[WorldCon] Main Business Meeting #1 Liveblog 2


Many thanks to Eric, for letting me use his phone hotspot while I’m waiting for my friend with the hotspot to arrive.

Usual rules apply; I apologize in advance for all my misspellings. Do not be surprised if personal opinions show up. I will be summarizing at times. Newest items will be at the bottom of the post, so it’s all in chronological order. I’ll be updating every five minutes or so.

Just waiting for the meeting to be called to order.

1009: The business meeting is called to order. Introductions.

1011: Rules are suspended to elect the members to the Mark Protection Committee since the number of nominees equal the numbers of empty spots.

1012: Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee report. Proposed the amendment to define North America for the purposes of NASFIC that is before us today. No more nitpicking for now, perhaps in future, less contentious years.

1013: WorldCon Runners Guide Editorial Committee. Catastrophic failure on the conrunner website; unable to recover from backup. Mike had PDFs of the site and they have extracted data from those and are reloading.

1015: Katie Rask gives YA committee report. Majority consensus of the previous year’s committee, YA was not feasible based on wordcount (which defines all other categories). This year was focused on considering a Campbell-like award for Young Adult. A Hugo in general addresses a work. A Campbell addresses an author. A YA award would address an age group. Basics of what a YA award would look like is in exhibit 2. (Exhibit 1 is comparison of the Hugo and Campbell.) YA award would be a WorldCon-sponsored award; each Hugo Administration committee is in charge of administering YA Award as with Campbell. Dual eligibility allowed.

1019: (YA Award report continued) Some issues need to be addressed by third committee, particularly naming of award and what the award would look like. Asks that committee is extended to address these issues. A Campbell-like award does solve problems that have come up repeatedly, particularly the definitional issue, and how it would be categorized. Last year had a discussion of how YA is defined. A strong definition of YA is probably not a good idea because trends change; best to leave it to the voters. If it’s not a Hugo, we don’t have the definition problem that has loomed so hard in the past. There is a huge variety of YA wordcounts; this is not a good definition.

1023: (YA Award report continued) Talked to a number of YA authors about Campbell-like award, got a lot of positive feedback. The award would name and honor (at discretion of the meeting) up to five books a year.

1025: Question from Mr Blog. Any feelers as to long-term sponsorships?

1025: Rask–we spoke to the Hugo Committee to see if a sponsor was even necessary. The Campbell has one due to tradition; grandfathered in. Because the YA Award would be added, it would not need to be sponsored. Not included in report since this would be best addressed in the following year’s committee. All expenses associated with this award are essentially the same as you get with a Hugo Award.

1027: Question from Ben Yalow. Has there been any kind of survey of the potential nominating pool? How many people who nominate for the Hugos actually read YA and can competently address this?

1027: Rask gave this in last year’s report. Numbers from LonCon in the YA track, number of panels, authors participating, author interest. The numbers were very large; most YA panels were standing room only. Numbers are very good.

1029: No objection to re-appointing committee for this year.

1030: Best Series Hugo Committee report, given by Warren Buff. Report is on page 67, appendix two. Appendix one is MIA.

1031: Buff–committee report was put online in July. Committee feels that industry has gone from standalone novels to long series over the years. A lot of in-series novels get nominated but don’t win. It would be good for the health of the Hugo novel category. Renewed eligibility because when a work is significantly expanded to effectively be a new work, it gets renewed eligibility. Committee feels that when a series is expanded, it becomes a new work.

1033: No questions for the committee.

1033: WorldCon committee reports. Are there any questions for any of the committees.

1034: Lenore Jones–what is the distinction between the LoneStarCon Reports?

1035: Ben Yalow is not an official representative of LSC. There are two distinct reports, one for LSC and one for Alamo. If any funds are turned over to a successor organization, that successor organization is bound by the funding report rules. Funds were turned over to Alamo, so they decided they were close enough to be bound by the reporting.

1036: Terry Neil commends the granularity of Sasquan’s report.

1037: Geri Sullivan notes that there is money in two reports money is given to the video archaeology project. Thanks all contributors who have given money to this project. More info in the fan lounge.

1038: Dave McCarty this is the final report for ChiCon, the money is gone, as soon as they file the papers with Illinois the corporation is no more, bye bye!

1039: Business passed on commences. First order of business is passed on from ChiCon–Best Fancast. (McCarty, from back: “Hello!”)

1039: Kate Secor for. This category has a sufficient diversity of nominees, and also the podcasts act as great advertisement for the Hugos.

1040: Question called. Ayes have it, Best Fancast is re-ratified and remains.

1040: Bringing up The Five Percent Solution. This will strike the 5% reporting requirements for short story. Kevin Standlee has a modification. Kevin wishes to admit to the body that he made a mistake. He got rid of every reference to 5%, a few of which have nothing to do with the purpose, which is to remove the threshold for being a finalist. He wants to strike the section that has nothing to do with the threshold, is seconded.

1043: Parliamentary Inquiry–if we modify this, will we have to re-ratify? Dashoff: this is a lesser change, so it does not require ratification next year if we pass it this year.

1044: Stephanie Sullivan wanted to clarify that final numbers will still be reported. Yes.

