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 Post subject: Hugos for Erfworld
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:58 am 
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The Erfworld team is planning to attend WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland in August 2017, and I think it would be wonderful if we could send them home from Laurie’s home turf with a shiny new Hugo Award rocket. Hamsterdance vs. the Charley Foxtrot didn’t finish in 2016, so it won’t be eligible until the following year (serialized works are eligible for consideration in the year the last installment is published), but we can still nominate the art team of Xin and Laurie in the Best Professional Artist category for their art published in 2016, and later hope to nominate Book 3 as a 2017 work for the 2018 Hugos at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California.

It’s not usual to nominate a team for Best Artist – usually the nominees are solo artists. But there is past precedent for a husband and wife team winning together, and I verified with one of the Hugo administrators at MidAmericon II that it is legal to nominate a team who work together to produce the art. I think the overwhelming consensus on the Reactions pages is that it is the teamwork of Xin and Laurie that has elevated the art of Erfworld to a whole new level, and I think we should recognize that by nominating them together as a team.

Based on last year’s results, my best guess is that it will probably take somewhere between 250-300 nominations to become a finalist in the Best Professional Artist category for 2017 (although there is some evidence it might be possible to do it with as few as 150 or so). With 1518 Tools currently supporting Erfworld, that means if we can get around 20% of the Tools who are either already eligible or who are willing to chip in less than the annual cost of a Level 1 membership by January 31st to become eligible to nominate, I think we can get Xin and Laurie on the final ballot for the 2017 Hugos. We might be able to do it with as little as 10%; if we got up as high as 25% support, I would be very confident of getting on the ballot. After that, it will be up to the voters to determine who actually goes home with the Hugo.

Please respond in the comments below to indicate what you think about this proposal, whether you personally would be willing to become an eligible nominator, and if you agree that we should be nominating Xin and Laurie as a team. If this proposal doesn’t have reasonably broad-based support among the Tools, it won’t work.

Also note: please keep the discussion of this here on the Erfworld forums. Given the ongoing controversy about slate voting in Hugo nominations (a good overview article on the controversy is here: https://www.wired.com/2015/10/hugo-awards-controversy/), I don’t want to attract the attention of the principal slate out there, who might provide unwanted “support” that would alienate the rest of the voters.

I'll have more information about the mechanics of nominating later - right now I'd like to get the word out and find out if enough people like this idea that we have a reasonable chance of pulling it off.

Dave Wallace (dewtell).

FAQ:

Q1: What are the Hugo Awards?

A: The Hugo Awards are the predominant fan-voted awards in science fiction and fantasy, voted by the membership of each year’s World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) for work published in the previous calendar year. General information is available at http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/ and an extensive FAQ is at http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-faq/

Q2: Who is eligible to nominate for the Hugos? Who is eligible to vote?

A: The current rules are that any natural person who is at least a supporting member of the previous, current, or next future Worldcon by January 31st of the year the Worldcon is held, is eligible to nominate. Anyone who is at least a supporting member of the current year’s Worldcon prior to the close of voting is eligible to vote. What that means for this year is that anyone who was a member of MidAmericon II in 2016, or who becomes at least a supporting member of either Worldcon 75 (Helsinki, Finland, 2017) or Worldcon 76 (San Jose, California, 2018) by January 31, 2017, will be eligible to nominate.

Q3: How much does a supporting membership in Worldcon 75 cost? Where can I get it?
A: Current price is 35 euros (about $36.52 at current conversion rates). You can register at http://www.worldcon.fi/ under the “Join Us” tab.

Q4: What does a 2017 supporting membership in Worldcon 75 get me?

A: Nominating rights for 2017 and 2018. Hugo voting rights for 2017. The downloadable 2017 Hugo voter packet. Copies of the con publications. Ability to upgrade to an attending membership if you want to attend. Ability to propose and co-sponsor agenda items for the 2017 business meeting (though voting requires attending the meeting). The ability (for an additional fee) to participate in the vote for the 2019 Worldcon site selection (the fee buys you a 2019 supporting membership in whichever site is selected, which can be upgraded to an attending membership in that con). The one site bid I currently know about for 2019 is from Dublin, Ireland.

Q5: How much does a supporting membership in Worldcon 76 cost? Where can I get it?

A: Current price is $50. You can register at the Worldcon 76 site (http://www.worldcon76.org/registration).

