Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Virtual Worldcon Day 2: Retro Hugos

I am taking half-days off from work today through Friday, working only from 04:30 to 09:30, which gives me the rest of the day to attend CoNZealand on time. I had some idea that I might spend some of that time taking a nap before Noon, when one of the online party bands that I wanted to attend opened. However, duty called, as we got the material (photos, transcripts) necessary to set up the 1945 and 2020 Hugo Award trophy pages. This involves uploading the photos, linking them into the page, copying and making sure I didn't mess up the material from the artists, and also placing the thumbnail versions of the photos on the 1945/2020 "static" pages. This takes a lot longer than you might expect. Oh, and also when that was done, there was the post to about the trophy reveal from last night.

I got lunch just after 11 so I would be ready to attend the Wizards Tower Press Party at Noon my time, where Cheryl hosted WTP author readings from Tate Hallaway (Lyda Morehouse) and Juliet McKenna, and a cover reveal for Juliet's next novel from WTP, The Green Man’s Silence. (And it is lovely!) Aside from participating in general chat in the first few minutes of the party, I mostly stayed on mute and listened. Besides, I was still working on Hugo/Retro-Hugo material. It is much easier to do this work from my home workstation, but it still takes a lot of time, and much of it simply can't be done until Worldcon itself because the material isn't available, and in this case, because the trophy base designs weren't ready.

There was a one-hour break between the end of he WTP party and the Retro-Hugo Awards ceremony at 11:00 Thursday NZST (16:00 Wednesday PDT where I am; you can use TimeAndDate to convert to your own local time), during which I tried to get caught up on messages, including asking CoNZealand promotions about whether the Retro-Hugo and/or 2020 Hugo Awards ceremonies were going to be online. There was contradictory information out there. It does appear that The Fantasy Network is sponsoring live streaming of the 2002 Hugo Awards ceremony, for which you do not need a CoNZealand membership. (This is something that had been up in the air for a while.) As far as I understood it, the Retro-Hugo ceremony was supposed to be members-only, although from the traffic on Twitter, I get the idea that it was also viewable by non-members. However, that was a mixed blessing for them, due to technical difficulties with the broadcast.

I found it rather challenging to get into the Retro-Hugo Ceremony. The listing in the convention program didn't include the link. I eventually found the link; however, for most of the ceremony, the tech was not up to the challenge. The video hiccuped and froze for long periods of time. It go better as the event went on, so I can only guess that the people working behind the scenes, no doubt wailing in frustration, managed to get it running, but there was a practical problem. While I had an embargoed copy of the Retro-Hugo results (whew!), I could (as the voice of [profile] thehugoawards on Twitter) tweet out the results, but of course not until each category was called. There were so many drop-outs and freezes that there were times when I couldn't be sure that they'd gotten past the announcement. It appears that I did not jump the gun on any category, for which I'm grateful.

I hope that a version of the ceremony is posed to YouTube, because what I did hear of it sounded interesting. The presenters did not just read the finalists, but gave historical context to them while describing the works.

After the Retro-Hugo Ceremony was one of what I think are only two actual in-person CoNZealand events taking place in Wellington: The Sir Julius Vogel Awards for achievement in New Zealand SF/F. Because New Zealand is free of COVID-19, in-person events of New Zealanders gathering could happen. The other in-person event will be the minimal WSFS Business Meeting to be held to pass urgent time-constrained matters and forward everything else on to next year's Worldcon. No word yet whether the Business Meeting will be visible online. It was good to watch the SJV awards and see groups of people applauding and accepting awards in person.

While the SJV's were happening, I was preparing the rest of the Hugo Awards web site pages. First there was a post to announce the winners. To my horror, a few minutes after I'd posted it, I realized that (due to using the previous year's announcement as a template) I had sent out a post entitled 1944 Retro-Hugo Results! I quickly un-published the announcement, deleted the Tweet, fixed that title and file name, and re-posted everything. Whew again!

Next it was time to edit the 1945 Retro-Hugo Award page. Deputy Hugo Administrator Nicholas Whyte provided me with the link to the detailed results and his additional analysis shortly after the ceremony ended, so I could go through the page and reorder the finalists in order of finish and highlight the winners. We already had all of the finalists listed, except one category where we left one out when they were initially announced. No, I'm not going to say who we forgot; nobody said anything at the time, and the lists are correct now.

After the initial reorder, I published the page, uploaded the detailed PDF to the Hugo Awards site, then updated the page again with the links to the statistics and to Nicholas' more informal analysis. Then I Tweeted out the link to the updated page, logged out of the Hugo Awards Twitter account and back into my own, and let out a sigh of relief. I'm still not done yet (the Facebook page needs updating), but that's the worst of it done.

There will be more parties tonight. I don't know how late I will stay because I do have to work tomorrow and I don't function well on four hours of sleep, even from home. Tomorrow I don't have any significant official responsibilities of which I am aware. The item of most interest to me as a Worldcon conrunner is the official announcement of the 2022 Worldcon Site Selection, scheduled for 10:00 Friday NZST / 15:00 Thursday PDT. I expect that Chicago has won (the votes were counted last night), but it will be very interesting to see the details. While normally the official announcement of results would be at the Business Meeting, CZ elected to do the announcement this way due to specific circumstances of this year's virtual convention.

The 2020 Hugo Awards ceremony is not until Saturday morning NZST / Friday afternoon PDT, when I will have another nervous afternoon with Twitter and WordPress. With luck, the bugs in today's Retro-Hugo ceremony will be ironed out for the 2020 Hugo Ceremony, just like the bugs we had with the live coverage in Dublin during the Opening Ceremony/Retro-Hugo Awards were fixed in time for the Main Event.
Tags: conzealand, hugo award, worldcon, wsfs

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