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REVISED AGAIN: Hugo Nomination Ballot

MEDIA RELEASE #2015-4
Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention

19-23 August 2015 at Spokane WA USA

http://www.sasquan.org

Hugo Awards Final Ballot – REVISED AGAIN: FINAL VERSION

 

Spokane, 16 April 2015

Since the version of the ballot sent out two days ago, a few more changes have happened. They are detailed at the start of this Media Release, followed by the final version of the ballot.

In the Best Novel category, Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos has been withdrawn by its author.  It has been replaced by The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu).

In the Best Short category, “Goodnight Stars” by Annie Bellet has been withdrawn by its author.  It has been replaced by “A Single Samurai” by Steven Diamond.

In the Novelette category, the listing for “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” (by Thomas Olde Heuvelt) originally did not include the name of the translator, Lia Belt.  That has now been corrected.

 

It is believed that this is the first time that multiple fiction finalists were originally written in languages other than English.

The ballot is now going to the printer and there will be no further revisions.

Previous changes:

The nominees that follow were chosen by popular vote of members of Loncon 3 (the 2014 Worldcon), Sasquan (the 2015 Worldcon) and MidAmeriCon II (the 2016 Worldcon). Note that this is revised from the first ballot which was released on 4 April 2015. In particular:

In the Best Novelette category,  “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House) was replaced by “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Lightspeed Magazine, April 2014) – it had not been substantially revised since its original online publication in 2013;

In the Best Professional Artist category, Jon Eno was replaced by Kirk DouPonce.

We also misnamed Adventures in SciFi Publishing.

A total of 2122 valid nomination forms were received (2119 online and 3 paper).

A list of the top 15 nominees in each category, along with the number of nominations received by each, will be released after the Hugo Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 22 August, 2015 at Sasquan.

Best Novel (1827 nominating ballots)

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Roc Books
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)

[The Three-Body Problem was originally published in Chinese in 2008.  The 2014 publication by Tor was the first English-language version, and therefore it is again eligible for the Hugos, according to section 3.4.1 of the WSFS Constitution.]

Best Novella (1083 nominating ballots)

  • “Big Boys Don’t Cry” by Tom Kratman (Castalia House)
  • “Flow” by Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Analog, Nov 2014)
  • “One Bright Star to Guide Them” by John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “Pale Realms of Shade” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “The Plural of Helen of Troy by John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)

[Both Big Boys Don’t Cry and One Bright Star to Guide Them were previously published in much shorter versions, and were significantly expanded to novella-length in their 2014 publication.  Following previous precedents, for the purposes of the 2015 Hugos they are designated as new works.]

Best Novelette (1031 nominating ballots)

  • “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, May 2014)
  • “Championship B’tok” by Edward M. Lerner (Analog, Sept 2014)
  • “The Day The World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed Magazine, April 2014)
  • “The Journeyman: In the Stone House” by Michael F. Flynn (Analog, June 2014)
  • “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra (Analog, Jul/Aug 2014)

Best Short Story (1174 nominating ballots)

  • “On A Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, Nov 2014)
  • “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “A Single Samurai” by Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen Books)
  • “Totaled” by Kary English (Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, July 2014)
  • “Turncoat” by Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)

Best Related Work (1150 nominating ballots)

  • “The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF” by Ken Burnside (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
  • Letters from Gardner by Lou Antonelli (The Merry Blacksmith Press)
  • Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth by John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “Why Science is Never Settled” by Tedd Roberts (Baen.com)
  • Wisdom from My Internet by Michael Z. Williamson (Patriarchy Press)

Best Graphic Story (785 nominating ballots)

  • Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt (Marvel Comics)
  • Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery written by Kurtis J. Weibe, art by Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
  • Saga Volume 3 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
  • Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick written by Matt Fraction, art by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
  • The Zombie Nation Book #2: Reduce Reuse Reanimate by Carter Reid (The Zombie Nation)

Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) (1285 nominating ballots)

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
  • Edge of Tomorrow screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
  • Interstellar screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)
  • The Lego Movie written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO Systems A/S Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation (as Warner Animation Group))

Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (938 nominating ballots)

  • Doctor Who: “Listen” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
  • The Flash: “Pilot” teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper” written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
  • Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” written by Graeme Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions; Space/BBC America)

Best Editor (Short Form) (870 nominating ballots)

  • Jennifer Brozek
  • Vox Day
  • Mike Resnick
  • Edmund R. Schubert
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Best Editor (Long Form) (712 nominating ballots)

  • Vox Day
  • Sheila Gilbert
  • Jim Minz
  • Anne Sowards
  • Toni Weisskopf

Best Professional Artist (753 nominating ballots)

  • Julie Dillon
  • Kirk DouPonce
  • Nick Greenwood
  • Alan Pollack
  • Carter Reid

Best Semiprozine (660 nominating ballots)

  • Abyss & Apex Wendy Delmater editor and publisher
  • Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Association Incorporated, 2014 editors David Kernot and Sue Burtsztynski
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
  • Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Wendy N. Wagner, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton and Christie Yant
  • Strange Horizons Niall Harrison (Editor-in-Chief), Brit Mandelo, An Owomoyela and Julia Rios (Fiction Editors), Sonya Taaffe (Senior Poetry Editor), Abigail Nussbaum (Senior Reviews Editor), Rebecca Cross (Columns Editor), Anaea Lay (Podcast Editor) and Tim Moore (Webmaster)

Best Fanzine (576 nominating ballots)

  • Black Gate, edited by John O’Neill
  • Elitist Book Reviews edited by Steven Diamond
  • Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Colin Harris, and Helen Montgomery
  • The Revenge of Hump Day edited by Tim Bolgeo
  • Tangent SF Online, edited by Dave Truesdale

Best Fancast (668 nominating ballots)

  • Adventures in SciFi Publishing Brent Bowen (Executive Producer), Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward, Shaun Ferrell & Moses Siregar III (Co-Hosts, Interviewers and Producers)
  • Dungeon Crawlers Radio Daniel Swenson (Producer/Host), Travis Alexander & Scott Tomlin (Hosts), Dale Newton (Host/Tech), Damien Swenson (Audio/Video Tech)
  • Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
  • The Sci Phi Show Jason Rennie
  • Tea and Jeopardy Emma Newman and Peter Newman

Best Fan Writer (777 nominating ballots)

  • Dave Freer
  • Amanda S. Green
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Laura J. Mixon
  • Cedar Sanderson

Best Fan Artist (296 nominating ballots)

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Brad Foster
  • Elizabeth Leggett
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (851 nominating ballots)
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2013 or 2014, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).

  • Wesley Chu*
  • Jason Cordova
  • Kary English*
  • Rolf Nelson
  • Eric S. Raymond

*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

Direct administrative questions about the 2015 Hugo Awards to the Sasquan Hugo Administrators.

The Hugo voting ballot will be available to members of Sasquan online and by mail later in April.

For more information about the Hugos, please see http://sasquan.org/faq-hugos/

Full details of how to become a member of Sasquan are available at
https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php

2015 Hugo Nominations

The nominees that follow were chosen by popular vote of members of Loncon 3 (the 2014 Worldcon), Sasquan (the 2015 Worldcon) and MidAmeriCon II (the 2016 Worldcon).

A total of 2122 valid nomination forms were received (2119 online and 3 paper).

A list of the top 15 nominees in each category, along with the number of nominations received by each, will be released after the Hugo Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 22 August, 2015 at Sasquan.

