Volume 16, Number 1, Summer, 1998

New judging system implemented for 1998

LFS members overwhelmingly approved two new awards committees during the recent reorganization: the Prometheus Finalist Judges Committee and the Hall of Fame Finalist Judges Committee.

Some things haven't changed: All Basic and Advisory members continue to have the right to nominate past-year novels for the Prometheus Award and classic fiction for the Hall of Fame. Advisory members will continue to cast a final ballot to choose the Prometheus winner from five finalists, just as all Basic and Advisory members will be able to cast a final ballot to choose the Hall of Fame winner from five finalists.

The big difference: The job of choosing a smaller field of nominees has been delegated to the two committees. It's a three-stage process: 1) Everyone nominates, 2) Judges choose finalists, and 3) Advisory members select the Prometheus winner, while Basic and Advisory members choose the Hall of Fame winner.

Both committees have begun their work. Nine people volunteered for, and were elected to, each committee for this first trial year. Victoria Varga chairs the Hall of Fame committee, which includes Tod Casasent, Charles Curley, John Fast, Chris Hibbert, Carol B. Low, Lynn Maners, William Stoddard and Fran Van Cleave. Michael Grossberg chairs the Prometheus committee, which includes Jon Fast, Steve Gaalema, Chris Hibbert, Victor Koman, Tom Lauerman, Lynn Maners, Adam Starchild, and Claire Wolfe. Judges will obtain and read the nominees this winter, discuss the merits of the nominees with other judges, and whittle down the list to five solid finalists that hopefully are well-written and libertarian in theme by April.

Once the awards finalists are known, they will be announced to the general membership. Publishers of the five Prometheus Award finalists will be notified and asked to send copies to all Advisory or Life members except for the nine judges who've already received and read the books. The idea is that members will have more time to read fewer and better books under this new system. We're aiming for a final voting deadline of July 1, when we also hope to elect the next year's slate of LFS finalist judges, and the usual awards ceremony will occur the first week of August at the Baltimore Worldcon.

We'll see how this new system works and reconsider approaches and improvements for next year. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know!

Award Notes

Due to the fact that a committee of judges will select the five finalists, the requirement that each book receive at least two nominations to qualify has been waived. Nominated as a short story.

Michael Grossberg has nominated The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlyn, by T. H. White, as one entry, since White wrote them as one novel before the strongly libertarian anarchist Merlyn chapters were "censored" during WW II. There's precedent: the Illuminatus! trilogy was nominated and won as one entry.

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