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At the 2021 Sidewise Awards Ceremony at DISCON III

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
The Convention circuit is definitely an issue with that. WorldCon seems to at least try and not be completely North-America centric, but for the casual first-timer trying something out in the UK, it looks like the most recent dates are Glasgow 2005, London 2014, Dublin 2019 and maybe Helsinki 2017.

Feasible, certainly, but something which requires rather more planning in terms of mindset than, for example, the more generic MCM Comicons which happen annually in several UK locations.

Certainly if I was going to try and do some sort of outreach to a wider audience I'd be aiming for something like that.
 

M_Kresal

I am nerd, hear me bore.
Published by SLP
Location
North Alabama
Another part of it, I think, is that many online AH fans, and SLP forum dwellers in particular, are not regular attendees at science fiction conventions.
I think there's some truth to @SpanishSpy's words here. I've tried attending a couple of general SF conventions, but they were so general (or, in one case, purely literary to the point of having a standoffish attitude toward non-literary SF) that I found them borderline unwelcoming. That said, most of the conventions I've attended since have been Doctor Who centric and it occurred to me too late for this past November's Chicago TARDIS to pitch a panel on AH as a potential topic. I will aim to do so next year, possibly with a Who spin on the topic (the show has featured enough of them across various media over the decades).
 

Meadow

Monthly Kulak
Administrator
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Location
Balham
Pronouns
he/him
Thanks for this report from a very interesting space indeed, @SpanishSpy. I’ve been planning a trip to the states - including Chicago - for some years, and Covid permitting I will see what I will do about attending in person at some stage.
 

Alexander Rooksmoor

Well-known member
Fascinating to read about these two parallel worlds in terms of AH writing. I would imagine there is a one-way door, in that I have read many of the classic AH novels (though I was warned off Jo Walton's for seeming too sympathetic to its subject matter), but I imagine most Sea Lion ones are unknown to people who stay reading just printed books. I did write to Uchronia more than once suggesting they cover ebooks, but did not even get a response, let alone any modification of their policy. We can only hope Kresal's award will open a chink in what seems rather like an iron curtain between the two AH worlds. However, there is nothing to say that this was not an exception that proved the rule which Wallace's article admirably highlights.

Can I suggest Sea Lion launch awards (they need simply be a certificate) for AH ebooks (whether self-published or published) let alone blog and other online content, to raise the profile of them and give more recognition where recognition is due.
 

SpanishSpy

wallowing in my millennialism
Published by SLP
Can I suggest Sea Lion launch awards (they need simply be a certificate) for AH ebooks (whether self-published or published) let alone blog and other online content, to raise the profile of them and give more recognition where recognition is due.
I'd be interested in such an award - perhaps voted upon by the SLP forum membership? This gets muddled a bit when self-published AH often gets both paperback and ebook publication, but I certainly think it's a good idea in principle.

If I could nominate those for this year, I'd choose Between the Helpless and the Darkness by Brent Olson and To Climates Unknown by Arturo Serrano.
 

Jared

fatal softener
Published by SLP
Location
Over the rainbow
While there may have been issues in the past (not sure), the Sidewise Awards are open to things published as e-books only. Matthew Kresal's award was not only published in an e-book only anthology, another story in the same anthology was nominated, and a long form e-book only work (mine) was nominated for the 2019 awards too.

That's not to knock the suggestion of creating an SLP award, but the Sidewise Awards are not closed to SLP books or e-books, either.
 

Gary Oswald

It was Vampire Unions that got us Vampire Weekend
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Pronouns
he/him
While there may have been issues in the past (not sure), the Sidewise Awards are open to things published as e-books only. Matthew Kresal's award was not only published in an e-book only anthology, another story in the same anthology was nominated, and a long form e-book only work (mine) was nominated for the 2019 awards too.

That's not to knock the suggestion of creating an SLP award, but the Sidewise Awards are not closed to SLP books or e-books, either.
Yeah, I think one of the reasons why Matthew's win last week was so exciting was because it meant that there was a path for us, in a (relatively) mainstream award. It proves we're not cut off entirely from that recognition.

Obviously we have a massive disadvantage, we don't have the recognition of other names. But lets be honest we also don't have the sales of them. This company is less than 7 years old, we're having to earn our place and signs are that we are doing that.

Like when Matthew talked about his sidewise award on twitter both Turtledove and Robinette Kowell congratulated him. Turtledove at least does know who we are, because I interviewed him for the blog. It's not entirely one way.
 

Jared

fatal softener
Published by SLP
Location
Over the rainbow
Obviously we have a massive disadvantage, we don't have the recognition of other names. But lets be honest we also don't have the sales of them. This company is less than 7 years old, we're having to earn our place and signs are that we are doing that.

Like when Matthew talked about his sidewise award on twitter both Turtledove and Robinette Kowell congratulated him. Turtledove at least does know who we are, because I interviewed him for the blog. It's not entirely one way.
That's a big part of the picture right there. I've no idea of Turtledove or Robinette Kowell's sales numbers, but I suspect that both of their worst-performing AH works have sold at least an order of magnitude more copies than SLP's bestselling works.
 

SpanishSpy

wallowing in my millennialism
Published by SLP
Yeah, I think one of the reasons why Matthew's win last week was so exciting was because it meant that there was a path for us, in a (relatively) mainstream award. It proves we're not cut off entirely from that recognition.

Obviously we have a massive disadvantage, we don't have the recognition of other names. But lets be honest we also don't have the sales of them. This company is less than 7 years old, we're having to earn our place and signs are that we are doing that.

Like when Matthew talked about his sidewise award on twitter both Turtledove and Robinette Kowell congratulated him. Turtledove at least does know who we are, because I interviewed him for the blog. It's not entirely one way.
In terms of earning our place, our own awards could help with that. The Hugos exist, but so do the Nebulas, the Locuses, the Arthur C. Clarkes, etc. It'd help us get name recognition and advance AH as a genre (as opposed to a weird peripheral outgrowth of broader SFF fandom).
 
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