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Hugo Category Highlight – Best Fancast

Best Fancast: Awarded for any non-professional audio- or video-casting with at least four (4) episodes that had at least one (1) episode released in the previous calendar year.

As with the previous two categories, Best Fancast relies heavily on the interpretation of the definition of Professional:

Some Hugo categories (Best Professional Artist, Best Fan Artist, Best Semiprozine, and Best Fanzine) are defined by whether the work done was professional, semi-professional, or fannish. The definition of what is a “professional” publication is somewhat technical. A professional publication either (1) provided at least a quarter the income of any one person or, (2) was owned or published by any entity which provided at least a quarter the income of any of its staff and/or owner.

Essentially, this award is the media equivalent of the Best Fan Artist and Best Fan Writer awards, with the provision that it actually be episodic (apparently one-off items produced by people who don’t meet the definition have to compete with the big money that’s usually behind the creators of the Best Dramatic Presentation (Long and Short Form) awards. Well, nobody said award categories had to meet my standards of logical.

(I should mention I’m typing this on my backup system without any of my bookmarks, saved logins, regularly open tabs or anything like that. Thank you main system for making a nasty noise and dying yesterday. I really wanted a replacement computer. Not.)

So. What counts? If you watched it on TV it almost certainly doesn’t. If you watched it on YouTube or any of the similar sites, it might or might not. It’s not clear if a massively popular YouTube series funded by advertising or a series funded by multiple donations (or, for that matter, an indie game series funded by donations) would be considered professional or not. I lean to “not” unless the thing is paying its creator(s) a decent amount. Decent still being rather subjective, but I ain’t asking anyone if they’re making more than a quarter their annual income from their YouTube video series or from their audio series.

I’ll note here that “non-professional” does not and should not mean “low production standards”. That said, this category is rather more forgiving of flaky participant audio than the professional categories would be.

Some examples I like: Honey Badger Radio have what sounds like an open discussion format but is rather more structured behind the scenes to ensure that all their participants get a chance to have their say (yes, I’ve been a participant – that doesn’t mean I’d consider the episodes I was in are necessarily their best ones). WrongFun has nice production values and a humorous look at the issues in SF. And some awesome guests.

Sadly, I haven’t had the time to go looking for more potential nominees, but I’m sure everyone here has their personal favorites that they can add. Just go to the Sad Puppies 4 Recommendations Page  and add your entry. It might be a few days before I get your additions out of moderation prison (thank you ever so much soon-to-be-former-main-computer) but it will happen.

  1. Sean D Sorrentino #

    Thanks for the recommendation on The WrongFun Podcast. I still think the best fantasy is Tea And Jeopardy with Emma Newman.

    Don’t listen to the short shows, they won’t make sense. The every other week author interviews are really good, and she’s a really good interviewer.

    December 31, 2015
    • Kate Paulk #

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check that out when I have my replacement system.

      December 31, 2015
  2. Computers that make nasty noises then die — it’s either a fan, which is a cheap and simple fix allowing a full recovery, or the hard drive, which is also a simple fix and not terribly expensive in itself, but may or may not allow easy recovery of your data.

    I love the Honey Badgers, but am squinting hard at their stuff being SF/F eligible — often peripherally but that’s not really the focus. Where does one draw the line on that?

    December 31, 2015
    • Kate Paulk #

      I will hope that it’s a fan then, because then I can leech what I need off my hard hard drive. If it isn’t, the recovery could be… painful.

      Drawing the line is a challenge. Many games are SF/F-themed – it could be argued that gaming discussion qualifies purely on that basis. Or you could look at their podcasts on Sad Puppies 3, which are unquestionably discussing events in SF/F fandom.

      December 31, 2015
  3. BobtheRegisterredFool #

    Daddy Warpig.

    Moe Lane and someone else debated Cthulhu versus SMOD for President in 2016, I think on Big Gator 5’s podcast.

    December 31, 2015
    • Kate Paulk #

      Why vote for the lesser evil?

      December 31, 2015
      • BobtheRegisterredFool #

        Oddly enough, I’d got to thinking about doing a parody of an Anti-Cruz ad*, then about doing Pat Buckman campaign videos, and then remembered I hadn’t finished with this for the day. Shame I probably don’t have the spoons to do a Caliphate fansite as a ‘Friends of Pat Buckman for President, 2016’ campaign. In the current climate people might mistake it for real.

        Daddy Warpig

        Big Gator 5 versus Moe Lane, SMOD versus Cthulhu, Presidential Debate

        *Cruz hates the Irish so much that he wants to turn the clock back to before the Potato Famine.

        December 31, 2015
  4. I just want to see some nominees that don’t sound like they are named by five year old girls this time.

    December 31, 2015
    • Kate Paulk #

      That could be a bit of a challenge. Still, the more suggestions people offer, the more likely there is to be something that appeals – and doesn’t sound like a five-year-old girl’s dream.

      December 31, 2015

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