Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Pentapodichi

The Lodestar Award

Recommended Posts

After all these years, we finally have a Young Adult award at Worldcon.  I know a number of people on this board have spent a lot of time on this especially LugaJetboyGirlirra.  It got ratified today with a provisional name of Lodenstar, with the name to be ratified in San Jose.  But there will be an award next year.  

I'd name some of the others on the committee but I am bound to miss a few.

Congrats to those involved, those who helped and those who voted.  Somebody else who knows more about this can give further details about all the work done.

I do like the idea of a Lodey award...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a big deal and it's been a long, hard road. It should have been done a few years ago but the sore losers who didn't want the award in the first place threw every single bit of procedural bullshit they could at it to delay it. Fortunately - at least in one vote with the support of BwB members late-arriving to turn the tide - they were defeated and shot down in flames.

There will be more shenanigans, however, as the award name is still provisional and needs to be ratified. Officially the name next year will be the "Best YA Book" or somesuch, with Lodestar only becoming official in Dublin if ratified in San Jose. If not another name will have to be picked and that then needs to be ratified over two years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was amazing to see everybody arriving in and voting like complete bosses. There were some sour expressions thrown our way. :rofl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The award will be officially 'the Award for Best Young Adult Book'. Hopefully for next year only: the Lodestar naming amendment needs to be ratified by the Business Meeting. So San Jose people need to show up and vote for that: it's the final bit of business.

There was quite a bit of pointless discussion over whether the meeting could retrospectively enact the amendment to cover the first year of the award, or otherwise perform some technical trick to make the creation and naming line up, but that was clearly unconstitutional, I'm afraid. And hell, everyone is going to call the first one a Lodestar award twenty years from now, apart from the 'well, actually' types.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Peadar said:

It was amazing to see everybody arriving in and voting like complete bosses. There were some sour expressions thrown our way. :rofl:

Those who showed up for the voting really helped.  Well done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Proud to have been part of the voting, but also we were just a number attached to the end of a monumental amount of effort on the part of many people. Grats to all involved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://file770.com/?p=41112

Quote

We, the undersigned, will respectfully submit a new name for the Young Adult Book Award at the Preliminary Session of the Worldcon 76 Business Meeting on August 17, 2018 as a strike though substitution for the name ‘Lodestar’, under the rules governing the WSFS Business Meeting.

We will also embargo the name until the start of the Preliminary Session.

There is very good reason why the name will not be revealed at this time and that explanation will also be given at that time.

While we also understand that while this motion may cause a great deal of consternation, we also feel that this would be an excellent opportunity to generate a great deal of interest about the Worldcon and bring MORE attention to this new award to potential nominators, readers of all ages, booksellers and the public at large.

The proposed name will forever be known and honored in perpetuity with the Hugo Awards, the John W. Campbell Award, and the World Science Fiction Convention.

Proposed by Worldcon 76 Attending Members:
Juli Marr
Robert J. Sawyer
Steven H. Silver
Pablo Miguel Alberto Vasquez
Shawna McCarthy
Chris M. Barkley

Update 03/07/2018: Removed Melinda Snodgrassas signer. Also removed Vincent Docherty, who said in a comment his name was included in error, he never was a signer

I'm angry on the behalf of everyone who did the work to get this award in play and give it a name. A name that is not a person. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is this a big deal? Why is YA an issue? Is there a link to peruse the controversy? thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

YA Committee Report

2017 Business Meeting Minutes

Those two cover much of the ground. The one thing that isn't perhaps clear from the minutes is that there have been concerted efforts to derail the award, and the question of its name has been one wedge to try and can the whole thing. This is why I, at least, voted for Lodestar at the meeting even I didn't necessarily like it all that much -- it felt important to show that there could be consensus on the name, even if it was not a final decision.

Personally, I don't believe proposals of alternative names are a slap in the face of the committee. The committee's primary task was to get an award approved, and they did that (hurrah). The name is secondary, IMO. The suggestion of the Lodestar was the least offensive and safest possible name, all considered, but it may not be what people really want at the end of the day. The fact that 54% of respondents wanted the award named after a person, with the next largest category (naming it after a thing, ala Lodestar) being 23.6%, certainly is something that I feel bears more consideration than the minutes and my recollection reveal.

But this particular proposal is tainted by the fact that it seems like half or more of the "signatories" are disassociating themselves from it, and this secretive nature of it (Snodgrass has made it clear that Le Guin is the "embargoed" name) doesn't look good. The person who says he means to introduce it to the business meeting should withdraw from any further involvement in the matter. If someone else wants to propose Le Guin or any other name, they should be free to do so, but I think Barkley has made any proposal he attaches himself to toxic.

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because the award and name were voted on last year, but sour grapes prevail. 

 

http://katsudon.net/?p=5646.

1224: Mr Peterson from the committee for; since MidAmeriCon, the primary issue has been the name. They’ve spent a lot of time debating and vetting. It doesn’t violate any other award names or copyrights.

1225: Dr Laurie against because the vast majority wanted Madeline L’Engle, wants to strike Lodestar and substitute that name instead.

