Hugo Category Highlight: Best Related Work

Best Related Work: Awarded to a work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year. The type of works eligible include, but are not limited to, collections of art, works of literary criticism, books about the making of a film or TV series, biographies and so on, provided that they do not qualify for another category. Nonfiction collections are eligible here, but fiction anthologies generally are not because all of the individual works within the anthology are eligible in one of the “story” categories. There is no category for “Best Anthology.”

As Ben Yalow pointed out in his excellent guest post, this category is something of an “anything else” category that got there because of really good work that didn’t exactly fit into the existing categories. It mostly goes to non-fiction, and tends to be awarded to works about science fiction, fantasy, and fandom rather than works that are science fiction, fantasy, or fan works.

Precisely what counts as related can get pretty interesting at times – science articles, how to write series targeted at our genre, blogs and books about people in the industry… There is a huge list of potential contenders and making a decision on which are truly outstanding is not a simple matter.

I’d say the Castalia House series about pedophilia in the science fiction and fantasy community is a worthy entry if seriously disturbing – and frankly, I expect this suggestion to be controversial because the series does not tiptoe around any of the major figures in the genre.

I can’t think of any other examples right now even though I read a lot – none of the other pieces I’ve read has really stuck with me.

Suggestions for this category can be added here, and as always, if you’re nominating something for the retros, please say it’s a retro nomination.

Obligatory warning message: I will be closing the site to recommendations at the end of February. Don’t be left out!

Obligatory warning message 2: It might be too late to sign up to nominate, but you can still sign up to vote!

Obligatory warning message 3: Oh wait. This isn’t a warning so much as a postscript. I understand the Evil Lord of Evil Himself has recommended Mad Genius Club as a nominee for the Best Fanzine Hugo Award. I’m flattered that anyone thinks something I contribute to is worthy of the award even though I personally won’t be accepting any Hugo for anything. I wouldn’t accept a Hugo nomination if it had been made by God Himself and all the Angels in Heaven (although I would have some serious concerns about His mental health should this come to pass). If the recommendation becomes a nomination (unlikely, frankly), one of my fellow loo… er… colleagues will have to take it. Or not, as they choose. Comments about the recommendation will be steadfastly ignored.

25 Comments

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25 responses to “Hugo Category Highlight: Best Related Work

  1. Reality Observer

    Well, this is the comment to be ignored…

    Myself, I will most likely nominate MGC. But not in the “fanzine” category – in the “best related work” category. I view this place as an invaluable resource for professional – and want to be professional – authors. (Yes, authors are fans too, or those who are not are ones I do not wish to read…)

  2. Reality Observer

    Now, for the substantive comment…

    Always having an open mind, I read the Castalia House series you linked. Sigh. I really hoped that it was nominatable – but not.

    It is an excellent summary of the rot in organized fandom. Unfortunately, though, Vox Day as usual grabs hold, with both hands, of anything that will add controversy.

    Asimov – sorry, but the sins of the son cannot be laid on the father. There is no connection (actually, the article seems to deny connections) between Asimov the son and Asimov the father. (Now, the documented antics of Asimov pere in the vein of sexual harassment would have been a different matter.)

    Clarke – well, there is a point there, legally. However, there is nothing “magical” about the age of eighteen, that suddenly confers the ability to give informed consent (to anything, not just sexual activity). Puberty is the point at which sexual interest, in the absence of social pressure (pro or con) does develop. The legal system (today, not yesterday, probably not tomorrow) makes the assumption that under the age of eighteen informed consent cannot be present. (This is not a condemnation of the law – for the broad purpose of “merits a very close look,” it is good; as well as the assumption of “male perpetrator” makes good sense – so long as the justice system continues to look at each case individually.)

    Heinlein – well, he can be condemned for not investigating, relying only on the word of longtime friends in the Bradleys. This disregard of what were rumors at the time certainly does not rise to the level of McCaffrey’s defense of a charged pedophile, however – and supposes that each of us is to perform a full investigation of any accusation against a friend, acquaintance, or even a favored author. (Did I investigate the accusations of “racist/homophobe/misogynist” laid against Larry or Brad? No. I read what they wrote, and agreed with the majority of it. It is nice that found confirmation of my unfounded belief in them later, when I found out that Larry is Portuguese and Brad has a wife of African descent – but those were incidental.) Now, again, from a certain view on morality, one can legitimately attack Heinlein – not a moral position that I particularly agree with, but still a valid point from which to criticize.

    Oh my. I believe that I have exceeded the rant quota for the day. My apologies to those who have to scroll down to get to more succinct commentary…

    • The Other Sean

      To corrupt Neil Young’s lyrics:
      “Keep on ranting in the free world………”

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      The ‘abusers were often abused themselves’ thing suggests the possibility that some things can be learned. If so, it seems reasonable to argue that a parent might be able to protect their child from influences that would lead them down that path. So it could be argued that if Asimov Senior had done a good job of parenting, Asimov Junior would have just had a normal healthy obsession with his 2D waifu.

