LadySmith (lady_smith) wrote in auroraawards,

Frequently Asked Questions


So, what's going on? What the frell are Aurora Awards?
The Aurora Awards are fan-run awards honouring excellence in Farscape Fanfiction. They take the place of the previous Sparky Awards, and hope to continue the tradition set by both The Sparky's and their predecessor far into the future.

"Oh, man! You wanna take a stroll down memory lane?"
Pretty much, yeah. :D The idea is to find the best in Farscape Fanfiction this year and bring the fandom together in celebration of these expressions of our love for this fahrbot SciFi show.

Why "Auroras"?
Because "The Sparky's" was taken. Seriously, while officially these are the 2007 Farscape Fanfiction awards, in past years, The Sparky's have become synonymous with the awards. And while that's fine, it was ultimately decided that "The Sparky's" was Jeff and Cass' signature, and it should be retired when they did out of respect. But don't let the name change fool you – these are the seventh year of these awards, and that is being taken into account for things like the Hall of Fame and the lifetime Achievement awards.

Okay, fine, but why "Auroras"?
Oh! Heh. Well, BlueBanikBaby had the brainwave that since these were being run by Kazbaby and herself, the new name should reflect that. And since Kazbaby is a fan of John angst, and BBB is a fan of Stark angst, the common ground was self-evident. There's also the small fact that we anticipate that by the end of this, Kaz will be sweating and giggling a lot and singing "Daisy, Daisy" and BBB will be building code keys out of bits of metal and screaming at people to get off her mat. Seriously though, considering the fact that the fanfic writers get inside the heads of each character, and pulls you along for the ride, what other name would be more fitting?

You're aware you're both quite hopelessly insane, right?
BBB likes to maintain she's "Stark Raving Mad" but yes. We know. You don't have to be utterly 'round the bend to run the Farscape Fanfic awards, but oh Goddess, does it help.

Can we give you money and other gifts for taking on such a task?
[Kaz:] No, all we need is the satisfaction that quality writing is acknowledged by those that read the work of the authors who are frelling nuts for coming up with some of this crackfic. But if you happen to have a spare John Crichton *looks over at bluebanikbaby* ...or a Stark clone...we won't complain. *bats eyelashes*
[BBB:] but not Biloids. Or Virtual Reality clones. Or ones that look like Raelee Hill. I'm picky.

What's changed?
From last year – a great deal. From The Sparkys in general – not as much. Perhaps the biggest change is the timetable – nominations aren't opening until the new year, and the awards aren't going to finish until mid-March. The word-count lengths for fic categories have been completely revamped – see the category list for details. The "five nominations only" rule from last year is being scrapped and replaced by "one nominations per category per person". We've gone back to having multiple rounds of voting. We've brought back a couple of old awards, some with new names – for example, Lifetime Achivement: Fic is now the Hidden Memory Award - and we're introducing some brand new categories like Best Smut and Best BadFic/CrackFic. We've changed the eligibility for Best Drabble, and eliminated the "Best Fan-Based Website" award – fanfic-based sites only! Best MiniSeries Continuation has been replaced by Best Farscape Continuation. We've also completely changed the way "Sparky's Second Chances" (now the Déjà vu Award), Best Author: Lifetime Achievement (now just Lifetime Achivement), and Best Overall are adjudicated – please see the rules for further details.

Oh, and the website looks totally different – you may have noticed, we've got a theme going here, and it ain't Buckwheat the sixteenth. ;)

What's the difference between best smut and best romance?
Smut doesn't have to be romance. And romance doesn't have to have smut. Best Romance is about the love, the relationship and emotions between the characters. Best Smut is about the sex, the sensuality – even if the act's not depicted explicitly, it can still be pretty damn sexy. Yes, a fic can be both – but you're evaluating it for different things in each case.

Can I nominate a crossover fic for an award even if it's not for the crossover category? What if it's not set in the Farscape universe, just a story in another universe with Farscape characters/races in it?
Absolutely! Just because a story's a crossover doesn't stop it from also being a good comedy, romance, drakfic etc, or having excellent Chiana characterization or a good OC.
Basically, if there's Farscape elements in it, it's a Farscape fic, and thus eligible for categories like any other farscape fic.