Q6: What would a 2018 supporting membership in Worldcon 76 get me?

A: Nominating rights for 2017, 2018, and 2019. Hugo voting rights for 2018. The downloadable 2018 Hugo voter packet. Copies of the con publications. Ability to upgrade to an attending membership if you want to attend. Ability to propose and co-sponsor agenda items for the 2018 business meeting (though voting requires attending the meeting). The ability (for an additional fee) to participate in the vote for the 2020 Worldcon site selection (the fee buys you a 2020 supporting membership in whichever site is selected, which can be upgraded to an attending membership in that con). The one site bid I currently know about for 2020 is New Zealand.

Q7: What is the Hugo voter packet?

A: It is a downloadable collection of works from the Hugo finalists that is made available to Hugo voters during the voting period to familiarize themselves with the works and artists in question prior to voting (somewhat similar to screeners for Oscar voters). Participation is voluntary on the part of finalists and their publishers. Based on the past couple of years, the dramatic presentation categories don’t participate, the shorter fiction categories typically provide the entire work, and some book-length works are provided completely, while others are represented by excerpts. Many voters consider the packet to justify the cost of a supporting membership all by itself.

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My proposal to try and get a Hugo Award for Xin and Lauri's artwork is at "Hugos for Erfworld". Hugo Finalists for 2017 have now been announced. Please comment there.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:42 am 
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    Hi, Dewtell! I'm in. Happy to be a nominee for 2017/18. I'll process the paperwork sometime in the next week or two if we get good uptake from the rest of the Toolshed.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:58 am 
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    Wow! This would be fantastic and a great way to honor Xin and Laurie's talent. I'm in if we can pull together a good number of other site members.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:26 pm 
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    dewtell wrote:
    Also note: please keep the discussion of this here on the Erfworld forums. Given the ongoing controversy about slate voting in Hugo nominations (a good overview article on the controversy is here: https://www.wired.com/2015/10/hugo-awards-controversy/), I don’t want to attract the attention of the principal slate out there, who might provide unwanted “support” that would alienate the rest of the voters.

    I would suggest not trying to hide it so that it wouldn't look like trying to game the awards. Negative attention would harm the comic more than us, too.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:22 am 
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    Xellos: I’m not trying very hard to hide it, and in fact I will probably drop a courtesy note to the Hugo administrators at some point if we go ahead with this so they can have a heads up about what we’re doing. But I think it would be best if we didn’t come to the attention of the guy behind the RPs (see that article link for the acronym) until after he’s committed to whatever he decides to do with his slate this year. He’s got a history of co-opting people for his slate without asking them if they are ok with being on it. After his slate got slammed by the voters in 2015, last year he went with a mixture of big names and some truly execrable stuff from his house writers, effectively daring the voters to No-Award some of the big names just because they appeared on his slate. So far, many voters seem to have made a distinction between stuff that seems to have gotten on the ballot only because it appeared on his slate and stuff that was strong enough to have gotten there under its own merits, but I’d rather not test the limits of that tolerance with respect to Erfworld if we don’t have to. Voters don’t get to find out how many nominations each entry got until after the awards, so they have to guess what’s on the ballot because of the slate vs. not if that distinction is important to them.

    As far as “gaming the system” goes, I’m trying to stay within the norms of what I understand to be acceptable behavior here, and that’s another reason to limit the discussion to Erfworld forums. I don’t think people generally have a problem with fans of a particular work getting together to discuss the work they know and love with the intent of nominating it. What seems especially likely to get a negative reaction from rest of the voters is when people are being asked to nominate work for reasons other than their individual love for the work in question. That applies both to the current slating controversy, and to past controversies before my time, like the time a bunch of Scientologists got L. Ron Hubbard’s latest novel on the ballot.

    That’s not what I’m trying to do here, or suggesting others do. By discussing this in an Erfworld forum, we’re addressing an audience that already loves the art of Erfworld and has repeatedly expressed that appreciation in comments on the forums. I’m just pointing out the mechanics of how that love could be translated into a possible Hugo nomination, if that’s what people individually are motivated to help do, along with some calculations of how likely it is that we could be successful together. It’s a subtle distinction, but I’m trying to stay on the right side of that line as I understand it. I think we’ll be ok with what I’ve been proposing so far.

