Friday, January 18, 2019

2019 Nerds of a Feather Hugo Awards Longlist, Part 4: Institutional Categories

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of the Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together 2019 Hugo Awards Longlist! (Parts 1, 2, and 3.)

This time we are looking at what are, for lack of a better term, the "nonfiction and institutional categories": Best Related Work, Best Semiprozine, Best Fanzine and Best Fancast. Now, those who follow this blog know how cranky The G can get on the subject of certain categories and their bizarre eligibility guidelines--and we've got two of them today (Best Semiprozine and Best Fancast). Nevertheless, I will do my best to stay calm and stick to the rules, frustrating as they can be. We reserve the right, however, to get a little snarky and passive-aggressive in the process.    

There are, however, some sticky issues that made putting this list together a bit difficult. Knowing what does or does not constitute a "fanzine" in the era of blogs, for example--and given that we may already be on the downward slide of that era, it only promises to get more difficult as time passes. Nevertheless, we have tried to create clear and consistent guidelines for inclusion in this category. Thus, to qualify, a fanzine: (1) must be a fan venture (i.e. must not generate a significant amount of money, or pay professional rates for work); (2) must publish a lot of content in a given year; and (3) must publish "award worthy" content. We did not discount single-author blogs from consideration, but criterion #2 makes it difficult for most single-author blogs to  merit consideration. Consequently, while a couple made it, most did not--including some very good ones.  

We also feel obliged to mention that 'nerds of a feather, flock together' is eligible in this category, but whether we belong on anyone's list (short, long, good or bad) is another story, and part of a conversation we aren't inclined to join. We'd much rather talk about all the other sites we like to read (and which meet the criteria outlined above). 

The category Best Fancast also presented issues, namely, on the question of whether podcasts hosted by profit-making websites were still fancasts. The issue here comes down to whether the podcasts qualify (given token-level payment for the podcasts themselves) or do not (given that the parent companies can employ at least some people full-time). There were internal disagreements on this question, but in the end we decided to include the podcasts in question, but make note that they may not meet the eligibility requirements. I personally encourage you to vote them in that category--both because they belong there and, consequently, because a rule that keeps them out is dumb. But that's just me. It is also worth noting that in the past 8-4 Play was a finalist for Fancast, and 8-4 Play is hosted by 8-4, a professional video game localization company. If 8-4 Play is eligible, and passed the vetting process of the Hugo committee, than so should most everything else. But that's just our opinion.

Also, this's year's Worldcon is debuting a special one time category: Art Book, which has been poorly publicized as a category (though hopefully as nominations open this will become much more clear and advertised) 

Before moving on to the recommendations, a gentle reminder that this list is not and does not intend to be a comprehensive survey of genre or fandom. Rather, these are recommendations we suggest you consider alongside whatever other candidates you have in mind.  - G & Joe

Related Work
An Informal History of the Hugos, by Jo Walton
Archive of Our Own
Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, by Alec Nevala-Lee
Feminist Futures, by Joe Sherry, Adri Joy, Vance Kotrla, Phoebe Wagner, Charles Payseur, and Chloe Clark
Modern Masters of Science Fiction: Arthur C. Clarke, by Gary Westfahl
None of This is Normal: The Fiction of Jeff VanderMeer, by Benjamin J. Roberton
Trash and Treasure, by Foz Meadows
Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, by Ursula K. Le Guin and David Naimon
X-Marks the Story, by Charles Payseur

Art Book
The Book Smugglers
The Dark
Fireside Fiction
FIYAH Literary Magazine
Strange Horizons
Uncanny Magazine

Lady Business (Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, Susan, eds.)
SF in Translation (Rachel Cordasco)
SFFReviews (Sara Uckelman and Sarah Grace Liu)
SFFWorld (Dag Rambruat, Rob Bedford, Mark Yon, and Nila White, eds.)
Quick Sip Reviews (Charles Payseur)
Women Write About Comics (Kayleigh Hearn, Kat Overland, Claire Napier, Kate Tanski, Wendy Browne, eds.)

Aces & Jokers
The Coode Street Podcast
Ditch Diggers
Females in Fantasy
Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men
Kalanadi (Booktube)
Kitty G (Booktube)
Our Opinions Are Correct
Sisters of Sci-Fi
SF3 (Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi)
SFF180 (Booktube)
SFF Yeah!
Skiffy and Fanty
Sword and Laser

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 & 2018 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan.