Continuing the musings I began last night, about this year’s Hugo ballot… the actual nominees, the work, rather than the politics…
This one will be shorter than my last, since I don’t have much to say (yet) about the three fan categories I want to touch on.
BEST FANCAST is a stupid new Hugo category created to keep “fancasts” out of the hoary old Best Fanzine category. The nominees this year include three Puppy picks, and two that were not on the slates. I haven’t heard any of the five. I doubt I will be voting in this category.
BEST FANZINE is the aforementioned hoary old category that dates back almost to the start of the Hugos. Here They Speak Twilltone and Gestetners, and then oldtimers mutter darkly about Ditto. But there are e-zines here as well. The Puppies grabbed four of the five slots in this category. Only JOURNEY PLANET was not part of the slates. However, one of the Puppy finalists, BLACK GATE, has withdrawn, leaving three. The only one I know well is Dave Truesdale’s TANGENT, the online continuation of the an actual print fanzine that Truesdale has been publishing since the 70s. TANGENT has been nominated for Hugos before, I believe, though I don’t think it has ever won. It’s what trufans call a “sercon” zine, that is, mostly book reviews and criticism. Book reviews also seem to be the main focus of ELITIST BOOK REVIEWS, another Puppy pick… which seemed to me a lot like TANGENT, but not nearly as well done. There are much better review ‘zines and blogs than these to be found on the internet, among them PAT’S FANTASY HOTLIST, the WERTZONE, BLOG OF THE FALLEN, and last year’s winner, A DRIBBLE OF INK, but none of those made the ballot, so we will need to choose from those that did. I don’t always vote in the Fanzine category (please note, I am saying I do not vote, not that I vote NO AWARD, two different things), but I expect I will this year. I still need to check out a couple of the remaining nominees, and look more deeply at the ones I was already familiar with.
BEST SEMIPROZINE. This category has always pissed me off, since it was created largely to kick LOCUS out of Best Fanzine, where it was winning every year. Of course, once Semiprozine was created, LOCUS proceeded to win that a bunch of times too, until the rules were jiggered once again to kick it out once more. (This is one reason I oppose jiggering the rules, even to stop the Puppies). They really ought to call this category BEST SEMIPROZINE THAT ISN’T LOCUS. But they don’t. We have five finalists here, only two of which are from the slates… and one of those, ANDROMEDA SPACEWAYS IN FLIGHT MAGAZINE, has been loudly declaring that they were not informed and never asked to be on anyone’s slate. I am really only familiar with LIGHTSPEED and STRANGE HORIZONS from this category. Both of those are pretty good. If anyone has an opinion to offer on the others, do speak up. If I have time to check them out, I will… if I don’t, I will abstain in this category, i.e. not vote. I won’t go NO AWARD, since I do think the two semipros I know are worthy. Not as worthy as LOCUS, mind you, but there you are…
And that’s all I have to say about those. For now, at least.
Talk among yourselves.