      The rumors about Clarke from Sri Lanka involve boys much younger than eighteen. They are pretty clearly JFK territory or younger.

      The late Heinlein books could be used as evidence in a theory of a depraved mind. I do think there are legitimate grounds to conclude otherwise. If one understands it otherwise, it’d being an example of a sci fi community member circling the wagons when the train is under attack. Heinlein was responding to a letter being circulated about Breen. I’ve read that letter, and it also is evidence of sci fi fans circling the wagon.

  3. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Quiaff, the retro Hugo’s cover 1940?

    • Ben Yalow

      The Retro Hugos are the ones that would have been given out 75 years earlier, at the 1941 Worldcon, which means they cover works that first appeared in 1940.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        So the Battle of Britain would qualify?

        • Ben Yalow

          If that were a serious question, since I’m part of the staff (although not on the Hugo administration subcommittee), I can only give the same response that all Hugo administrators give to prospective questions of eligibility:

          “The Hugo Administrator does not make rulings on the eligibility of a possible nominee unless that work or person receives enough nominations to make it necessary to rule on eligibility.”

  4. BobtheRegisterredFool

    My apologies for not resisting, and for not having the time and historical knowledge to frame the justification better. But, WWII was a very sci fi war, and we are having some of the same right now. It is a shame we’d missed being able to nominate those chemical delivery rockets, because those were a really practical solution that had been until recently masked by successful counter proliferation efforts. Now that we are leaving those behind, we may be seeing some really interesting military innovation in the near future.

  5. Alfred Genesson

    Reality Observer, you clearly only “read” the first article, and not the series of articles, as you only mention David Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein. First , that’s a dishonest amount of commentary, ignoring Breen, Kramer, Salva, and Bradley. The series is about pedophilia as part of the establiment SFF scene. Reading further would grant a picture that would truly disgust you, that there haven’t been more imprisonments, and that the publishers and authors protect them.

    As to the age of consent, you are categorically lying. Across Canada, the age of consent is 16. Each US state has it’s own law, between the age of 16 and 18. In Mexico, the age varies as well, from 12-15. Europe, the numbers range from14-18. All these numbers are easily searchable.

    Regarding David Asimov, are you stating he wasn’t part of the SF est. or scene? Would you also assert that Tolkien’s son isn’t part of SFF?

    • Reality Observer

      Tch. Assumptions, much?

      I did indeed read the entire series – and appendices.

      I was commenting on the weakening of an otherwise very strong and well constructed article by the reaching for some connection to the “really big names” to add controversy – controversy that was not needed.

      Of the three, the RAH reference was perhaps the one that at least had some relation – as an example of the entire field ignoring the Bradley/Breen problem. Yes, the “really big name” did not investigate further – along with all of the “really little names.” (Now, naming the names of convention committee members – that would be relevant, and useful.)

      And, no, David Asimov is not “part of the SF scene” – being the child of an author, or any professional, does not automatically make one so. (I am not part of the “veterinarian” scene, although my father was one.)

      Now, I will cop to the error on age of consent. Partially, I was talking about the majority of the United States (which was too limited). Please note, though, that most of the States with a lower age of consent merely have that as a breakpoint where a younger male will not be charged with statutory rape – a 30 year old can still find himself in trouble in those States.

      Yes, and I picked up 18 from the article, even though I did know better. The point is about a “magical” birthday on which someone (a post-pubescent someone) suddenly is able to give informed consent on that day – but not one day before.

      Now, as to baldly calling me a categorical liar for an error – meh. Go to hell.

  6. Is it just me, or has this year’s Puppy Season been a lot quieter?

    • Bob

      There’ve been the first rumbles.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Just wait.

    • The Other Sean

      Is Puppy Season between Duck Season and Rabbit Season? And are the people gunning for the Puppies a bunch of Elmer Fudds?

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Looks like the “GG is SP myth” is alive and well and living at File 770:

      “BigelowT on February 11, 2016 at 9:33 pm said:

      I kinda think the call to nominate games and game-related stuff in various categories is a shameless ploy to get GG types fired up to carry puppy water again.”

      • Rolls eyes

        If they don’t pipe down with the slander they might actually summon gamergate. Fortunately for the Hugo Awards, those chaps have bigger and more obnoxious fish to fry.

  7. Christopher M. Chupik

    And I see that Glyer-liar-pants-on-fire has linked and selectively quote from this post to imply that the Sads are the same as the Rabids.

    Yeah, I know. Shocking, huh?

