NOTE: The original post suggested the title “Ones to Watch” but someone rightly pointed out this implied an anthology of up-and-coming authors just starting to get noticed, which will probably be untrue more often than not. So, “Long List” is the working title at this point instead.
For anyone who read the previous plan proposing the Mulligan Awards, this announcement is to announce that there will be no Mulligan Awards, and to announce a new plan that I hope will accomplish the same goals I had in mind, but in a way that better fits my goals.
WHAT IS CHANGING?
There will be no Mulligan Award
There will be no attempt to use the numbers to extrapolate what would’ve been on the Hugo ballot without the voting slates.
There will still be a Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter will support a reprint SF/F anthology tentatively titled “Long List”.
The contents of the anthology will be those stories on the longer Hugo nomination stats list that they publish at WorldCon for the appropriate category, as long as:
- The story was eligible for the Hugo in the appropriate year (especially, that it was first published in the appropriate year)
- The author agrees to the terms, which will include 1 cent/word pay and attribution of the original publication.
- If the story is still within its exclusivity period with the original publisher, the publisher agrees to allow the reprint.
The baseline goal of the Kickstarter will include the short story category. There will be stretch goals that will include the novelette and novella categories.
The anthology will be published in ebook formats.
I will consider doing this in future years as well, regardless of whether that year has a controversy or not. No matter what makes the ballot or how it makes the ballot, there are other stories that came very close–with the nomination numbers we will know which ones they are, and I see no reason why this couldn’t be an annual production.
WHY IS IT CHANGING?
For a variety of reasons. But first and foremost, it’s a matter of tone.
There has been a lot of anger surrounding this Hugo season from a variety of people with a variety of viewpoints. I am not going to examine that anger here–the SF corners of the Internet are full of that examination, and it’s all out there for you to read. What frustrates me most about this award season is the loss of excitement that usually surrounds it, of taking the time and space to share and discuss stories, to celebrate this genre that we all love so much, even though different people love different kinds of stories and different aspects. To me, the Hugos at their best are a recommended reading list vetted by a couple thousand fans that like all kinds of different things. I like them best when they’re a hodgepodge–some stuff perfectly suited to my reading, others that I don’t like or don’t understand but which are interesting as a study of understanding other people’s viewpoints and perspectives.
The reason I suggested the Mulligan Awards in the first place was because I wanted to offer a place where people could be excited about this award season again, where it wouldn’t just be anger from one end of the calendar to another. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that even though I wanted it to be a way to add positivity and excitement to the award season, the more I realized that it was inseparable from the anger because its basis was blame. And that it could make the experience of people already having a tough time even tougher. For example, if a novelist found out that she had almost made the ballot this year, that would be hard–almost making something is hard no matter the circumstances. If she then got a communication from someone she’d never heard of, offering her an award for not quite making the ballot? Well, no matter what the intent of the award, that might just hurt all the more.
Which brought me back to pondering what I really wanted to do with this project to begin with and how I could meet those goals in the most positive way. The idea of the award was exciting to me, but more exciting was that those works that didn’t quite make the ballot would get some attention, and maybe fans out there would find new authors and new publications that get them all the more excited for short fiction. And I decided that this kind of anthology would be better if I didn’t make any judgment calls–no consideration of whether something was on a slate, or whether it was recommended by who or why. The anthology is going to be a mixed bag, and I like that idea.