The only time it's not okay is nominating an OC who doesn't belong to the Farscape universe (i.e. isn't from a Farscape race or the Farscape version of Earth) or trying to nominate Best Characterization: Other for a non-farscape character in a crossover. (It doesn't matter how well written Cameron Mitchell is – he has no place in these awards.)

What's the difference between DarkFic and Drama?
Drama is about extremes of emotion – the readers should be swept along, feeling great pathos for the characters – whether that's great sorrow or great joy. DarkFic takes that just a bit further – it's about seeing how much punishment a character can take, whether physical or emotional, and/or about the result of that .kind of punishment – dark and shattered remains of familiar characters, or even the canonical darkness within. Both can end happily – but in DarkFic, that happy ending should be bittersweet. Not all Dramas are DarkFic – and not all Darkfics are Dramas. Dramas tell a story. Darkfics sometimes just wallow in a single character's perceptions or emotions.

What's a CrackFic/BadFic, and how's it different from a comedy?
CrackFics are fics that read as if the person who wrote it was utterly on crack - utterly improbable things happen with no real explanation as to why, the fourth wall is blown to smithereens, fictional characters from different fandoms and even real people meet each other (without it being worked into a crossover framework like "parallel worlds" or anything - they just, oh, for a random example, show up at summer camp together), people turn into llamas or gingerbread cookies for no apparent reason, there are fire-breathing cows... Basically, any fic in which the normal rules of realistic storytelling are suspended for comic effect. BadFic (which is not just fic that is bad) is a related genre in which a fic is written very badly on purpose, also for comic effect. Horrible and/or exaggerated characterization, bad spelling, bad grammar, two dimensional original characters – everything that can go wrong will go wrong in a BadFic, but in such a way as to make it obvious the author meant to do it. Both CrackFic and BadFic are breaking the rules on purpose to be funny – a story so bad it's good. They're pure parody. And while both are hilarious, they're not all there is to Comedy – Comedy should be more conventional fics, either narrative or character study – that still make us bust a gut.

What the heck is "ampersand"?
Well, technically it's a punctuation mark: & is an ampersand. In fic, it indicates a "pairing" - but not a romantic one. A "friendshippy" fic as opposed to a "shippy" fic. So a John&D'Argo fic is about the two of them being best buds, and how they relate, exploring their relationship on a platonic or familial level, while a John/D'Argo fic is about them being (possibly unrequited) lovers, and how they relate on a romantic or sexual level. A good example of an "ampersand" episode is Rhapsody in Blue for John&Zhaan. There's a lot of love and affection in that episode - but it's not exactly shippy, is it? And when Zhaan tells John and Aeryn she loves them right before she dies - she's hardly proposing a threesome! These fics are about love between characters - just not the kind that gets expressed romantically. Fics exploring the bonds between family members tend to be ampersand, too - even if you wouldn't call it friendship exactly.

What's a Farscape Continuation and how's it different from Future Fic?
Best Farscape Continuation is about how the Authors propose Farscape, as a story, goes from where we left off, with the characters we know and love. It's the evolution of the "Best 4.22 Resolution" category. It's about how an Author envisions the setting of Farscape developing and continuing, and thus is an Element and not a Genre, and is open to both Fics and Series. Basically, what we're looking for is "Best Season Five/Six" (depending on how you want to count the Mini). FutureFic, on the other hand, is a fic that takes place… well, in the future. It should have a distinctive break between Farscape and its setting, whether temporal or thematic or both. It's about where our characters or their descendents end up. Best Farscape Continuation is about the next chapter in the Farscape story – Best Future Fic is about what happens AFTER Farscape as a story is done.

What's a drabble?
A drabble is a 100 word fic – not including title. Period. End of Story. A Drabble Fic is a fic composed of a series of Drabbles that tell one coherent story – or, if you prefer, a story cut up into clearly delineated hundred-word sections – each of which might have its own title, or might not. They are both forms of writing that pose their own unique challenges over and above the usual ones involved in telling a story. If we get sufficient nominations, this category might be split up.

