Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Hugo Nominations – Best Fan Writer

with 17 comments

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.

Written by Martin

21 January 2014 at 10:26

Posted in awards, sf

Tagged with ,

17 Responses

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  1. Number One is boring. And where is Adam Roberts fan writer?

    Ray Garraty

    21 January 2014 at 14:07

  2. Number One is boring.

    Boring as in it is an unimaginative choice or as in Nussbaum’s writing is dull? If the former then I think it is more of an inevitable choice. If the latter then I disagree, obviously, but would also suggest my list reflects a number of very different writing styles, all of which I appreciate in different ways.

    And where is Adam Roberts fan writer?

    I’ve nominated him in the past and I’ll probably nominate him again but not for 2013. I may well also nominate his Colonel Sanders book when that comes out.


    21 January 2014 at 15:19

  3. Boring as lacking fun and vitality. I wish Adam Mars-Jones had a genre blog.

    Ray Garraty

    21 January 2014 at 16:13

  4. […] His discussion of the Best Fan Writer category is articulate and well-informed, also risk-taking and edgy. I enjoyed his analysis even though the only opinion we share is that Abigail Nussbaum would make a great addition to the Hugo ballot. […]

    Nice Is Nice | File 770

    22 January 2014 at 17:08

  5. Any thoughts on Ted Gioia’s F&SF related posts?

    James Nicoll

    22 January 2014 at 17:19

  6. Conceptual Fiction? This is the first I've heard of it.


    22 January 2014 at 19:40

  7. […] found it very easy to come up with my Best Fan Writer list but Best Fanzine is much harder. This is because, whilst both are historic terms, fan writer […]

  8. […] is mostly a cut and paste of Martin Lewis’ list except I’ve swapped out two of his for two of my own. (I should say that I would normally […]

  9. […] Recommendations For Best Fan Writer […]

  10. […] not present in the other categories. The only other time the word ‘fan’ appears is in Best Fan Writer and there it is as much a description of the type of writing being awarded (writing about […]

  11. […] but only by 841 votes to 820. This makes them them the third and first least voted categories (with Best Fan Writer sandwiched). Would combining the two produce the best of both worlds? New blood, more interest and […]

  12. […] 1) Upstream Color – I remember very clearly the unexpected mindfuck of watching Shane Carruth’s Primer at the Sci-Fi London film festival, stumbling out into Soho dazed. Terrifyingly, that was a decade ago and it is only now that Carruth has followed up his debut feature. It would be a cliche to say it was worth the wait – a cliche Carruth would probably baulk at given his abortive attempts to make other films – but it is a remarkable film, made even more so by extent of the maker’s endevour (Carruth wrote, directed, shot, scored and edited the film as well as playing the lead) It has the beauty of Terrance Malick’s late films with an added intellectual and imaginative heft. It is, in other words, the sort of film that has no chance of getting on the shortlist of the Hugos. Go and watch it immediately and then readAbigail Nussbaum’s four thoughts (a good example of why she should be nominated for Best Fan Writer). […]

  13. […] of the best of internet criticism compiled by one of my Best Fan Writer nominations and some other guy. I don’t own the book but I’ve read the individual pieces. This […]

  14. I’m an avowed fanboy of Abigail Nussbaum, and I’d be thrilled to see her in nominations.
    Time and again, I find that her reviews show me how to think more deeply about the stories I read (and the TV I watch…). For me, Nussbaum’s writing examines entertaintment, and peels away layers and meta-layers with grace, clarity, and professionalism.

    Ziv W

    6 March 2014 at 21:26

  15. […] Best Fan Writer […]

  16. […] Hugo Nominations: Best Fan Writer – Talking awards. Positive. (New […]

    Six | Everything Is Nice

    31 October 2014 at 08:47

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