So, we’ve named the type of fiction we like – stories in which the human wins, or at least goes on fighting, and in which humans in general and often (gasp) Western Culture Subgroup humans are the good guys. Because we’re brats and pests, we named it Human WAVE to tweak the New Wave people as they drown in a morass of grey goo.
Too frank? Well, still true. The New Wavers were the usual smug and artistic lot, and being boomers, they thought they’d be, ah, yeah “Forever Young.” If we let them go on taking themselves way too seriously, they’ll do onto genre writing what the post-war lot have done to every other art, and then no one will read, not even us, because if we want unstructured and hopeless, h*ll, we’ll just look outside the window.
It also behooves our lot to not take ourselves too seriously, not that I think there is a terrible danger of that, given that at least the founding lot are my kind of people – i.e. more likely to pelt a boring speaker with dinner rolls than to stand at a podium and make a boring speech. But still, you never know, we get old and stuff, and well… you know… we might start chewing on our gums and saying things like “I started that Human Wave Stuff and look, it’s the last word in Art with a capital aspired A.” In which case you can point us at this blog post and remind us we’re pests and brats.
Anyway, there is an art to being brats – I’ve been doing it my whole life – and the despair of our elders – been doing that my whole life too. My brother is ten years older. But we don’t have much practice at being brats. At least people my age and up to fifteen years younger (and a few of the boomers who had to put up with the A’tistic ones and who now have all sorts of eye problems, because spending sixty years rolling your eyes is bad for you) have had to be way too serious and get jobs, because the other people were being A’tistic and trying free love and tax-free pot dealing, and looking down their long noses at us for being so “materialistic”.
So, I’m here to guide you. The first part of being a brat is to make your brattiness noticed. Oh, sure, I’ve seen some mentions here and there. But by and large, it’s spreading too slowly. And we want this movement to catch on a) because it will make “a’tistic” types groan and think they’ve lived in vain, b) because we want more readable stuff, right?
Before people think Human Wave is cool and try to imitate it, we must make them know it exists. Besides, a lot of them walked away from the fifth “and then everyone died” supposed space-opera and aren’t reading anymore. We need to let them know we’re here.
Only right now, no one does. We’re out in the hall and making bad jokes, but they can just ignore us. We must get in, so we can throw rubbery rolls at the self-adoring speakers.
Yesterday I had a brain storm and I thought: Awards. (I also made a typo, the rest of you — infants — have been having WAY too much fun with.)
Before you pelt me with rubber rolls – even two years ago, I’d have been the first to say “oh, not awards, they’re SOOOOOOO stuffy.”
But the thing is in indie publishing, and in all publishing as it moves to Amazon and other electronic venues, being able to put on the cover a little seal that says “winner of the blah blah award” (we’re not calling it a blah blah award. No, you can’t talk me into it.) does give you a huge leg up. Most of the readers who are rediscovering SF (or anything else) because they can finally find stuff they want to read, see the Hugo and it doesn’t say to them “Award given by small group of people who attend Worldcon.” They see “Award” which means someone other than the author’s cat read this masterpiece and approved of – or at least finished—it. That means they’re twice as likely to buy it.
So, what I’m proposing is Human Wave Awards. The boy has drawn this stylized human figure that is also sort of a wave, all very art-noveau and respectable-looking, and suitable not only for engraving in cool-award-plaque, but also suitable to make into a round silvery medallion which winners can use on the cover of the book and/or their other books with Human Wave Award Winning Author till the end of times. (And if we make a lot of money, eventually — twenty years from now? — we can give away SILVER medallions with the figure, so it will have pawnable value as well.)
This is why I propose to call it Human Wave Award and not something that would appeal to us more like The Bobby (for Robert A. Heinlein) or the Poul Anderson Memorial Viking Award.
The thing is HOW do we go about organizing, nominating, and making this look respectable – considering that between us we’re more likely to start giggling halfway through and then go out for a beer?
Well, I have a little list. (Not THAT little list. The entire internet doesn’t have enough room for that list. You don’t want to run out of internet, do you?)
1- Those of you legally minded (as opposed to the rest of us, who are misdemeanor inclined, at the best of times) could you tell me what would be the easiest way to organize?
I know becoming a tax-deductible organization is a mess of work, and might not be worth it, at least at the start when I expect there will be tops a hundred of us, and the money just about enough for the nifty looking plaque and to buy the boy an espresso for his art work. (As for WHY we should organize, whomever we elect treasurer should not have to report the $500 [I’m wildly optimistic. Sue me] we get as personal income. Most of the time that wouldn’t make much difference, but if the treasurer is someone like me, with a lot of self-employed income, you’re just piling onto the self-employment taxes and penalties, and it can mean a loss in the end. This means S corp or other pass-through income could be a pain, and besides we’ll likely have a varying – and hopefully expanding – roster.)
2- Now, once we establish the Human Wave Committee of North America – leaving room for human wavers the world over to do their thing – I propose relatively painless yearly dues of $5 or $10, which will buy you the right to vote in the award. Now, you know how these things go – world fantasy has (I think) a nominating committee, smaller than the general membership, which recommends books for the award, and then the members of World Fantasy Convention get to vote. Hugo has a point system depending on how many people nominate you. (I don’t think there’s a Hugo committee, but there might be.) The membership of Worldcon votes. We’re doing this on a shoe string (Sonny, we’ll be lucky if we can afford shoe strings) those big cons might not be the thing for us, and hell, even the Prometheus isn’t presented with the other awards, but in a different ceremony at worldcon. (Because if we could get ours presented on that stage it might be worth it. Very rubber-rolly.) I propose we present the Human Wave Award at Liberty con, because if all else fails, I’ll be there to present it, or we can get my publisher to stand in, or all else failing one of the con organizers. So, I propose to present the award at Liberty con, in July, in Chattanooga TN and for the first one to be presented in 14 (which will give us time to get our act as together as it will ever be.)
I propose that after the organization we elect officers, just so everyone knows what they’re doing: so, a president to keep the others in line; a treasurer to make sure we have the money for our nifty plaque “suitable for hanging”; and an MC to either present the award or make sure someone is around to.
3- And then, with some members (at least three of us!) we can vote on rules, like:
Who gets to nominate? Who gets to vote? Who gets to throw rubber rolls?
I’d like to suggest that members of the organization get to nominate, that members of the organization plus fully paid up members of Liberty con get to vote (Though I’m okay with those two being reversed) and that everyone gets to throw rubber rolls.
I propose that for 2014 because it’s a new award, work going back five years be eligible. That work by serving officers of Human Wave Organization NOT be eligible for the term of service. That five year thing is an option. The other one is to do what the Prometheus does and for some years at least do a retro-award, for work published before the award was instituted. It’s all the same to me.
Now discuss it among yourselves. I have some (more) guest blogging to do because it would be nice to finish the guest blogging for DSR BEFORE AFGM comes out (the fifth. If you haven’t pre-ordered, do so now!) and unfortunately health and other issues have made that highly iffy.
Who threw that rubber roll? I see you, Mister. Anyone have any butter?