Best Novel (1827 nominating ballots)

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos (47North)
  • Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

Best Novella (1083 nominating ballots)

  • Big Boys Don’t Cry by Tom Kratman (Castalia House)
  • “Flow” by Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Analog, Nov 2014)
  • One Bright Star to Guide Them by John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “Pale Realms of Shade” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “The Plural of Helen of Troy by John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)

Best Novelette (1031 nominating ballots)

  • “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, May 2014)
  • “Championship B’tok” by Edward M. Lerner (Analog, Sept 2014)
  • “The Journeyman: In the Stone House” by Michael F. Flynn (Analog, June 2014)
  • “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra (Analog, Jul/Aug 2014)
  • “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)

Best Short Story (1174 nominating ballots)

  • “Goodnight Stars” by Annie Bellet (The End is Now (Apocalypse Triptych Book 2), Broad Reach Publishing)
  • “On A Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, Nov 2014)
  • “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “Totaled” by Kary English (Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, July 2014)
  • “Turncoat” by Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)

Best Related Work (1150 nominating ballots)

  • “The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF” by Ken Burnside (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
  • Letters from Gardner by Lou Antonelli (The Merry Blacksmith Press)
  • Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth by John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “Why Science is Never Settled” by Tedd Roberts (Baen.com)
  • Wisdom from My Internet by Michael Z. Williamson (Patriarchy Press)

Best Graphic Story (785 nominating ballots)

  • Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt (Marvel Comics)
  • Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery written by Kurtis J. Weibe, art by Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
  • Saga Volume 3 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
  • Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick written by Matt Fraction, art by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
  • The Zombie Nation Book #2: Reduce Reuse Reanimate by Carter Reid (The Zombie Nation)

Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) (1285 nominating ballots)

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
  • Edge of Tomorrow screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
  • Interstellar screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)
  • The Lego Movie written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO Systems A/S Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation (as Warner Animation Group))

Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (938 nominating ballots)

  • Doctor Who: “Listen” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
  • The Flash: “Pilot” teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper” written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
  • Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” written by Graeme Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions; Space/BBC America)

Best Editor (Short Form) (870 nominating ballots)

  • Jennifer Brozek
  • Vox Day
  • Mike Resnick
  • Edmund R. Schubert
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Best Editor (Long Form) (712 nominating ballots)

  • Vox Day
  • Sheila Gilbert
  • Jim Minz
  • Anne Sowards
  • Toni Weisskopf

Best Professional Artist (753 nominating ballots)

  • Julie Dillon
  • Jon Eno
  • Nick Greenwood
  • Alan Pollack
  • Carter Reid

Best Semiprozine (660 nominating ballots)

  • Abyss & Apex Wendy Delmater editor and publisher
  • Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Association Incorporated, 2014 editors David Kernot and Sue Burtsztynski
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
  • Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant
  • Strange Horizons Niall Harrison Editor-in-Chief

Best Fanzine (576 nominating ballots)

  • Black Gate, edited by John O’Neill
  • Elitist Book Reviews edited by Steven Diamond
  • Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Colin Harris, and Helen Montgomery
  • The Revenge of Hump Day edited by Tim Bolgeo
  • Tangent SF Online, edited by Dave Truesdale

Best Fancast (668 nominating ballots)

  • Adventures in SF Publishing Brent Bower (Executive Producer), Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward & Moses Siregar III (Co-Hosts, Interviewers and Producers)
  • Dungeon Crawlers Radio Daniel Swenson (Producer/Host), Travis Alexander & Scott Tomlin (Hosts), Dale Newton (Host/Tech), Damien Swenson (Audio/Video Tech)
  • Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
  • The Sci Phi Show Jason Rennie
  • Tea and Jeopardy Emma Newman and Peter Newman

Best Fan Writer (777 nominating ballots)

  • Dave Freer
  • Amanda S. Green
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Laura J. Mixon
  • Cedar Sanderson

Best Fan Artist (296 nominating ballots)

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Brad Foster
  • Elizabeth Leggett
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (851 nominating ballots)
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2013 or 2014, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).

  • Wesley Chu*
  • Jason Cordova
  • Kary English*
  • Rolf Nelson
  • Eric S. Raymond

*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

Direct administrative questions about the 2015 Hugo Awards to the Sasquan Hugo Administrators.

