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30 August 2011 @ 11:58 am
Worldcon supporting memberships: well, this is nice :)  
Well it's been almost a week and things seem to have worked out awfully nicely :)

- Thanks to purplefrog26 and kirizal also offering supporting memberships, we had three!

- And three awesome people signed up: scamis, tithenai, and prezzey :) So, you guys, we're getting you all supporting memberships! Er, details about how to be worked out as soon as I have a spoon or two.

Doing this has been eye-opening. I hadn't fully understood how many barriers there are in the way of multiply marginalized people participating in the nominating/voting process; money is very clearly not the only one. Of course financial difficulty doesn't exactly go with tons of leisure time, but also seems from conversations I've had in the last few days that the overall normativity of the field is also a huge barrier.

...Which, okay, is not exactly news. I know it's triggery to be erased and misrepresented, and that it's hard and risky to find work that doesn't do that. And I knew that was a problem for me given all my spoonfails. But I hadn't realized how much my experience was part of a larger problem here.

All of which is to say I'd also like to extend gratitude and admiration to scamis, tithenai, and prezzey for being willing to take this on :)
 
 
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
 
 
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
Alec Austinalecaustin on August 30th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad to hear you found three people willing to take things on.

I also hope (without in any way wanting to put pressure on you or said individuals) that in the lead-up to nominations, that we can get a conversation going about specific works that strike people as particularly worthy. When 30 nominations are enough to get stories onto the ballot, buzz and conversation matters.
Polenthpolenth on August 30th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping there are some discussions too. I'm not Hugoing, but I do have Nebula cosmic powers this year, so any prods about stuff to read is always welcome.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
Nebula cosmic powers kick in earlier, don't they? We should keep the different timings in mind. (Haha, I say this, and I never manage it.)
Polenthpolenth on August 31st, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
Yep, the Nebula nomination deadline is February. Though like all the awards, it makes sense to start getting the word out earlier rather than later. It gives people time to read any recommendations and maybe recommend them to others.

Something I noticed last year with the Nebulas, is a proactive editor can make a big difference. Some editors make sure copies of the stories are available to voters, that people know they exist, etc. For small anthologies especially, this can make a big difference. So though voters are a chunk of the battle, some editors also need prodding.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
:) I hope so too! To the extent that it's manageable for our awesome volunteers.
Dr. Kvetchrose_lemberg on August 30th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
Squee!

I know it's triggery to be erased and misrepresented, and that it's hard and risky to find work that doesn't do that. And I knew that was a problem for me given all my spoonfails. But I hadn't realized how much my experience was part of a larger problem here.

Cannot add anything to this due to spooncrash, but yes, this exaclty.
Becca Stareyesbeccastareyes on August 30th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
It's also a reminder to me to get a supporting membership, since I can afford it and also have Opinions on things. (And it'll get me reading more short fiction, which is always good -- I like it, but it's not something I can take on the bus unless I buy an anthology or remember to put it on my eReader.)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
yay!

And, yeah, ereaders & short fiction, wish I knew how to make that work better...
-pd-yarram on August 30th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
Just a thought: Getting access to some of the stuff to read so one can nominate it often involves paying money (books, subscriptions, e-readers, etc). Is there interest in creating a fund to help pay for that sort of stuff? It might have to be an In-The-Future thing if this repeats, but such a fund might help lower the financial barrier(s) to participation.
Dashspacehawk on August 30th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
Yes. I think there are multiple access issues: one of course is the money to buy it, but another is the mail system internationally, which doesn't always work or work in a timely enough fashion. Not everything can be purchased digitally online and I've heard of it taking months for books to arrive in some places.

Supporting someone's membership frees up those funds to purchase books, but only the books that one can actually get. (I do not know of a solution to this, other that to convince more publishers to sell digital copies of the books.)

I fully support the creation of a fund to help people get access to stuff where money is the principal barrier -- it would be awesome if we could get corporate sponsorship for this, too. I think the advertising and positive word of mouth would help publishers who contribute to the fund.
[ein od milvado]: samnmax_bookprezzey on August 30th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
Yes this. Thank G-d lately Book Depository has done a reasonably good job getting books here (to Hungary) without charging an arm and a leg extra, but for some reason I couldn't set up a wishlist on their site, only on Amazon (which is kind of useless - I once got a gift certificate from a friend and I ended up spending most of the money on shipping costs, not on actual books). I set up my wishlist on BD and it vanished the next day, I did this twice and I couldn't manage to keep my list from vanishing. Maybe I should ask them directly. (I never thought it would occur to anyone not in my immediate family to buy me books from my wishlist, so I didn't put much effort into this...)

Also, lots of places have DRMed ebooks, and I'm very opposed to DRM both for moral and technical reasons. I use Linux and I've been in the situation where I couldn't even open something I legally owned, without resorting to methods explicitly banned in the user agreement.

