…best saga? Seriously?

Guess I missed some WSFS excitement while I was at Weddingpalooza over the weekend. (Weddingpalooza, ie two weddings in one weekend) went swimmingly, by the way. I looked dapper as fuck and danced (including the Time Warp) until I could dance no more because my back wasn’t being an asshole this weekend. Shocking, considering I spent three nights on a fold-out couch bed belonging to my best friend, which she fondly calls “the iron maiden.”

Geek weddings are the best, by the way. Just in case you forgot.

Anyway, these amendments. I was already planning to get my ass to all the WSFS meetings at Worldcon this year–and if there is wifi to be had, I will liveblog them. Otherwise, expect a lot of tweeting. Some of the proposed amendments are really interesting, but let me get this one out of the way:

Best saga? Are you fucking serious? And this is worth killing the novelette category over? WHAT?

Honestly, I wouldn’t even care if the proposal was to just add this “best saga” category. Hell, I’d probably even vote for it then, as long as the eligibility process made sense. (Which I’m not convinced it does as worded, by the way.) I’d think hey, that’s fun, and probably then never cast an actual vote in the category because I don’t have time to read an entire goddamn series, let alone multiple ones, in the time between the nominees being revealed and voting closing. And that’s fine. If you have more time than me to read, more power to you. Hell, I’d also support a Best YA Hugo and Best Interactive Story (ie video game) as well because I think there’s some great art going on that’s not getting recognized. (And while I’m writing a wish list, I’d also like a puppy and for someone to fix the Best Fancast so it’s just Best Podcast.)

But why the fuck is this proposed at the expense of the novelette? Was someone savaged by a novelette as a child or something? Supposedly this is to reflect changes in publishing, but I honestly don’t buy that premise at all. There are a lot of series today, sure. But there are also a lot of novellas and novelettes being published stand alone by people trying to hold on to the cutting edge of electronic publishing. The industry is still shifting, and we know not where it’ll end up.

I also think it’s pretty goddamn unfair to lump novelettes in with novellas, just because there’s a certain amount of detail and complexity of plot one can develop per wordcount, and a story that’s 10k words is going to set about things very differently than a story that’s 30k words. I’ve written (and had published) short stories, novelettes, and novellas. Yes, there’s a sort of spectrum at the borders between the categories (welcome to the hell I experience as a geologist every day, kids), but a 5k story is very different than a 12 k story is very different from a 25k story in structure and technique and let’s not pretend otherwise.

And seriously, if the idea of adding yet another Hugo is impossible and some category has to fall under the ax, why novelette? Why not best long form editor? Most regular readers probably have no idea who edited their books and no good way of finding out.

Finally, it’s a bit bullshit that if series are special and need their own hugo, the individual novels within can still be nominated for best novel. As far as I can recall, there is no other category like that. Spread the love if you’re going to spread the love. Yes, nominating a novel from the middle of a series is a tough row to hoe because a lot of people (like me) will give it a go and then drop it if reading the rest of the series is necessary to understand its supposed good qualities due to the required time commitment; that said, is giving series their own category really going to help that issue out? Or are you just going to basically pit dedicated fans of one series against dedicated fans of another?

Admittedly, I’d pay to watch a brawl between Jim Butcher fans and GRRM fans. Bonus for costumes worn.

(Anyway, yes. I will be voting against this amendment.)

Other proposed amendments:

4 and 6: I really like this one, actually. Allowing fewer nominations than there will be ultimate nominees makes total control of a ballot via logrolling much more difficult, and then expanding out to 6 nominees instead of 5 will hopefully provide for a wider array of nominees! Yes please.

The Five Percent Solution: Getting rid of the fucking 5% rule THANK YOU. This rule has acted to the detriment of the short story category since its addition, and it needs to go. I think we’re getting a mini Renaissance of short stories (and novelettes, THANKS) thanks to a wide array of well-edited paying markets, so vote spread is going to happen. More riches for us to read!

E Pluribus Hugo: This amendment is too complex for me to understand on a Monday morning after only one cup of tea. This does not bode well, but I will attempt to read it over again when I’m not suffering serious post-wedding fatigue.

It’s going to be an interesting WSFS meeting. I better bring an umbrella to shield myself from the intensity of the rules lawyering.

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