2015 Hugo Nominations to be Announced April 4

Sasquan, The 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, will announce the nominees for the 2015 Hugo Awards at Norwescon, starting at noon Pacific Daylight Time on Saturday, April 4th, 2015. Many conventions will be featuring the announcement as a program item, including Minicon in Minneapolis, Eastercon in London, and Reconnaissance in Rotorua, NZ: if you’re at a convention that weekend, please check the program so you can watch with your friends. A real-time video stream of the announcements will be available on the Internet on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/hugo-awards. Sasquan congratulates all the nominees.

Sasquan: http://sasquan.org
Hugo Awards: http://www.thehugoawards.org
Norwescon: http://www.norwescon.org/
Minicon: http://mnstf.org/minicon/
Eastercon: http://www.dysprosium.org.uk
Reconnaissance: http://www.timelord2067.com/convention.html

Remembering Bobbie, one year later

Our friend and mentor Bobbie DuFault passed away one year ago, peacefully in her sleep, on September 14, 2013.

Bobbie was a leader in Northwest fandom, being involved with Rustycon, Norwescon, and other activities. There had been efforts to bring a second Worldcon to the region previously, and Bobbie picked up the banner in 2002, starting a bid for the 2005 NASFiC, which was intended to be a launchpad for a future Worldcon. She chaired Cascadia Con, which was a great success, showing off the talents of the region’s authors, artists, and other creative people to a wider audience. In 2012, she chaired Westercon 65, again to bring together and connect the local fan and creative community to a wider audience. She also served as Program Division Head for Chicon 7, working with the global community of authors and other program participants to put together the Worldcon program. Bobbie and her crew of loyal friends and family played essential roles in representing the Spokane in 2015 Worldcon Bid during Renovation, Chicon, and LoneStarCon.

In SWOC and among Worldcon conrunners, we knew Bobbie as a convention organizer, but she touched many other circles in and outside fandom. She was a writer, an artist, an educator, a gamer. As a leader she trusted people, pushed them to accomplish more, and came to command the loyalty of many different circles of people. She was an organizer of Reading for the Future and was the author of Science Fiction and Fantasy in the Classroom, a reference for teachers.

A group of Bobbie’s friends and family gathered at her home in Gold Bar on Saturday for a memorial service in her honor. Many drinks and hugs and stories were shared. Our thoughts are especially with her husband Jerry, her son Pete, her daughter Tiffany, and others closest to her.

For some of us, our work on Sasquan is a way of honoring Bobbie. We invite all who knew her to join with us to help make the 2015 Worldcon a wonderful experience for everyone, to show off the kind of creativity and comradeship that Bobbie was known for. We remember Bobbie, and she would have wanted us to make more great memories at her convention.

Many Generations, All Fandom

David Gerrold posted this to Facebook on August 26; we liked his comment so much we are reposting it here (with his permission):

 

Yesterday’s opinion piece from the daily dot comparing Nine Worlds Convention and Worldcon with the conclusion that SF fandom is aging out — with obligatory put downs about sexism and the generation gap — has generated, and is likely to generate a great deal more, very interesting and serious discussions on FB.

First, everything I’ve read suggests that Loncon3 was a great success, with 10,000 people attending and most of them having a good time.

That’s a pretty good measure of a great convention. So congratulations to the committee for a good job, despite a bit of earlier turbulence.

But let me return to the assertions of the article.

First — fandom really got going post-WWII. It became not only a community, but a family, for what was at that time a very-marginalized fringe genre. And for the first twenty years post-WWII, it was a very insular community. You had to already be a fan to know about fandom.

Today — we are finally at the point where we have an older generation of fans who actually grew up in this community and who have lived in it all their lives. They didn’t arrive on the geezer bus from the local nursing home. They were here mostly from their own adolescence. Most of them have paid their dues in a variety of ways. Elder fandom is now a permanent part of our landscape. Elder fans are our family. And just like in any other family, they are just as entitled to be crotchety, fossilized, curmudgeonly, cranksters, muttering about how, “in my day, we didn’t have interwebz. If we wanted to feud with someone, we had to crank up the mimeo machine and paste stamps on envelopes and schlep it all down to the post office to call someone a ducknoggle.”

