Editorial Note: All of the agenda items below, including the commentary (and any FAQs) represent the views of the people signing their names to them. None of this material is officially sanctioned by Sasquan or the World Science Fiction Society.
Any two or more voting members of Sasquan (Attending, Supporting, Young Adults or Military) may submit proposals to the WSFS Business Meeting. See the Business Meeting page for more information about submitting business. The deadline for submitting proposals is August 6, 2015.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- B.1.1 – 4 and 6
- B.1.2 – The Five Percent Solution
- B.1.3 – Best Series
- B.1.4 – E Pluribus Hugo
- B.1.5 – Multiple Nominations
- B.1.6 – Nominee Diversity
- B.1.7 – Two-Year Eligibility
- B.1.8 – Electronic Signatures
- B.2.1 – I Remember the Future
- B.2.2 – Hugo Eligibility Extension for Predestination
- B.2.3 – Hugo Nominating Data Request
- B.2.4 – Open Source Software
- B.2.5 – MPC Funding
- B.2.6 – PI Scope
B.1 – CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
B.1.1 – Short Title: 4 and 6
Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution to reduce the number of nominations each member can
make in each category, to increase the number of finalists appearing on the final ballot and to correct related references to the number of nominations per member by
striking out and adding words as follows:
3.7.1: The Worldcon Committee shall conduct a poll to select the nominees for the final Award voting. Each member of the administering Worldcon, the immediately preceding Worldcon, or the immediately following Worldcon as of January 31 of the current calendar year shall be allowed to make up to
five (5) four (4) equally weighted nominations in every category.
3.8.1: Except as provided below, the final Award ballots shall list in each category the
five six eligible nominees receiving the most nominations. If there is a tie including fifth sixth place, all the tied eligible nominees shall be listed.
3.8.6: The Committee shall move a nomination from another category to the work’s default category only if the member has made fewer than
five (5) four (4) nominations in the default category.
3.8.7: If a work receives a nomination in its default category, and if the Committee relocates the work under its authority under subsection 3.2.9 or 3.2.10, the Committee shall count the nomination even if the member already has made
five (5) four (4) nominations in the more-appropriate category.
Proposed by: Chris Gerrib, Catherine Faber and Steven desJardins
Commentary: The goal of this amendment is to provide a broader base of potential winners and to increase participation in the nominating process. It accomplishes these goals by increasing the number of finalists from five to six. By reducing the number of nominees per member to four, we make it clear that members do not have to submit a full nominating ballot, encouraging participation in less popular categories. For more popular categories, limiting the number of nominees encourages the member to prioritize their selections. Finally, because of the 4-nominee limit, we are more likely to see a broader selection of works.
NOTE: The meeting will consider under this item any proposals substantially similar to this one that adjust the number of nominations each member can make and/or the number of places on the finalist shortlist. The Business Meeting staff anticipates that the Preliminary Business Meeting will discuss any modifications or overlapping proposals related to this item and resolve them into a single proposal for consideration by the Main Business Meeting. In short, if you want to change the numbers in this proposal, come to the Preliminary Business Meeting to propose and debate these changes.
B.1.2 – Short Title: The Five Percent Solution
Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution to eliminate the requirement that finalists must appear on at least 5% of ballots in a category, by
striking out words as follows: 3.8.5: No nominee shall appear on the final Award ballot if it received fewer nominations than five percent (5%) of the number of ballots listing one or more nominations in that category, except that the first three eligible nominees, including any ties, shall always be listed.
3.11.4: The complete numerical vote totals, including all preliminary tallies for first, second, … places, shall be made public by the Worldcon Committee within ninety (90) days after the Worldcon. During the same period the nomination voting totals shall also be published, including in each category the vote counts for at least the fifteen highest vote-getters
and any other candidate receiving a number of votes equal to at least five percent (5%) of the nomination ballots cast in that category, but not including any candidate receiving fewer than five votes.
Proposed by: Chris Gerrib, Catherine Faber and Steven desJardins
Commentary: The past few years have seen short fiction final ballots consisting of less than five nominations. This deprives members of the option of voting on a full slate. By removing the 5% rule, we ensure that a full slate is presented in every category.
