Showing posts with label Hugos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hugos. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2015

My Proposed Rules Changes for Future WorldCon

Prior to this year, I had never voted for a Hugo Award. To tell the truth, I didn't know that I could. I had believed that the Hugos were selected by professionals acknowledging excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing. Due to the recent controversies around the event, I learned that participation was open to all of fandom. In this way, it is similar to the way that the Origins Awards were run in their early days when fans nominated (often by turning in ballots they photocopied/mimeographed in Space Gamer Magazine). They differ from the early Origins in that only people actually attending the Origins Convention get to vote for the winner. I imagine that the similarities between the two are not accidental and that the Hugos informed the way that the Origins Awards were run early on. The Origins Awards have evolved over time, but mostly in the nomination process. It's still attendees at the Origins Convention who get to vote on the award winner. This is not without its controversy, but I'm not here to criticize that process which I think is fine for what it is.

Awards have no value in themselves, unless they come with a cash prize, and as one of my favorite authors (David Gerrold) describes it, "The credential of an award -- any award -- is not the award itself, nor even who bestows it. The credential of the award is a cumulative one, created by the quality of the previous nominees and winners." In the case of the Origins Award, a lot of wonderful and groundbreaking games have won the award. Savage Worlds won in 2003, Dungeons and Dragons won in 1977, and many more have won over time. When someone wins the award, they are winning the same award as these excellent predecessors and the prestige of the honor is in those prior winners. This is one of the reasons that the rules of the Origins Award are constantly debated and discussed and why the Award evolves over time.

The same is true of the Hugo Awards. The prestige of the Hugo is in prior winners, and that is why there was such an uproar this year. Those who regularly participate in the Conference that determines the Hugo pushed back against those they believed had advocated a process that could lessen that historical prestige. Let us set aside arguments about whether the contributions on this year's various slates were actually Hugo worthy. That is a distraction from what the real underlying question is. That question is whether slates, qua slates, especially when combined with voting blocs threaten the prestige of the Award. Over time, in repeated games, the answer is likely "yes." Not in who wins. Repeated games will mean that there will be an equilibrium of sorts around the winners that approximates what the community as a whole really values, but it will mean that the prestige of being nominated will likely diminish - at least for a protracted period of time. To be honest, that period of time need not be long to do damage to the prestige of being nominated. I would argue that the mere taint of the existence of slates damaged the prestige of being nominated this year. This is too bad, because some worthy nominees were punished by this process.

Who's "right" is it to determine the rules and the how the Hugo is distributed? This is a simple answer, one that is once again provided by David Gerrold. The Hugo Awards "are a gift from the membership of the World Science Fiction Convention." You have to be a paying member, supporting or attending, to vote on the Hugo. I was a supporting member this year and I voted. I will continue to vote and support the Hugo because I really liked getting the nomination packet. I think that the World Science Fiction Convention community was well within their rights to protect their award. I don't think they handled it perfectly, but I have read accounts of interactions between Puppies and Presenters that occurred outside the Awards Ceremony that lead me to have a great deal of hope for the future of the WorldCon community. As tendentious as this year's Hugo Awards were, I think that some new friends were made and some great material for bridging the gap to a community that felt excluded has been produced. This will require work on both sides of the gap, but I see enough people making efforts. I also see people attempting to blow up the bridges as they are being built, but that is some people's nature. If we can learn to ignore the sowers of chaos and focus on our shared love of the genres, we will all be better for it.

Given the conflict, there has been a lot of talk about a need to reform the rules of how things are nominated and voted on. I'm one who is skeptical of most efforts of this kind in general as they tend to lead to unintended consequences. Take California's implementation of Term Limits after the 1990 passage of Proposition 140. The results of that law have been to create a new kind of career politician who constantly aims to jump from job to job, a lack of issue experience among legislators, an empowering of the lobbyist class due to the lack of issue experience and institutional memory in the legislature. Some people predicted these outcomes, but not many. These were all unintended consequences of a law intended to stop "career" politicians that only rerouted that career and made it less accountable to the people because we don't elect lobbyists and that's what many former legislators become after they have earned expertise.

