All Change at the Nebulas

Feb 5, 04:34 by IROSF
"All Change at the Nebulas"
Feb 5, 16:00 by Lois Tilton
As I recall, from my days in SFWA, the change to rolling eligibility came from complaints by authors published late in the year, not early, as it was believed that people would not have had time to read the works by the ballot deadline.

As for the reason that the Norton etc are not Nebula Awards, I believe that this, too, has to do with the notorious SFWA bylaws, in which there are explicit rules which must be followed to add a new Nebula category, such as requiring a vote of the membership. The Norton Award, of which I strongly disapprove, was established by fiat of the SFWA Board without a vote.
Feb 5, 19:54 by Cheryl Morgan
Thanks for the insider view, Lois. Would you mind sharing the reasons why you dislike the Norton so much?
Feb 5, 21:36 by Lois Tilton
Precisely because of what happened with the nominations this year.

SFWAns just do not read in this category. SFWAns increasingly do not read in the field, for that matter, as far as the Neb recs seem to reflect. So why should SFWA give an award, to be voted on by the membership, when the membership hasn't read the candidates?

The Nebula is meant to be a peer award, from writers to writers. Making it a jury-nominated award defeats that purpose. This is one reason I'm glad they don't call the damn thing a Nebula. Still, people will think of it as a Nebula, as they always have.

I haven't seen the new rules myself, so I don't know if they've retained the No Award option.* I hope so. But SFWAns always seem to feel that, if there's an award going, someone ought to get it.

*Apparently not. How Like Them.
Feb 6, 02:50 by Gordon Van Gelder
Do you have any evidence to back up the notion that ANALOG readers would rather "chew off a leg than vote for a woman"? It seems to me that ANALOG readers have supported various woman writers (particularly Lois Bujold and Catherine Asaro) over the years. I can't think of anything recently that suggests to me that ANALOG readers wouldn't welcome a female editor as long as she remained true to ANALOG's basic vision. Have I missed something?

---Gordon V.G.
Feb 6, 22:56 by Cheryl Morgan

The redistributon of Stan's votes benefited you much more than Ellen (82 votes to 43). Other redistributions more balanced. Obviously we can't know what the voters were thinking, but we can speculate.
Feb 6, 23:00 by Cheryl Morgan

SFWAns increasingly do not read in the field, for that matter, as far as the Neb recs seem to reflect.

That, I think, is one of the biggest issues that SFWA has to address. There are very good reasons why it is true, and it makes an award voted on by your peers a difficult thing to make work.
Feb 7, 03:14 by Lois Tilton
I was advocating scrapping the award for years.

Best way ever to get out of elected office in SFWA: run on a platform of abolishing the Nebs.

Feb 8, 14:50 by David Bartell
I don't think the speculation about leg chewing is fair. Sure, the sex of the editors is a glaring difference, but there are many others. The thought process during vote ranking does not necessarily track with the convoluted vote counting, which is not really "redistributing", is it? In other words, they don't take Stan's votes and dole them out to other editors, do they?

I think the characterization of "least unpopular" is close to the mark though. For this and other reasons, I welcome the changes to the process. It is regrettable that stories published late in the cycle may suffer, but that may be the lesser evil. One could also argue that early stories suffer from short memories.
Feb 8, 23:52 by Cheryl Morgan
David: What else are the voters likely to think? The correct way to vote in a preferential ballot is to select who you want to win and then to think "if that person wasn't on the ballot, who would I want to win now?" That's exactly what redistribution does. So if people are not thinking that then they probably don't understand how the system works.

But of course you are right, there could be other explanations. For example, Ellen is primarily know for horror, and many people don't like that sort of fiction. It just seemed odd that only Analog readers felt that way.
Feb 9, 01:58 by David Bartell
I guess I for one was guilty of not understanding the system when I voted. (Not that it would have mattered.) I skimmed over the rules, and didn't quite grasp it in the way you describe, which is my own fault, of course. Or maybe I just don't recall clearly. Your brief explanation is clear and succinct.

Analog toes the hard SF line, for the most part, probably because many of its readers have that preference. So it's not surprising that they would show less interest in someone with differing tastes. I don't quite see how that translates into votes for GVG, though. Next least unpopular? Least offensive non-hard SF? Fond memories of F&SF of yesteryear? Gender bias? It is interesting.
Feb 11, 06:50 by Zachary Spector
This article makes me want to avoid paying attention to the Nebulas. What award do you suggest I pay attention to instead? Assuming there are really any options other than that and the Hugos...
Feb 13, 21:48 by Cheryl Morgan

I can't really say without more information. What about the Nebulas do you not like? What would you like to see in an award? There are lots of them - we've cataloged a large number at SF Awards Watch - so there might be something to your taste.
Feb 20, 21:10 by Bruce Bethke
As someone who was on the SFWA Board of Directors at the time the rolling eligibility rule was voted in: what Lois said. It was put in to mollify the writers who were complaining that works published late in the year got short shrift, and it was a P.I.A. to administer.

If the members of SFWA would spend half the time writing that they do whining about the organization's rules, they'd be a lot further along in their careers.

"I was nominated for the Nebula many times, but ultimately, I got the Dick."

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