin,

I love the fact that you support the editors you have been working with and that you respect this job in general (since they work in the background, they can easily be "forgotten" when it comes to mentioning a good book).
I'd love to vote as much as I'd like to be on the Worldcon (cause that is the way to join the WSFS), but well, I am living in Germany and when I travel to the States again then only with my husband and our 4 kids - we have been saving money for it, but it will take another 2 or 3 years to pay for that many tickets ;) (we have family in TN and MS)

I wish your proposed editors all the best. They are doing an awesome job :)
Feb. 10th, 2016 07:30 am (UTC)
RE: Only members of the WSFS can vote...
Worldcon be in Helsinki, Finland in 2017. That's pretty close to Germany. But join soon -- the prices go up as we get closer to the con.
RE: Re: Only members of the WSFS can vote... - grrm - Feb. 10th, 2016 09:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Only members of the WSFS can vote... - mneme - Feb. 12th, 2016 07:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Alternate Snowcrash
Feb. 10th, 2016 12:57 pm (UTC)
You make some very good points, about a category that, much like Long Form, I was and am not equipped to make an informed nomination (I read all of one anthology last year!). I will be leaving the editor categories blank for my nominations, and barring anything unforeseen, I will do the same for the vote as well, as I did in 2014. But...

"...the latter by the Nukes."

This makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I understand where you're coming from, and why that you're of the view that voting No Award over nominees you felt were deserving was beyond the pale, but I sincerely do think the last thing we need is another name being tossed into the mix that we have here.
Feb. 10th, 2016 07:27 pm (UTC)
I have been talking about the 'Nuclear Option' since last April. I suppose I could just say 'those who elected to vote the Nuclear Option.' One can say 'no award voters,' but there were at least three different approaches to the use of 'no award,' so that could be confusing. I was a 'no award voter' myself in some categories, where I felt it was warranted.
Peter Jeavons
Feb. 10th, 2016 01:38 pm (UTC)
Tor.com already credits the editors of its short fiction: it's right there next to the illustrator credit.
Feb. 10th, 2016 01:54 pm (UTC)
Is coining "the Nukes" to describe a group whose approach you disagree with consistent with your dislike of Brad Torgersen coining names for groups last year? I agreed with your stance last year.

In addition to the names you've thrown up above, I'd say Uncanny is the best new zine this year, and mention Lynn Thomas and Michael Damien Thomas as its editors.
I did actually have the editors of Old Venus penciled in because it was my favorite anthology last year, so I'm glad you've cleared that point up. The Lavie Tidhar and David Brin stories were probably my favourites, and I'm also considering them in their categories.
Feb. 10th, 2016 07:28 pm (UTC)
Re: "Nukes"?
Haven't seen UNCANNY, so thanks for the rec.

And I am glad you liked OLD VENUS.
Re: "Nukes"? - markhh - Feb. 10th, 2016 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "Nukes"? - grrm - Feb. 10th, 2016 10:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 10th, 2016 02:10 pm (UTC)
I realize I am not as important or as noticeable as Mr. Davidson and Ms. Moen (I assume misspelling her name was an accident--but one it would be gracious to correct, whatever disagreements you might have with those of us who advocated No Award.) But I was also a strong voice for No Award from the beginning.

I am not upset; it is perfectly understandable that nobody remembers me, because I was one voice among many many people–here alone and also elsewhere–who realized early that slates poison the nomination process to the point they cannot be tolerated. Nobody could possibly list all of us, and I don’t expect you or anyone else to try.

But that being said, singling a couple of us out for disproportionate credit or blame was ill-done. And while you are free to disagree with all of us about the wisdom of rewarding behavior you don’t want repeated, I think you are playing right into Theodore Beale’s hands by trying to take some supposedly higher “middle ground.”

However I am grateful to you; your post reminds me of last year’s resolution that behavior we reward is behavior we get more of. It doesn’t matter during nomination time, but when voting time comes around “don’t reward the Puppies” will be one of my considerations.

Also if I decide someone would have had a nomination anyway and also that their work is worthy, and vote them above No Award, I won’t be angry or bitter if the Hugo Voters in general overrule me and No Award them; I will remember that they too, are trying to refrain from rewarding bad behavior as best they can.
Feb. 10th, 2016 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the spelling correction. I will go back and fix that.

