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Padraig

The Lodestar Award

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34 minutes ago, mormont said:

There's a twist or turn in the linguistics there so to be clear:

It's not generally a good idea to name awards after people because it inherently dates them to the era when they are founded. The Hugo award, for example, is named after Hugo Gernsback. I know this because someone told me. My awareness of who Hugo Gernsback was before that was low to nil. And I'm a lifelong SF reader in my 40s. Naming that award after Gernsback might have seemed like a great idea when it was created, but it would be a courageous claim to say that it has done anything very much for the award for the last three decades or so, which is nearly half the time it has existed. 

There is no name at all that will do something 30 years later. The Newbery Award is prized because it has built a reputation that stands outside of John Newbery. The Booker Prize is prized because it has a reputation outside of the publishing company Booker McConnell Ltd. that founded it. 

The Hugos do not rely on knowledge of Hugo Gernsback, and their reputation lies beyond it. But learning about Hugo Gernsback isn't a terrible thing for someone interested in the history of the genre, and having his name attached to the award shows an ability to see history as a continuing process rather than something dead.

 

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Naming this award after a writer like Le Guin or L'Engle arguably wouldn't even date it to the era of its founding, but to some time before that. 

I'll allow that it can be a good idea under some circumstances. If a name still has currency, weight and impact among the target audience, that makes sense.

I agree, but the actual target audience for any book award aimed at children are librarians, purchasers for school systems and booksellers, and parents. Because children do not care about awards. Does Le Guin's name have currency among librarians, institutional book purchasers, purchasers at booksellers, and parents? Yes. More so than Lodestar? Of course.

Le Guin's name will get attention in the first, nascent years of the award. After that, its reputation will live and die on how well it is administered, what the results are, etc., not what name is attached. 

 

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Now, I'm open to some evidence that I'm wrong, that people under 30 really do strongly associate ULG with YA literature and would think this is a great move. But anecdotally, I don't see that evidence. 

If it's publicity you want, let's call it the JK Rowling award. ;)

See arguments against naming it after a living person, especially a still-living one who is relatively young.

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17 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

God I can think of all sorts of horrible trollish names. The Hunger Games Award maybe?

Not helpful.

There are a bunch of people who put a lot of work into this. And a lot more who are avid YA SFF fans. And yet it seems (I am a complete outsider to Hugos/Worldcon) that some people who have no genuine interest in YA or in awarding it want to their say because old guard.

So I get YA isn't for everyone but for the ones who it is for it deserves something reflective of the work *they* have put in.

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As someone who sat through about three hours of the business meeting in Helsinki, and by roughly 10 minutes into it was ready to destroy the planet and every living soul upon it, I can attest that the people who have worked to get this thing on the ballot have gone through Dante's Inferno if hell was made up of never-ending bureaucracy ringmastered by the terminally insane. Or inane. Or both.

So yes, please don't belittle the frankly preposterous amount of work that's been put in over years to get this far.

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16 minutes ago, Werthead said:

As someone who sat through about three hours of the business meeting in Helsinki, and by roughly 10 minutes into it was ready to destroy the planet and every living soul upon it, I can attest that the people who have worked to get this thing on the ballot have gone through Dante's Inferno if hell was made up of never-ending bureaucracy ringmastered by the terminally insane. Or inane. Or both.

So yes, please don't belittle the frankly preposterous amount of work that's been put in over years to get this far.

Even being ringside and chiming in about the greater / lesser change nonsense from the safety and comfort of my house I can attest to the INCREDIBLE misery, patience and tongue guarding that has been done by the committee.  My condolences.  Last year I got so enraged I nearly threw my computer and I wasn't even on the same continent as the business meeting.  I was at HOME WITH MY CATS AND A NICE GLASS OF WINE.

I do want to say (again) that I am SO excited that I'm going to be there to see the first Lodey get awarded.  Like SO EXCITED.   What are y'all nominating?   What?  What??????  WHAT???????  @Darth Richard II Did you read any YA this year?   

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You know, I don't actually know. Honestly these days trying to keep track of what is and isn't considered YA confuses the hell out of me.

Good lord, I didn't even think about that, how do you consider what is and isn't award wise?

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30 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

You know, I don't actually know. Honestly these days trying to keep track of what is and isn't considered YA confuses the hell out of me.

Good lord, I didn't even think about that, how do you consider what is and isn't award wise?

Committee did some research on this!  I think they have input from some library science people?   When in doubt I ask someone smarter than I am.  So here goes:   Hey nerds, is The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion a YA book or not?  I think it is.   I think it's Campbell eligible or at least the author is.  

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Barkley is simply making it a non-starter with his narcissism. 