1045: No one wants to speak against Kevin’s amendments. Question is called, his modification passes.

1046: Mr Desjardins speaking for the 5% Solution. Points out that the vote gets divided too many ways for short story and in many years we have had less than a full short list for the category. The magazine market is larger and much more fragmented now. It’s much harder for any one work to appear on 5% of the ballot. Times have changed. The rule is no longer doing any good.

1047: Mr Yalow against the motion. When you get down to that level, there’s a lot of noise and not a lot of signal. The difference between fifth and sixth place is close enough to a random number that he’s not convinced that it’s real signal and not statistical fluctuations.

1049: Mr Quinn in favor. STATISTICIAN IN THE HOUSE BOOYAH. If the difference between 5th and 6th place is a statistical fluctuation, the difference between 5% and 6% might be a fluctuation too. The way we make sure it’s not a statistical fluctuation is the second round of voting on the finalists.

1050: Daniel Rico if no one is bothering to nominate it, it might not be Hugo-worthy.

1051: Chris Gerrib it’s not that there are too few voters; it’s that we’re spreading 2000 votes over a lot of nominations.

1052: Kate Secor (who does not understand statistics, per herself) motions to add a three year sunset clause. This is a lesser change that can be allowed.

1053: Dr Adams points out we have lots of data already and we don’t need a sunset clause.

1053: Kevin Standlee moves to end the debate and call the question. No objection.

1053: We will vote on adding a sunset clause first. Motion fails, no sunset clause.

1054: Now we vote on The 5% Solution. Motion passes, we get rid of the 5% threshold!

1054: On to Multiple Nominations. This will explicitly codify that you cannot be nominated in multiple categories for the same work.

1055: No one wants to speak against. Question called. Motion is ratified.

1056: Nominee Diversity. Mr Eastlake as maker of motion and speaks first. He made a study where duplicates (multiple episodes in same series, etc) have happened throughout Hugo Awards, but this has become increasingly common over the last 15 years. This really crowds out options and limits the choices of the voters. This would limit the slots on the ballot to no more than two per category.

1057: Question from Dr Adams. How will this actually be implemented? Will you be contacting people and saying “you have four finalists, you can only have two, would you like to withdraw two of them?”

1058: Eastlake–this sounds how it would probably be administered; this will be up to the particular administrators of the awards that year. This would leave the decision of what to be on the ballot to the author deciding what is most representative for them.

1059: Mr Matthews asks if there will be instructions on the ballot saying you’re not allowed to nominate more.

1059: Answer is no. People can still nominate as much as they want, though the provisions will be in the packet.

1100: Follow-up would this be up to the creator, or up to who has the most nominations?

1100: Answer is that this would be up to the administrators(?)

1101: Dr Adams is not satisfied with the answers given. Proposes to give to a committee that will report back tomorrow to clarify these things with minor change-type language.

1102: Seconded.

1102: Inquiry–section 3.2.5 is mentioned, what does it say? This is the rule allowing authors to withdraw a work if they feel it is not representative.

1104: Mr Olson against, doesn’t want to write too many of the Hugo administration rules into the constitution. If it is necessary, it wouldn’t be a lesser change.

(There’s some more back and forth, none of the arguments particularly stand out as new.)

1108: Colin Harris points out that every year, nominees are allowed to withdraw more broadly defined than in 3.2.5.

1111: Debate time has run out with regards to referring to committee.

1112: Ben Yalow moves to extend debate time by two minutes. Does not pass vote; debate is not extended.

1113: Vote on if to send to committee. It’s close. BUCKLE UP KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR A SERPENTINE.

1117: Motion to refer to committee passes. Dr Adams will chair the committee.

1118: Ten minute recess.

1133: Meeting called back to order.

1133: Next item is Electronic Signatures.

1134: Speech for Electronic Signatures from Terry Neil. Recommends that both electronic and paper ballots be available. Recommends particularly because international WorldCons are coming up.

1135: Joanie Brill Dashoff site selection administrator for last year. They didn’t accept adobe signatures last year due to a glitch.

1136: Kate Secor for. Enormous desire from the membership for us to do this. “Why can’t I do this online like everything else?” This motion doesn’t force us to do it right away; requires agreement of all parties. But we can tell membership that we are at least working on it.

1137: Geri Sullivan against. Says this would put the pressure from site selection and onto the bid managers.

1140: Cliff against; concerned we will get a flood of votes from people who don’t know anything about the bids. Brings up specter of ballot box stuffing by bids.

1140: For: A voting flood is already possible. Electronic signing might be required in the future. And everyone wants it. Being progressive as an organization is kind of what we do.

1143: Against: electronic signatures will destroy friendships(?). (Sounded like for to me, but hey.)

1143: For: the data privacy concerns are overrated; personal information can be separated out.

1144: Kent Bloom against. The privacy concerns are real. The idea that everyone can agree on my behalf is a false idea. My rights as a member are not having my vote available for anyone else to see.

1145: Seth Breidbart for; as a professional in the field, there are several ways that privacy can be protected.

1147: Proposal to extend debate. It fails. Question is put to the floor.

1147: Motion is ratified! Electronic Signature passes.