And … btw, elder fandom is also a great source of experience, lessons learned, history, traditions, wisdom, insights, and gossip. Especially gossip. You want to learn the stuff that doesn’t make it into the history books — and no, I’m not talking about who sawed Courtney’s boat — you have to talk to someone over fifty or sixty to find out the hoary details of the bare-breasted women in the masquerade at the third Star Trek convention….

Fandom isn’t aging out. It’s maturing. It’s evolving into a complete community. Yes, the average age of a convention attendee is rising. And yes, the current crop of twelve-year-olds is more likely to be involved with movies, TV shows, and video games than trips to the library, and yes, publishing and marketing have changed so it’s getting harder for a writer to not have a day job. (My day job is throwing the ball for the terrier, but it doesn’t pay well.)

And yes, elders will look somewhat askance at the younger generations of fans — part of it is simply not understanding the avalanche of new writers, new interests, new media, new ideas, new everything. I remember my own strange unease seeing the first rise of graphic novels (way back when), before I finally recognized the energy they were bringing to the genre. I remember older male fans in the mid-sixties becoming somewhat askance at the influx of Star Trek fans to SF conventions — especially because so many of them had … you know, vaginas.

But in fandom, the generation gap is there only if you want it to be there — only if you bring it yourself. If you have an issue with youngsters or with oldsters, you’ll be carrying your own personal generation gap — as the author of that daily dot article did.

Mostly, if you look around at the crowds, at the audiences in the room, if you look at all the various gatherings, the masquerades, the gaming rooms, the media rooms — if you look and see who’s just sitting around and chatting with who, you’ll more often see groups that are age-blind. You don’t see that in a lot of other places — but you do see it in fandom, where people of all different ages interact without age being a judgment on ability or insight.

A convention is a place to play — where we all get to be children of all ages.

That’s what the daily dot article missed. And more.

The whole world is changing. Back in the fifties and sixties, we thought the future would look like something out of Buck Rogers, with flying cars and jet packs. We never stopped to consider that jet packs and flying cars are not only not cost effective, they’re simply not practical. They’re a waste of fuel and resources, they’re too expensive, and they represent noise and pollution and danger to the rest of the community. They didn’t represent significant value to us.

But what we got instead — ?!!

Look around yourself. In fact, look at how you’re reading this ramble.

We’re living in the future we really wanted. We have personal computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones, digital cameras, wall-size 3D TV, GPS navigation built into hybrid cars (soon to be self-driving), instantaneous global communication, a near cashless society, robots on Mars, solar power panels, an International Space Station, routine organ transplants (with lab grown organs in the pipeline), medical advances that were unthinkable just a generation ago, 3D printers, fresh fruits and vegetables all year round, and so much more, I’ll leave it up to the rest of you to list. We have the future we designed for our own convenience.

Best of all, we have the Internet, which gives us immediate access to friends, family, news, videos, information, education, resources of all kinds.

This changes us. It changes who we are and how we perceive the world. It’s one of the reasons TLGB rights have been recognized as civil rights. It’s one of the reasons why the civil rights of women and African-Americans and immigrants and the poor have become part of the national conversation. It accelerates our ability to hear about issues, learn about them, and make appropriate choices.

Yes, we are stumbling, fumbling, and bumbling our way into the future. But on the long-term scale, the violence in our cities is in decline, the ravages of disease are in decline, even the scale of war has been on a steady decline since WWII. All of this is directly or indirectly related to the various technologies we’ve created to make our lives more efficient.

Now, what does that mean for fandom? It means that all the various cultural phenomena that have changed the world we live in are also at work on science fiction and fantasy and horror. It means that our genres are also evolving. It means that the fandoms of the genres are changing and adapting as well.

If SF was always about pushing the boundaries of what we know about science — as well as what we know about ourselves as human beings — then what’s happening now is just the next part of the process. We’re stretching, growing, learning, becoming.

Take one moment out of time — a single convention — and you’re going to get a distorted view. But look at the continuing changes that occur over time and you get a better sense of the entire process of growth and evolution of the genre.

