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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. camestrosfelapton
    September 3, 2015 @ 1:39 am

    How about double posting of reviews? A lot of people who blogged reviews of the Hugo packet are now posting reviews of Hugo eligible stuff. Can I send a link to a review or would you like a shorter review or something else?


  2. Neo Tuxedo
    September 3, 2015 @ 3:00 am

    If Vox Day is normal, I sure as hell wanna be weird.

    "And Norman, if you're normal, I intend to be a freak for the rest of my life, and I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from Now We Are Six delivered through the medium of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there."


  3. Justin Cawthorne
    September 3, 2015 @ 3:50 am

    Will be interesting to see if there ends up being any genuine crossover with the non-slate that the Sad Puppies 4 are proposing to compile. By genuine, I mean works that find their way on both lists purely through merit or recommendation, as opposed to works the Puppies may include out of spite in order to try and condemn them to No Award purgatory.


  4. camestrosfelapton
    September 3, 2015 @ 11:07 am other clarification…from your post this is just the works categories – so presumably not Best editor etc (which aren't really reviewable anyway). I assume from the exclusions you mention you do want Best Related Work and Best Podcast stuff. Do you want magazine/fanzine categories as well or just wait and see if somebody writes something?


  5. Elizabeth Sandifer
    September 3, 2015 @ 11:19 am

    I want all categories, though figuring out how to write reviews of the person categories is indeed a challenge. But basically, anything Hugo-eligible, I'll run a review of.


  6. Elizabeth Sandifer
    September 3, 2015 @ 11:20 am

    Let's say put links in the appropriate open thread when it comes around, and I'll figure out what to do with it when compiling a larger guide.


  7. maniacprovost
    September 3, 2015 @ 11:45 am

    Good luck. I think you are ultimately going to accomplish something slate-like, but that's OK. In my opinion, which you will definitely want to ignore, the best way to generate a competing slate would be to have a long, public runoff process that acts as a recommended reading list and gradually ranks the best of Sci Fi. Some people will nominate #1 – #5, and some will nominate #12 because that's what they liked. It's not really a slate, more like fandom is all on the same page.

    Logically, I think this is similar to what you intend to do manually. But it ends up being very slatelike, and anti-puppies will almost certainly nominate for the top 5 in each category.


  8. John Seavey
    September 3, 2015 @ 12:31 pm

    Honestly, I think the absence of ranking is vital to the process. Once you've ranked them, you're telling people how to vote at least implicitly by suggesting that some works are better than others and have a better chance of being nominated/winning. This is the mistake SP4 is making, and I think that Phil's making a good move by simply letting a thousand opinions bloom. If Phil, or I, or anyone, convince people to read the things we love, and they all love them so much that they want to nominate them as well, then the work deserves to win on its own merit. Anyone nominating something sight unseen based on a recommendation is a failure.


  9. Prandeamus
    September 3, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

    I'm just occasional poster here who came from the days of full-on Tardis Eruditorum, and still returns to see what's happening. I read sci-fi of various types from time to time, as long as other genres. I am not anarchic, postmodern, or Marxist and certainly no occultist. I'm a Christian, for heaven's sake. I care nothing for the Hugos, and have watched with mild bemusement as this whole Vox Day business has emerged. I can see the anger and disgust that Phil has eloquently expressed, although I have had some trouble coming to terms with every detail of his arguments.

    I am one of the not-we. But wait – I do have a point.

    I strongly support the idea of a thousand interesting and positive reviews of stuff I haven't read yet. Make me, the casual reader, actually want to seek out new books I wouldn't have otherwise tried. I'm glad I picked up "The Eyre Affair" because the back cover mentioned my home town. I'm a big fan of Jasper fforde now. I loved reading Desolation Road and Ares Express although I suspect my wife got them for me as a cheap stocking filler from a remainder bookstore a few years ago. I picked up Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell at a book swap, and thought it a worthwhile read, after I'd slogged through the first hundred or so pages. I really enjoyed Rivers of London, from a recommendation I read here. I gave up on Wicked, though, and I suppose you can't like everything. My point is I get into new books at random and in a haphazard way, so I'd value any chance so read about what's interesting and fresh.

    We don't have to get Pollyanna-ish about how everything is nice, but some positive focused book reviews sounds like a great idea.


  10. Elizabeth Sandifer
    September 3, 2015 @ 3:13 pm

    As I said, I'll be using the Year's End lists to try to identify some natural frontrunners, but there's never going to be any sort of compiled, ranked list. Those inclined towards tactical voting will be able to find useful information for doing so, but I'm not going to map out any tactics beyond what I already have: nominate five things in every category, and do the research needed for you to be happy with your nominations.


  11. Jeff Heikkinen
    September 3, 2015 @ 4:19 pm

    The obvious way would be to simply post an overview of the person's recent work. More ambitious reviewers could search for common threads in much the same way you might, say, look for recurring elements in the Doctor Who episodes a given director was responsible for.

    Seems like a useful starting point, anyway.