1148: The other business passed on has been postponed definitely to Sunday, so we are on to new business.

1148: Dr Adams asks if there’s a way to delay ratification on items not next year but until the year after.

1150: The answer would be no.

1150: Kronengold asks if we can add a major change that could be removed in the next year as a minor change functionally do what we want. Yes.

1151: We’re getting into some parliamentary shit here.

1152: Ben Yalow is the only person I know who can make an entire room laugh with parliamentary procedure. I cannot explain the joke. You had to be here.

1154: “Is there any objection to that resolution?” “Yeah, because I don’t understand it.”

1157: We’re having some delayed ratification problems here, folks.

1158: “Sunrise, sunset clause.” “I made that proposal on the SMOFs mailing list and was rightly shot down as stupid parliamentary gamesmanship.”

1158: We’re referring this ????? delayed ratification thing to nitpicking and flyspecking committee. Maybe? We’re trying.

1159: Kate Secor asks that the committee meeting be open. Nitpicking and Flyspecking FOR EVERYONE.

1200: Objection from Ms Hayes because she would like her husband for at least some of the convention. :)

1201: Motion to refer to committee passes. Those opposed are mostly the members of the Nitpicking and Flyspecking committee.

1203: Next up is Best Series.

1204: Colin Harris on our committee report for yesterday. We restricted ourselves to the re-eligibility criteria. Considered a number of options on merit: 1) Everyone can be permanently eligible with new material, 2) Exclude winners but allow those who had been nominated and lost, 3) Exclude all nominees. After some discussion we got rid of #3 unanimously because it would cause too much churn, and agreed with the original committee on #1. Winners should be perpetually excluded from nomination even if new work is added. Here is the language we propose to clear up things to be more understandable.

1213: Amendment by substitution for our modified language from committee. Ayes have it. Motion has now been amended.

1213: Now let’s actually debate Best Series.

1213: Warren Buff in favor. Commends the committee for improving their language. :) This is an attempt to bring our awards in line with the state of publishing as it has been in the last few decades. Passing this will help improve the best novel category as well as reflect the state of the art.

1216: Point of information from John Dawson, who was on the committee. This does not clearly explain what would happen if an author writes multiple series in the same universe, etc.

1216: Warren Buff says that multiple series would be eligible.

1217: Kate Secor against. We know there are going to be frequent fliers. Concerned this isn’t going to be great for the Hugos with a lack of variation. Also places a massive burden on the voters.

1219: PRK speech in favor. Juror in Australian award that recognizes series. For them, the series had to be finished. Additional works became a new series. Their best series demonstrated a significant difference between best novel and best series.

1220: Question as to how series will be defined.

1221: Chris Gerrib, the answer is, you all get to figure it out. Leave it up to the voters.

1224: Mr Bloom, a speech against in the form of a question. What if series-ception happens? We are getting into some deep stuff here.

1225: Colin Harris — if we vote for this, we are going to accept the judgment of the voters. There is no way to precisely legislate the definition of the series and it’s against the spirit of how we do things in general.

1226: Mr Eastlake points out that per the constitution, all of this is ultimately up to the Hugo Administrators.

1226: Terry Neil moves to add a sunset clause. I second. Amendment passes. There is a sunset clause set to expire on 2021.

1228: Question of moving the second clause from Mr Ilingsworth. Colin Harris points out that we split it up like we did to make it easier to read, but we want to keep all the text together.

1229: Back to the matter at hand.

1230: Best Series is passes at first passage. It will be on the agenda at Helsinki.

1230: Five minute recess.

1236: Back to order, we are starting with December Is Good Enough.

1237: This is a cutoff for which members can nominate, not which works can be nominated. Further clarification on what this all means.

1239: Question gets rapidly called by 2/3 vote.

1239: December Is Good Enough receives first passage.

1239: Unanimous consent for taking up Defining North America now. Insert your continental drift joke here. (Come on people, plate tectonics. We’re not in the 80s any more.)

1241: Kevin Standlee points out that the current definition of North America would require that we had a NASFIC if WorldCon took place in Hawaii.

1242: Question from Mr Matthews.

1243: Question as to why Alaska, Hawaii, and DC? Because something to do with parliamentary stuff. Kevin explained it, I promise.

1245: Warren Buff against the motion. Does away with too much fannish silliness. He opposes this motion because he wants us to keep being silly. :)

1245: Jason Spitzer against, why is this necessary? If we want to hold a NASFIC in a year WorldCon is in Hawaii, why not.

1246: Put question to the floor. The ayes have it. Defining North America passes on to next year.

1247: Motion to adjourn. The ASL interpreter and CART person get a round of applause.

1248: Reminder that site selection closes at 6 today. Informal EPH and EPH+ Q&A immediately after this meeting.

1248: We stand adjourned for the day.

Summary to follow, but I need lunch!

2 thoughts on “[WorldCon] Main Business Meeting #1 Liveblog

  1. Pingback: [WorldCon] WSFS Main Business Meeting #1 Summary ← Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery

  2. Reply Steven desJardins Aug 19,2016 23:17

    FYI, “Dejardin” should be “desJardins”.

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