November 26th, 2008


Thoughts to ponder on

118 people voted in the GUFF race this year - about 35 were from Europe.

That means that about 83 people voted from Australasia. About 83 people paid $10 to vote.

Less than 40 people voted in the Ditmars this year, which are free.


Grant started it ...

I've been quiet on this for the whole of the GUFF race because I didn't want to add controversy or whatever and I think that Sue Ann and Trevor winning is a great, and right outcome. And honestly, I really am really happy to be going to Swancon.

The thing is... I felt stupid running in a race with a less than two year old in it - the child is not consenting and therefore was as good as a teddy bear being nominated, and there was something distasteful in that for me. (That a baby is like an inanimate object). Further, I felt that it detracted from the race and what it meant - the other candidates ran on platforms on what they hoped to offer as the winner and on their contribution to fandom. The baby was not even eligible to vote for herself, being not alive in 2006.

I felt stupid because *other* people read this blog who are not in fandom and would ring me up and say, but ... hang on? You're running against a baby? And all I could say was, what everyone says to me, "oh you know what fandom is like" or "that's fandom for you" which by the way doesn't translate to people outside of ... fandom. And does nothing to bring credibility to the scene.

I have voiced my opinion on the matter in private - that the prize is a ticket to London and back, which is not nothing, it's a lot of money to be cavalier about. And I have been told that nominating a baby is "fun" - which in retrospect feels a lot like pointing out someone said something sexist/racist/antisemitic and being told you just don't get the joke. A lot of people encouraged me to run in order to bring fan funds out and made visible to a wider audience. And I was happy to do that till I found out there was a "joke" entry. It kinda made me feel like what I was standing and running for was a bit of a joke, then, too, by extension. And I smiled sweetly and got on with it, but I have felt very uncomfortable about it for the whole race.

Does controversy bring discussion and audience? Yes, but what it doesn't bring is respectabilty and I believe that is something that fan funds should be about - it's about choosing candidates who will bridge the geographical divide, will make new friends, will exchange ideas and forge friendships.

I'm more than happy to stand back and laugh when teddy bears get nominated to run in races. But I am not the sort of person who will take that race seriously. And this is the biggest reason why I have said I won't stand again.


On the Ditmars

Been out of the office all day, then got back to find all hell had broken loose and other stuff so I haven't replied to the Ditmar comments yet for the entry I made this morning.

However, I wanted to say that I didn't actively canvass my votes (which to me makes my votes that I did get *awesome*! Thanks so much!) other than on my blog. And so firstly, that means that the near record turnout is thanks to Sue Ann, I take no responsibility for it, and that we should hire her to raise the turnout to the Ditmars.

Secondly, I have read all of the comments. And I think that it's likely that a lot of people voted for GUFF without knowing *all* of the candidates personally. And that they were happy to pay $10 to vote for the one/two candidate(s) on the ballot that they did know and thought would do a good job representing them at Eastercon. Because that meant that at least for them they though the result would be a good one.

Why then, do people take the Ditmars more seriously than that? If everyone voted in just the one category that they felt familiar with, or for one piece of work on the ballot that they really liked, and we got say 300 votes, would that not even out the so called "bias" in the voting for those who voted for something they liked rather than the work they knew to be the "best" because they were familiar with everything nominated, or eligible to be nominated? Wouldn't more votes, even if they were less informed, worked to even out such biases, across the board? Given enough ballots?

And further, I note that people commented that they didn't vote because they didn't read everything in the year and thus felt underqualified. But ... there are more categories than just these to vote for - there are awards for achievement and contribution to the scene and for artwork and so on. I'd like to see if we could get more people to vote, even if just in one cateory on the ballot, whichever they felt comfortable with, leaving the rest of it empty. Last year we put together the eligibles list and at the very least, I'm sure it had artworks in it (did it?) and it would only take minutes to look through and see which you liked. Or fan writer - many of this year's nominees were nominated for their blogs, which probably most people read.

Let's see if we can get a better voter turnout for the next Ditmars! I bet we could if we tried.

Sad news

None of that seems important now, anyway.

Sara Douglass is unwell. From her blog:

For close on 6 months I have been feeling shocking – it got dramatically worse 4 months ago since when I haven’t been able to work at all. Even making a cheese sandwich to eat has required monumental mental and physical effort. Doctors have spent a lot of time and a lot more of my money trying to decide what was wrong with me, coming up with roughly a different diagnosis per week, but fortunately (or not, as the case may be) they finally managed to settle on a firm diagnosis about 3 weeks ago, since when my life has been turned upside down several times over.

I have been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, so now I am on a course of chemotherapy, to be punctuated with major surgery in January-ish of next year, followed by more chemotherapy. I am happy to have a diagnosis (although I did try desperately to renegotiate back to one of the earlier ones!) and more than happy to now have a course of therapy and A Plan for the future.


When are the Blues just the Blues?

So I went back on the hormones on the weekend. I'm not happy about it but ... whatever. I've been feeling very down about a bunch of things this week. And you know ... it's been that time of the month. Thing is, how do you know the difference between passing mehness and the slippery slide? I got pulled aside and in trouble for something at work that I did yesterday and what bothers me is that it doesn't bother me that I got in trouble. I don't seem to care. And well, there's a bunch of things that have been pissing me off for a while so I probably think it's a bit rich to pull me up when they haven't done their side of the deal but ... yeah.

What I don't know is how to tell when it's artificial. Am I just down? Or would I feel better if I stopped taking the tiny pills? I don't feel as mellow as I have been feeling. On the other hand, I was mad as at work last week with a very short fuse and that was before I started. Obviously I have to ride it out and see if it passes.

It's just ... yeah ... it sucks to be back here, today. I guess.


is my number going to bed tonight. I read or zeroed 42 stories today (zeroed about 10 I think, maybe a bit more). I am still leaving better stories to the end ... and the end is 4 days away. Am feeling ... nervous!

Have compiled my list of stories to blog. And will also try to get those done over the next 4 days too.

Bring on 2009.