So...I'm resistant to changing institutions for the sake of changing institutions. That said, I do think that one category - actually two but I'm going to focus on one - demonstrates that there is some need for a change in the process. This is a change that I believe should be implemented across the award categories and will enable fans to have significant input, take advantage of recent growth in the pool, and lead to better nominations in some categories.

I believe that the Hugo Awards should take "Open List" open nominations from fans as they do now. That these long lists should then be transformed into 15 item "Long Lists" by committees made up of people who have expertise within a category. These Long Lists are then voted on by members who register as supporting/nominating/attending members and turned into 5 item short lists that are the final nominees. This model is a combination of the current way of doing things with the way that the Oscars handle Sound Mixing and Sound Editing (Design) Oscars.

Quick, tell me the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing? I'm going to bet that most of the Academy couldn't answer that question in any meaningful way. Let's just say that films like Whiplash tend to win the Mixing Award (and get nominated) and films like Top Gun tend to get Editing Awards. As I bluntly described it to my wife Jody today. Sound Editing Oscars reward people who create innovative and immersive experiences that allow us to hear explosions as unique occurrences. Sound Mixing allows us to hear the score and the actors while the world is exploding. That's a glib way of saying that one is about sculpting individual sounds and the other is about creating an aesthetic whole or "euphonic" experience. I'm sure that David Bondelevich could do a much better job at explaining the differences, but that's because he works in Sound and teaches Sound for a living. He has expertise. That's why the Oscars, in their great wisdom, allow David and people like Don Hall to vote on the final nominees who will be submitted to the Academy at large...and that's after their committee has selected what they believe to be the best. Sound Editors have a wonderful event called the "Bake Off" where they view highlights of the competition. These editors understand the value of the Award and there have been years without a nominee in the category, and that's without politics entering the picture.

That's a lot of background leading into one of the two areas I've noticed that have led me to think that this is a change that is NEEDED by the Hugos. Those areas are the Best Dramatic Production (both Short and Long Form) categories. The nominations of the past few years have been non-representative of the genre as it is being Dramatically Presented. It is as if WorldCon nominators and voters don't watch movies and shows at the same clip that they read. This is likely a true observation, and isn't even a "critical" one in as much as reading is likely a better activity to stimulate the mind than the passive viewing of another's creation.

What prompted my sentiment in this area was that as a new Hugo voter, I decided to look at past nominees in this area. When the Hugo nominees were compared to the Saturn nominees (the Saturn being the Hollywood Hugo) there was too little overlap in my opinion. When the 2014 Hugo Nominees didn't include About Time in the Long Form category I was baffled. I was even more baffled when I shared my befuddlement in the SF/F reading fandom I knew and none had heard of the film. This demonstrated to me that there was a disconnect between the Dramatic Form genre and the World Con exposure to it. That and the fact that BBC titles are so dominant as to make it possible to create a parody list that fairly emulates the actual list. Let me give you a couple of examples.

In 2014, the following new SF/F television shows aired.

New Science Fiction and Fantasy Series for 2014 

  1. Ascension
  2. Constantine
  3. Flash
  4. Gotham
  5. Z-Nation
  6. Outlander
  7. The Strain
  8. Extant
  9. The Last Ship
  10. Dominion
  11. Salem
  12. The 100
  13. Believe
  14. Resurrection
  15. Bitten
  16. Helix
  17. Intelligence
All of these shows meet the criteria to be considered as nominees for the Short Form Hugo. After the 938 nominating ballots were counted  the nominees were:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (4705 final ballots, 938 nominating ballots, 470 entries, range 71-170)
  • Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)
  • Doctor Who: “Listen”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper”, written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves ((HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • The Flash: “Pilot”, teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
  • Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
The thought of Grimm (of which I am a big fan) receiving nominations, for an episode that was pretty cool, over The 100 or The Strain or Sleepy Hollow is kind of baffling to me. Let's have a look at the Saturn Award Nominees for 2014.

