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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-03-29 14:08
Subject: Hmmm
Security: Public
Tags:awards, links
akirlu, whom I both like and respect a great deal, has a post up about Scalzi's Best Fan Writer nomination which makes me distinctly uncomfortable.

I'll need to think on this.
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Bob
User: yourbob
Date: 2007-03-29 21:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It makes me uncomfortable too.

It's one of the nonsense "core fandom" issues - something like "you can't be a fan unless you've read all of the works of at least four recognized Grand Masters, pass the test and are baptized by an invited tour through the Ackermansion - and particular approved people are actually there to witness, with fingerprints."
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Ulrika
User: akirlu
Date: 2007-03-29 21:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you think that's what it is like, I don't think you've read what I said very carefully. I explicitly said, more than once, that no one particular form of fanac is required. Participation is.
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helcat
User: helcat
Date: 2007-03-29 21:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
reminds me of the "you're not goth enough" crowd, whom I like to eat for dinner.

I don't consider myself a "member" of fandom any more than I seriously carry a goth card for gothdom to revoke. And for many years I wouldn't have considered myself fannish.

Now, most of my friends from the sf world wouldn't consider me anything but. Cause I'm pro a lot of things, including writer and editor, but I spend more time talking about the things I watch and read in sf than actually writing or editing sf. And that, to me, is the criterion, more than how many cons I (don't) attend or how much filking I (don't) do (although the Kermit-covers-NIN should somehow qualify) or how much writing I do that does (n't) make it in the pro circuit.

In other words, you could rake me over the same coals without my pro credits, but it wouldn't change the fact that I am a fan--avid, at that--of speculative fiction, both in written form and in media--and I'm going to write about it.

Of course, I'm not being nominated for anything other than the "most likely to start a blog and let it die before it begins thirty times in one year" award.
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Ulrika
User: akirlu
Date: 2007-03-29 23:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If fans think you're a fan, you probably are. If you think you're a fan, you probably are. But the question is still, how am I supposed to tell, if your being a fan is a criterion for an award?
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España Sheriff
User: cmdrsuzdal
Date: 2007-03-29 22:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I understand the reservations; I wouldn't be thrilled if some recapper from TWOP or reviewer from aintitcool was nominated for their genre reviews, or if a LJ icon-maker was nominated for best fan artist for their BSG icons. Pointing out that sfnal != fannish is prefectly fair.

But in Scalzi's case I disagree with the conclusion. The implication is that if he had not gone pro he would have neither blogged about SF nor attended conventions. Of course, since he did go pro that's impossible to be certain of one way or the other but it seems unlikely from what I've read of his blog. I'm biased, though, being a fan of the Whatever.

I suspect the problem is the medium not the message and we are at least partly talking about the blog-cred issue again. If his column were appearing in a fanzine that would make him part of fanzine fandom and above reproach, right?
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Johnny Eponymous
User: johnnyeponymous
Date: 2007-03-29 22:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And if that happened to show up in The Drink Tank, I'm sure no one would complain.

Now Joe, I think you know what you have to do...
Chris
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Ulrika
User: akirlu
Date: 2007-03-29 23:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't mean to imply that if he hadn't gone pro he wouldn't have blogged about SF or attended conventions, though, as a matter of fact, he blogged for a long time before going pro and what I was reading then was, as best I remember, pretty free of SF-content, and entirely free of content about fandom.

What I am saying is that from the outside it's difficult to tell that what he does is particularly aimed at participating in fandom. The people on his blogroll seem to be primarily or exclusively SF pros. Maybe, having discovered conventions, he would be enthusiastically attending them even if he never published a word of professional genre fiction. The problem is, from the outside, I can't tell.

And yes, in some sense the medium is the problem. A fanzine is published in such a way as to be explicitly for, from, and about participating in fandom, and as such it's prima facie evidence of fanac. A blog, being unfettered by the need for mailing lists, knows no such bounds and so you have to look for other clues that it's aimed at being fanac.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2007-03-29 22:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have to join in with the crowd that's uncomfortable with this concept as well. I participate in several cons at low levels, have been going to cons for years, have been an Endeavour first reader for a number of years...does that make me a fan? Or am I not a fan?

Tis very confusing at times.
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User: dsgood
Date: 2007-03-29 23:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I remember when one category was "Best Nonfiction," and a collection of Charles Addams cartoons won.

That's when I gave up worrying about Hugo standards.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jess Nevins
User: ratmmjess
Date: 2007-03-30 00:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
She's asking for evidence that he is a part of or participates in fandom.

There's nothing in the rules (quoted by me in her LJ and quoted here by yourbob) that requires nominees in that category to be a member of fandom, as she defines it.

How are voters supposed to decide whether a nominee deserves their vote? By how they meet the requirements for nomination. Scalzi, clearly, does.

Again, she's not asking for evidence that he meets the requirements for nomination; she's asking for evidence that he is a part of or participates in fandom, which is an altogether separate thing.
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Michael Curry: wearin ur hat
User: mcurry
Date: 2007-03-30 01:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:wearin ur hat
This is exactly the sort of thing that kept me from going to cons 'til I started hanging out with arcaedia. I'm a fan of the writing, and a fan of plenty of television/movie science fiction, but because I don't have any desire to engage in the rituals of "fandom", I'm not a fan to some people.

Whatever.

Fortunately in this case, it's up to the voters to nominate and vote for who wins the award, not the gatekeepers.

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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
Leah Bobet
User: leahbobet
Date: 2007-03-30 03:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
May I say your icon is impressively piratical?

(I have nothing to add to this debate. That is all. *g*)
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Radioactive
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2007-03-30 01:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Radioactive
Here's where she loses me (emphasis mine):

But fandom is a many-to-many conversation, not just about Important People getting the mic to tell us humble masses What Important People Think.


Wow. Is this something Mr. Scalzi is being accused of doing? Is this something anyone is being accused of doing? Is this really the perception?

Disturbing, indeed.


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