This year I'm a supporting member of WorldCon for the first time, and I noticed that the Hugo's have a category for Best Fan Writer ("Any person whose writing has appeared in semiprozines or fanzines or in generally available electronic media during 2010."). I do believe Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality counts, and I plan on nominating it.  Even making it onto the ballot will probably expose it to a wider audience.  Is anyone else here a WorldCon member and thinking of nominating MoR?

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The Hugo is for Best Fan Writer (not Best thing written by a fan).

You wouldn't nominate "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality", you would nominate the person who wrote it

Usually a body of work produced in a given year is what's looked at by the members of Worldcon. Nothing says it needs to be non-fiction, though usually most of it is.

I'd planned to try and get HPMOR nominated for Best Novel in the 2011 awards (which will be awarded in 2012). I'm not sure if my personally being nominated for Best Fan Writer makes the work ineligible, or if it would be considered bad sport to try twice.

The same names keep coming up.

I don't know whether Best Fan Writer has ever been given for fiction, but I think that's just habit.

Does this mean that you expect HPMOR to be completed some time in 2011?

I'd planned

Past tense. I hope you didn't fall prey to the planning fallacy...

I am not an IP lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but isn’t there a risk that successfully placing HPMOR on the Hugo ballot for best novel could attract legal attention from JK Rowling and Co? They previously sued the HP Lexicon when it achieved a higher profile (although that situation included the factor of professional publication and compensation, which is not present here), so they’ve already shown that they’re not adverse to lawsuits in the right instance.

Shouldn't be a problem, so long as it doesn't get printed, raise money, or devolve into erotica.

Shouldn't be a problem, so long as it doesn't get printed, raise money, or devolve into erotica.

So Harry and Hermione working together to rationally optimize sex would be a bad idea then? There goes my idea for a second degree fanfic.

Fair point, but that's no guarantee that something as high profile as a Hugo award nomination wouldn't raise flags with the legal team.

Edited to add: Having seen the cost and disruption of litigation from the lawyer's side, I may be more cautious than typical on such matters. But as the article states, JKR still holds the copyright, and even if statements like that in the paper could be used to argue for a safe harbor, I don't think that's a slam dunk response that would automatically get one out of the lawsuit with a minimal expenditure in time and money. Plus ,something like being nominated for a Hugo for Best Novel may still be non-commercial activity (there's no monetary prize), but it's getting closer to the line. [This is still not legal advice.]

You could still put "Hugo-winning author" on future books whether you got Best Fan Writer or Best Novel - and you have a higher probability of getting Best Fan Writer. Remember the Hugos are a popularity contest.

I think I've seen the same work nominated in separate categories in past years. Not sure. Ask Keith Lynch.

Does the fact that it's not finished matter? Can this be fixed by officially extracting its part as a "first volume"?

If you do call it a "first volume," make sure to put the cutoff right after Ch. 63 "TSPE Aftermaths" if possible. It'll make more sense that way because its the end of an arc.

I am in favor of the first volume being standalone, period. I'd rather chapter 64 be listed as chapter 1 of a second work.

That's a good question, I'll look into it and report back. If nothing else, it couldn't hurt.

As I understand it, that award is usually for fan-based nonfiction commentary and news, rather than for fan fiction. Or has this changed?

Not a member, but I'm excited for this possibility.

I found out about this via the sci-fi book club I joined mid last year, and it's actually really cool if you read a lot of sci-fi. For $50 not only do you get to nominate & vote in the final balloting, but you also get a digital copy of every nominated novel, novella, & short story!

Heh. That'd be worth $50 :-)

Good idea. I'd vote at least once for this.