    • Bibliotheca Servare

      This is my shocked face. Also, as if their bigoted, wilful disregard of reality in favor of their internal narrative and need to indulge their personal prejudices weren’t clear as crystal already, witness the outpouring of support for the woman who has become the posterwoman for abuse of “restraining orders” to suppress free speech…the woman whose actions and abuses have sufficiently outraged internationally renowned authorities and experts on freedom of speech that at least one massive figure in the pantheon of free-speech-case-law has offered his aid in opposing her -and the massive law firm she has brought to bear upon her “evil” ex- completely free of charge. A more despicable example of SJW’s writ large would be hard to find. Equally despicable, not so hard. More despicable…ehhh… They really are good little drones, aren’t they? (Unfortunately necessary postscript: I am not a “gamergater” I don’t consider myself a member of that movement. I’m just a stubborn, obstinately libertarian contrarian, and I try to make up my own mind about things. Based on my research, gamergate is in no conceivable way the bogeyman that most of the press, and all the SJWs, have made it out to be. It’s also very disorganized, apparently “by design” inasmuch as a disorganized movement can *have* a design. I’ve forgotten my point…also, blatant dishonesty, intellectual and otherwise, reeeeally pisses me off. Anti-gamergate, being largely comprised of SJW’s and “useful idiots” excels at those two things.)
      Oh, and evidently, letting people post their reccs at the SP4 site without posting regular updates @ same is “proof” that all that talk about inclusion and participation was just a deception. You can’t make this *censored* up! Crazy sons of beaches…it’s a daily wonder they don’t forget how to breathe, in my opinion. *endrant*
      *steps off soapbox* why yes, I was a bit vexed when I wrote this. Why do you ask? Heh…

  8. Christopher M. Chupik

    So now they’re mad at Kate for not posting a bunch of her picks for each category. And I suspect if she did, they’d be calling it her “slate”.

    • Kate Paulk

      Well, duh. AFTER nominations close, I’ll post what I actually nominated. I’ll be shocked if it’s anything like the list, because my taste is a bit on the quirky side, even for this genre.

  9. Tim McDonald

    There is a magical birthday. It is set by law. As a father of two girls, and the grandfather of 3 girls and 2 boys, you better believe there is a magical birthday. If anyone violates any of my grandchildren before that magical birthday, and I am not going to tell you what that birthday is, but it is certainly no less than 17, they will no longer be around to violate any other children, because I will take them all the way out and then present myself to a jury of Tennesseans for judgement. Any bets on what a bunch of rednecks will vote?

    • Reality Observer

      Disagree. Both of my girls are well past that magical birthday.

      I still know where the most isolated and active fire ant colonies are around here, and I always have a stock of honey on hand.

  10. Ben Yalow

    Let me try to further help clarify this complicated category. As was said, it’s really a catchall.

    To start with the text of the rule:

    3.3.5: Best Related Work. Any work related to the field of science fiction,
    fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year, and which is either non-fiction or, if fictional, is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text, and which is not eligible in any other category.

    “Related” is interpreted very broadly — the things which are considered “related” can be a stretch, but, if the nominators consider it related, and that’s plausible, then it’s likely to meet that requirement.

    And the “first appearance” requirement is a bit more broadly expressed because, for example, the 1994 winner “The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction by John Clute and Peter Nicholls [Orbit, 1993; St. Martin’s, 1993]” was derived from an earlier (1979) edition, but with many tens of thousands of new words — which made it substantially enough modified that it was newly eligible.

    And fiction works (regardless of whether they’re professionally published, and including fanfic) are eligible in the fiction category, so they’re not eligible here, because of the final clause of the rule.

    A complication comes in from works that could be considered fanzines, which means a “non-professional periodical publication devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects” — if a work could qualify as a fanzine, then it’s not eligible in Related, again because of that final clause.

    And there’s also potential overlap with Graphic Story — if a work tells a story and the work is more noteworthy for the story than the artwork, it’s likely to be eligible in Graphic Story (and therefore that last clause means it’s not eligible in Related).

    And those are the sorts of judgement calls that Administrators hate to make, so, unless it’s almost indisputably clearcut, the judgement will generally be to defer to the decisions of the majority of the nominators as to why the work is “noteworthy”.

    This is probably one of the hardest categories for figuring out what’s eligible, because of all the cases where there are other categories which might also describe the work — and, if the work is eligible elsewhere, it’s not eligible here. So determining eligibility here means not just looking at the definition for this category, but all the other categories a work could possibly appear in, and deciding if it’s eligible there (and therefore not eligible here)..

    As a past part of the Administrator team, I have troubles with the category because it’s so hard to administer. As a fan, I think it’s a great category that has had a lot of really wonderful and significant works nominated (and won). And, on a personal level, two of the works I’ve edited have lost in that category. Both of the collections of Dave Langford’s essays that I edited were nominated (and their merit was entirely due to Langford’s brilliance as a writer, not my work as editor), and lost to outstanding choices — in 1997 to DeCamp’s autobiography, and in 1993 to _A Wealth of Fable_ — Harry Warner’s definitive history of SF fandom in the 1950s.

    • Kate Paulk

      Thank you for the extra information – it seems to me that categories like this one, while valuable, make life particularly difficult and potentially controversial for the Hugo Administrators.