The Worldcon supporting membership came with a huge boatload of ebooks last year AFAIK, but I don't remember anything about DRM. I guess that depends on the publisher. There are many publishers that do offer non-DRMed ebooks, or ebooks with softer forms of copy protection, like watermarking... Angry Robot comes to mind.
A Wandering Hobbitredbird on September 1st, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
That pile of reading that comes with the Worldcon membership is of things that are already nominated. So useful to the voter, and nice to have stuff to read, but it won't help with deciding what to nominate.
[ein od milvado]: garfield_ideaprezzey on September 1st, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
Wow, I've just posted about this exact issue five minutes ago! (Please respond there; I don't want Shweta to be flooded with EVEN MOAR comments. ^^;)
Dr. Kvetchrose_lemberg on August 31st, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)
This; another issue is that in some places, books don't arrive even when sent. Post is often unreliable.

I'm wondering if we could do a Book Exchange setup, not just monetary, but to connect people who own books (and wouldn't mind to give them away or to loan them out) with reviewers who need them.

It won't solve the postage problem, but it might help people in the US who want to vote for Hugos but cannot due to money issues.
Dash: Agendaspacehawk on August 31st, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
Yes! prezzey has told me about books that never even arrived! >_<

A book exchange would be great. Who knows how to set up a website to do that? (We could do it over LJ I suppose.)
Dr. Kvetchrose_lemberg on August 31st, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
LJ would be too bulky. There are a few ways this can go: a wordpress blog (better than LJ for categorizing and accessible archivng), a forum, something else I am not thinking about.

I would take this on (website), but between the job, disability/health issues, advocacy for my son, writing, ST, MoC and other projects I am stretched impossibly thin and cannot commit to anything else.

(speaking of, not sure if Shweta even has the spoons to read this... :P

But it could be done, and shouldn't even be that hard. At the same time we could also set up a recommendation depository for the Hugos and Nebulas for people who can vote and are interested in diversity and social justice. I suspect this would greatly help both the voters and the diversity-oriented nominees, and could be done in the same space.

Another thing I thought about are e-readers. Provided post issues do not exist (hah!), we could potentially fundraise to purchase 3 e-readers (such as the nook), and loan them out to current sponsored people, who would then pass them on to next year's sponsored people (provided this continues into next year, but I don't see why not, provided we can fundraise). How to fill up the e-readers is another question.

Perhaps this discussion should move away from Shweta's blog onto some other space, as I am, again, concerned about clogging Shweta's spoons.

Edited at 2011-08-31 04:24 pm (UTC)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Really glad this discussion is happening! And it's fine for it to continue here, but yeah I have no spoons to deal with this level of organizing, so it might be more *useful* to have it continue elsewhere...
[ein od milvado]: garfield_ideaprezzey on September 1st, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
OK I've made some blog posts
Done #1
Done #2

Everyone, feel free to continue over at my blog! (Wow, I rushed so much to put this up that I managed to break my comments field, but it should be OK now... let me know if you can't comment.)
[ein od milvado]: garfield_ideaprezzey on August 31st, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
I can definitely do the recommendations / lists / etc. on my blog, I love to make lists of everything and I've been thinking of doing this myself anyway (because I don't want to miss anything - I read fast, so that's not an issue once I actually HAVE the stuff I want to read). I can set up a database too if the lists grow really big, and I can host it unless the traffic grows too extreme for my provider - I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon though.

I can also set up a forum, phpbb is very easy to set up and maintain - but in my experience, forums are not a really good idea unless things really get rolling. Even with about, say, 20 people, a forum looks sufficiently deserted that it actually scares away potential contributors.

I think Pocketbook has the most versatile e-readers (I have a hardware reviews column at a Hungarian magazine and I've tried out quite a few e-readers, unfortunately I can't keep them LOL!), but they can get quite pricey. (Also, their Android tablets are crap.) I don't think I really need an ereader, because I have a tablet PC. (It's quite bulky and dates back to the times when tablet PCs were hopelessly niche items, but I like it a lot!) Sure, an e-ink device is better in some respects than something with a LCD screen, but it's not an indispensable thing for me. Not speaking for the others though - I've read lots of books on an old CRT monitor back in the day, so I'm hardly representative ;]

scamis mentioned Angry Robot had ARCs for reviewers, I didn't know that - we should take a look at other publishers too.

I can make a list of things to do later today (G-d willing), and then we can decide who wants to do what, and how, etc. I'm totally OK with lots of traffic to me re this, I'm really enthused about the project and right now I also have the time to spare.
Dash: Agendaspacehawk on August 30th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
Doing this has been eye-opening. I hadn't fully understood how many barriers there are in the way of multiply marginalized people participating in the nominating/voting process; money is very clearly not the only one. Of course financial difficulty doesn't exactly go with tons of leisure time, but also seems from conversations I've had in the last few days that the overall normativity of the field is also a huge barrier.