Where once the Worldcon was THE convention of the year, we now have San Diego Comic-Con and multiple other comic-cons all over the country, we have Dragon-Con, we have multiple anime cons, furry cons, gay cons, media cons, horror cons, Star Trek cons, and so many local and regional cons that fans are often distraught trying to choose which ones to attend. And along the way, non-genre fandoms have started having their own conventions as well. The convention has become the replacement for the state fair in an urban society.

Any assertion that the Worldcon “should be” or “must be” or “is supposed to be” is usually someone’s ego claiming authority to judge. Nope. The Worldcon is going to be what it is — a cross-section of fandom at the moment the Worldcon occurs. It will represent what the committee thinks a good convention should be, and those who choose to attend will represent a cross section of those who think the Worldcon is worth attending.

To those who complain about Worldcon or any other convention — join the committee. Volunteer. Or create your own committee and bid and learn the hard way just how difficult and complex the job is — and how amazing the results are when it all comes together.

Meanwhile — at least here’s my take on it — there’s only one real judgment to have on fandom or conventions. Am I having a good time?

Over here, the answer is still yes. (Of course, I’m not the average attendee, but that’s a different discussion.)

–David Gerrold

Bobbie DuFault remembered

For those of you who knew Bobbie DuFault and missed my post about reading her obituary in the company newsletter, HR has granted me permission to share it outside of Microsoft.


Sci-Fi Champion Bobbie DuFault ‘Had a Helper’s Soul’

Employee Barbara “Bobbie” DuFault is being remembered for her big heart, her passion to help colleagues and customers, and her love of science fiction.

Family was the most important thing to Barbara “Bobbie” DuFault, and she considered most of the people she helped family.

Barbara “Bobbie” DuFault spent more than a decade providing support, writing content, and managing projects in the consumer space.

That was a lengthy list. It included the customers she supported at Microsoft, families struggling with drug and alcohol addiction on the Makah Reservation in Washington State, and the legions of science fiction fans who attended the roughly 150 conventions she helped organize.

“Bobbie had a big heart and could tell when others had a problem,” Jerry Gieseke, her husband, told Microsoft. “She would sit down with them and make them feel like they were the most important thing on this planet to her. That was the thing: they were. Everybody Bobbie met was important, and she had a helper’s soul.”

DuFault, content program manager for Microsoft’s Support for Small Business portal, died in her sleep September 14. She was 55.

DuFault spent more than a decade providing support, writing content, and managing projects in the consumer space. She joined Microsoft in the late 1990s, a path that had started with the release of Publisher 1.0 in 1991 and her realization that Microsoft would own the small office. In 2002, she left her FTE role to raise her family and pursue her career as a technical writer and project manager. She returned in 2012 to work as one of the content project managers for the new Small Business portal.

DuFault had a real passion for customers and for how Microsoft support content and solutions improved the customer experience with Microsoft products, said Erik Lustig, director of business planning and management in Customer Service and Support (CSS). “In my 17 years at the company, I never worked with someone who had more passion about their area of work and influence than Bobbie did for her work. She was always positive, striving to include all perspectives and business needs into the work she did.”

Her big heart also extended to her colleagues, said Lisa Parks, business program manager for SMB Audience. “Bobbie cared about her coworkers and wanted to see them succeed. If she could help them, whether or not it was part of her job, she would.”

She was also “wonderfully unflappable,” Parks added. “In team meetings, when some issue was being discussed, DuFault would confidently pipe up, ‘I can help fix this.'”

Marilisa Vergottini, business program manager in CSS, said DuFault was such a pleasure to work with. “She was calm, knowledgeable, and so passionate about doing the right thing,” Vergottini said. “Proposals for change did not phase her, and when she was presented with a problem, she immediately looked for a viable solution. Her disposition was always sunny and positive, no matter what the circumstances. She was helpful and energetic, and for the short while that I [and my team] had the pleasure of working with her, she was a joy to have in the team and made my job a lot easier.”