    (If you want to know more about me and how I know about this stuff, I wrote an article last year about how the slating controversy mobilized me to get involved in Worldcon fandom in response (“Defending the Hugos”). I’ve only been doing this stuff for the past couple of years, but I’ve been involved in the past two business meetings helping to support some of the new rule changes to limit the effects of slate voting, and I expect to be in Helsinki this year to support some additional proposals.)

    _________________
    My proposal to try and get a Hugo Award for Xin and Lauri's artwork is at "Hugos for Erfworld". Hugo Finalists for 2017 have now been announced. Please comment there.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:39 am 
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    I have the money for this. Count me in

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:49 pm 
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    No need to tell me what happened with RP. I know very well, I was also (tangentially) involved.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:39 am 
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    Sounds great - this is definitely one of my go-to comics now!

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:04 am 
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    Because this month has been so boopin' busy with the Kickstarter and holidays and 10th anniversary stuff, I had not even seen this thread until just now.

    First off, I'm flattered. Second, I think Lauri and Xin are doing some of the finest visual storytelling in the fantasy genre right now, and in my opinion their names belong on a Hugo ballot, particularly this year because Helsinki is where Lauri is from. Third, this is a very well thought-out post, and I appreciate that everybody is kind of aware that the Hugos have been through a mess in recent years.

    I need to tell you that it's extremely important to me that Erfworld not get dragged into the culture wars. I, personally, don't subscribe to anything you'd recognize as a major ideology, and I refuse to be painted as this or that because of something I did or did not say or do. If Erfworld appears on the ballot amid more piles of puppy poop, then I'm going to have to either say something about that, or say nothing about that. Either way, Erfworld is going to get dragged into drama by some group of screaming social media blogger-babies, and I'll have to deal with it.

    And the other thing you should know is that I have a pretty cynical view of awards in general.

    If Erfworld is on a Hugo ballot (or even wins), for anything, then I'll feel proud and I will say so. I do respect the history and the spirit of the Hugo Awards. But I feel much prouder about the way things are going around here on a daily basis than I would about winning a silver rocket. The Kickstarter, these record comment threads lately, the Toolshed numbers, the way Team Erfworld works...all of that is real. It's rarer than a Hugo. It is what I wanted most. Lots of people are reading and loving a story I write, and I'm getting paid. That's all any writer should want. Unfortunately, what some of them most want is peer recognition, and this inevitably turns every entertainment award into an egotistical shitshow. Fake and gamed.

    So I'm not saying don't do this. Just if you do it, please make sure you do it for the right reasons. Do it to bring Erfworld into view of other fans who might enjoy the work. And getting recognition for Lauri and Xin is also worthwhile. But don't do it for me, because I've got what I need right here. If you pull it off, I will view it as a mixed blessing. But I am genuinely honored that you want to.

    TL;DR Thank you. This thread is my Hugo nomination.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:26 am 
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    I'm going to be a bit brutally honest, here. I'm also going to give kind of a history of my feelings on this subject.

    Let me start by saying that despite being a big fan of fantasy and science fiction, I don't recall ever hearing about the Hugo Awards before I read this thread. It's entirely possible I might have heard the term somewhere, but not what the award was for. Either way, the information that there was in fact an award for science fiction writing was news to me.

    I thought it sounded kind of nice to nominate Erfworld for it, when I initially read about it last week. Beyond that, I did not have a lot of personal interest in the matter, because it sounds like it costs money to nominate someone, and I would rather leave that to the more financially affluent. I didn't really revisit this thread until I noticed balder had left a comment with his bright red name tag the forum gives him.

    After reading what he said, I had to look up the thread a bit to understand the drama that people were referencing, and after hopping several links to some news site called Wired, I found myself dipped into what was possibly the most difficult thing I have had to read a long time. The narrative flow of the article was scattered and repetitive in the way they arranged their paragraph headers, and at some points full of language so needlessly pretentious sounding I was forced to skim through it to curtail my exasperation.

    But what I gathered from it was this - at some point in the last year or so, some groups naming themselves after assorted puppies tried to game the system and push forward some sort of white supremacy agenda, and there was a lot of push-back from groups that could be collectively called 'SJW' groups. There was a lot of screaming and crying that the article probably did not cover, and people trying to pretend that their agendas and plans for the awards were more complex and deep than they actually were.