Obviously, there were hundreds of No Award advocates, not just two. Sorry I did remember you to give you your share of the credit and/or blame (as the case may be)... but, ah, to tell the truth, I am still not sure who I am talking to. 'Catsittingstill' means nothing to me. The two voices I mentioned were the two most loudly advocating the Nuclear Option.

"Not rewarding bad behavior" is something that most people would agree on... when there has actually been bad behavior. I did not see any evidence that Mike Resnick engaged in any bad behavior, however. No more than Sheila Gilbert, Anne Sowards, and many others. They look to me like innocent victims here.

"Don't reward the Puppies" will be one of your considerations, you say... but that requires a determination of who actually IS a Puppy. "Don't reward the Puppies, people the Puppies like, neutrals standing on the sidelines, and anyone who remained silent on the controversy" is a far different proposition.

I applaud the courage and conviction of people like Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet and Edmund Schubert who refused their nominations... but I don't think we have the right to DEMAND that people do so. "I don't want to get involved in this crap" is also a legitimate stance, I think... especially for people who may not be a big part of the fan community and had no idea what was going on until it was way too late. Believe me, back in April when all this blew up, I gave long and serious thought as to whether I should get involved myself. In the end I did, but if other writers and editors decided they would rather remain above the fray, I understand that choice, and am certainly not going to punish them for their decision.

It seems to me that YOU are the one playing into VD's hands, not me. You are giving him veto power over your vote, letting him dictate who you will NOT vote for, irregardless of how worthy they may be. He has already thrown up Andy Weir as a Campbell nominee this year, does that mean you're crossing him off? What if VD pups Naomi Novik and Kim Stanley Robinson and Gene Wolfe on his slate this year, will you cross them off your ballot?
(no subject) - catsittingstill - Feb. 10th, 2016 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Feb. 10th, 2016 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - catsittingstill - Feb. 11th, 2016 02:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Feb. 11th, 2016 10:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - catsittingstill - Feb. 12th, 2016 04:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Feb. 12th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - catsittingstill - Feb. 13th, 2016 01:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Feb. 13th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 10th, 2016 02:34 pm (UTC)
Gardner is always #1 on my list. I am immensely fond of him as a person and as an editor.
Feb. 10th, 2016 03:26 pm (UTC)
I very much appreciate the posts on editors because of all the voting categories this is the hardest to get a handle on when you're a fan and not so much a part of the Big Publishing side of the field.

But you started naming some names and then I remembered seeing this project or that and things start to line up in my head.

So thanks for that.
Feb. 10th, 2016 04:52 pm (UTC)
Would you clarify...
(I have an earlier comment in moderation, so apologies for the split comments)

Would you mind clarifying what position you mean by Nuclear Fans, “Nukes” etc? I ask because you refer above to Steve Davidson and Dierdre Saoirse Moen, who in my understanding took a position of No Award against slated works, while voting for non-slate works as normal. I’ve now been pointed to your old post “Worldcon: Winning and Losing” in which you seemed to me to be using it to describe people advocating NA in all categories against all works. I may be wrong, but while there were some strong voices for the former strategy, I don’t know of anyone who advocated the latter in any serious way (or perhaps I should say I don’t know of anyone who took it seriously). Personally I took the approach of voting on quality and available evidence, which came out in a very similar fashion to the former anyway with Editor being one of the few places that slate candidates were credible in their own right.
Feb. 10th, 2016 08:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Would you clarify...
Yes, I suppose the terminology gets confusing, and I may not have been entirely consistent myself.

There were some who advocated what I called the full Nuclear Option last year; voting No Award for everything, in every category. Not many people actually went that route.

But many went for what I suppose I can call 'the tactical Nuclear Option,' of putting everything that appeared on a slate below No Award. (In practice, that seemed to turn into 'everything on a slate goes under No Award except GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, which I liked, which choice seemed a little inconsistent to me).

My own approach was simpler: I voted No Award in categories where I felt none of the nominees were worthy of a Hugo.