B.1.3 – Short Title: Best Series (revised July 13, 2015)
Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution to change the written fiction Hugo Award categories by creating a Best Series award and correcting related references to the existing Hugo Award categories, by adding words as follows:
1: Insert words in existing Section 3.2.4 as follows:
3.2.4: Works appearing in a series are eligible as individual works, but the series as a whole is not eligible, except under Section 3.3.X. However, a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part.
2: Insert the following section before existing Section 3.3.4:
3.3.X: Best Series. A work of science fiction or fantasy presented as a single series with a unifying plot, characters or setting, appearing in at least three (3) volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the previous calendar year, at least one of which was published in the previous calendar year. If such a work has previously been a finalist, it shall be eligible only if at least two (2) additional volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words have been published since its last appearance on the final ballot by the end of the previous calendar year and provided it has not won under 3.3.X before.
3: Insert the following section before existing Section 3.8.3:
3.8.X: For nominations of works under Section 3.3.X, if a work is eligible as both an overarching series and a subset of that series, and if the both the subset and the overarching series receive sufficient nominations to appear on the final ballot, the Worldcon Committee shall determine whether the subset or the overarching series shall appear on the final ballot, after consulting with the author of the work insofar as it is possible to do so under the provisions of Section 3.9. If neither the subset of the series nor the overarching series receive sufficient nominations to appear on the final ballot, but the total ballots nominating either of them would place a work on the final ballot, the Worldcon Committee may combine the nominations and, after consulting with the author of the work insofar as it is possible to do so under the provisions of Section 3.9, determine how the work should appear on the final ballot.
Proposed by: Warren Buff, Jared Dashoff, William Lawhorn, Michael Lee, Pablo Vasquez
Commentary: The goal of this amendment is to provide Hugo categories more in line with today’s science fiction and fantasy publishing norms and to further create categories that compare like items. It accomplishes this by creating an award that recognizes works that appear in multi-volume series, a large and growing segment of the publishing sector and one largely unrecognized by the Hugos to date. Furthermore, stories told in this format tend to consist mainly of books which are not ideal examples of novels, in part due to the presence of narrative arcs which remain unresolved between their covers. While this narrative sweep is not to the taste of all readers, it nonetheless represents a stylistically distinct form of storytelling, and its exemplars deserve recognition.
Today, the majority of original novels (somewhere around two thirds) in the genre being published are part of larger series, if the new releases of Tor/Forge, Baen, Pyr, and DAW are any indication. Yet for the past decade, the Best Novel category has been dominated by stand-alone works. The nominees during this time have included 20 stand-alone works, 14 first books in series, and 17 later books in series, yet the winners have been divided between eight stand-alone works, two first books, and one later book. The distribution of Best Novel winners is badly out of step with the general shape of the market, even though the nominees run close to the market trend. This could be a sign that while the Hugo nominators appreciate series work, the general voter pool prefers stand-alone novels, or at least books without significant background stories, when considering which should win Best Novel, or that comparing stand-alone works to works in a series is difficult. While series novels performed better in the past, the expansion of the voter pool has not been a kind era for them.
We have used a fairly broad definition of the category, in hopes of reflecting the breadth considered in the 1966 Best All-Time Series Hugo. That one-off award compared Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Asimov’s Foundation, Heinlein’s Future History, Smith’s Lensmen, and Burroughs’s Barsoom. Structurally, these are very different works, which include a long linear story broken into separate volumes, stories on the scale of civilizations told in loosely connected works, a series of separate adventures following a cast of characters in a common setting, and a series which was later expanded by the addition of a novel to connect its plot to one of the author’s earlier works. While some are composed entirely of novels, others contain a blend of short fiction and novels. Yet the fans of the 1960s saw all of these as falling under the banner of series. We would like to preserve that diversity of storytelling and publishing methods in a modern award.
By setting the minimum for nomination at 240,000 words across multiple volumes, works are required to provide substantial material within the same series to be nominated and substantial new material to be eligible for a second nomination. The number also reflects typical book contracts for newer SF authors, which often come in around 80,000 to 100,000 words. Established authors, especially those working in high fantasy, sometimes deliver much longer works.