1227: Ms Rask against this change. The question about whether to name the award after a person is very contentious. For example, L’Engle has been criticized for her depiction of LGBT characters and promotion of an Evangelical mission. Also, she’s mostly really promoted by people of a certain age group.

1229: Yalow for the change – if we want public recognition for the award; using the name of an author is more likely to get public attention and will have more credibility.

1230: Motion to extend debate by 5 minutes by PRK. Debate is not extended.

1231: Motion to call the question. Seconded. Okay, question is called.

1231: Negative has it, amendment fails. We’re keeping Lodestar rather than going with L’Engel.

1232: Ms Hayes calls the question on the underlying amendment too. Seconded.

1232: PoI from Dr Laurie – if we vote to use Lodestar, can next year’s business meeting change the name prior to ratification? The chair rules that this kind of change would be major and require an additional year for ratification.

1233: Ms Rudolph with a PoI – is there anything in the rules that would prevent the WorldCon from using the name that will be up for ratification? The chair rules that the con would not be allowed to use the name. Dr Adams asks that the chair recuse himself and hands off to Mr Eastlake.

1234: Mr Eastlake rules next year’s convention could use weasel wording to mostly get around this.

1235: Mr Lee comes to support Mr Eastlake, who says he does not need support but thanks anyway.

1236: Mr Kovalcek asks if we are voting on the ruling. Mr Eastlake: the ruling hasn’t been appealed, do you want to appeal it? Mr Kovalcek: No. In that case, can next year’s WorldCon choose to have their special Hugo Category and call it the Lodestar?

1238: We are down a definitional rabbit hole, y’all, and it’s getting very silly.

1243: We are now voting on the appeal of the ruling of the chair. Which is that next year’s WorldCon can create a special Hugo and call it the Lodestar award for this purpose. Ruling is sustained.

1244: Now the question is if we are calling the question for D.4

1245: Okay, question is called. We’re getting there. Now will we adopt the name?

1245: The affirmative has it. The name motion passes. The YA Award is named Lodestar, subject to ratification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. This proposal is not being made in good faith. And frankly, as much as I love Ursula Le Guin's work and admire her as a person, naming the award after her is without any real justification. She's not primarily known as a YA writer, most actual young adults (ie people under 40) probably haven't read her major YA work, and in general naming this award after ULG would amount to a big nostalgia trip, the very opposite of what it is intended to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, mormont said:

Yeah. This proposal is not being made in good faith.

It's stupid, but Barkley spoke in favor of establishing the award at the 2016 business meeting despite the lack of a name, so I don't think he means to derail it. I do think he's going about it badly, and there's still the issue that contentions over the name are the sort of thing that might help those who do want to derail it.

 

Quote

And frankly, as much as I love Ursula Le Guin's work and admire her as a person, naming the award after her is without any real justification. She's not primarily known as a YA writer, most actual young adults (ie people under 40) probably haven't read her major YA work, and in general naming this award after ULG would amount to a big nostalgia trip, the very opposite of what it is intended to be.

For me, is that Earthsea is a seminal work of genre YA, a work that has specifically been cited as an inspiration for many authors, and as it happens Le Guin wrote YA more recently as well so she never left the field even if she isn't primarily seen as a YA author. The age thing doesn't matter to me whatsoever, and obviously not to the hundreds of respondents who wanted it named after a person, which is why I think we're going to see a number of proposals to replace the Lodestar name.

 

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As awesome and important as Le Guin was and is, I think it's a meaningless name to the overwhelming majority of people who read YA who are themselves young. I'd hope that fans of YA genre work are reading Earthsea as one of the taproot texts, but I think we're kidding ourselves that they are; if they are, we should really be calling the award the Narnia Award or CS Lewis Award, as he was even more important in the development of modern YA SFF (and hugely problematic for various reasons), or even the Tolkien or Hobbit Award. The only names that are really going to fly for naming the award after a person that most young readers are going to recognise is the likes of Pullman, Rowling or Collins or Riordan or something like that, and they're all going to be hugely contentious (which is why they weren't even in the discussion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Ran said:

For me, is that Earthsea is a seminal work of genre YA, a work that has specifically been cited as an inspiration for many authors, and as it happens Le Guin wrote YA more recently as well so she never left the field even if she isn't primarily seen as a YA author. The age thing doesn't matter to me whatsoever, and obviously not to the hundreds of respondents who wanted it named after a person, which is why I think we're going to see a number of proposals to replace the Lodestar name.

The age thing is absolutely critical IMO. The impression I have is that the people who've lost the argument over whether there should be a YA award, have largely moved on to the idea that if there's going to be one, it should be a nostalgic thing for the usual suspects ie people who've been going to WorldCon since before Methuselah learned to walk. Because everything has to be for them and the books they like are the best books and young people today know nothing. 

If you know younger fans, you know that WorldCon has an image as being a dinosaur convention. Not an undeserved one, either. Naming awards after authors that older generations venerate is only going to make that worse. And some in the community would be entirely in favour of that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Werthead said:

As awesome and important as Le Guin was and is, I think it's a meaningless name to the overwhelming majority of people who read YA who are themselves young.

