So it’s been over a week since the Hugo’s were announced and we’ve moved from blog posts kvetching about the system to those having a crack at the kvetchers to more meta posts about moving beyond the kvetching altogether. (A)
What there’s been very little of is actual discussion about the ballot – other than endless wittering on the 5% rule and comments that the novel category is a bit rubbish. I thought I’d try and rectify this.
(1) I thought Chicks Unravel Time was an excellent book. It was the catalyst for my post about the lack of female writers working for Big Finish. That said, on File 770 Martin Morse Wooster has the following to say:
HOW will the Digging Chicks choose which one of their mighty books will inevitably win the Hugo for Related Book? Will they throw comics and DVDs at each other until one survives?
Oh that old phart fannish humour just cracks me up.
(2) Best Graphic Story looks much better this year. For one, Saga is on the ballot – I’d have been one of the main kvetchers if it hadn’t appeared. As far as I’m concerned, it’s head and shoulders the best ongoing series written in 2012. It’s nice to see Saucer Country on the ballot. I’ve read every issue and am sad to see it’s coming to end in the next month or so. I think it’s a comic that struggled to find its voice in its first few issues, but the last few have been great. Schlock Mercenary does fuck all for me. I haven’t read the Talbot and I’m miles behind on Locke and Key, but overall this bunch of nominees has given me hope for the long term future of the category.
(3) I’ve seen four of the five moves in Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form. There’s a decent bunch of movies here, though I’m disappointed that neither Dredd or Argo made it. For me, though, it has to be The Avengers all the way (with Looper in second place).
(4) If there’s a category that’s in dire need of been parked or at least given a big kick up the arse, it’s Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form. Look, I’m a major Doctor Who fan. Have the loved the show since I was six or seven. But fuck me, The Snowmen and Asylum of the Daleks?!?! Neither are actively bad stories, in fact I thought Snowmen had some nice moments, but every episode of Archer and a good chunk of Community was better than both those episodes. That said, I don’t mind seeing The Angels Take Manhattan because I thought it was a fitting end for the Ponds and did draw a tear.
The Fringe episode also isn’t much chop, it’s a season that seemed to end with a whimper. And I didn’t watch any of Season 2 of Game of Thrones. But fuck me, as a life long Doctor Who fan it’s embarrassing to see another three Doctor Who episodes feature in this category again.
(5) Best Editor – Short Form. Many of the same names as we saw last year. Many will be pushing for Schmidt to win a Hugo (I believe he’s never won one). But years of service shouldn’t be a reason to win a rocket. It should be based on what you produced in 2012. I think you can guess that I’m not a fan of Analog and its output.
In anycase, for me it’s Jonathan. He hasn’t won a Hugo either, and given his significant and high quality output for 2012 it’s about bloody time he went home with a rocket.
(6) Best Editor – Long Form. I don’t know how people nominate for this category. They obviously do a hell of a lot more research about who edits what then I do. Or, in other words, I don’t have a horse in this race.
(7) Talking about horses and races, I have no opinion on either Best Pro or Fan Artist.
(8) Fantastic to see Strange Horizons feature for Best Semi-Prozine. It produces great fiction, great blogs and some of the best reviews anywhere on the interwebs. But this is a tough category to win. I mean, Locus who appeared last year don’t feature at all… (or is this because of a rule change?)
(9) I’m running out of puff and yet I’m getting to three categories that interest me most. Best Fanzine, Best Fan Writer and Best Fancast. I’m bloody stoked that Tansy Rayner Roberts has been nominated for Best Fan Writer. But then you’ll have guessed that if you’ve read my Ditmar post. That said, I didn’t nominate Tansy. That’s because she’s a pro. Not that I have a problem with pros appearing in this category. I think it’s ridiculous to think that just because you’re a pro you should be discriminated against. Just read Tansy’s posts and you’ll see she bleeds fan.
But like my mate Macca, I decided to keep my fan writing nominations to fans who are also not authors. Of course none of the appeared.
(10) When I look at Best Fan Writer and Best Fanzine and I can absolutely see why the kvetching noted above occurs. There’s some magnificent blogs out there featuring great fan writing that doesn’t get recognised by the Hugos because of this knee jerk animosity to the digital world. You don’t believe me, just take this comment from Rich Lynch:
I guess we didn’t do a good enough job getting the Fanzine category redefined.
He’s referring to the appearance of two websites in the category. And I know he’s not a lone voice.
(11) While it’s only Best Fancasts second year, this ballot is a cut and paste of last years. If we see the same five podcasts appear next year, then I think there will be genuine concern for the future of this category.
(12) That said, I do adore both Galactic Suburbia and Coode Street. Can they both win?
(13) I don’t have much to say in regard to the Campbells other than the fact that I’ve heard very good things about Zen Cho.
(A) Actually that linked post from may mate Macca (apparently he hates being called that) is the best of the lot. Because putting aside his comments on the insular perception of old fart fandom, he’s actually quite constructive in terms of moving forward.