For reference, The Lord of the Rings was around 473,000 words. Volumes in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time ranged between 226,000 and 393,000 words, which would have triggered new eligibility every other volume, while George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has had volumes of over 400,000 words, and would have triggered eligibility with the third and fifth volumes. Among series which placed their third or later book onto Locus’s lists in 2013 and 2014, the majority had already crossed 300,000 words, while a few were close to the cut-off. The bulk of the series were in their third or fourth entry, while eight of the 31 were beyond their fifth. The lowest total, around 150,000, came from Alan Garner’s Weirdstone sequence, consisting of two children’s novels from the 1960s and an adult novella. The two middle-grade series to place a book on the list, Lois Lowry’s Giver and Catherynne Valente’s Fairyland series, came in below the threshold, while most of the young adult series came in above it. Young adult series varied wildly, with trilogies ranging from about 230,000 words (Holly Black’s Curse Workers) to over 480,000 (Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper). Several other series, most of which would tend to gain eligibility every two or three volumes, are documented at http://cesspit.net/drupal/node/1869/.
The work need not be that of a single author, and collaborative efforts that hang together well enough for the voters and authors to consider them a single work are eligible. For reference, the Wild Cards series has had numerous contributors over several decades, but each new novel or collection ties into all that has come before. The Ring of Fire series has multiple intertwining stories that are linked by a common progressive storyline.
And while the above discussion has focused on novel length works, the works need not be segmented into novel length volumes. Any work, presented in a series of multiple volumes, should be considered as eligible. For example, a series of fictional blog posts or short stories meeting the word count would qualify. Novella or even Short Story length volumes summing to the word count would also be eligible.
To eliminate the possibility of a given work, even with additional material being added, winning Best Series multiple times, a clause has been included at the end of Section 3.3.X.
To lessen issues with the triggering work being part of both the overarching series and a subseries, as in the case of Discworld, for example, a clause (Section 3.8.X) has been added to give the Worldcon Committee explicit powers, which the sponsors and others believe the Committee already had by implicit tradition, to confer with the author as to which work – the overarching series or the subseries – would appear on the ballot. Additionally, the last sentence of Section 3.8.X allows the Committee to combine the nominations and place only the overarching series or the subseries on the final ballot, after discussion with the creator, when possible, so that a nomination for the subseries would count as a nomination for the overarching series and vice versa.
B.1.4 – Short Title: E Pluribus Hugo (Out of the Many, a Hugo)
[Note: This is the formal amendment text. The revised plain-English FAQ has been moved here.]
Moved, to amend Section 3.8 (Tallying of Nominations), Section 3.9 (Notification and Acceptance), and Section 3.11 (Tallying of Votes) as follows:
Section 3.8: Tallying of Nominations.
3.8.1: Except as provided below, the final Award ballots shall list in each category the five eligible nominees receiving the most nominations. If there is a tie including fifth place, all the tied eligible nominees shall be listed. determined by the process described in section 3.A.
Insert new section 3.A after Section 3.8 as follows:
Section 3.A: Finalist Selection Process
3.A.1: For each category, the finalist selection process shall be conducted as elimination rounds consisting of three phases:
(1) Calculation Phase: First, the total number of nominations (the number of ballots on which each nominee appears) from all eligible ballots shall be tallied for each remaining nominee. Next, a single “point” shall be assigned to each nomination ballot. That point shall be divided equally among all remaining nominees on that ballot. Finally, all points from all nomination ballots shall be totaled for each nominee in that category. These two numbers, point total and number of nominations, shall be used in the Selection and Elimination Phases.
(2) Selection Phase: The two nominees with the lowest point totals shall be selected for comparison in the Elimination Phase. (See 3.A.3 for ties.)
(3) Elimination Phase: Nominees chosen in the Selection Phase shall be compared, and the nominee with the fewest number of nominations shall be eliminated and removed from all ballots for the Calculation Phase of all subsequent rounds. (See 3.A.3 for ties.)