As if Lodestar means anything to them?

 

The opportunity to name an award is a rare one. The history of naming of such awards has often looked at honoring people who have made material contributions to whatever the award is for, or alternatively it's named for the person funding the award.

It's certainly the case at Worldcon, with awards named for influential and important editors Hugo Gernsback and John Campbell. Maybe it's time there's one named for an author.

 

Quote

I'd hope that fans of YA genre work are reading Earthsea as one of the taproot texts, but I think we're kidding ourselves that they are; if they are, we should really be calling the award the Narnia Award or CS Lewis Award, as he was even more important in the development of modern YA SFF (and hugely problematic for various reasons), or even the Tolkien or Hobbit Award.

I'd have no objections to these names being proposed. I suspect everyone knows why there would be objections to Lewis or Tolkien, and has opinions on that.

Quote

The only names that are really going to fly for naming the award after a person that most young readers are going to recognise is the likes of Pullman, Rowling or Collins or Riordan or something like that, and they're all going to be hugely contentious (which is why they weren't even in the discussion).

And in three decades we can say no one reads them as much as whoever is the big author now. This isn't a reason to say that the WSFS can't decide to  name an award _now_ for someone who has written important, influential YA. Also, the argument against naming an award in honor of a still-living person -- especially in regards to younger writers such as Rowling, Collins, or Riordan -- is not a bad one.

2 hours ago, mormont said:

The age thing is absolutely critical IMO. The impression I have is that the people who've lost the argument over whether there should be a YA award, have largely moved on to the idea that if there's going to be one, it should be a nostalgic thing for the usual suspects ie people who've been going to WorldCon since before Methuselah learned to walk. Because everything has to be for them and the books they like are the best books and young people today know nothing. 

Interesting anecdotal information. I'm sure it motivates some people. For my part, naming the award after a writer who has been important to the field is an acknowledgment that we all stand on the shoulders of giants. That's a worthwhile thing for an organization such as the WSFS to do, without having to put ego or nostalgia into it.

(And to respond to the most common complaint against naming it after a person: Yes, those same giants may also have feet of clay -- almost certainly had them! -- but there's something dangerous, in my mind, in this sort of iconoclastic approach to rejecting acknowledgment of peers, mentors, influencers, etc. for fear of their flaws, known or unknown. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good and so on.)

 

Quote

If you know younger fans, you know that WorldCon has an image as being a dinosaur convention. Not an undeserved one, either. Naming awards after authors that older generations venerate is only going to make that worse. And some in the community would be entirely in favour of that. 

What I find most bothersome is that Le Guin, at least, wrote YA as little as a decade ago. It's absurd to treat her as having been some antiquated museum piece that no teenager could have enjoyed this millennium.


I had no idea who John Newbery was, but this did not change the fact that the Newbery Honor Award led my elementary school librarian putting McKinley's The Blue Sword in my hands. The name of the award is irrelevant to the intended young adult readers of these books. The value of the name of the award is whether it has branding and publicity value, and to some degree the value to the organization in regards to what message it wishes to send about itself and about its award to those people who are likely to care about such things (literary and genre reporters, librarians, fans and genre readers, etc.)

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

On a separate note: does the YA Committee still formally exist and, if so, is there a means of contacting them? I know how to contact some of the members from last year, but I can't tell if the 2017 business meeting included reappointment of the committee to this year's Worldcon.

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Ran said:

What I find most bothersome is that Le Guin, at least, wrote YA as little as a decade ago. It's absurd to treat her as having been some antiquated museum piece that no teenager could have enjoyed this millennium.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I venerate Le Guin. I'm certainly not saying she's a museum piece.

But, as has been pointed out before, naming awards after authors dates them right from the start. It's only a good idea where that person is permanently, immutably associated with the thing being recognised. Ursula Le Guin is simply not in that category for YA. I'm sure many teenagers today read her works. I'm equally sure she wouldn't appear in the top five names those same teenagers associate with YA literature. It's a backward-looking idea, and saying that is no slam on Ursula Le Guin. I doubt she herself would have been enthusiastic about this idea, if she were still with us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, mormont said:

But, as has been pointed out before, naming awards after authors dates them right from the start. It's only a good idea where that person is permanently, immutably associated with the thing being recognised.

I'd need some sort of evidence for why it's not a "good" idea rather than taking it as given. 

Le Guin's name will certainly draw a little more publicity than Lodestar, I think that, at least, can be agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Ran said:

I'd need some sort of evidence for why it's not a "good" idea rather than taking it as given. 

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. 

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've seen nothing to convince me that Le Guin's name, in connection with the YA field in particular, has that among people significantly younger than myself. And those people are the target audience for this award, or should be.

My feeling is that in naming the award after someone of that ilk, the WSFS would be making a statement that this is not the target audience: that in fact, the target audience is people who read Earthsea thirty years ago.

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. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×