  12. Daru
    September 3, 2015 @ 8:30 pm

    I'm in. I welcome the opportunity to share works in an open way that could get nominated in the Hugos, and alongside this I am always up for new things to read and digest! So I look forwards to being a part of this and seeing what comes of it.


  13. Daru
    September 3, 2015 @ 8:38 pm

    "Third, and relatedly, no reviews about anything that I have substantial creative involvement in or stand to make a profit off of. Nothing from Eruditorum Press, nothing out of Pex Lives, nothing I’ve contributed to. I will not use the Weird Kitties banner to self-promote in any way."

    Your restrictions sound really fair to me, and easy for me to follow as I have no financial involvement or any kind of investment in any kind of work just now. With regards to the point above though, whilst really happy not to offer up reviews of things from Eruditorum Press, etc I will certainly be nominating some of yours and others work Phil in the next Hugos.


  14. steve davidson
    September 4, 2015 @ 1:02 am

    I think this is a mistake.
    Regardless of your intentions, you yourself call this an "organized campaign".
    We do not want slates, campaigns or any of that stuff.
    This plays directly into puppy – particularly Rabid puppy – hands.
    The puppies were countered this year WITHOUT a campaign. We do not need one for this year, or rather, another one.


  15. Elizabeth Sandifer
    September 4, 2015 @ 1:12 am

    The resistance to the Puppies in the actual voting process was absolutely a campaign. Not a branded one, but a campaign nevertheless.

    My feeling is that until E Pluribus Hugo passes, the nomination process cannot be defended without some measure of campaign.


  16. scamander360
    September 4, 2015 @ 6:29 am

    I really wish you wouldn't try to "identify some natural frontrunners" or attempt to help "Those inclined towards tactical voting". People who want reading recommendations can just read the lists themselves. They shouldn't need you to define the situation for them. You telling people what works are "naturally" ahead of the pack smacks of a slate. I can't see a principled difference between ranking the finalists and someone announcing to the readership what the "natural leaders" are.

    And "tactical voting" is completely against the spirit of the Hugos and, IMO, really shouldn't be encouraged. Vote for what you want on the ballot, not what you think others will probably vote for. If we get another crappy ballot due to slating, we just No Award it and finalize EPH. Parts of what you're doing here sound no different in practice than SP4.


  17. maniacprovost
    September 4, 2015 @ 8:03 am

    The discovery process is what's tactical. The biggest problem with the Hugos used to be that everybody reads different stuff and nominates the best of what they read, but there's little overlap, so 50 different things got a few votes each. If Monster Hunter fans show up in force of course they're going to win. I want to know what the top works are from a broad array of fans, so I can read the best and then nominate the best of the best.


  18. Elizabeth Sandifer
    September 4, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

    I don't think tactical voting is against the spirit of the Hugos, honestly. I think it's what everyone does when they ask themselves things like "should I bother nominating this Big Finish audio" or "should I nominate this obscure short story that five people read?" The choice between using your five slots for oddball idiosyncrasies and things that might affect the final ballot is always there, and everyone makes it.

    It's just that it doesn't usually matter which one you choose, because there aren't usually a bunch of jackbooted thugs trying to take over the awards.


  19. TheWanderfound
    September 5, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

    As was shown by this year's results, Noah Ward is perfectly capable of "defending" the Hugos already. Your campaign is a spectacularly bad idea.


  20. Unknown
    September 7, 2015 @ 5:03 am

    I'd say that one or more slates, against one or more counter-slates, is materially worse than just "one or more slates". Slates are a bad idea, no matter if they happen to promote works I like well, or works I like less well.

    I would be a much happier person if anyone who talks about "slates" instead present the top (say) 15-20 works in each category (work count chosen to be a healthy multiple of the 5 finalist slots), to let people form their own opinion.

    If the problem is "people are not aware", reviews and/or larger lists accomplishes that fine. If the problems is "slates are anathema", anti-slates are not useful. If the problem is "stuff I don't like clog up the final shortlist", 'no award' may be appropriate. At no point is "anti-slates" useful


  21. Charles Rector
    September 13, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

    First off, are you going to nominate blogs as "fanzines" and bloggers as "fan writers"? If you do that, then you are going to unnecessarily alienate traditional fanzine fandom just like the slates did.

    Also, how are you going to compete with all those puddy tat websites for search engine rankings?

    Charles Rector,
    Editor, Fornax


  22. Ken Marable
    December 23, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

    I love your idea here! Now that we are hitting the end of the year and people are starting to talk more about nominations – would you consider an open thread for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) as well?

    I am trying to collect links to recommendations from all over the place at my Hugo Recommendation Season blog (the idea being 3 seasons to the process – recommendations, nominations, and voting). Currently, I’m trying to get people to recommend Short Dramatic Presentations, and it would be great to direct them here if they don’t have a blog or whatever and want a space to post recs. I will certainly point them here for the other open threads.

    Either way, thank you for doing this! It’s exciting seeing the increased interest in nominations this time.


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