3.A.2: The phases described in 3.A.1 are repeated in order for each category until the number of finalists specified in 3.8.1 remain. If elimination would reduce the number of finalists to fewer than the number specified in section 3.8.1, then instead no nominees will be eliminated during that round, and all remaining nominees shall appear on the final ballot, extending it if necessary.
3.A.3: Ties shall be handled as described below:
(1) During the Selection Phase, if two or more nominees are tied for the lowest point total, all such nominees shall be selected for the Elimination Phase.
(2) During the Selection Phase, if one nominee has the lowest point total and two or more nominees are tied for the second-lowest point total, then all such nominees shall be selected for the Elimination Phase.
(3) During the Elimination Phase, if two or more nominees are tied for the fewest number of nominations, the nominee with the lowest point total at that round shall be eliminated.
(4) During the Elimination Phase, if two or more nominees are tied for both fewest number of nominations and lowest point total, then all such nominees tied at that round shall be eliminated.
3.A.4: After the initial Award ballot is generated, if any finalist(s) are removed for any reason, the finalist selection process shall be rerun as though the removed finalist(s) had never been nominee(s). None of the remaining original finalists who have been notified shall be removed as a result of this rerun. The new finalist(s) shall be merged with the original finalists, extending the final ballot if necessary.
Section 3.9: Notification and Acceptance.
3.9.1 Worldcon Committees shall use reasonable efforts to notify the nominees finalists, or in the case of deceased or incapacitated persons, their heirs, assigns, or legal guardians, in each category prior to the release of such information. Each nominee person notified shall be asked at that time to either accept or decline the nomination. If the nominee person notified declines the nomination, that nominee finalist(s) shall not appear on the final ballot. The procedure for replacement of such finalist(s) is described in subsection 3.A.4.
Section 3.11: Tallying of Votes.
3.11.4: The complete numerical vote totals, including all preliminary tallies for first, second, . . . places, shall be made public by the Worldcon Committee within ninety (90) days after the Worldcon. During the same period the nomination voting totals shall also be published, including in each category the vote counts for at least the fifteen highest vote-getters and any other candidate receiving a number of votes equal to at least five percent (5%) of the nomination ballots cast in that category, but not including any candidate receiving fewer than five votes. During the same period, the results of the last ten rounds of the finalist selection process for each category (or all the rounds if there are fewer than ten) shall also be published.
Submitted by: Keith “Kilo” Watt, Jameson Quinn, Tammy Coxen, Yoana Yotova, Joshua Kronengold, Christopher Battey, David Gallaher, Adam Tilghman, David Wallace, Sara Watt, CJ Cabourne, Steven Halter, P J Evans, David Goldfarb, Seth Gordon, Ginger Tansey, Steve Wright, Catherine Faber, Andy Holloway, Duncan J. Macdonald, Claudia Beach, Derry Earnshaw, Jason Skiles, Soon Lee, David Harmon, Lydia Nickerson, Abigail Sutherland, Lee Billings, Oskari Rantala, Seth Breidbart, Chris Suslowicz, Fragano Ledgister, Lori Coulson, Jeffry Herman, Mark Shier, Buddha Buck, Lenore Jean Jones, David Langford, Christopher Hatton, Rogers Cadenhead
Commentary: “E Pluribus Hugo” – the name of this proposal is also its goal: recognizing the many opinions within fandom as to what nominees might be worthy of the Hugo. It is to be emphasized that this proposal does not change the nominating process from the perspective of Worldcon members: They still list the nominees, unranked, they feel are Hugo-worthy (up to the maximum permitted) in any categories they choose, just as they have in the past. In the past, we have counted the number of nominations each nominee received, and the top five nominees were put on the final ballot. However, because SF fandom typically nominates a variety of different nominees, it was easy for an organized slate to make it so that no other nominees made the final ballot.
Using this system, fandom isn’t penalized for nominating a wide variety of nominees. If you nominate something that ends up not having a chance to make the final ballot, then your remaining choices automatically get more of your support instead of just being wasted. In other words, you can safely nominate anything you feel is Hugo-worthy. If enough people agree with you, it will make the final ballot. If they don’t, that’s okay – when that nominee is eliminated, your other choices will have a greater chance of making the final ballot. In this way, by eliminating the least popular candidates each round, fandom slowly converges to a consensus as to which finalists should be voted on to be the Hugo winner.