Re: Would you clarify... - markhh - Feb. 10th, 2016 08:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Would you clarify... - grrm - Feb. 10th, 2016 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Would you clarify... - markhh - Feb. 10th, 2016 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Would you clarify... - mneme - Feb. 12th, 2016 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Gregory Hullender
Feb. 10th, 2016 07:29 pm (UTC)
I don't think Carl is eligible. I couldn't find evidence he's edited enough stuff yet.
Viktor Nehring
Feb. 10th, 2016 10:35 pm (UTC)
Jerry Pournelle is eligible too
For his "There Will Be War Vol X", which is terrific.


Edited at 2016-02-12 01:33 am (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2016 12:46 am (UTC)
Subterranean Magazine had its last issue in 2014 so I'm not aware that William Schafer has any qualifying work for 2015.
Feb. 11th, 2016 12:48 am (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification.

Of course, SubPress itself is still going strong, so even if he is no longer qualified in Short Form, Schafer would still be eligible in Long Form.
(no subject) - lauraslibrary.wordpress.com - Feb. 12th, 2016 01:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Christie Yant
Feb. 11th, 2016 01:23 am (UTC)
For what it's worth, in addition to his anthologies, John Joseph Adams is also the editor of two monthly genre magazines, LIGHTSPEED (science fiction and fantasy) and NIGHTMARE (dark fantasy and horror).
Feb. 11th, 2016 07:01 am (UTC)
Wasn't Mike Resnick the guy who thought it was appropriate to discuss "lady editors" in terms of their physical attractiveness in the SFWA Bulletin? And when called out, threw a public fit at the idea of having his sexism "censored" in the field's professional publication?

As you've said before, fans have long memories. The Bulletin kerfuffle was not that long ago, and Resnick did not cover himself in glory there. The whole thing was widely publicized in fannish spaces, and I'm very sure a significant percentage of the Hugo voters remember it. Notice how Resnick had a Hugo nomination every single year from 2004 to 2012? The Bulletin incident blew up at the beginning of 2013, and Resnick's nomination streak came to a halt when Hugo nominations closed a few months later.

Were it not for the Puppies, I'm not so sure he'd have had a shot at a Best Editor Hugo. Or any Hugo. I'm not sure he has a shot this upcoming year. Certainly he has no shot at any part of my ballot, since there are many worthy candidates out there who've done stellar work without speaking insultingly and unprofessionally about women in the field. When you behave badly, readers and voters tend to start ignoring your work. The Puppies didn't help Resnick in this regard, but it looks to me like he'd already shot himself in the foot in the eyes of fandom well before the Puppies came along.
Feb. 11th, 2016 11:06 pm (UTC)
I don't think we need to rehash the Resnick/ Malzberg/ BULLETIN thing here. Many thousands of words have already been expended on that, generating far more heat than light.

I just don't think it is germane to whether or not he was deserving of a Hugo nomination and/or a rocket.

You do realize that by making a statement like this you are validating one of the main Sad Puppy talking points? One of the big Puppy charges has been that writers and editors were being denied awards recognition because of their political and religious views. I took issue with that, and said so loudly; my own view is that SF and fandom are big tents, with plenty of room for liberals and conservatives and radicals and libertarians and Mormons and atheists and Catholics and Scientologists and... well, everyone. Regardless of their views. I still believe that. That's the fandom that I have been a part of for half a century, an open, tolerant, diverse community where all were welcome, despite our disagreements.

But here you are saying that Resnick has "no shot at any part" of your ballot -- not just this year and last year, but for all time, apparently -- not because you find his editing or writing wanting, but rather because of something that someone told you he said (I am making the assumption, based on the way that you phrased your question, that you have not read the column in question yourself) several years ago in a piece about the history of the field.

Everyone puts their foot in their mouth from time to time. And, yes, fans have long memories... but shouldn't we remember all the good that people do, rather than just their missteps?
Feb. 12th, 2016 04:13 pm (UTC)
Yanni Kuznia is eligible for short form
Just want to give a heads up, Yanni Kuznia of Subterranean Press is eligible for the first time for short form editor. All three of her Fantasy Medley collections have won starred reviews. Last year her works were A Fantasy Medley 3, and she edited the Best of Nancy Kress (which also received many accolades!)

Here is the wiki link:
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