That's not what I call a Drabble!
Maybe, but – sorry for the bluntness – you're not running these awards, are you? This is what the mods understand the word to mean, this is how they're using it, end of story.

What's a Filk/Song Parody/Poem/Haiku/Limerick?
Things that are fictional, but not exactly fics. Filks are folks songs for the Farscape universe and its fandoms – either original songs or new lyrics to well known ones. Poems are self-evident – but two kinds in specific warrant definition. A Haiku is a shot poem consisting of a line of five syllables, a line of seven syllables, and a final line of five syllables that contains a revelation or new idea about the topic. A limerick is two rhyming lines with a specific intonation scheme: duh-DAH-duh duh-DAH-duh duh-DAH-duh, followed by two shorter rhyming lines with the scheme: duh-DAH-duh duh-DAH, finished with a fifth line with the rhyme and intonation of the first two lines of the poem.

Why are you running the awards through Livejournal?
We're NOT. Due to various circumstances beyond our control, there was a delay between the announcement going up on the LJ community and it going up elsewhere. Also, while we didn't have a website have a website for a long time, we do now – the LJ comm is merely a centralized place for sponsors to discuss issues concerning fic nominated. You do not need an LJ account to vote, and while it would help if you had one to sponsor, that's not mandatory either. At this time, you don’t need an LJ account to make suggestions, just please be considerate and leave your name on the reply so we can thank you for taking the time to do so.

Okay, So where the frell is this much vaunted website?
It's here: - a change from the old Sparkys site, which we WERE going to use, but... to make a long story short, we got frelled by our provider.

Wait a minute – what do you mean by "category" anyway? Can I only nominate one best Drama fic? Can I only sponsor Best Comedy: Long?
You're right – that's not very clear, is it? When we say everybody gets one nomination and vote per category – we mean all the subcategories, too. So in total, as it stands you get 83 nominations (including all the Author, Beta, and Website awards) - and since the subcategories might grow and shrink during the first round, you have the potential to have even more (or fewer) votes than that.

But what if I don't think there was a "Best Romance: Scorpy/Braca: Long" this year? And what if I don't think any of the nominees for Best Novel are any good? And what if I don't read darkfic at all?
Then don't nominate one, and/or don't vote in that category. Just because you get 83 (or more!) nominations and votes doesn't mean you have to use them. It's possible nobody wrote any long stories with significant amounts of Noranti characterization in a given year, let alone one good enough to deserve an award! But because we don't want things falling through the cracks just because they're slightly less common, we've included them. Please don't vote for or nominate something just to fill a category. Only vote and nominate something if you really, truly believe it deserves to be honoured.

Where's the Best [whatever] Category?
Clearly, it slipped our notice. Do feel free to sponsor that category – but you need to make a case for it not being included in another category!

What stories are eligible?
Anything posted between January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006 – except for those exceptions mentioned in the rules.

What do Jeff and Cass have to say about this?
Surprisingly good things, actually. :D
[Jeff:] Cass and I offer our humble support and encouragement in this endeavor to continue the tradition of Farscape Fanfiction Awards
[Cass:] I look forward to seeing the new incarnation of the awards, and I'm glad someone was brave enough to take it on. Good luck y'all!
…as well as quite a few disparaging things about our sanity, but we've covered that.

How can I help?
Well, we'd still really like people to get the word out as much as possible, and pimp the Auroras wherever you think people would be interested! Kaz has made a nifty banner (with more to come) and placing that banner in your LJ or Forum signature with a link back here would be oh so very helpful!

HTML Link:

Forum code link:

I've got more questions! How can I get a hold of you guys?
At Or you can respond to this post.

Are you done now?
Not in the least. We're going to be updating this FAQ when we have more answers – – and we're sure you have more questions. So please keep your eyes on this spot – and thanks for all your help!
Tags: faq

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