It is also an explicit goal of this proposal not to disenfranchise anyone. Rather, this proposal seeks to ensure that no group of members – of any sort, minority or majority – can disproportionately dominate an entire category. This system allows the broadest range of nominees that are popular with fandom-at-large to be considered for the Hugo Awards.
B.1.5 – Short Title: Multiple Nominations
Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution to eliminate the possibility of a work simultaneously appearing on the final ballot in multiple categories by adding words as follows:
1: Insert the following section after existing Section 3.2.8:
3.2.X: No work shall appear in more than one category on the final Award ballot.
2: Insert the following section after existing Section 3.8.6:
3.8.Y: If a work is eligible in more than one category, and if the work receives sufficient nominations to appear in more than one category, the Worldcon Committee shall determine in which category the work shall appear, after consulting with the author of the work insofar as it is possible to do so under the provisions of Section 3.9.
Proposed by: Warren Buff, Jared Dashoff, William Lawhorn, Michael Lee, Pablo Vasquez
Commentary: The goal of this amendment is to ensure that no work appears on the final ballot in multiple categories. This means that a novel could not appear on the same ballot as a series of which it is a part, and provides for settling the placement of works receiving nominations in Best Related Work and other categories, such as Fanzine or Fancast. Additionally, if a YA category were to be added, a novel could not appear in both the YA and Best Novel categories. It would be the duty of the Worldcon Committee, via the Hugo Administrator and staff, in consultation with the author/creator, as possible, to determine in which category the work would appear.
B.1.6 – Short Title: Nominee Diversity
Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution for the purpose of encouraging diversity of Hugo Award nominations by excluding more than two works within a category that are part of the same dramatic series or having a common co-author by inserting a new subsection after existing 3.8.4, adding words as follows:
3.8.X: If there are more than two works in the same category that are all episodes of the same dramatic presentation series or that are written works that have an author in common, only the two works in each category that have the most nominations shall be eligible to appear on the final ballot. For the purposes of this exclusion, works withdrawn by their author under Section 3.2.5 shall be ignored.
Proposed by: Donald E. Eastlake 3rd and Jill Eastlake
Commentary: The intent of this amendment to the WSFS Constitution is to increase the diversity of nominations appearing on the final Hugo Award ballot.
With only five nomination slots, an author or dramatic series nominated thrice or more in a Hugo category in one year is occupying 60% or more of those slots and squeezing the rest of the field down to only two or fewer. Even if the number of slots were increased to six, they would be occupying at least half of them. Situations with such three or more works in the same category have become more common recently. Based on a quick scan, it appears this has occurred a total of ten times. But eight of these have been in the last 10 years, while there were only two in the previous 50+ years of the Hugo Award. (Nine of these ten were triples and one was a quintuplet. Eight were of dramatic series episodes and two were for written works.)
Two such works or episodes appearing on the ballot seems less problematic; such doubles have occurred more frequently (28 instances), have occurred in many different categories, and have occurred in years more uniformly spread over the history of the Hugo Award.
This amendment, to the extent possible to achieve the desired effect, strives for simplicity and tries to impose the minimum details on the Hugo administrators. It leaves questions such as who is an author of a written work or whether or not episodes are part of the same dramatic series to the discretion of those administrators.
The restrictions in this amendment apply in a different way to dramatic-presentation works and written works. In the dramatic presentation categories, no more than two works (generally episodes) of the same series would be eligible in the category. In each written category, no more than two works with the same author or co-authors would be eligible in that category. The following examples illustrate this:
Example 1: If three episodes of the television series Science Fiction Trek and one episode of the television series Fantasy Wars would otherwise qualify for the final ballot, the episode of Science Fiction Trek with the least nominations would be excluded. The final ballot would be the two episodes with the most nominations, plus three other works not part of that series, including the Fantasy Wars episode, even if, for example, all four episodes had the same Director or the like and even if all three episodes of Science Fiction Trek had different Directors or the like.
