As some of you already know, I have declared myself to be a candidate for the SFWA president in the next election, which takes place this spring. Here are the first five points of my platform; I’m interested in any ideas for improving them:
SPLIT THE NEBULA AWARDS: Science
fiction is not fantasy. Fantasy is not science fiction. I propose
doubling the number of Nebula Awards, and presenting awards for Best
Novel, Best Novella, Best Novellette, Best Short Story, and Best
Script in two categories, Science Fiction and Fantasy.
AWARD A CASH PRIZE FOR BOTH BEST
NOVEL AWARDS: A $5,000 prize will be awarded to the winner of Best
Novel:Science Fiction as well as to the winner of Best
Novel:Fantasy. The long term goal will be to work towards making
the winning of a Nebula a more prestigious and financially valuable
event than winning the Man Booker Prize.
EXPAND THE MEMBERSHIP: The right
to SFWA membership will be granted to all self-published and small
press-published authors who have sold more than a specified number
of ebooks to be determined, eligibility number to be confirmed via
official Amazon report. It will also be granted to all SF/F-related
computer game lead designers, senior designers, and writers with
primary credits on two or more SF/F-related games.
ELIMINATE THE APPEARANCE OF
CORRUPTION IN THE AWARD PROCESS: Closing the nomination process to
the membership and the public made the appearance of corruption
worse, not better. Reducing the number of recommendations to reduce
logrolling was a good idea, hiding the results from the membership
created more harm than good.
EMPOWERING THE NEBULA JURIES: The
most prestigious and lucrative literary prizes are awarded by
juries. The Nebulas should be no different if they are to attain
equal prestige. I am entirely open to a debate about the best way
to ensure jury integrity, but my initial thought is to randomly
select the juries from the membership, with jurors barred from
voting for works published by their publishers. In situations where
the latter bar would lead to an obvious injustice being done, the
SFWA President and Vice-President would have the ability to release
a juror from the bar on a case-by-case basis if they both agreed
such an act was justified by the quality of the work in question.