2020: So, that happened.
Like most creatives, the flock at Nerds of a Feather have seen the ways in which we engage with media change as a result of living through an ongoing set of crises. Some of us saw our reading habits change or our ability to focus on books diminish in favour of other media, others found solace in revisiting old favourites, still others may have found a reason to sink hundreds of hours into specific soothing video games. For all of us, working on this fanzine has had to take place alongside coping with the often overwhelming disaster that has been the last ten months. It has been, at times, suboptimal.
And yet, with the exception of US public holidays and one lone Tuesday in late October, our flock continued to put out reviews, interviews, commentaries and essays every weekday in 2020 - sometimes twice! Our coverage included writers from Andrea Stewart to Z.Z. Clayborne, and creations from epic spacefaring history retellings to gentle afterlife resource management sims, via international SFF cinema, retro adventure games, gothic horror, Hugo award finalist jewelry and sculpture, weird westerns and much, much more. There's been so much great media to celebrate in 2020 despite it all, and as we look back on all the wonderful stuff we read this year, we once again want to take a moment to shine a light on some of the work that we're personally proud of, for your consideration when it comes to nominating for the Hugo Award and other awards recognising fan contributions in 2021.
As well as our usual host of reviews, last year, we were delighted to expand our interview coverage, thanks to the work of new contributor Andrea Johnson, who got to chat to a whole host of exciting authors about their upcoming books, inspirations and various fun things, as well as our quickfire 6 books posts. We ran regular features like the monthly Thursday Morning Superhero column from Mike Newhouse-Bailey, Joe's New Books Spotlight and Adri's usually-monthly short fiction column, Questing in Shorts. Dean also returned to guide us through the intricacies of Westworld Season Three with Westworld Wednesday.
This year's project was Nerds on Tour, run by Adri Joy, with Andrea Johnson, Vance Kotrla, Paul Weimer and Spacefaring Kitten. Covering books and movies from around the world, it brings together a great collection of works that allowed us to expand our horizons and look outside our English-language comfort zone, even at a time when actual travel was off the cards for almost everyone.
Being nominated for the Hugo Award is a privilege, and we are honoured to have been awarded that privilege in the Best Fanzine category by voters for the past four years. We once again ask for your consideration, particularly in the following Hugo Award categories:
Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together, edited by Joe Sherry, Adri Joy, The G, and Vance Kotrla
Nerds on Tour, by Adri Joy, Andrea Johnson, Vance Kotrla, Paul Weimer, and Spacefaring Kitten
All of our flock are individually eligible for best fan writer for their work on our fanzine, and some of us also write elsewhere. If you're looking to fill out your fan writer ballot, here's our view of the highlights from our talented team this year:
Adri Joy (editor)
Tor.Com Publishing, First Become Ashes and the Pretty Pastel Packaging of Abuse
Diverging Paths and Cinnamon Rolls: Adri plays Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Questing in Shorts: September 2020
Review: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Review: The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Nerds on Tour: The Route of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zaraté (1996 novella)
Beauty, Dragons, and Isometric Horror: Revisiting Breath of Fire IV
The Modern Nostalgia of Dragon Quest XI: A Conversation (with Joe Sherry)
(Note: Aidan has a full eligibility post here)
Dean E.S. Richard
Westworld Wednesdays: Other People's Gods
Joe Sherry (editor)
Adri and Joe Talk About Books: 2019 Locus Recommended Reading List
The Dragon Prince Reread: Skybowl
The Hugo Initiative: Blogtable, 1983 Novelette (with Adri and Paul)
The Modern Nostalgia of Dragon Quest XI: A Conversation (with Aidan Moher)
Review: The Relentless Moon
Thursday Morning Superhero: Comic Con at Home
Thursday Morning Superhero: Locke and Key
Review: The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
Review: Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott
Review: The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
Review: Machine by Elizabeth Bear
Review: A Pale Light in the Black by K.B. Wagers
The Hugo Initiative: Blogtable, 1983 Novelette (with Adri and Joe)
(Note: Paul has a full eligibility post here)
Review: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Tempest
Review: Dark Matter
Review: In the Black
Nerds on Tour: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Nerds on Tour: Black Orpheus
Review: The Love Witch
And, last but not least...
Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
2020 Hugo Awards Acceptance Speech That Might Have Been
We didn't win a Hugo Award last year, but if we did, this would have have been our acceptance. Avenge us.