In my post at Black Gate in support of Amazon’s decision to forbid authors to review works in their genres, I erroneously stated that Catherine Asaro was the SFWA president at the time she was awarded the 2002 Nebula for Best Novel. Michael Capobianco, another past SFWA president, corrected me thusly:
“The Quantum Rose won the Nebula Award for best novel on April
27, 2002. Catherine Asaro was not an officer of SFWA at the time.
She was VP of SFWA from July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003 and
President of SFWA from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2005.”
However, a little research showed Capobianco’s correction to be a little on the disingenuous side, which I suspected given his misleading answer concerning the justification for changes to the Nebula award process. The SF Site reported in 2002:
The results of the SFWA officer elections were announced
on April 27 at the SFWA Business Meeting in Kansas City,
MO. Sharon Lee defeated incumbent Norman Spinrad for
the Presidency. Two other authors received write-in
votes. Catherine Asaro defeated Lee Martindale for the
Vice-Presidency, again with two other (different)
authors receiving write-in votes. Chuck Rothman
(treasurer) and ElizaBeth Gilligan (Secretary) both ran
unopposed. Because of the closeness of the race for
Eastern Regional Director, the election committee has
decided re-balloting will take place in that race.
Only hours after being named Vice President of SFWA,
Catherine Asaro was honored with a Nebula for her novel
The Quantum Rose (Tor).
In other words, Asaro wasn’t the President, she was the Vice President-elect. Which underlines the point that I was making, which was never that Asaro had somehow abused her position as President, or, as more accurately, Vice President-elect, (I don’t even know how it would have been possible in either case), but rather that the award that year was a simple popularity contest which led to a mediocre novel being unjustly awarded the Best Novel award.