Hugo Nominations – Best Fan Writer
Of course, awards season means not just this but actually talking about good stuff. I am a Hugo voter this year and I’m planning to post as much about my own nominations list as possible, starting with Best Fan Writer.
1) Abigail Nussbaum – Hands down the best blogger in the field. I am in awe of Nussbaum’s ability to maintain the holy trinity of blogging: writing regularly about a broad range of subjects in depth. Even her brief reading round up posts are more in-depth than a lot of online reviews but she writes at length about books, films and television (and even a bit of Shakespeare). She missed the shortlist by one nomination last year, let’s not make the same mistake in 2014. (As an aside, I’m very pleased to have Nussbaum as an editor at Strange Horizons and I’m glad she still publishes her own reviews there. However, I wish her reviews for SH attracted as many comments as posts on her blog.)
2) Jared Shurin – Probably the best blogger in the field in the UK but also the most fun (for example, slightly off-the-wall stuff like this. As well as this, Shurin is also the best ambassador for a lot of subgenres that don’t get much interest downwards from critics or articulation upwards from fans. Obviously some other people do talk intelligently about, say, epic fantasy but not as consistently or comprehensively. (Pornokitsch is obviously a shared endeavour and though Anne Perry writes less now she’s joined the publishing world, she is still an important part of the blog. I will be nominating Pornokitsch seperately as Best Fanzine.)
3) Nina Allan – I’ve known Allan as a writer for some time but 2013 was the year where she really came to prominence as a critic. She was the most prolific reviewer at Strange Horizons last year (including contributing a Short Fiction Snap Shot) as well as writing extensively on her blog (which doesn’t allow comments – boo!). I have particularly valued her perspective on horror such as in this post on FrightFest.
4) Jonathan McCalmont – McCalmont hasn’t quite done a Mamatas but he is writing noticeably less than he has in the past and 2013 might be the last year he makes a significant contribution to the field. He does still write critically, including for me at the BSFA Review, but his contribution in 2013 was also strongly political. When a fan can put a lot of effort into supporting the Hugos and be made with aggressive stupidity and, ultimately, self-sabotage in response from those overly-invested in the award, the bluff needs to be called. The genre needs more people like McCalmont and fewer like Standlee.
5) Requires Hate – This is a purely political nomination. If there is one thing that holds speculative fiction back, it is its massive complacency. She was a bit quiet towards the end of the year but RH was still a well deserved boot up the arse.