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sg1 poke

Weirded out and speaking my mind

Congratulations to everyone who made the Finals in the Sparky's for 2005

Jeff and Cass did a fabulous job pulling together this contest and I admire their hard work. They wrote up a small rant on Kansas that sticks with me. Is is favortism or true judge of value that generates the voting patterns seen in the past two Sparkys? Franky, I lean towards quality. Definitely Feldman, Cofax, Kernel Crash, Reefrunner, Thea, Kixxa, OneEye, Red, et. al deserve the recognition they recieved in being nominated over and over again in many catagories. I was pleased to see some new names and saddened that some of the other stories (notably Cathy1967's The Vanishing) was not nominated at all. Yet, I agree with the high caliber of nominations. So what is Jeff and Cass's beef? How does one judge what is good except that one likes it?

I am just honored to be in the running with such a diverse and talented group of writers.

Comments

Putting the Sparky's together is A LOT of work ... what really needed to happen a long time ago was a custom database built that would make the whole thing automated, freeing Jeff and Cass for the laborous work they undertake every year on these things. As for the voting, I thing it could have been done better, but no one had the time to custom program something. I really wasn't even clear on if you absolutely *had to* choose 5 things from each category or what. For instance, I only voted for stuff I've actually read - and liked ... but I can see how easy it would be to vote for a story just because I recognized the name of who wrote it. If you truly voted for what you liked, then good for you! But I do have a feeling there was a lot of the other going on and that could be what they were eluding to. And I agree with them that there are some things that SHOULD HAVE been on the final list that are not.

well...

...the voting patterns of the last two sparkys are not something new. the contest has always been something of a popularity contest as far back as when maayan was still actively writing in the fandom and being nommed. she actually pulled herself out of contention because of the rampant cheating, stuffing of votes, campaigning, etc.

the fact that there are quality works which every year do get nommed by people who are not active posters or involved heavily on-line or who do not actively align themselves with a voting block is testament to someone rising above that.

do i agree with your list of quality writers? some yes. others no. that's individualism not favoritism. do i think that everything nommed is quality work? no. my opinion. is quality work not nommed because other more 'favorite' stuff is? yes. what that is differs from person to person.

i agree with scorpy. something needs to be done to lighten the load for cass and jeff. in reality, they are the only ones who know what's going on and have no vested interests, so i tend to take what they say at face value and on faith.
I heartily agree that the load of running the Sparky Awards is too great for two people to handle and the amazing thing about the awards is that they happen on time and so beautifully wrought and easy to use. Because the Internet is a virtual medium it is hard to "spread the wealth" of responsibility--harder to do than in a real volunteer organization (which is a bitch to manage in itself). So I would be glad to help where I can.

Hallway, I wasn't putting down Jeff and Cass' work--I remember Maayan's stories and the fuss of that year--it was my first in Farscape fandom and I was really weirded out by the fuss that happened and thought Maayn was very courageous for her choice. I have been following the back and forth on Kansas regarding "Ship" vs. "dark fic" vs. non-ship and think it is rather silly. But that is fandom. I am liking the LJ life better because people are more polite and discussions happen in a forum that is much more civilized.

Writing fiction is a skill and an art and as one matures as a writer/reader I get more sophistocated in my choices of reading matter. I also find that the more I write, the more I recognize the "good" from the unskilled. But anyone who writes should be congratulated for trying. It is a scary thing to do.
I agree with all comments about the Sparky's. It's a buttload of work, but the form is confusing. I had to vote for people I didn't think were as good as my actual choices because I thought it was required to select 5 for each section.

BUT

There is no Shippy vs. Darkfic vs non-ship. I don't know why people keep saying that.
Not anymore Kaz, I agree... but there was. Remember the whole thread that went cranky, on Kansas, right before Crash left as mod? Granted that slid into slash too, but before that it was totally shippy vs. dark and "which was better." ::rolls eyes::

It seems, too, that the pool of writers has changed a lot, and with that comes different trends in voting, I'd think. Some of the writers from the first few Sparkys are no longer active, or active to the degree they once were, and in some cases, I'd argue that the quality of their fic has changed as well--and not necessarily for the better.

The concept of "quality" itself constantly undergoes reassessment, when new writers enter the picture. So I don't know what Cass and Jeff are specifically referring to when they say they noticed clear trends in voting, but... the fics they picked for Second Chance are excellent works. And in my own opinion, the fics that made the final cut are, on the whole, deserving. But I don't believe there will ever be an objective way to run the contest, and in the end, it's not why we write anyway, is it? It's just a nice distraction and a way to compliment writers and works we admire. :)

Whoops. I stopped by just to say that I thought ixchup's post was very reasonable and reflected a lot of my own thoughts and confusion... didn't mean to get sidetracked.

::takes soapbox and slinks out::