Important Campbell quasi-info

Cheryl has posted a note about the new Campbell Award eligibility rules. Unfortunately, the new rules have not yet been published, and Hugo nominations close in less than a week. I don't know what that means in terms of who's eligible this year, but here are a couple of relevant excerpts from Cheryl's blog:

As I understand it, the new eligibility criteria will be very close to SFWA’s definition of a "professional" sale, but they will not be tied to what SFWA does, and they will be fully international (SFWA’s rules are, understandably, more focused on the USA)....

What does this mean for people making nominations for this year's Campbell? And indeed what does it mean for affected writers? Well, first of all as I understand it everyone is keen to do whatever they can to minimize disruption and unfairness. Again I can’t say exactly what Interaction's Hugo Administrators will do. ... But the intent is to phase this in as gently as possible. So my advice is that if you think someone might be eligible, nominate them.

Those of you who've already sent in nominations, I don't know if there's anything you can do at this point. But those who haven't, and who still plan to nominate before the deadline next Friday, the above should serve as a warning that Jim Van Pelt's excellent Campbell-Eligible Authors site may not be quite as comprehensive this year as it normally is.

My impression is that anyone who qualified under the old semi-formal "10,000-copy print run" rule will still qualify under the new rules, but I don't know that for sure; in the end, such decisions will be up to the Hugo administrators and the people at Dell who run the award. But again, as Cheryl noted, you should probably go ahead and nominate anyone you think might be eligible. (That's not official advice from on high; just agreeing with Cheryl that it seems like a good idea.)

. . . I just looked at Jim's 2003 and 2004 debut authors list; I think I hadn't quite noticed just how many SH authors became eligible under the 10K rule in the past couple years (not via their SH stories, of course). I'm counting eleven SH fiction authors, and a couple of other SH contributors as well. Cool beans.

13 Responses to “Important Campbell quasi-info”

  1. Cheryl

    Just a quick note to say that as far as I know it is OK to submit a revised ballot provided it arrives before the deadline. But please mark on the ballot that it is a revision as this will save the Hugo Administrators a lot of work.

  2. Jennifer Pelland

    I have to say, I’m not happy with the thought that, a mere one week before the deadline, I have suddenly entered my second year of eligibility and skipped my first one altogether.

  3. Cheryl

    Well Jennifer, if you were going to be eligible this year anyway you are not too badly affected. People will have known to vote for you anyway. I am very much hoping that there will be a grandfathering process to allow you to get your second year. That decision will have to be taken by Dell Magazines and L.A. Con IV. However, you have a whole year to persuade them of the rightness of your cause.

  4. David Moles

    Then there’s the Jay Lake Solution: Win it this year and save yourself the trouble. 🙂

  5. Jennifer Pelland

    You misunderstand me. If this goes into effect, I go from being not yet eligible to being in my second year of eligibility. I appeared twice in Strange Horizons back in 2003, and haven’t appeared in any other SFWA pro market (or any market, for that matter) since then.

    Unless, of course, the transition committee comes up with a way that I don’t lose an entire year in one stroke.

  6. David Moles

    That’s not that different from what happened to Jay. (Should’ve been in his first year; they said it was his second.) The thing to remember is that, as Cheryl points out, it’s up to the administrators for a given year to decide how to interpret the rules, and they have a fair bit of latitude.

    I’m just mad I didn’t get a novel out in time for my Campbell eligibility period, under whatever rules.

  7. David Moles

    It’s probably also not a good idea to get overexcited about the rule changes without seeing them.

  8. Jennifer Pelland

    I know what you mean about the novel.

    And the new rules are posted to the Interthingie website, so they’re official. *grump*

  9. Vera Nazarian

    Hey, at least you folks have a chance and a clue about the Campbell.

    I am still ticked at myself for not knowing about this thing until about a decade after I was no longer eligible. *grin*

  10. Heather Shaw

    Jennifer, I am in the EXACT same position as you are. I’m hoping that… well, I don’t know what I’m hoping. I mean, it seems to me that they should have either changed the rules well after the nominations or well before. This right-before-the-deadline seems unfair at best. I don’t want this year to count as either one of my years, since people would have had only a week to nominate me. Sigh.

  11. Beth

    Sigh. Unless they add a grandfather clause, I went from not-eligible to past-eligible in one stroke. (My first sale to SH was in 2001.)

  12. Jennifer Pelland

    Oh crap, Beth.

    I suspect that the more stories like this that they hear, the more grandfathering they’ll do. I mean, think about it, if someone was pubbed by SH in 2002, and then was pubbed by F&SF in 2004, are they eligible or not?

    Changing the rules one week before the deadline was dirty pool. The better decision would have been to change the rules on March 12th for next year’s nominations. *sigh*

  13. Kevin Standlee

    Actually, the Campbell rules were effectively changed _last_ year, and without any publicity. See Noreascon 4’s web site for the longer version of this story.

    The Worldcon committees are in a huge bind here. WSFS doesn’t set the JWC rules. If the JWC were a Hugo Award, changes would have to be passed at one Worldcon, ratified at the next, and wouldn’t take affect until the one after that. With the Hugo Awards, no change can ever be a surprise, if you pay attention to the Business Meeting reports, and moreover, ever member of WSFS has a reasonable opportunity to participate in the process.

    (That doesn’t mean that Hugo changes aren’t a surprise to some people — it does appear that splitting Best Dramatic Presentation surprised many people, despite the fact that we’d been debating it and variations of it for many years — just that the process is transparent if you care to look.)

    The JWC Award, on the other hand, is only _administered_ by Worldcon committees. The rules — or in this case the general guidelines that the administrators try to turn into detailed rules — come from the Award Sponsor, Dell Magazines. (An analogous situation (pun unintentional) would be the US Congress passing a new tax law; the IRS issues detailed regulations to implement the law, but doesn’t make law itself.)

    Those of us who have been involved behind the scenes of the Hugo Awards have known for some time that the Award Sponsor was dissatisfied with the current situtation. It took as long as it did to get some wording that everyone with a stake in the process could agree to.

    L.A.con IV does not yet have a Hugo Awards Administrator; however, the person to whom the HAA will report has been advised in some detail over this situation, and we may see a modification of interpretation to remove some of the _ex post facto_ elements.

    For example (and this should not be taken as official in any way), would those of you unhappy about this be less displeased if “small market” publication prior to 2004 was not considered for the purpose of determining whether one’s JWC eligibility had previously lapsed? This would, I think, address the concerns of people like Beth, who says she went from not eligible to post-eligible with no intermediate stops. OTOH, there may be other side effects that make this sort of cure worse than the disease; I haven’t thought out all of the possibilities.


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