Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gender, Hugos, Pre-Ballot

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Cheryl Morgan, she of the Best Fan Writer Hugo from last year (among other notable things) has a post over at Feminist SF regarding the Hugo Awards, the general lack of women on the ballot, how to get involved and nominate, and finally, some options on who to consider nominating.

Excellent post and I hope that it does help lead towards some change / diversity / variety.

What I appreciated the most about the article is that Morgan did not run through the four primary fiction categories and stop there, she offers options throughout the entire ballot.

The one I want to call attention to is Best Editor: Long Form.

This isn’t a category with a lot of history. Only a few years ago was it split off of Best Professional Editor, which was a blend of what we would now consider the Long Form and Short Form categories. The last two years have had the same line-up of Long Form editors, and while I have no doubt that the work each of these editors do makes them worthy of nomination, I do think that it is very easy to overlook the work of the editors because a) they are generally not publicized, and b) it is difficult to judge the specific work an editor does.

I would try to judge the editor on the lineup of books they have in a given year and what the overall impression is of that lineup.

Problem is, that’s still tough to do.

Back to why I’m calling attention to this category. I’ve been working on my ballot for the better part of this month and Best Editor: Long Form is one of the categories I’ve been struggling with. I’m very familiar with the work of Pyr and Lou Anders consistently has an extremely strong lineup of fiction. Lou Anders is also the public face of Pyr, so when you think of all the great stuff published by Pyr, you also think of Lou Anders. Rightfully so, and it makes him an easy choice for a nomination, but other publishing houses don’t have that same editorial visibility.

Cheryl Morgan’s article highlights a number of female editors AND points out a writer or two each have published.

I wish there was some sort of master list from the major publishing houses (and I include the smaller but prominent presses in this) of who their editors are and what works they edited from the previous year.

Morgan’s list was invaluable to me for highlighting Anne Groell and Liz Gorinsky. Because of my lack of familiarity with most of the editors working today I would have missed both of them. Now, they’ll likely be on my ballot.

Speaking of which, in a separate entry, I’ll post my pre-ballot of what I’m thinking about nominating. I’ve got certain works / individuals who I consider a lock at this time, and a whole bunch of stuff that I’m just not sure about right now.


mentatjack said...

Slicing and dicing the publishing industry in different ways is high on my list of reasons for tackling TagShadow. I've just started in on a TagShadow for Juliet Ulman. It's not always the easiest thing to track down the editor for a particular book, which is why I LOVE coming across a post like the one you link to here.

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