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If you scroll through, there's several links.  Here's an essay https://neworleans.craigslist.org/tlg/d/need-help-with-summons/6521404973.html  Whoops, Here:

  https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/dont-rehash-an-argument-just-because/

File770 follow up
http://file770.com/?p=41145

And here's the notes from that utterly hellish nightmare business meeting.  Some of them.

A twitter rant that explains how I feel about this:

 

 

:hands
@Darth Richard II the popcorn bowl:

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Both of those tweet threads, though, give the impression that the business meeting had extensive discussion on the question of naming it after a person. It did not. Other than a motion to name it after L'Engle, there really wasn't any at the business meeting.

I admit I also don't understand this idea that anyone went behind the back of the YA Committee. I can find no evidence that the committee still exists. In the 2016 minutes, there's a specific motion to reform the committee. The 2017 minutes lack that, and the WSFS page says that committees end their business unless reformed. Perhaps this is intended as a short hand for talking to members of the YA committee who did the work, but it gives me the impression that there's a sense that the topic of what to name the award is somehow the baliwick of a select group of people. I don't think committee members entered into the work with the idea that they would do anything more than working on behalf of WSFS to carry out the task the WSFS voted for. The committee also already provided their reasoning for dismissing names of people in the full report, so I'm not sure what the members of the committee as a whole could elucidate on the matter given the information they had from the general public beyond their own opinions and insight into the committee thinking.

What a new committee could do, if the name Lodestar does not pass, is go back to the stage of testing out what sort of name people wanted and construct a shortlist based on the category that people were most interested in. The previous committee did not have time to do so, and so made an informed judgment call under the particular limitations and realities that existed at that time. It may have been the right call, but then again, it may have not, or it may have been the right call at the time but now not.

The 2018 Business Meeting will decide one way or another. I think Barkley has damaged any serious efforts to name it anything but Lodestar at this point, though.

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He's an active fan.  Otherwise has a decent reputation for working hard on WorldCon.  Like many of us, it appears he has a lot of feels about a new award.  I personally think a lot of the backlash has to do with other WSFS members.  There's quite a bit of "Well, actuallying" that goes on and Robert's Rules of Order is a notoriously exclusivistic way of handling meetings.  Lot of us "younger" (lol) fans are heartily sick of it.  Ran is right that Barkley technically hasnt done anything wrong, the whole process has been fraught with nonsense from the beginning.  As in, "I cant believe this bullshit. " nonsense.  I asked a question  last year online prior to WorldCon regarding the Lodey  and was treated to a 4 page essay on the WorlCon constitution which still didn't answer my question.  Told that person I didn't appreciate the mansplaining and had about two dozen people tell me that "It was ACTUALLY engineersplaining".  TO me.  Me a gd physics instructor and former research engineer.  My response was very unladylike.

None of this is on Barkley, some of us are just pissed about feeling unvalued and excluded.  Many fans are, like me are WAY more PISSED off than is even reasonable because for me, at least it's not just this, not at all.

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Also @Ran who in their right mind would be on this new committee?  :rofl:  One, Two, Three  NOT ME!!!   And now I need to hurry and finish my reading, 'cause that ballot is due SO SOON!   

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3 hours ago, Lily Valley said:

He's an active fan.  Otherwise has a decent reputation for working hard on WorldCon.  Like many of us, it appears he has a lot of feels about a new award.  I personally think a lot of the backlash has to do with other WSFS members.  There's quite a bit of "Well, actuallying" that goes on and Robert's Rules of Order is a notoriously exclusivistic way of handling meetings.  Lot of us "younger" (lol) fans are heartily sick of it.  Ran is right that Barkley technically hasnt done anything wrong, the whole process has been fraught with nonsense from the beginning.  As in, "I cant believe this bullshit. " nonsense.  I asked a question  last year online prior to WorldCon regarding the Lodey  and was treated to a 4 page essay on the WorlCon constitution which still didn't answer my question.  Told that person I didn't appreciate the mansplaining and had about two dozen people tell me that "It was ACTUALLY engineersplaining".  TO me.  Me a gd physics instructor and former research engineer.  My response was very unladylike.

None of this is on Barkley, some of us are just pissed about feeling unvalued and excluded.  Many fans are, like me are WAY more PISSED off than is even reasonable because for me, at least it's not just this, not at all.

This is seriously .... fucking stupid bullshit. I feel your frustration. Do you think underlying snobbery to YA is a factor? I know it does exist in some parts, particularly among older, hard Sci-Fi (to say nothing of hardcore Lit fans). Which sucks. I like all of it, but YA is so valuable in creating life-long readers who then support and enrich more adult-genres.

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Hmmm I do wonder about age. When I was growing up all the SFF was shelved together regardless if it was considered YA or not, so I never really understood the distinction til later, and some stuff that's only considered YA half the time anyways(like Enders Game) I would never have thought of as YA.

just thinking out loud

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