Best Network Television Series:

The Blacklist
The Following
Hannibal  (winner)
Person of Interest
Sleepy Hollow

Best Syndicated / Cable Television Series:

12 Monkeys
American Horror Story: Freak Show
Falling Skies
The Strain
The Walking Dead  (winner)

Best Limited Run Television Series:

Bates Motel
From Dusk Till Dawn
Game of Thrones  (winner)
The Last Ship
The Librarians

Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series:

Agent Carter
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Flash  (winner)

Best Youth-Oriented Television Series:

The 100  (winner)
Doctor Who
Pretty Little Liars
Teen Wolf
The Vampire Diaries

There are more categories, to be sure and to be expected from an award dedicated to the media, but there is also a wider representation of the genre. The 2014 Hugos have three shows of what I would call the "arty" SF variety and 2 from the "pulpy" variety, signalling that the struggle of the year was echoed in even the TV nominations. So...let's look back one more year. The year where the Hugos failed to nominate the very "literate" About Time in the Long Form category. What new shows were released in 2013? 

New Science Fiction and Fantasy Series for 2013

  1. Almost Human
  2. Dracula
  3. The Tomorrow People
  4. Witches of East End
  5. The Originals
  6. Atlantis
  7. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  8. Sleepy Hollow
  9. Under the Dome
  10. Defiance
  11. Orphan Black
  12. Utopia
What was nominated?

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (760 nominating ballots)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere”, written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • Doctor Who: “The Day of the Doctor”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Television)
  • Orphan Black: “Variations under Domestication” written by Will Pascoe, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions; Space/BBC America)
  • An Adventure in Space and Time, written by Mark Gatiss, directed by Terry McDonough (BBC Television)
  • The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, written & directed by Peter Davison (BBC Television)
  • Doctor Who: “The Name of the Doctor”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Saul Metzstein (BBC Televison)
 Let's see...Game of Thrones because social phenomenon, BBC, BBC, BBC, BBC. Wow! Almost Human had some flawed episodes, but it had episodes that are among the best ever made in SF TV. "The Day of the Doctor" was pretty badass, but "The Name of the Doctor" is the weakest of the 2013 nominees. What did the Saturn Awards Nominate?

Best Network Television Series Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series
Best Television Presentation Best Youth-Oriented Television Series
Well...shit...American Horror Story and Hannibal kick ass. We can write off some as not fitting the Hugos, like Hannibal, but American Horror Story is some of the best Fantasy on TV and Falling Skies is a solid show that is worthy of consideration for a category that awarded Gollum's Acceptance Speech during a year that the Saturn was considering Dead Like Me and Carnivale. Let's just say that a "literary" award got out "literaried" in the nominee category in 2004.

I understand that the Dramatic Presentation being two awards is new, and I understand that World Con is first and foremost a celebration of print. Having said that, I think that the Hugo would benefit by creating Juries that winnow the infinite to the Long, then having voters narrow the long to the nominees, and have those nominees voted on. I think that this would expose the SF/F community to a lot of great genre entertainment they might be overlooking.

I also think they might be well served by opening up the categories a bit like the Saturn and asking if there aren't some subgenre's that should have their own awards.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Hugo Ballot: My #1s

I wasn't going to post my Hugo Award Ballot, or any portion of it, but then I saw John O'Neill's ballot over at Black Gate and I felt compelled to share mine. Like John, I'm only going to share my top vote in each category. Unlike John, I won't be writing a long post on why I voted the way I did. I'm happy to discuss the issue in person, but I find that the internet is no more conducive than the letters page of a Fanzine to productive dialog.

I will say that these are my honest opinions of the ballot as it exists. It is not my opinion of what the "best of SF/F last year was," and I've tried to remove politics from the equation. I will be the first to admit that my gaming hobby affected my voting once or twice. That said, there are a number of votes for No Award that are higher than I would expect when voting for a year's best award.