    My interest in social justice from any angle is absolutely negative. I do not like to hear about white supremacy, and I do not like to hear about things like how all white men are rapists. I honestly do not think that most people outside of these groups actually like hearing about it either. In my admittedly very biased opinion, everything stemming from Social Justice is like a poison that infects the internet and modern culture, degrading people's abilities to think past a neolithic level of thinking that stains everything and everyone based on a set of entirely arbitrary criteria and traits that they largely have little control over, as they are born that way.

    Which makes me wonder why you would possibly desire to drag Erfworld into the crossfire. If this drama bomb is indeed what the Hugo awards are right now, I can't imagine that you are unaware of it. Given that you have requested we keep this discussion to the forums, you must know it can and probably will happen. Rob seems to know it too.

    Do we really need to start hearing about 'fat white male empowerment' accusations being leveled at Parson, or for people to begin fixating that the only named major black character dies in a literal gunfight by having her face lasered off, while all the white major characters escape into a portal? These details are all utterly irrelevant to the story itself, but I find myself imagining them as complaints nonetheless.

    It's entirely possible that I am exaggerating the amount of political nonsense that might accrue if Erfworld became so publicly visible due to nominations in the current political climate of the Hugo awards. You'd probably know more about it than me.

    But do you really think now is the best time for it? It sounds like the waters around the Hugo nominations are far from clear now. Erfworld's got plenty of more stuff left in it. We have a least a book 4 to get through, recall.

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    UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:25 am 
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    :roll:

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:42 am 
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    Shai hulud wrote:
    :roll:

    However accurate or inaccurate Kaed's take may be, I don't find your rebuttal terribly convincing.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:03 pm 
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    That's a little harsh, kaed. @_@

    I consider myself a minor SJW, so that hurts a little. But I agree, erfworld doesn't need that kind of drama. If you think it's at all probable, I'd recommend against it. It's a lovely idea though, and I'm sure a less controversial time will come!

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:30 pm 
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    Kaed wrote:
    Let me start by saying that despite being a big fan of fantasy and science fiction, I don't recall ever hearing about the Hugo Awards before I read this thread.


    Kaed wrote:
    Which makes me wonder why you would possibly desire to drag Erfworld into the crossfire.


    These two statements kind of go together. The Hugos were a real and important thing, even if you never encountered them.

    As I said, I respect the Hugos' history and spirit. I grew up in science fiction, and I was very aware of the Hugo Awards from my early teens. Until the drama of the past few years, I might have called winning a Hugo a lifelong ambition. They mattered. But it's like...

    Image

    So I don't wonder why Dewtell would want to see us on the Hugo ballot. I mean it when I say I am flattered. I'd be honored by a nomination, even with the trouble it comes with.

    But man, Kaed... Really? Could you provide a better example of the environment I'd be stepping into? You seem to be saying everybody needs to chill, but then you're saying it in the same unkind, vitriolic, demonizing way that you are criticizing. Chill first thine own self. :|

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:04 pm 
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    You know, you're probably all right. I apologize for being so rude there. If this succeeds or not, I hope the experience is at least good for everyone.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:10 pm 
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    I think that Erfworld being based in a game world will help protect it from political controversy. When characters abilities are determined by stats, and every unit is popped with more or less a 'soldiers' mindset it makes it harder to get political about things.

    The best thing to do is for us readers to try to nominate Erfworld for the Hugo. The Erfworld team certainly deserves it. If their is controversy, then just concider it free advertising, and otherwise ignore it. Just go ahead with things and ignore the politics.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:18 pm 
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    I'm an outsider to the whole sci-fi fandom and convention scene, but it seems to me that the Hugos are way too toxic to voluntarily get involved in. As Parson once put it, we don't want any part of that hatchet fight. Let's find another way to show our appreciation for the Erfworld team.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:48 am 
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    Hi, everyone. Thanks for checking in. Just to make it clear, I’m not trying to get Erfworld into the middle of an ongoing culture war. My one and only motive for trying to get Xin and Laurie nominated (and Book 3 when it becomes eligible) is that I believe that Rob’s story, and Xin and Laurie’s artwork, are truly worthy of consideration in their respective categories. The reason I brought this other stuff up is to try to keep us clear of the toxic stuff as much as possible, by making sure that people were aware of it and didn’t do stuff that might turn our effort into a pawn in someone else’s game.

