The finalists are in and the long journey to Helsinki* has begun and so it is time to start working through finalists category by category. As in previous years, my choice of category is done on what I find easiest to write about. I’m starting a little earlier this year because 1. I don’t think we’ll see the same kinds of changes in finalists we saw last two years and 2. there are more finalists per category and most are serious contenders so there is more work to be done.
Fanwriter is as good a place to start as any 🙂
802 ballots cast for 275 nominees. Votes for finalists ranged from 80 to 152.
- Mike Glyer
- Jeffro Johnson
- Natalie Luhrs
- Foz Meadows
- Abigail Nussbaum
- Chuck Tingle
That is an impressive array. It divides into three chunks. Chunk one: established fan writers: Mike Glyer, Natalie Luhrs, Foz Meadows and Abigail Nussbaum. Chunk two: Jeffro Johnson, the Rabid nominee but one with a track record of informed fan writing on genre issues. Chunk three: the inimitable Dr Tingle. The discussion below is in no particular order.
- I’ll discuss Jeffro Johnson first. Yeah, sorry but Castalia House affiliated and volunteer for the Vox Day human ammunition brigade. His boss sees his work as no different from Stix Hiscock’s lame Tingle imitation. The nomination is part of the ongoing Castalia House PR stunt (which includes treating child abuse as a joke) and Vox Days ongoing tantrum about Scalzi/PNH/Tor/N.K.Jemisin/WSFA***/That-kid-who-teased-him-in-kindergarten. Vox himself conceded last year that you can’t separate the Castalia House nominees from him and his issues. So Jeffro, below No Award you go. But, that’s my policy and even a Rabid Puppy deserves due process.
- Jeffro’s own blog is here and the link should take you to 2016 posts https://jeffro.wordpress.com/2016/
- I can’t get the Castalia house blog to filter just on Jeffro’s posts but this link should filter on 2016 http://www.castaliahouse.com/2016/ a lot of Jeffro’s posts here are either news round-ups or puff pieces for Castalia House but there are also pieces on the pulp traditions and tabletop games.
- Jeffro is a competent writer with clear interests in SF and the history of the genre. I can’t say I’ve found any one of his pieces particularly compelling but I’m not really interested in his subject matter. Arguably though, he’s the strongest Rabid nominee we’ve seen who wasn’t either a hostage or co-opted from a Sad Puppy slate.
- Mike Glyer. Host of File 770 and veteran of fandom. As well as being the central news source of things fannish.
- A 2016 File 770 as a PDF fanzine is here http://efanzines.com/File770/File770-166.pdf
- File 770 the blog is here http://file770.com/ – technically you can filter on Mike Glyer as a post author, but as he runs the blog, it will throw up nearly every post.
- As I said last year, Mike Glyer is one of those key people in a large community that helps a community exist. News, history and insightful articles are part of that but also the more sad work of obituaries of notable fans. I’d be happy if he won.
- Natalie Luhrs – in my post last year on this category I specifically mentioned Natalie Luhrs as somebody who should have been a finalist but who was excluded due to Rabid antics.
- I found this piece interesting last year and linked to it at the time http://www.pretty-terrible.com/a-brief-analysis-of-the-locus-recommended-reading-list-2011-2015/
- Also writes for Uncanny (but I couldn’t find a 2016 piece – here’s a 2015 piece http://uncannymagazine.com/article/ethics-in-reviewing/ )
- An interesting and insightful writer and I’d be happy if she won also.
- Foz Meadows – another writer who I’ve linked to previously, most notably for this piece at Blackgate that made baby-vox cry https://www.blackgate.com/2016/12/07/unempathic-bipeds-of-failure-the-relationship-between-stories-and-politics/
- Also I linked to this analysis she did of Uprooted https://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/uprooted-abuse-ragequitting/
- And yet another writer that I’d be happy if they won! Oh, this is going to be difficult!
- Abigail Nussbaum – the finalist I’ve read the least of. No reason why – I’d even had her blog marked as one I should read more of back in 2015 but…I’m lazy and neglectful of the things I intend to do 😦 [That’s another silly side-effect of the attention I pay to Puppy and Rabid misbehaviour – it means I’ve read more Jeffro Johnson posts about stuff I wasn’t interested in than an interesting blogger writing about stuff I am in interested in. ]
- Her blog is here http://wrongquestions.blogspot.com.au/2016
- In 2017 she also started writing an SF column for New Scientist (but that’s not eligible stuff for this year’s Hugos, obviously)
- What can I say! Another clearly worthy winner!
- Chuck Tingle – the wild card! Chuck came to fame via strange quasi-parodies of obscure subgenres of homoerotic Kindle porn. In 2015 his book titles became in-jokes among fandom and then, probably missing the joke, Vox Day nominated a Chuck Tingle book as part of his 2016 Rabid Puppy slate. At which point VD discovered he had inadvertently summoned a being with more memetastic powers than VD could have imagined. Chuck’s metafictional persona is a timeline jumping paladin fighting to make love real while battling his chocolate milk addiction and weird monsters from the void.
- You can follow Chuck on Twitter to learn about reverse twins, the void and drinking too much chocolate milk.
- Or he has a bunch of weird parody sites such as Buttbart http://www.buttbart.com/ or his recent capture of http://www.stixhiscock.com/
- Chuck’s trolling of the Rabids was very funny but I really didn’t like the suggestion that he be nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation. However, I think he is a 100% legit nominee for Fan Writer. Humour is a core part of fandom and SFF goes with absurdity like cheese & wine, peanut butter & jam(jelly), chocolate & coffee etc. But, probably not going to put him number 1.
So, how will I vote? Don’t know. One of Glyer, Luhrs, Meadows, Nussbaum at 1, then Dr Tingle, then the inimitable Noah Ward. Poor Jeffro – sorry but no place on the ballot for Castalia and given he’s aligned with those who think the Hugos are an indication of bad quality, then he can’t possibly want one.
The Hugo Packet contributions will make a big difference to my final vote I think. The main thing is what a great line up! Also what a clear repudiation of that stupid ‘burn a category to the ground’ rhetoric from the Pups in previous years. We’ve had two+ years of Sad & Rabid nonsense in this category but now that interference has died down to a pathetic lingering whine, the category is more competitive than ever! The main lingering effect is several nominees who should have already won a Hugo for their work.
*[not literally – can’t make it 😦 ]
**[PS Thanks to people who nominated me in this category. I have mixed feelings about that kind of attention but that’s my own silly set of hang-ups. I appreciate it.]
***[The World Writers Science Society Fantasy Fictioneers of Alberta Association]