Best Novel

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

Best Novella
        Rank            -----------------------
        1               No Award

Best Novelette
        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale by Rajnar Vajra (Analog, Jul/Aug 2014)
Best Short Story
        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               A Single Samurai by Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen)

Best Related Work

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF Ken Burnside (Riding the Red
                         Horse, Castalia House)

Best Graphic Story

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Edge of Tomorrow 

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               The Flash: Pilot teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television; The CW)

Best Professional Editor (Short Form)

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Jennifer Brozek
Best Professional Editor (Long Form)

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Toni Weisskopf
Best Professional Artist

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Julie Dillon
Best Semiprozine

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Lightspeed Magazine

Best Fanzine

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Black Gate
Best Fancast

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               No Award

Best Fan Writer

        1               No Award

Best Fan Artist

        Rank            ----------------------------
        No Vote      

The John W. Campbell Award (not a Hugo)

        Rank            ----------------------------
        1               Wesley Chu

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Hugo Ballot Pre-Ranking -- A Very Preliminary Review of the Ballot with a Touch of Self-Promotion

This may surprise many of my readers, or at least one of the two people who read my infrequent posts, but I have never been to a WorldCon nor voted for the Hugos before. This is slightly embarrassing for me, since my mentor and dear friend Susan Palwick was one of the organizers for Reno in 2011. At a minimum, that should have been my first WorldCon. But my wife and I were busy in 2011 with 3 year old twin daughters and unable to make the trip up to Reno.

That WorldCon marks an interesting demarcation in the history of the convention. It was the last convention before the creation of the Sad Puppies coalition that is now in its third year. I'm not going to comment about Sad Puppies in this post, but I will say that if they did one thing positive it was informing me that I could be a part of the process without attending the event. I had assume, and we all know what happens when we assume, that one had to attend to vote. I thought it was like the Origin Awards where a committee selects the nominees and then the attendees vote. I was wrong, and so this will be my first time voting for the awards. 

I wish that I could attend this year, as I am a big fan of this year's presenters and my mentor will likely be in attendance as well. It has been too long since I have spoken with Susan in person, and the fan boy in me giggles with glee at the chance of chatting with David Gerrold (whom I interviewed on Geekerati) and Tananarive Due. I had the great honor of interviewing Tananarive and her husband Steven Barnes at a library event in Glendora.

I haven't received my packet from Sasquan yet, but I am eager about participating and I wanted to share my Pre-Rankings. There will be a lot of "No Award" votes pretty high on the lists. This is solely because I haven't read the material and not a statement.

Best Novel
  • Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Orbit UK/Roc Books)
  • The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)
I've only read Skin Game and Ancillary Sword so far, so I don't know what my final vote will be. The lack of Frostborn by Lou Anders is highly disappointing, as is the lack of Steelheart. So far, my ranking would be:

1) Skin Game

2) Ancillary Sword
3) No Award -- because I haven't read the rest.

Best Novella
  • Big Boys Don’t Cry, Tom Kratman (Castalia House)
  • “Flow”, Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Analog, 11-2014)
  • One Bright Star to Guide Them, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “Pale Realms of Shade”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “The Plural of Helen of Troy”, John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)
I haven't read any of these yet, but will when they come out in the packet.

1) No Award -- because I haven't read any.

Best Novelette
  • “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium”, Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, 05-2014)
  • “Championship B’tok”, Edward M. Lerner (Analog, 09-2014)
  • “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed, 04-2014)
  • “The Journeyman: In the Stone House”, Michael F. Flynn (Analog, 06-2014)
  • “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale”, Rajnar Vajra (Analog, 07/08-2014)
I'm not a IGMS or Analog subscriber, so I've only read one of these stories.