    I linked the Wired article because I thought it gave a reasonably brief summary of what happened with the Hugos in 2015, and some background on some of the individuals involved, but it may have left the impression that the conflict was entirely about ideology and the culture wars. That’s not my experience to date. There was some ideology behind the formation of the sad puppies and their discontent, and I think the article does a reasonable job of exploring that, but the major development of 2015 was when the guy behind the RPs recognized that organized slate voting could allow a disciplined minority to sweep the nominations in entire categories, and used that (and an ideological appeal to an outside group) to pursue a personal vendetta and try to become a kingmaker.

    The major impetus behind the discussions that led to the E Pluribus Hugo proposal (which I participated in, and has now been adopted for this year’s nominations) was the desire to keep the fan base from fragmenting along ideological lines in response. Slating was such a game-breaking tactic that the obvious counter would be to form a counter-slate to oppose the initial slate the next year, which would have led to that fragmentation (slates becoming like little political parties, whose blessing would be needed to have access to the ballot). Instead, the supporters of EPH were looking for an ideologically neutral technical solution that would diminish the nominating power of slates without concern for what the agenda behind a given slate might be, and give the rest of the ordinary fans a chance to get their most popular choices on the ballot even in the presence of a slate. In promoting EPH, we’ve tried to keep the focus on the bad effects of the tactics used by the opposition, rather than their specific ideology. Our basic pitch has been that slating is bad for everyone, even if it were a slate that we agreed with ideologically, because it is always vulnerable to a bigger group forming and locking everyone else out of the process (at least until it becomes an outright majority). So far, the combination of having technical fixes in the works and the strong response of the 2015 voters against the slate seems to have kept counter-slates from forming.

    The Hugos are under attack, but are still recognizing excellent work in the field in many categories. The voters have shown that they are willing to use the option of voting “No Award” to keep clearly non-deserving stuff from winning, so that winning the award continues to be an honor. The biggest problem has been the amount of mediocre to clearly bad stuff that has been put on the ballot in some categories via slating, so that it is no longer the case that it is an honor just to be nominated. (But I think it is still an honor to be nominated as a non-slate entry, even if you don’t win.) Another issue is the number of categories where there has been one non-slate entry and four slate entries nominated, and the non-slate entry winds up winning by default. The rule changes this year should help with that, and foster more categories where there is genuine competition – I can discuss this more later. There are also some additional proposals up for ratification in Helsinki that may improve things further in future years.

    So in summary, I think winning a Hugo would still be a significant honor, and becoming a finalist would mean an opportunity to promote Erfworld to a much larger audience via the voter packet. I think it’s worth doing if enough tools agree.

    _________________
    My proposal to try and get a Hugo Award for Xin and Lauri's artwork is at "Hugos for Erfworld". Hugo Finalists for 2017 have now been announced. Please comment there.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:22 pm 
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    Has collected at least one unit Here for the 10th Anniversary This user is a Tool! Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
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    Nominations for the 2017 Hugo Awards are now open. If you have become eligible to nominate, you should have gotten or be getting an email with the link to your nominations page. Nominations are free-form text. To nominate Xin and Laurie as a team, go to the “Best Professional Artist” part of the form and enter “Xin Ye and Lauri Ahonen” (without the quotes) on a single line under “Artist/Illustrator”, and give http://www.erfworld.com as the example. I got more specific and said “www.erfworld.com (Book 3, pages 121-223 were published in 2016)” as my example to highlight the specific pages that were eligible. It is important to list the two of them on a single line to nominate them as a team – if they were listed on separate lines, they would be competing with each other. If possible, please copy the names exactly as they are here, to make the Hugo administrators' jobs easier.

    Remember - the deadline to register to become eligible to nominate is January 31st, 2017. The deadline to submit nominations is March 17, 2017. You can change your nominations at any time up to the deadline - they will take whatever your last saved nominations are at the time of the deadline as your final choice.

    _________________
    My proposal to try and get a Hugo Award for Xin and Lauri's artwork is at "Hugos for Erfworld". Hugo Finalists for 2017 have now been announced. Please comment there.

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     Post subject: Re: Hugos for Erfworld
     Post Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:39 pm 
    This user posted the comment of the month
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    I've seen a number of "adverts" for this thread in the comic reaction threads. I have two questions about that:
    • Is it necessary?
    • Are we going to have such adverts in every comic reaction thread from now until the March deadline?

    On the topic of the nomination itself, I have similar feelings about the Hugos (and awards in general) as in Balder's comments: they were relevant, once.

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