March 12th, 2008

Match Game SF

Thank Goodness for the Reminder E-Mail

This morning I got an e-mail from Hilton hotels reminding me of my upcoming stay at the Doubletree Sea-Tac for Norwescon (and Match Game SF on Friday night). I knew that was coming of course, and almost trashed it without reading. Good thing I looked at it. It showed me arriving on Wednesday, March 19. Whoops! I'm not arriving until Thursday morning, the 20th! I went online and tried to change the date. No joy: if you try to change the dates, it wants to change the room type and you lose the convention rate. I baled out of the online system without making any changes and called the Doubletree customer support number. To my relief, they were able to change the date without causing the room rate to go up to $179/night. With the convention rate being $105/night, it would have been cheaper to leave the reservation untouched, but to try and arrange with the hotel that I'd check-in on Thursday but pay for the unused Wednesday night. Or maybe even to pay the change fee on rebooking my Alaska ticket and go up the night before.
Hugo Trophy

Speak of the Devil

...and he appears. I was invoked this afternoon to enter a discussion about someone's unhappiness with the Semi-Prozine Hugo Category. (Update: She's hidden the post.) I concentrated on the technical issues, but I can also highly sympathize with Cheryl's unhappiness with a definition of "fanzine" that dismisses them as "squeeing about other people's fiction, or writing fanfiction based on someone else's creative property, or gushing over your favorite actor and drawing bizarre little comic strips to honor her/him."

But I can certainly see how some people would think that's all there is to a fanzine, because that's all they've ever seen. In fact, I suspect such people, if forced to read something that's actually been nominated for a Best Fanzine Hugo, would be completely bemused and probably say, "But there's almost nothing about science fiction or fantasy there!" Funny thing, fanzines.

Still, as I wrote over there, the Semiprozine category is more likely to be abolished than it is to be redefined as "fiction magazines paying more than zero, but less than SFWA-defined professional rates."