1) "The Day the World Turned Upside Down"
2) No Award

 Best Short Story
  • “On A Spiritual Plain”, Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, 11-2014)
  • “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “A Single Samurai”, Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen Books)
  • “Totaled”, Kary English (Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, 07-2014)
  • “Turncoat”, Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
I've read the Big Book of Monsters, because monsters, and most of Riding the Red Horse (because Pournelle). I haven't read "Turncoat" yet, it's a couple of stories down. Outside of the Burnside article and the Pournelle writings that anthology has been mixed.

1) "A Single Samurai"
2) No Award -- still have to read the other material.

Best Related Work (1150 nominating ballots, 346 entries, range 206-273)
  • “The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF”, Ken Burnside (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
  • Letters from Gardner, Lou Antonelli (The Merry Blacksmith Press)
  • Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “Why Science is Never Settled”, Tedd Roberts (
  • Wisdom from My Internet, Michael Z. Williamson (Patriarchy Press)
"The Hot Equations," while in a mixed bag anthology is a pretty radical piece of writing. Not radical in the sense that it is political, but radical in the way that it changes the way you read something. By focusing on Thermodynamics in space ship combat, Burnside revolutionized the way I think about the genre. I'm going to be much more critical of star ship combats in the future, and writers will have to find ways to get me to suspend my disbelief when writing about "stealth" in space. Haven't read the others.

1) "The Hot Equations" -- Which you really should read. It would be a shame for Ken Burnside to be overlooked because of politics. He's been an active member of the table top gaming community for years, and his Attack Vector game is remarkable.
2) No Award

Best Graphic Story
  • Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, (Marvel Comics)
  • Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery, written by Kurtis J. Weibe, art by Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
  • Saga Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics))
  • Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick, written by Matt Fraction, art by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
  • The Zombie Nation Book #2: Reduce Reuse Reanimate, Carter Reid (The Zombie Nation)
1) Rat Queens -- Because it's great.
2) Ms. Marvel -- Because it's very good.
3) Saga --  Because it's also really good.
4) No Award.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier, screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
  • Edge of Tomorrow, screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
  • Interstellar, screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)
  • The Lego Movie, written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation (as Warner Animation Group))
This is a remarkably strong category. I might add a film or two, but I wouldn't take any away. It's much better than last year's list which left off About Time a slight that demonstrated that the community doesn't watch enough movies. Probably because they are doing so much reading.

1) Edge of Tomorrow -- This was not only a very good movie, but it was directed by one of this generation's great directors. Doug Liman inserts a touch of magic into everything he works on.
2) Guardians of the Galaxy -- One of my daughter's favorite movies, and a testimony to how Space Opera still matters.
3) The Lego Movie -- This film is amazing.
4) Captain America: Winter Soldier -- Another fantastic film.
5) Interstellar -- A film I really liked, but have you seen the competition?

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
  • Doctor Who: “Listen”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
  • The Flash: “Pilot”, teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper”, written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves ((HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
  • Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)
A good list, to be sure, but my own biases are going to show here.

1) The Flash -- I cannot praise this show enough. It's hard to capture the tone of this character, especially in an era of GrimDark. Leave it to Geoff Johns, one of the best writers in the comic book run of the character, and Greg Berlanti to get it right. This just demonstrates how TV writers have more control than movie writers. 
2) Game of Thrones -- Great episode.
3) Grimm -- A wonderful episode from a show that alternates between brilliant and "what the?!" episodes.
4) Orphan Black -- Very good show.
5) Doctor Who -- It's won enough don't you think? Still a good episode.

Best Editor, Short Form
  • Jennifer Brozek
  • Vox Day
  • Mike Resnick
  • Edmund R. Schubert (Withdrew after ballot finalized)
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Jennifer Brozek both gave me the honor of participating in a Geekerati interview discussing their Shattered Shields anthology for Baen. The lack of Johnathan Strahan in this category disappoints me.

