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[personal profile] mneme
I posted this in the Facebook Filk group, but since Facebook is inherently transient, and it was long and the result of a fair amount of thought, I'm reposting it here with some edits. Comment or mock me as you will.

[personal profile] drcpunk and I have been attending BMs three years running, partially with the aim of eventually getting a workable Music or Filk Hugo into the mix (in addition to caring about a few other issues--hell, this year I did a good bit to make sure blogs remained eligible for a Hugo).

So, I've kinda thought about the subject a bit.

First, the question of why: Filk is a core part of Fandom. Much more than gaming. As such, it would be really useful to have a Hugo category where filk was regularly nominated to help continue to bind us to the rest of fandom -- reminding them that we exist, and frankly, reminding filkers that we're part of fandom (even those filkers who prefer to only to filk cons and don't do non-filk conventions). The Pegasus is an effective award -- but it's a community award, and simply doesn't work the way the Hugos do nor get the press the Hugos do. So overall, if a Hugo category could be created that suited filk, I think it would be a good thing.

Second: The question of how. It's not that hard to get something done in the Business meeting. You need a case -- and you need people to show up, but any attending member of a Worldcon can show up to the BM, and while it does require some knowledge of Robert's Rules to introduce motions, etc, it requires nothing but the ability to raise your hand or stand up (or equivalent) to vote. That said, there's no point in passing an award category that can't get critical mass -- a Filk Hugo was -passed- at some point (or so I've been told) and the problem was that there was no consensus at all among nominators; everything got 3 votes or 3% of the vote or whatnot (whereas the Hugos require 5% for something to appear on the ballot). So it's not simply a matter of whether we can get a Hugo that's more appropriate than Best Related (which I think, along with the BDP categories, is fairly mediocre as a platform) but which one is best.

Third, then, is the question of what. I'm sure there are others, but I've got four theoretically plausible Hugo categories that could be interesting here:

1. Best Filk Production. For the best compilation, recording, or song in fan-created music produced in the last year. This is more or less what was passed and failed years ago, I believe, but it's possible that with the Internet and the rise of more big stars in our space, that it's far more possible for a consensus to be reached. The big advantage here is that having a Hugo -titled- "Filk" rather than one where filk was frequently nominated would do a good job towards helping bind our community together.

2. Best Music. For the best piece or compilation of SF-related music produced in the last year. This has some advantages in that it isn't expressly limited to filk, but included it--the question remains as to whether filk could compete with Coulton or the musical scores of movies, but it would be interesting to see.

3. Best Filk Artist. This has some of the same advantages of best Filk Production, but is intended to parallel the Best Editor category and partially get around the "nobody can get a consensus" issue for FBP. It also, of course, takes advantage of/falls into the same problem as Best Editor (and Best Artist) -- in that while it's theoretically for work in the last year, everyone knows that the voters/nominators will often ignore this proviso at lest some of the time. Which means it's likely to be a viable category (in a fashion), but not an ideal one. But still.

4. Best Dramatic Production (Fan-created). This would parallel the existing BDPs, but be intended for fan-created pieces of music, shows, youtube videos, and so on and so forth (maybe even including compilations) within the last callendar year -- because just like, as Silverberg (quoted by Scalzi at the hugos) said that fan-writing is the foundation of fandom, fan-productions are -also- at the foundation of fandom; we're not just about passively taking in what receive; instead it's at least as important to make our -own- creations. In some ways, it would also act as Best Fancast (shortform) without the limitations placed on Best Fancast (I had hopes to remove some of the arbitrary limits on Best Fancast to make it usable here, but got focused on trying to save the blog). Between filk albums, youtube memes (including stuff like Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury), I think one can make a good case for there being demand for this, and it would allow for a much greater chance of recognition for deserving works than mixing them into the BDP and Best Related categories.
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Joshua Kronengold

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