During recent years there has been a rising tide of dissatisfaction with the fan Hugos among fanzine fans: dissatisfaction with their tendencies towards popularity-pollism and with their loosely defined nature. Popularly voted awards have inherent value, and the Hugos have tradition behind them that makes them indispensable. But the popularly-voted award is not the only kind that exists. People in many varied fields of endeavour value peer-voted awards just as much or more than they do popular ones: for obvious reasons. Science Fiction professionals have such an award: the Nebula. It is time that the actifans of fanzine fandom had one too.
There have been attempts in the past to separate the fan and pro Hugos, or to make the egoboo poll of a single zine the universally accepted index of achievement. They have failed. In the former case they probably failed because fans were not willing to give up the Hugos' prestige. In the latter case, they probably failed because few zines survive long enough to give their polls the cachet of permanence. Also, thoughtful fans have always recognized that a poll run through a single zine is acceptable and valuable only to the regular readers of the source-zine (a circumscribed community defined by the editors), and that the results of such a poll are distorted by the fact that the only zine all the readers receive is the source-zine itself. These shortcomings can be avoided by creating an award that is carefully defined, administered by a committee specifically chosen for that purpose, and independent of any single group, coterie, convention committee, or list of subscribers. An award that will belong to all of fannish fanzine fandom and to fannish fanzine fandom alone will give recognition to those persons who make fanzine fandom worth while.
The Fanzine Activity Achievement awards (a nickname may develop spontaneously) have been in the process of formation since July 1974. They have been the subject of extensive serious discussion by a group of prominent hardcore active fanzine fans and have undergone extensive revision and perfection. This process will continue in the future. If you are interested in being a participant in this process or in the administration of the Awards, please contact the Project Co-ordinator, Moshe Feder, at 142-34 Booth Memorial Ave., Flushing, NT 11355, USA (phone 212-445-7171). You may also contact him if you have any questions about the rationale behind the awards or how to interpret the rules.
The Awards will be announced and presented at an appropriate regional convention to be named later. The Awards are international in scope and it is hoped that eligible fen from every corner of the fannish world will participate in and support them.
In the first year the Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards will be administered by the Ad Hoc committee which conceived and developed them with the help of other interested fans. This Committee currently consists of: Moshe Feder, Linda Bushyager, Mike Glyer, Bill Bowers, Harry Warner Jr., Peter Roberts, Donn Brazier, Mike Glicksohn, Sam Long, Jeff Smith, Don D'Ammassa and Darroll Pardoe. In future years the Committee members will be elected volunteers representative of the broad spectrum of fannish fanzine fandom. The Awards will be solely administered by the Committeeand are not affiliated with any other body or convention. The nomination rules and ballot follow. The Committee encourages all eligible fans to participate and fan publishers to copy and distribute the rules, ballot and introduction.
The microcosm of Science Fiction Fandom has grown so large and diverse that it is no longer possible for one person to know all other members of it, or to read all other members' publications. The type of amateur activity that originally made up the bulk of what is called 'fanac' is in danger of being overshadowed by the actions of semi-professionals, fans of more or less related genres, and people generally unaware of and indifferent to the 'fannish' customs and traditions. The Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards have therefore been established to give presently active fanzine fans who continue to publish in the 'grand old way' the chance for recognition by their peers -those who are best qualified to judge what such fans have set out to do and how well they have succeeded in achieving it. The Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards are not meant to replace already existing popularly voted awards and polls, but rather to supplement them.
No criticism is implied to the other subfandoms and fringe fandoms that have grown up in oar midst; indeed we believe that there should be special awards similar to the Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards for each and every one of them. This Award, however, is for fannish fanzine fans only.
For our purposes, a fannish fanzine fan is defined as a devotee of literary Science Fiction who manifests that interest by involvement in publications dealing with literary SF and with the doings of amateur and pro-fessional literary SF personalities. Such publications are eligible for these Awards if they are fannish fanzines, ie publications which do not pay their contributors and which are published for enjoyment to which any financial profit is incidental.
Please note that the Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards have a structure different from that you may be used to: especially in regard to fanzines and fan editors. This structure was specifically designed to put the maximum stress on quality as opposed to quantity of either readership or issues published, to allow apazines and personal-zines to have some weight in voter deliberation, and to allow newszines and other special-case publications to compete fairly.
