The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding works in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres dealing with issues, themes and characters of special relevance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.
The name of these awards is The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards.
The Physical Award
Each award currently consists of an etched image on lucite on a stand, using a spiral galaxy in a triangle logo, based on the logo of the group that initially founded the Award, the Gaylactic Network. The award winner's name, work title, award year and award category will be etched on a small plaque on the base or on the plexiglass itself. A small cash stipend is also awarded to winners in the Best Novel and Best Short Fiction categories. The cost of the awards is met through individual donations and fundraising events.
Categories may change from year to year. Currently, there are three regular categories. In addition, the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards judges induct works into the Hall of Fame. An open nomination/recommendation process is used to identify works to be considered by the judges.
Best Novel - The best science fiction, fantasy or horror novel released during the prior calendar year in North America that includes significant positive GLBT content.
Best Short Fiction - The best science fiction, fantasy or horror short fiction work released during the prior calendar year in North America that includes significant positive GLBT content.
Best Other Work - The best science fiction, fantasy or horror work released in any non-novel, non-short-fiction medium during the prior calendar year in North America that includes significant positive GLBT content. This includes comic books, graphic novels, movies, television episodes, multimedia, anthologies, story collections, gaming products, artwork, music or other.
Hall of Fame - Any science fiction, fantasy or horror work in any format released prior to 1998 that includes significant positive GLBT content may be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame inductees are selected solely by the Judges for the Spectrum Awards.
Awards are given in a particular year for works originally released during the prior calendar year in North America in English. Publication/Work Release Date will be based on copyright date for first printing for written works, cover date for magazines and comic books, release date for films, first air date for television, and by other generally accepted means for other work types. In the event that no easily identifiable Work Release Date can be established, the Judging Committee will make a determination of what Release Date to use. The judges may, at their discretion, extend eligibility for a work due to oversight, confusion regarding release dates, or availability.
Works must be "professionally" published and/or distributed to be eligible for consideration and must be wholly original. Works for consideration must follow all copyright and trademark law guidelines.
The guiding principle in the judge's decisions will be to give any relevant work an opportunity to be considered by the judges during an award cycle. The decision of the Judging Committee will be final.
Recommendations are accepted from anyone. The closing date for receipt of Recommendations will be determined annually based on the date of the Award Presentation. Generally, the Closing Date for Nominations/Recommendations will be between March 15 and April 30.
Recommendations will be accepted via postal mail, via email, via web submission, or by hand at selected conventions where a representative of the Judging Committee is on-hand to accept them. Recommendations should include the name of the recommended work, the category it is being recommended for, the name(s) of the author(s)/creator(s) of the work, the publisher/releaser of the work, and any other relevant identification information about the work. In addition, Recommendations should include at least one form of contact information for the individual making the recommendation in case the Judges need additional information. Finally, Recommendations should include a brief description of why the work is recommended for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award.
The Jury will review each Recommended work and based on review and discussion will identify a short list of Recommended Works in each category. In addition, a winner (or, in some cases, winners) will also be identified for each category.
A committee of Judges will be comprised of volunteers from the genre and GLBT communities. One member of the committee will serve as the Award Administrator. The Award Administrator will gather submitted Recommendations, coordinate discussions, produce any required correspondence, arrange for obtaining sample copies of final nominee works, arrange for the physical award creation, and serve as the administrative center for the committee.
Final voting will be done by the Judging Committee (the Jury). The committee will attempt to obtain sample copies of finalist works, but committee members will be responsible for obtaining copies of works for which review copies cannot be obtained. Voting will run from the end of the nominations period until shortly before that year's Awards Presentation date. The Judges will discuss the works before making their decision. The Judges will be allowed to make their final decision by whatever method they select as a group, whether that be a discussion leading to consensus or an actual vote of some form.
The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards will be presented at a science fiction convention annually, at a convention chosen by the Judges. Preference for presentations will be given to conventions with a significant GLBT fan attendance, usually Gaylaxicon or the World Science Fiction Convention.