No Campaigns, No Slates

Amazing Stories is suggesting that potential award nominees go on record with a statement that rejects their participation and/or inclusion in voting slates, voting blocs and voting campaigns for genre awards.

While this will not prevent others from gaming someone onto a slate, it will put participants on the record as being opposed to such actions and will serve to inform voters of the participant’s desires.

The wording below may not be entirely appropriate for each individual and serves only as example.

If you agree with the sentiment, please place your name and a link to your website/blog in the comments. If you agree in principal but wish to state your position in different words, please feel free to place those in the comments as well.

Please feel free to pass this along to other potential nominees.

I reject the use of voting slates, bloc voting and campaigning for any award I may be considered for now or in the future.  Organized campaigning for awards devalues the award, the participation of those voting and the entire process.  Any award I might win that results from campaigning would also be devalued.

I will not participate in voting slates, bloc voting or campaigning on behalf of others or myself.

I do not give anyone permission to include my works on a voting slate, either because they genuinely believe it should win, or because they are attempting to game a voting system.

Further, should I become aware that I or one of my works has been included on a slate, a voting bloc or in a campaign, I will request that it be removed and will make my request public in the belief that potential voters will respect my intent and will vote accordingly.

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    1. Brandon is probably closest to my own views since I lean left but write-right a lot. I don’t want to disqualify myself arbitrarily if I ever get nominated. But if that ever happens, I’m going to make a point of reading the stories in my category and check out my gut feeling on the STORY. I believe one can ALWAYS find someone else that is a more accomplished writer than one’s self in your Hugo-nominated field, but did that particular field of competitors write a more compelling story than you did that year? That’s what I’m going to try and keep in mind if I’m ever in this hot seat.

      1. Mark – just to be clear: asking not to be placed on slates, voting blocs or campaigns is not the same as disqualifying oneself; eligibility posts are fine, recommended reading lists are fine and saying you don’t want to participate in a campaign for votes (which operates against core principals of the award) is a positive thing, and certainly nothing that would disqualify a work.

        1. Thanks, Steve, I’ve tried to pretty much keep my distance from both rabids and puppy kickers, though I have a few friends in the sads, though we are at polar extremes politically at times. I think I’ve said elsewhere that I’ve avoided the cons so far but will probably attend my own local Hawaii one in September. As to what I think you are saying, The question I’m asking myself is if I come down on one side of the fence or another going to alienate my readership? Is asking not to be put on slates going to alienate half of my readers if they THINK I’m identifying as a kicker by doing so? Would I be considered a kicker or a fence sitter if I try to stay out of the polarization? For myself, puppies are probably going to appreciate my stories and styles more than kickers. I can certainly see where Brandon is coming from.

          1. Well, all I can really say is this:
            1. my original suggestion for asking not to be involved was at a time well-outside of Hugo season. I suggested that it be done as a blanket, non-targeted request: just don’t do it, no matter what the reasons may be.
            Making the statement could more readily be seen as “taking a side” DURING the award season, I do concede.
            2. if your readers have a problem with you making a generalized statement that essentially says “keep me out of the Hugo Award politics”, then I think you have a problem with your readership in general. In this sense, I think there’s little to no negative impact>
            3. I think making the statement offers the third “neutral” position. You can even request being left off of slates & etc., and still even stick your oar in on the subject (if you’d like), because what you’re saying really is “don’t play games with the award process”, not “those people are bad…”

            I don’t want to, nor do I think most people want, to be nominated or win an award that is rendered nearly meaningless because of the gaming that is going on. We might as well put all the names into a hat and pull one at random. (Hey, you won the random pull award for best short story!!! – do you really feel like a winner?)

            Likewise, it is possible to say “don’t make my works a pawn in the game” AND, “you know, there might be something to some of the claims the puppies are making”.

            It’s two different issues.

            Finally, authors have problems with readers for what they say, who they are, what they wrote, the subject of their covers, the themes of their stories, who they like and don’t like and even when they and say nothing, so, welcome to the real world.

            Best advice I’ve ever heard on this subject is: write what you want – your audience will find you.

          2. and I think that had the sad puppies gone about registering their complaints in a non-offensive way (screwing with EVERYONE’S award), they’d probably be much farther along in promoting their agenda than they are now.
            IF a certain type of SF really is being overlooked, the community wants to know. IF fans really are paying a price for legitimate political leanings, then fans want to know.
            However, when these things have happened previously, it was brought to everyone’s attention and acted upon in positive ways – the writing of essays, publication of books, creation of a new convention, creation of new awards, establishment of fan funds…
            It’s not been all sweetness and light, but the focus of such actions has largely been neutral to positive.
            Old adage: catch more flies with honey than with vinegar….

          3. Yeah, I hear that. Some years ago I managed to get booted out of Baen’s Bar because I made a few snippy comments to folks at the same time a few of their more right-leaning were dog-pilin’ on me calling me a f@*&$in idiot for my left-leaning politics. They allowed the pilers but booted me because I made a few politically insensitive comments about religion and vets… so you can see the line I’m tryin’ for here, I think… one of my latest stories deals with the outcomes of right and left societies in our country.

          4. Yeah, I think if it ever comes up for me ( not impossible but sort of unlikely) I’m probably going to read my competition’s stories and base my own call on whether I think I’m a legitimate competitor based on the strength of the stories and stay on board no matter who makes the nominations if I think my story rates. If it doesn’t rate, IMHO, as if in someone failed to write something that fills me with wow and wonder but merely ‘meh’ competent writing ,but yawnish story… (mine’s better), I’ll keep my hat in.

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