Example 2: Imagine that two novels authored by John Doe, a third novel co-authored by John Doe and Jane Roe, and a short story authored by John Doe would all otherwise qualify for the final ballot. Since all three novels have an author in common, only the two with the most nominations would qualify for the final ballot, with three other novels not having John Doe as an author or co-author filling out the other positions; this would exclude the novel with Jane Roe as a co-author if it had the fewest nominations. Since short story is a different Hugo category, this situation in the novel category would have no effect on the nomination of John Doe’s short story.
B.1.7 – Short Title: Two-Year Eligibility
Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution to make the eligibility time window for “specific work” categories two years rather than the current one year, and to eliminate the current automatic extension of eligibility of works originally published outside the USA, by
striking out and adding words as follows:
1: Add words to Section 3.2.1 to expand the eligibility time period for the Hugo Award:
3.2.1: Unless otherwise specified, Hugo Awards are given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year in categories presented to individual persons or serial publications, and appearing for the first time during the previous two (2) calendar years in categories presented to specific works.
2. Strike out Section 3.4.2, removing the automatic extension of eligibility to works originally published outside the United States:
3.4.2: Works originally published outside the United States of America and first published in the United States of America in the previous calendar year shall also be eligible for Hugo Awards.
Proposed by: Paul Carpentier and Julie McGalliard
Commentary: Works of science fiction and fantasy have grown in length and in numbers. With smaller and fewer works, Hugo voters could reasonably be expected to be familiar with the field as a whole. The field has blossomed, and Hugo voters can no longer be expected to have familiarity with everything available for Hugo consideration.
Note: Should a specific work receive sufficient nominations to appear on the final ballot in its first year of eligibility and should the author decline the nomination under Section 3.9, the work would not be eligible in its second year, because of the provisions of the existing Section 3.2.2 (“A work shall not be eligible if in a prior year it received sufficient nominations to appear on the final award ballot.”)
B.1.8 – Short Title: Electronic Signatures
Moved, to amend Section 4.4 of the WSFS Constitution to authorize Worldcons to accept ballots with any form of signature or authentication legal in the jurisdiction of the administering Worldcon, as follows:
Section 4.4: Ballots.
4.4.1. Site-selection ballots shall include name, signature, address, and membership-number spaces to be filled in by the voter. Each site-selection ballot shall list the options “None of the Above” and “No Preference” and provide for write-in votes, after the bidders and with equal prominence. The supporting membership rate shall be listed on all site-selection ballots.
4.4.2. Voters may sign or authenticate their ballots using any signature method, either physical or electronic, that is legal in the jurisdiction of the current Worldcon Committee.
Proposed by: Terry Neill and Janet D’Agostino-Neill
Commentary: This amendment is meant to clarify requirements and simplify submitting legal signatures, whenever the current Worldcon Committee and all the current bidders agree to electronic submission of Site Selection ballots. This year the directive was to print the ballot, sign it, scan it, then email it to Site Selection. There are many forms of legally binding electronic signatures that were not allowed. This amendment will allow any form of electronic signature legal in the jurisdiction of the seated Worldcon.
B.2 – RESOLUTIONS
B.2.1 – Short Title: I Remember the Future
Moved, to extend the Hugo eligibility for the movie I Remember the Future due to extremely limited distribution, as provided for in Section 3.4.3 of the WSFS Constitution.
Proposed by: Chris Barkley, Michael A. Burstein, Nomi S. Burstein, and Juli Marr;
Along with Lou Antonelli, Ari Baronofsky, Steve Davidson, Tom Doyle, Harold Feld, Lisa Feld, Tom Galloway, Christopher J. Garcia, Crystal Huff, Justin Husted, Daniel M. Kimmel, Michael Kingsley, Larry Lennhoff, Tasha Turner Lennhoff, Ann Margaret Lewis, Jennifer Francis Murphy, Steven H Silver, Janna Silverstein, Amy Sisson, Sarah Stegall, Leslie Turek, France Andrews Zeve, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Commentary: The film I Remember the Future (KAS Creations) is a short student film that was directed by Klayton Stainer, an Australian filmmaker. It premiered at the 2014 Worldfest-Houston on April 6, 2014, and in the rest of the calendar year it was screened at only two other venues: the San Jose Short Film Festival (October 12, 2014) and a special meeting of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (November 15, 2014). Because of its limited release, very few members of Sasquan were actually able to screen the film before the deadline for nominating in the 2015 Hugo Awards. The film won a Grand Remi Award at Worldfest-Houston and has received other accolades since, which serve as testimony to the idea that the film would actually be worthy to be considered for a Hugo nomination.
