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Hugo Recommendation – Best Fan Writer

March 3, 2013 at 11:59 am
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The deadline for Hugo nominations looms ever closer: March 10, for those who have not been paying attention.

There are lots of categories I have not talked about yet. Nor will I, at least not this year. It’s a big field, and it is hard to keep up with all the good stuff being produced.

But I will make recommendations in one final category: fan writer.

In the past few years, I have been beating the drum for a number of websites and blogs and podcasts in the Best Fanzine category. The internet has replaced the traditional print fanzine as the heart of fanac, and I felt that it was past time that the best on-line fanzines got some recognition. Alas, that door has now closed, for the most part. Fans of a more traditional bent got together at the last two worldcons to change the rules, so these new forms of fan writing are no longer eligible. Podcasts can be nominated for a Hugo in a new “Best Fancast” category, but websites and blogs are just out of luck. The new rules make it certain that the Best Fanzine Hugo will continue to be contested by the same old style fanzines that have dominated it for the past few decades; new forms need not apply.

(It always astonishes me that a field that is purportedly all about the future, like science fiction, can be so absolutely hidebound and resistant to change where its own fannish traditions are concerned).

Anyway, that’s done, so I won’t be talking Best Fanzine anymore. Best Fan Writer is another issue, however. While websites and blogs and the like can no longer compete as fanzines, those who write for them are still eligible in the fan writer categories, and I would like to bring a few of them to your attention.

ADAM WHITEHEAD. Also known as “Wert.” Proprietor of THE WERTZONE, one of the very best of the fantasy review blogs. And that’s no small praise, as there are a number of good ones out there, among them PAT’S FANTASY HOTLIST, the BLOG OF THE FALLEN, DRIBBLE OF INK, STOMPING ON YETI, and THE SPECULATIVE SCOTSMAN. All worthy sites; you might want to take a look at those as well. But Wert’s coverage of the field and reviews are amongst the best. He almost made the ballot last year; this year, I hope he will.

JOHN JOS. MILLER. Miller writes a regular column called Creature Features for the website CHEESE MAGNETS, where he is one of half a dozen rotating columnists. He most often concerns himself with old SF and fantasy and horror films, and his commentary is always amusing and often insightful. If you love genre film, even including bad movies, check it out. You can find his latest columns at Would that all fan writing was as much fun.

ADAM ROBERTS. This one might be a bit controversial, as Roberts is actually a professional writer, a well-known British SF novelist… but as Fred Pohl won Best Fan Writer only a few years ago, there’s precedent for a pro winning for fan writing. Roberts did his on his blog PUNKADIDDLE — which he closed down, seemingly for good, in June 2012. He is still eligible on the basis of the first half of the year, however. Roberts is a very snarky reviewer and commentator (which seems to be a British tradition), and shows no mercy to books and writers he dislikes (and I get the impression that he’s not all that impressed with own stuff, for what it’s worth)… but he’s always entertaining, and his series of columns on the top-selling books of all time was impressive and engrossing. Well worth a nomination, I think. (Though he probably holds the Hugos in disdain, as he does so much else).

So there you have it. My own choices for Best Fan Writer. All of whom have done great work on-line, none of whom has ever been given any Hugo recognition previously.

Whoever you choose to nominate, in any of these categories, please NOMINATE.

The nominating ballot can be found here:

You have until March 10.

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