1) Jennifer Brozek -- Not only has she long been an editor of fiction, but she's a great editor in the rpg industry too. Her gaming connection puts her over the top for me.
2) Bryan Thomas Schmidt -- His and Jennifer's selections in SS were strong and he has a long history in the genre. Besides, I did mention I got to interview him right?
3) Mike Resnick -- Hasn't he won everything?
4) Edmund R. Schubert -- What are you doing withdrawing?
5) Vox Day 

Best Editor, Long Form
  • Vox Day
  • Sheila Gilbert
  • Jim Minz
  • Anne Sowards
  • Toni Weisskopf
1) Sheila Gilbert -- She's never made the ballot before? What?!
2) Toni Weisskopf -- David Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold, Eric Flint, and a list of other reasons.
3) Anne Sowards
4) Jim Minz
5) No Award -- I haven't read any long form fiction edited by Vox Day.

Best Professional Artist
  • Julie Dillon
  • Kirk DouPonce
  • Nick Greenwood
  • Alan Pollack
  • Carter Reid
There was a time when two people would alternate this award, so it's nice to see some new artists.

1) Julie Dillon
2) Nick Greenwood
3) Kirk DouPonce
4) Alan Pollack
5) Carter Reid 

Best Semiprozine
  • Abyss & Apex, Wendy Delmater editor and publisher
  • Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Association Incorporated, 2014 editors David Kernot and Sue Bursztynski
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, edited by Scott H. Andrews
  • Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant
  • Strange Horizons, Niall Harrison, editor-in-chief
I subscribe to Lightspeed and none of the others.

1) Lightspeed
2) No Award

Best Fanzine
  • Black Gate, edited by John O’Neill (Withdrew after ballot finalized)
  • Elitist Book Reviews, edited by Steven Diamond
  • Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery
  • The Revenge of Hump Day, edited by Tim Bolgeo
  • Tangent SF Online, edited by Dave Truesdale
I'm a big fan of Black Gate and have even been given the honor of writing a post there in 2013. I'd like to write more, but PhD studies and work conflict. The others I don't know about. I do know John withdrew, but I don't recognize his withdrawal as I disagree with his reasoning.

1) Black Gate
2) No Award -- but I'll check the others out.

Best Fancast (668 nominating ballots, 162 entries, range 69-179)
  • Adventures in SciFi Publishing, Brent Bower (Executive Producer), Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward & Moses Siregar III (Co-Hosts, Interviewers and Producers)
  • Dungeon Crawlers Radio, Daniel Swenson (Producer/Host), Travis Alexander & Scott Tomlin (Hosts), Dale Newton (Host/Tech), Damien Swenson (Audio/Video Tech)
  • Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
  • The Sci Phi Show, Jason Rennie
  • Tea and Jeopardy, Emma Newman and Peter Newman
Since Geekerati was never nominated in this category, I'm going to be totally sour grapes and Nuclear No Award this category. I couldn't event get 100 fans? Jeez.

Just kidding. I just haven't listened to any of them yet. I may end up as a huge fan of one of them.

1) No Award

Best Fan Writer
  • Dave Freer
  • Amanda S. Green
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Laura J. Mixon
  • Cedar Sanderson
Don't read any of their writings, but will before I vote.

1) No Award

Best Fan Artist
  • Ninni Aalto
  • Brad W. Foster
  • Elizabeth Leggett
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles
Will have to check them out.

1) No Award.

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (851 nominating ballots, 220 entries, range 106-229)
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2013 or 2014, sponsored by Dell Magazines. (Not a Hugo Award, but administered along with the Hugo Awards.)

  • Wesley Chu*
  • Jason Cordova
  • Kary English*
  • Rolf Nelson
  • Eric S. Raymond
Wesley Chu stopped by my Geekerati podcast, and I enjoyed his debut novel. The others I will have to read.

1) Wesley Chu
2) No Award

Any and all "No Awards" are preliminary. I want to vote for those I think best represent the SF/F field that are on the ballot. Looking at past ballots, like last year's film category for example, none are a "perfect" ballot of things I would have nominated. But I've used the nominee process to inform my future reading in the past and will continue to do so. Those things I am familiar with on this ballot, with some small exceptions, are things I respect and enjoy.