Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stepping Back Up to the Plate

Well, John Scalzi has decided to run as a write-in candidate for president of SFWA. My term as Canadian Regional Director is almost up, and I was prepared to let it all float away, but then some folks came to me and asked me to run for VP. The problem was, it was too late to make the ballot.

But John's right; the candidates for pres and VP are good people, but I don't think they're right for the SFWA of the future that I want to see right now. And so I'm going to piggyback on John's announcement right now and tell you all that I'm offering my name as a write-in candidate for vice president of SFWA. My platform, as written and presented to some folks last month before this all seemed to fall apart, is below:

Vice Presidential Platform for Derryl Murphy

I've done my best to serve SFWA over the past, as Canadian Regional Director (a stint of which I'm done with as of this coming election), as Chair of the Publicity Committee, and probably more that I'm not remembering right now. As my time as CRD has been rolling to a close, I have put a fair amount of thought into whether or not I can do anything else for my fellow authors, and whether or not now is the time to do so.

I believe I can and should. Whether or not it is now is up to you.

I'll spare you all the platitudes about what problems face us as authors. I will tell you that I'm a firm believer in copyright, but that copyright as it exists right now is broken. The creator should have firm control over what is done with his or her work, and that means that SFWA should be involved in processes that help the individual author - not the publisher/corporate entity that, frankly, has enough money and clout to swing its weight around without our help. I believe that it will be important for authors to embrace new digital platforms, that Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a very bad idea, but I'm also aware that at this time the membership of SFWA is remarkably divided on how to approach electronic publishing. With that in mind, how can we educate others when we can't agree on what the teachings are to be? I propose that, while we do not disband the e-piracy committee, we do change the name. Piracy is a loaded word, one that has different connotations for different people. But I also believe that we should be professional authors, writers who are paid for the work we do. Beyond that, I'm open to discussion, and I believe that there are many members whose voices in this matter have not been heard, but need to be.

We need to follow through on the audit program, especially the current and very important audit of Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro. We also need to do something about the disaffection that many of our members are feeling these days, something that needs to be done without turning us into a miniature version of a nanny state. And yes, that means I don't approve of SFWA's Code of Conduct.

For those of you who don't know me: I've been a member of SFWA since the early 1990s. I've had over two dozen short stories published in a variety of markets, and one collection out from a small press. I have a novel making the rounds, but I'll spare you the sob story. I'm a former editor with Canadian small press magazine On Spec, where I also spent a term as Art Director. And yeah, I'm Canadian, but I lived in the US for a short period of time, which in the long run probably doesn't mean anything, but perhaps you'll indulge me.


Good luck, Derryl. Thanks for volunteering to run.

Paul Melko
Yeah, good luck.

I kinda wish you guys had decided this a little earlier, of course, but good on ya for trying.
Good luck, Derryl. I'm glad to see you up here in the exalted realm of SFWA candidates. I hope we can have a formal VP debate on or somewhere else.

I had decided earlier, but even though I thought I was in time, the ballots were at the printers. At that time I thought it not sensible to run, but John has shown me that I wasn't the only one to have these thoughts and that I should at least give folks an option.

the two of you are conspiring to make me change my mind about joining SFWA.

And Like Leah, I never thought I would say that.
It is unfortunate that you're not on the ballot, and I'm afraid that means that the majority of the members won't even know about your candidacy before they vote.

I haven't gotten my ballot yet, and I'm pretty close to Chestertown, so it's possible that there is time for the message to get out.

Good luck, D. I've posted a link on my LJ blog and added a "see Derryl's blog for more info" comment on Leah Bobet's LJ as well. Hope this helps spreads the news -- you'd make a great VP.
I'm really happy you are doing this Darryl. Good luck. I'll spread the word.

Diane Turnshek
Eastern Regional Director, SFWA
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