Bobbie DuFaultA lover of sci-fi, DuFault was instrumental in bringing the World Science Fiction Convention back to the Northwest for the first time in 50 years.

DuFault was a professional artist, writer, and poet. She loved to do arts and crafts—so much so that she owned a vintage shop where she made and sold handmade jewelry. She was naturally curious and had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. “From ancient cultures to faraway planets, she had fairly extensive knowledge and would have extensive discussions for hours on whatever the topic was,” her husband said. “If she didn’t know the topic, she would let you teach her.”

DuFault loved science fiction and fantasy. In her spare time, she volunteered with nonprofit literary organizations as a speaker and program coordinator both in the United States and abroad. She was on the board of trustees for Reading for the Future, a nonprofit literary organization that promotes the use of science fiction in the classroom to help teachers inspire students. She was serving as cochair of Sasquan, the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention, which will take place in Spokane. She had spent more than a decade trying to bring “Worldcon” back to the Northwest for the first time in 50 years.

Even though DuFault was working in the tech field and loved science and technology of the future, she also looked back to the past. She and her husband owned a small farm on the outskirts of Gold Bar where they raised pigs and fowl, tended a garden, and canned food so that they always had plenty for their family.

Colleagues said DuFault will be deeply missed and never forgotten. “Bobbie was an advocate for the underdog—the small and medium business whose needs weren’t complex like enterprise, or simple like consumer,” said Toby Richards, general manager of Support Engineering. “She was extremely disciplined in understanding the customer and applied a delicate care in the content experience for them. That care translated in how SMBs perceived our online support experience and in how Bobbie’s team will carry forth her memory and passion.”

DuFault is survived by her husband, Jerry Gieseke, and two children.


Like many, I miss her.  — Amber Clark

Sasquan Names Guests of Honor

Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Spokane, WA on August 19-23, 2015, is pleased to announce guests of honor for the convention: David Gerrold, Vonda N. McIntyre, Brad Foster, Tom Smith, and Leslie Turek.

David Gerrold is best known as the screenwriter of the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles”, and has also worked on Star Trek: The Animated Series, Babylon 5, Sliders, and other shows. Gerrold is also a Hugo-nominated novelist, author of When HARLIE Was One and The Man Who Folded Himself. He lives in the Bay Area.

Vonda N. McIntyre is the author of the Hugo- and Nebula-winning novel Dreamsnake, the Starfarers series, media tie-in novels including novelizations of Star Trek II, Star Trek III, Star Trek IV, as well as many short stories in magazines and anthologies. She helped organize the first Clarion West writer’s conference and has taught at many other workshops. McIntyre leaves in the Seattle area and is known as a talented cook and a supporter of environmental causes and civil liberties.

Brad Foster is a prolific artist who has contributed to both fan and professional publications in the field of science fiction. He has won eight Hugo awards as “Best Fan Artist” and has done many covers for Ansible and File 770 among many other fanzines. He was a regular contributor to Amazing Stories and is the founder of Jabberwocky Graphix, a publisher of comics and other art-related publications.

Tom Smith, the self-styled “world’s fastest filker”, has been a popular performer and creator of science-fiction themed music, also known as filk, for a quarter century. He is known for irreverent humor and a wide knowledge of science fiction, fantasy, genre films, comics, and gaming. He has won over a dozen Pegasus Awards, the premier award for filking, and is an instigator of the Funny Music Project.

Leslie Turek has been active in Boston-area fandom sinze Noreascon in 1971, and she was chair of Noreascon 2 in 1980. For Noreascon 3 she edited the Hugo-winning fanzine Mad Three Party and developed the Concourse, a social area in the convention exhibit hall; she also designed If I Ran the Zoo, a game to help conrunners understand the range of alternatives and consequences involved in starting and running a convention. At Noreascon 4 she created the tradition of First Night, a huge icebreaker event on the first evening of the convention.

Sasquan is looking forward to having this fun group of fan favorites as guests of honor at the 2015 Worldcon.