In 2015, the film was screened at three science-fiction conventions (Arisia, Boskone, and Minicon) and more film festivals, thus giving it more exposure. Furthermore, as of this writing the film has been submitted to Sasquan for the media program. We would like to give this film the chance it deserves to be considered by the members of MidAmeriCon II for the Hugo in Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
B.2.2 Short Title: Hugo Eligibility Extension for Predestination
Moved, to extend for one year the eligibility of the movie Predestination, based on limited availability, as authorized by Section 3.4.3 of the WSFS Constitution.
Proposed by: Michael Kingsley, Mark Bernstein, Emily Stewart, and Aaron Vander Giessen
This motion extends eligibility for the Hugo Awards under Section 3.4.3; therefore, it requires a two-thirds vote.
Commentary: The Australian film Predestination has its global premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas on March 8, 2014. The film then was part of the Melbourne International Film Festival in July, 2014. There were theatrical screenings in a limited number of large cities in the United States in January 2015, and Predestination was not released on DVD until February 10, 2015. Due to its limited release in 2014 and early 2015, very few members of Sasquan had the opportunity to view the film before the deadline for nominating the 2015 Hugo Awards. Predestination is a film adaptation of the classic Robert Heinlein short story, “All You Zombies,” which appeared in the March 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the film has been receiving several favorable reviews. It currently scores 84% with film critics on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregator website.
B.2.3 – Short Title: Hugo Nominating Data Request
Moved, that the WSFS Business Meeting requests that the Administrators of the 2015 Hugo Awards make publicly available anonymized raw nominating data from the 2015 Hugo Awards, including the works nominated on each ballot in each category, but not including any information that could be used to relate ballots to the members who cast them; and
Resolved, that it is the opinion of the WSFS Business Meeting that releasing such anonymized raw nominating data after the announcement of the results of the 2015 Hugo Awards is not a violation of the privacy of members’ ballots.
Proposed by: Keith “Kilo” Watt, Jameson Quinn, David Harmon, Duncan J. Macdonald, Catherine Faber, David Goldfarb, Soon Lee, David Wallace
Commentary: While there will always be speculation and “what if?” scenarios, discussions will be more productive if they are based on reality. Particularly in an election, transparency (so long as voter privacy isn’t violated) is always a good and necessary aspect. Releasing the anonymized ballots will also put to rest any insinuations about impropriety in handling what has been an extraordinarily contentious Hugo season. Perhaps more importantly, the nomination ballot data have significant historical value and should be preserved in any event. This request does not compromise anonymity, any more than manually recounting ballots would in any election.
Testing and development of voting systems are greatly enhanced by using real-world data. During the creation of the E Pluribus Hugo methodology, several statistically-generated nomination datasets were used for testing purposes. It would be beneficial to use an actual nomination dataset for verification of EPH methodology and results, as well as for any other nomination system which may be proposed.
B.2.4 – Short Title: Open Source Software
Resolved, that the WSFS Business Meeting recommends that software (including but not necessarily limited to, custom-written applications, spreadsheets, and databases, but not including the hardware, operating systems, or commercial applications upon which such software is dependent) used by a seated Worldcon committee to carry out any function mandated by this constitution (including, but not necessarily limited to, administration of the Hugo Awards and of Future Worldcon Selection), shall be made available to any member upon request or as an open-source project;
That if a Committee makes such information available upon request, it must make readily available contact information for feedback including bug reports;
That no Worldcon shall be obligated to use any patch or upgrade suggested during its seating period; and
That such patches or upgrades be considered for inclusion if the software is to be reused by Worldcons seated after the submission is made.