The Best Single Issue of a Fanzine award is intended to go to a really outstanding product which, ideally, should be unsurpassed in every way. This category is open to nomination by all because we believe that such an issue can only result when there have been outstanding contributions from all concerned (editors, writers, artists, and LoC writers). This award could go to a great issue of an established zine or to a oneshot or to a truly remarkable first issue. Keep in mind that this is a new category and should not be thought of as analogous to the Hugo 'Best Fanzine' category. It is the Best Fan Editor award that fills that role, just as the 'Best Pro Editor' category has replaced 'Best Prozine'. In making your nominations in this category be sure to consider not only the best fanzine of a potential nominee, but also anything else he may have pub-lished during 1974, including personalzines, apazines or oneshots. Remember that editing is a broad-spectrum skill encompassing magazine design and reproduction, the combination of articles and copy editing selection of art and its combination with text, lettercol editing,etc.
In all of the following definitions, the word 'fanzine' means fannish fanzine as defined in the Preamble; the word 'fan' (or any of its derivatives) means fannish fanzine fan as defined in the Preamble. In all categories, the work to be considered is that which appeared in the previous calendar year (at present, 1974).
1.1 Best Single Issue of a Fanzine
1.2 Best Fan Editor: To the editor(s) who showed the most skill in every area of editing in his total fannish publishing output. This may be awarded to either an individual editor, a couple or a small group working as a team.
1.3 Best Fan Writer: To the author of the best fanwriting including articles, essays, editorials, reviews, stories or mailing comments.
1.4 Best Fan Artist (Humorous)
1.5 Best Fan Artist (Non-Humorous)
1.6 Best LOC Writer: To the author of the best published letters of comment (LoCs). The nominee must have written at least two letters which were published in different fanzines.
1.7 No Award Because it is hoped that the winners of the Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards will be those persons who are not merely the best in any given year -- no matter how thin a year it may have been -- but also those who have reached a distinctively high level of achievement as defined in the individual minds of the voters, the 'No Award' option shall be available to the voters in every category of the final ballot.
2.1 Nominations will be accepted until April 19th.
2.2 Nominators may not nominate themselves or their own fanzines, but they may nominate persons whose work has appeared in their fanzines. Non-existent or hoax personalities may not be nominators.
2.3 Fane may be nominated in as many categories as they are properly eligible. Artists may be nominated in both the Humorous and Non-Humorous Artist categories.
2.4 Up to four nominations may be given in each category without order of preference.
2.5 All nominations must be accompanied by a donation of at least $1 US or equivalent local currency (50p in UK) and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the appropriate agent. Nominators need pay no further fee for voting. Those who do not nominate may vote by proving their eligibility and paying the $1 fee.
2.6 For peer awards to have any meaning, it must be ensured that the nominators and voters are actual peers of those whom they are nom-inating (and voting for). To enable the Committee to determine eligibility, a space will be provided on the ballots in which participants must cite fanzine appearances which qualify them for each of the categories in which they are nominating (or voting). In the eligibility requirements for nominating listed below, the word 'fanzine' means fannish fanzine as defined in the Preamble; the word 'fan' (or any of its derivatives) means fannish fanzine fan as defined in the Preamble. The qualifying activity must have occurred in the previous calendar year.
2.6.1 Nominations for Best Single Issue of a Fanzine will be accepted from anyone eligible to nominate in any other category.
2.6.2 Nominations for Best Fan Editor will be accepted from anyone who has published a fanzine.
2.6.3 Nominations for Best Fan Writer will be accepted from anyone eligible to nominate in the Best Fan Editor category and anyone who has written one or more published articles, essays, editorials, reviews or stories.
2.6.4 Nominations for both the Best Fan Artist (Humorous) and the Best Fan Artist (Non-Humorous) categories will be accepted from any fan artist who has had work published in either category. He may nominate in either category, or both, regardless of in which category his own work is eligible.
2.6.5 Nominations for Best LoC Writer will be accepted from anyone who has written at least two letters which were published in different fanzines.
3.1 The Committee has the sole authority for determining nominee, nominator, and voter eligibility. The Committee may move nominees into more appropriate categories if necessary. The Committee reserves the right to disqualify nominees or nominators whose credentials do not meet the requirements of the Preamble or which were obtained improperly.
3.2 Committee membership will not disqualify a fan from nominating or being nominated. The responsibility for counting ballots will be reserved to those committee members who have not been nominated.
3.3 The Committee will publish THE ZINEFAN to facilitate the administration of the awards. Because of financial and practical considerations, THE ZINEFAN will be available only at the Committee's discretion to those whom the Committee feel sure will make a contribution. No one will receive THE ZINEFAN who does not respond to at least every other issue.
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