Hugo Choices 10: Best Fan Artist

Previously on Hugo Choices:

Current Hugo State of Play

Hugo Choices 1: Best Novel

Hugo Choices 2: Best Related Work – The Story of Moira Greyland

Hugo Choices 3: Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form

Hugo Choices 4: Best Short Story

Hugo Choices 5: Best Fanzine

Hugo Choices 6: Best Fan Writer

Hugo Choices 7: Best Editor – Long Form

Hugo Choices 8: Best Semiprozine

Hugo Choice 9: Best Graphic Story

Best Fan Artist

The choices are:

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Matthew Callahan. Uses photography and digital effects to create realistic war scenes of Imperial Stormtroopers using models. Clever take on war photojournalism.

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : disse86. Mainly fantasy and comic book studies of faces. Effective and well done.

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Kukuruyo. Samey manga-ish stuff. Appears to have been nominated solely on the basis of his unfunny GamerGate comic strip.
  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Christian Quinot. Moody sci-fi and fantasy art. All good stuff.

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Steve Stiles. Veteran fanzine cartoonist with a 70s/80s style. Fun.

A tricky one to rank. The most similar are disse86 and Christian Quinot. Least good is Kukuruyo. Callahan and Stiles are producing work that doesn’t make sense to compare one with the other.

1,2,3,4. Stiles, Quinot, disse86, Callahan

5. No Award

6. Kukuruyo


Violence as a measure of racism

The blog’s pet gadfly/troll made a confused point in response to this post. He suggested using measures of violence as a way of testing whether racism had been a factor in the Brexit vote rather than just directly observing what had occurred on the campaign:

I propose an external reality check: violence! Look and see what group or set of groups is doing the majority of violence out there in England, Scotland and Wales, and against who. If its white people randomly attacking non-white people, then I think your accusation of racism has some merit.

It was not a well thought out remark. Aside from anything else he had just finished claiming that only “double blind” studies could really show anything. Also, it ignores all the other reasons why there might be violent crime. While we can’t conduct a controlled experiment (either practically or ethically) any such examination needs to make some degree of control by looking at the relevant crime.

The right kind of study to conduct would be to look at how violent crime at groups being targetted by racist rhetoric is changing either in quantity or in kind or in severity. While not conclusive, that allows a degree of like-for-like comparison.

This is where the comment, perhaps made flippantly, touches on a tragic element of the campaign. Organisations and the police have been collecting data on such changes. One such organisation was due to have a report on rises in such attacks discussed in parliament by a person who had a long history of work in refugee rights. Sadly and appallingly the person was Jo Cox – the British MP murdered during the course of the campaign.

She was planning to address parliament later this month to introduce a report she had been working on with the Islamophobia watchdog Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), the group’s director said. The study is expected to conclude that there were about 80% more attacks on Muslims in Britain in 2015 than the year before.

“She met us to talk about how people could report attacks; particularly women in her constituency,” said the founder and director of Tell Mama, Fiyaz Mughal, on Sunday.

The report is the latest in an annual series on the prevalence of Islamophobic attacks. “We were hoping she would highlight the impact on Muslim women; particularly given the targeting [that exists],” Mughal said. “The majority [of incidents] at street level were [on] women and she was going to raise that.”

He added that the study was based on data from his organisation and three police forces.

Mughal expects to conclude that Tell Mama saw 1,100 Islamophobic attacks in 2015 – an 80% increase on the previous year. The three forces reported a further 1,200, from which the watchdog had extrapolated to give a national estimate, he added. Mughal also said many attacks are never reported.

So possibly if we use increases in violent attacks on groups targetted by racist rhetoric as a measure we do see an increase – I don’t think the report is published yet. Was there such an increase during the campaign itself? That is also too early tell.

Now one thing that is notable in terms of reported cases of verbal and physical abuse of Muslims outside of the internet is the other side of who is attack whom. By the ‘other side’ I mean another factor in the disparity in violence which the comment alluded to. I’ll quote it again “Look and see what group or set of groups is doing the majority of violence out there in England, Scotland and Wales, and against who.”

In the case of data collected on Muslims, it is notable that Muslim *WOMEN* are more likely to be targetted and the perpetrators are more likely to be *MEN*. Which is both notable, appalling and sadly expected. Who? Men. Against who? Women.

But let’s put the racism aside for a moment. In society IN GENERAL where is the bigger disparity, whether we look at racist violence or violence within a given community? It remains men attacking women. That does not mean there is not lots of violence between men nor does it mean there are no cases of women being violent to men but that is not what was proposed as a measure. Who against who.

The disparity is so big and so consistent that it always should be noted. Indeed if we compare the extreme rhetoric we see from the right about certain ethnic groups in response to violence, I am struck by how moderate even the most vocal of feminists are in comparison.


#Brexit map from The Guardian

This is how the vote tracking map on the Guardian website now looks:


The map is proportional to population so provides a goodish view of how the country split. The giant yellow ball in the south is London. Scotland is at the top and Northern Ireland out in the sea. Typically major cities voted Remain. Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds in the north voted Remain as did Bristol in the South West and Cardiff in Wales but notably Birmingham in the midlands voted Leave.

But it isn’t an urban/rural split. Former industrial towns in the north typically voted leave including Wigan and St Helens sandwiched between Liverpool and Manchester.


Looks like #Brexit won…

Oh bugger.

Some initial thoughts with the proviso that I’ll change my mind later.

  • Right showed they can win a vote by using racist fearmongering about immigration against a backdrop of service cuts and economic insecurity. That is scary but sadly not news.
  • Leave won and hence UKIP et al won and people even further to the right will be cheering. However, they haven’t won *control* over something – that is slim good news.
  • There will be all sorts of consequences of this decision many of them immediate and many of them not liked by people who voted ‘leave’. In particular, the vote has shown deep regional divisions in the UK.
  • Because the vote is not automatically binding there will be a temptation to nullify this in Parliament. The worse things look (e.g. plunging pound as I write) the more it will look to some that there is a moral imperative to reject the vote to save the economy or to save the union etc. I think that is a bad idea.
  • Distrust of institutions and political leadership are part of the problem here. That trust needs to be rebuilt for civil society to function and that can’t happen if the result of the referendum isn’t honoured.
  • [eta] However, the process to leave isn’t short – policy changes based on actual changes of public opinion are a different matter.
  • Object lesson to right leaning mainstream parties everywhere: don’t outsource your internal disagreements to a wider political vote. All you achieve is exporting your own toxicity to everybody else.
  • The UK can exist and eventually prosper outside of EU but it may not be able to stay the UK.
  • Yes, this really is the f’cking tories fault. Don’t blame SNP, Labour don’t fight yourself over this. REMIND people who did this. Leave and Remain voters both hated the process.
  • …but Labour has to deliver to its core. Inequality and economic insecurity underpin this and fixing that is Labour’s task.