July 16th, 2007

Hugo Sign


One of the comments on the Fan Writer Hugo Controversy croggled me sufficiently that I want to quote it here. I'm not meaning to pick on the writer, who comments here and is a BASFA member, but this one sort of surprised me:
...my reading of the WSFS constitution's section on the Hugo awards, taken in its entirety, leads me to believe the purpose of the Fan Writer award is to recognize non-professional sci-fi writers.
Wow. What I'm wondering if this is a widespread opinion -- that "Fan Writer" is taken by a significant number of people as "non-professional, fan-written science fiction." Of course, it's not -- "Fan" doesn't mean "Amateur" in our field; it means "enthusiast," which is not the same thing, and that's why one can be a fan and a pro simultaneously. Nor is "Fan Writer" intended as a category aimed at recognizing "fan fiction." Fan writing is writing about science fiction, fantasy, and fandom. All of the people nominated in that category (and everyone who has been nominated in that category in my memory) have been nominated for their writing about the field, not because of any fiction they've written.
Giants Fanatic

Fan Versus Pro: Fight?

In the ongoing discussions about Fan Writer versus Pro Writer, I've repeatedly made the point (as have others) that "fan" and "pro" are not mutually exclusive states. You can be any of the four possible combinations. (If you're neither fan nor pro, you're not in the field at all, but it's a valid combination.)

I got to thinking about this, and this distinction is true in other areas as well, such as sports. One can be a baseball fan. A few people can be professional baseball players. But a pro can be a fan of the game, too. Some pro baseball players are not fans. Once they end their playing career, they pack away their gear, store it away, and never look at it again. Other former pro players are unabashedly fans of the game, too. Just look at the San Francisco Giants TV broadcasters Mike Krukow & Duane Kuiper. Both of them are former players, and today work as professional baseball broadcasters. But they are both clearly fans of baseball. Everything about they way they carry themselves and talk about baseball screams "fan" to me. And that's not a bad thing.

Update, 18:30: Corrected missing word "not" spotted in comments.
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