Yes, thank you all for this! It is very very important.
Lisa M. Bradley: bookcafenowhere on August 30th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
Such an inspired idea! I really love seeing this project take shape.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
yay for seat-of-pants stuff working since I'm not up for anything more organized :)
dsmoendsmoen on August 30th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
Also thanks to you and your co-sponsors for doing so!
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
<3
[ein od milvado]: eagles_on_pogo_sticksprezzey on August 30th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I will shortly begin posting on prezzey_public about this... I just wanted to put up a small drawing on my website and ran into a huge issue with Inkscape. -.-;;

I'm quite surprised people have already begun adding prezzey, but that one only features my quite boring day-to-day rants.
Dr. Kvetch: stone tellingrose_lemberg on August 31st, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
I was one of the people who added you, since thanks to this I could now connect your name and your LJ presence. (psst, you still have a poem under "rewrite requests" at Stone Telling, from last year; any chance you'd still want to revise it a bit? Our next issue is Science Fiction. Please feel free to email me for ideas :)
[ein od milvado]: swsweatdropprezzey on August 31st, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry!
Oh yes I know. Actually I have multiple rewrite requests pending, but yours has been, uh, pending for the longest time. -.-; And just last month I've heard that Joanna Russ wrote a similar poem, I want to get ahold of that one first since I don't want to reinvent the wheel; it's bad enough that I've apparently done it already!
Dr. Kvetchrose_lemberg on August 31st, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm sorry!
Johanna Russ didn't know Hungarian. :D

When Shweta told me that you would be getting one of these Hugo memberships, I said, "Bogi! There is a poem by her pending revision!" Shweta is now co-editing ST with me, and we both looked at it again and want to work with you on this one, so please do contact us.
shweta_narayan: mangatarshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm sorry!
What Rose said! Including thinking it's relevant that Russ didn't know Hungarian :D

Let's talk more by email? This poem has somuch awesome.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
Inkscape etc (tangent!)
Yeah I love inkscape except when it... just... fails. I never run into little issues with it, only huge ones.

I signed a pdf using GIMP the other day cause Inkscape utterly refused to read it. So turned it into an image file to do so *facepalm* (=The GIMP, by contrast, is all about the little issues & working round them, but of course when we need the vectors it's utterly useless. Have you tried Krita? Not that it replaces either, but what little time I've spent poking at it, I've loved it for itself...)
[ein od milvado]: samnmax_vrprezzey on August 31st, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Inkscape etc (tangent!)
I haven't tried Krita recently... I've tried it WAY WAY back when it looked quite different and much more immature. I should give it a spin sometime, I was very skeptical about Inkscape initially and I ended up really enjoying it too (when it doesn't go casters-up, at least!). I'm more of a Gnome person than a KDE person, and it wants to install a million KDE libs, I'll need to make room for those LOL. (Sigh, the next time I set up a system partition I'll have to make it larger... MUCH larger! *headdesk*)

=The GIMP, by contrast, is all about the little issues & working round them

Oh I agree wholeheartedly. It drives me up the wall more than a huge problem every once in a while.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Inkscape etc (tangent!)
I haven't tried Krita recently...

I've played with it for a couple hours recently. It's delightful, but I don't know how to do things by plan rather than happy accident with it yet. Clearly from the galleries some people do! I'm just not one of them.


It drives me up the wall more than a huge problem every once in a while.

Me too; but at least I can still work around them, most of the time. So I trust it as the known problem more than Inkscape. Also, some of what I do could not possibly happen in Inkscape and I'm terrified at the concept of learning to use Krita halfway through a ginormous project, so GIMP it is!
scamisscamis on August 31st, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
Energy to read stuff is hardly ever a problem...I read like the wind. Purchasing it could be, though I DO have a Nook which I acquired for the purpose of having less books to move from place to place; I could also send some of my books off to Powell's for credit.

But...well, for a variety of reasons including the fact that it was a habit I couldn't financially afford and also grad school, I have gotten out of the habit of reading much "new" fiction. I do read some. Advice on how to broaden my scope and where I should be looking and at what would be welcome.

shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yay, and somuch yes to starting up conversations about books you guys may want to read. Though I haven't the spoons to actually organize anything. But I'm for it!
scamisscamis on August 31st, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
I have already learned that Angry Robot offers eARCs to reviewers. For free. No doubt I can find other sources.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on August 31st, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yay for Angry Robot!
dsmoendsmoen on September 7th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
Completely off-topic, but this might make you happy. It's at least cute and joyous.

http://xomalese.tumblr.com/post/9254016642
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )