With Worldcon starting today I figured that it was time to have a look at the things that the WSFS Business Meeting will be discussing. Kevin’s not involved in running the meeting this year, so I don’t have much of an inside track on the gossip. However, the agenda for the meeting is online here and the Chicon staff have done a good job in getting all of the motions online too.
Passed on from Reno are two motions affecting the Hugos. The first is the Best Fancast category, which I’m still very dubious about. While, thankfully, no one is trying to kick podcasts out of the Hugos, the idea of protecting fanzines from other forms of fan publication does not sit well with me.
The other change up for ratification is the one that attempts to clarify the divisions between professional, semi-pro and fan publications. It’s not perfect, but nothing ever will be, and it is better than what we had before.
There are two new motions affecting the Hugos up for debate. The first is very simple. It seeks to remove the sunset clause on the Graphic Story category, therefore ensuring that the category continues in future years instead of being dropped next year. Given how poorly the category has worked, I’m afraid I don’t see any justification for keeping it.
The second motion proposes the establishment of a new category for YA fiction. I see that it sensibly stipulates that any work that is nominated for this would not be eligible for other fiction categories. That does mean that really good YA novels won’t win Best Novel, as they have many times in the past, but it also means that it won’t be possible to win both Best Novel and Best YA with the same work, which would upset a lot of people. I’m still ambivalent about this one, and I’ll be interested to hear how the debate goes.
Two other motions have been submitted. One is the usual continuation of the extra year of eligibility on first US publication. I expect this to go through on the nod. While the majority of voters are based on North America, this continues to be a valuable way of helping work published elsewhere.
Finally we have a piece of silliness from some Boston fans that I don’t understand because I’m not that much of an expert on fannish traditions. This one apparently dates back to 1940, and even I’m not that old. Hopefully it won’t upset too many people the way that the Pluto motion did a few years ago. Mind you, if it causes people to be late for tomorrow’s baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and my beloved San Francisco Giants there could be some very annoyed fans.