Thursday, March 02, 2006

Awards Mania!

Whenever I feel depressed about some aspect of the SFF world, I can always cheer myself up by reminding myself that our neighbors in Romance have everything we have, only doubled. Their writers' organization, RWA, is over-run by "pre-published" wanna-bes; there's so much more money sloshing around that the knives (and fingernails) come out at every opportunity; and their awards are even sillier than ours.

I was reminded of this by Diana Peterfreund's post today about the RITA categories. Yes, there are fourteen Hugo categories this year, which seems like a lot to some of us. But the RITAs have thirteen categories, all but one of which go to novels of various kinds. Just think of that in our field, if you would. We could have Hugos for Best Fantasy, Best Near-Future, Best Far-Future, Best Space Opera, Best Contemporary Fantasy, Best Middle Book, Best Incomplete Epic Fantasy Series, Best Slipstream, Best Historical Fantasy, Best Alternate History, and so on. You know, I think this has potential. I just might have to go to the LA Con IV Business Meeting and make my case...


Diana Peterfreund said...

Thanks for the mention. I think that RWA's strength is in its willingness to reach out to the aspiring authors in its genre. I know that I, for one, would not have been published if it weren't for the instruction I received through RWA, nor would I be a member of RWA (since I do not write romance) had I not been given the opportunity to join before I sold my first book.

But yeah. Way too many RITA cateogries.

Rachel Vincent said...

I don't write romance either. In fact, I write fantasy. But a couple of years ago, when I was starting out, just finishing my first novel, I looked for SFF organizations to join. I couldn't find any that would let me join in all their reindeer games until I was published.

So I joined RWA, because the members were nice, generous with their time, encouraging, and not the least bit put off because I don't write romance.

RWA does a lot for its members, both published and unpublished. True, I haven't taken advantage of anything but the camaraderie, but I see what the organization has done for my friends on a daily basis.

By the way, do you think the SFF world would have me now?

Andrew Wheeler said...

rachel: if you have a novel coming out (as I see from your profile you do), then you qualify under SFWA rules, and you could certainly join.

I understand the desire for camaraderie, but I guess I'm just old-fashioned: I think a writers' organization should be for people who are actually professional writers. I've never become an "affiliate" SFWA member, though I qualify, partly for that reason. (And partly from laziness.)

There are plenty of places for people who want to be writers to congregate (especially now in the age of the web), but there are very few advocacy organizations for professional writers. I'm an outsider, so this may be an uninformed opinion, but I think the latter should not try to turn itself into the former. When I hear about writers' groups fighting for their members (and occasionally winning), it's always WMA, or Authors' Guild, or SFWA -- I don't remember RWA coming up in that context, and I've generally thought that was because of their mixed membership. (Since the wants of professional and "pre-professional" writers are not always the same.)

diana: thanks. Hope I didn't come off dismissive; the land of romance sometimes looks like Paradise from the mucky ground of SF, so I tried to keep the potential sour grapes at bay.

Anonymous said...

I think the word is spreading about your Evil Plans for the LAcon Business Meeting. Be on the lookout for large people with baseball bats...

Michael Walsh
Blog Free Since The Beginning of Time!

Anonymous said...


Just so you know; the American Smofs will be carrying the baseball bats at the Worldcon Business Meeting, the Candadians will have the hockey sticks, the Europeans will be dressed as soccer hooligans and the Australians will be leading the cheering while quaffing large cans of Foster's (served at room temperature, of course). Good Luck!

Chris M. Barkley
Middletown, OH

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