Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Season for Manifestos

As Cheryl has no place to post this at the moment, she asked me if I could post this on her behalf. -- Kevin


In common with several other concerned citizens, I have decided that it is time to announce myself as a write-in candidate for President of SFWA.

You may be wondering what someone one like me who is not only not a member of SFWA, but has never made a professional fiction sale in her life, can bring to the job. The answer is simple: management experience. Most writers work for themselves and have no employees. They are therefore particularly unsuited to run a great corporation like SFWA. I, however, have worked as a consultant, and can therefore spout business jargon almost as fast as Charlie Stross comes up with new ideas. I also read Dilbert regularly and therefore know how a professional corporation should be run. On the back of this experience I therefore present the following ten-point plan of action that I will follow when I am elected.

1. SFWA membership will be replaced by employment contracts. Progression within the organization will be based on a standard set of industry metrics including, but not limited to, words per minute, conventions per year, and signatures per second.

2. While SFWA will continue to be a meritocracy, the current atmosphere of competitiveness between employees cannot be allowed to continue. The Nebula Awards will therefore be scrapped and the Nebula Weekend replaced by a team-building event at which small, collaborative groups of authors will attempt to build complete novels out of Tinkertoy.

3. In the interests of promoting a varied and diverse workforce, SWFA will aggressively recruit employees from among minority groups such as women, ethnic groups, rail fans, robots and giant squid.

4. The old departmental structure of SFWA will be scrapped. Instead of dividing the business into Science Fiction and Fantasy divisions, a new departmental structure more in line with our diversity goals will be adopted. The new divisions will be Books Whose Central Character Is Male, Books Whose Central Character is Female, and Books Whose Central Character Is Neither Male Nor Female Or Both.

5. As part of our career development plan, SFWA employees will be required to attend a course on Cultivating Your Celebrity Status. Tutors will include Britney Spears, Donald Trump, David Beckham, Anna Nicole Smith and James Dean. The objective of the course will be for employees to succeed in playing a story about themselves in a leading celebrity magazine. Suitable subjects for articles include “My LiveJournal Addiction Hell” and “My Nights of Wild Sex with Jeff Vandermeer’s Evil Monkey.”

6. In order to increase market exposure for our product, SFWA will enter a collaborative marketing initiative with World Wrestling Enterprises. All employees will be required to submit sample scripts for wrestling bouts.

7. SFWA will pursue an aggressive campaign of international expansion. An initial hostile takeover bid will be made for the British Science Fiction Association. Once a beachhead has been established, further forays into Europe will be considered. A joint strategic agreement with the Science Fiction Writers of Mars has been concluded with a view to future expansion beyond the solar system.

8. Within a year of taking office I intend to float SFWA publicly on NASDAQ (our symbol with be SFWA). In order to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, employees will need to be aware of the dangers of leaking potentially misleading information about future products. Consequently all discussion of book ideas, and posting of “work in progress”, on blogs and others publicly available forums will be Strictly Forbidden.

9. The name SFWA is not easily pronounceable and does not mean anything to the general public. I will therefore be hiring a team of public relations consultants to design a new name and brand image for the company. Current suggestions for a new name include Wow! and Doh?

10. In order to ensure a continued friendly business climate for our product, SWFA will provide generous support for political parties who promise to actively promote the space program and belief in fantastical worlds. Initial discussions with Karl Rove suggest that the Republicans may be prepared to transfer their allegiance from Evangelical Christianity to Star Wars Fandom if we can demonstrate that we can deliver sufficient votes.

11. SFWA will aggressively pursue our legal claim to innovative technologies first developed by our members. These include patent claims on space flight, robots, nanotechnology, cloning, immortality and talking squid.

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