Proposed by: Kate Secor, Ben Wolfe
Commentary: As software becomes more sophisticated, and various proposals for counting nominations and votes follow to take advantage of new capabilities, it is inevitable that we will reach a point where nominations and votes can no longer be verified by hand. This requires a measure of trust in the software that is used to tabulate results.
The Worldcon community (and that of SF/F fandom at large) contains many people who are aware of the risks of using untested and unverified software. This measure is introduced to encourage Worldcons to allow independent review of the software they use to promote faith in the results of its use.
The intention is not to put a burden on Worldcons to supply anything other than the source code of the software they are using, since that would represent an unreasonable drain on their resources. It is also not intended to require any Worldcon to make changes to their software during their seating periods.
The hope is that this will encourage the creation and reuse of robust, flexible software with community oversight and input, to encourage greater understanding of how WSFS-mandated voting operations are carried out.
B.2.5 – Short Title: MPC Funding
Resolved, that the Business Meeting recommends that all future Worldcons and NASFiCs grant US$1 per voting member to the WSFS Mark Protection Committee to fund the MPC’s operations.
Moved by: The WSFS Mark Protection Committee
Commentary: The operations of the WSFS MPC have been funded by a voluntary donation from Worldcon (and sometimes NASFiC) committees of $0.50 per site selection voter. This amount was established in the early 1980s when the MPC’s predecessor was established, and has never been adjusted. Since then, the number of things the MPC has been expected to do has increased, the number of places the MPC has been tasked to register the WSFS service marks has grown, and the MPC has also had to deal with a number of infringements upon the MPC marks, some very serious and expensive. The MPC proposes that broadening the contribution of WSFS convention committees to $1 per voting member (that is, member with applicable WSFS voting rights such as site selection, Hugo Awards, including all Attending and Supporting members) would catch up on thirty years of inflation, fund all current projects, and allow the MPC to build up a reserve against emergencies requiring substantial legal expenses, such as the Fancaster affair(!) last year.
The MPC typically does not ask committees to make their traditional donations until after their convention is over, and does not attempt to collect donations from committees that are otherwise insolvent.
By defining the contribution in terms of “voting members,” any non-voting members (such as press passes, vendors, children-in-tow, and any other class of member that does not have voting rights) would not be assessed a contribution. NASFiC committees typically do not have “voting members” in this sense, except in the rare case when a NASFiC selects the site of a future NASFiC; however, the MPC suggests that future NASFiC committees follow the example of Detcon 1 and contribute similar amount based on their supporting and attending membership counts.
B.2.6 – Short Title: PI Scope
Moved, to amend Standing Rule 1.2 to clarify that Postpone Indefinitely does not apply to constitutional amendments awaiting ratification, and furthermore to clarify that Postpone Indefinitely may apply to new constitutional amendments, by inserting words as follows:
Rule 1.2: Preliminary Business Meeting(s). The Preliminary Business Meeting may not directly reject, pass, or ratify amendments to the Constitution; however, all motions adhering to a Constitutional amendment are in order if otherwise allowed. The Preliminary Business Meeting may not refer a Constitutional amendment to a committee unless the committee’s instructions are to report to the Main Business Meeting. The Preliminary Business Meeting may not postpone consideration of a Constitutional amendment pending ratification beyond the last Preliminary Business Meeting. The Preliminary Business Meeting may not amend a Constitutional amendment pending ratification. The Preliminary Business Meeting may consider any business not expressly forbidden to it by the Standing Rules or expressly reserved to the Main Business Meeting.
Moved by: The Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee
Commentary: This change clarifies the legislative intent of the motion to Postpone Indefinitely. Postpone Indefinitely was not intended to apply to constitutional amendments awaiting ratification; however, it was intended to be applicable to new constitutional amendments. This change also incidentally allows the Preliminary Business Meeting to Postpone Definitely a new constitutional amendment to the Main Business Meeting; however, this is not a significant change and the Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee does not anticipate that this would result in any substantive effect.
The committee also moves to Suspend the Rules and adopt this rule immediately.