Hugo Category Highlights: Best Fanzine and Best Semiprozine
Best Fanzine: This Award is for anything that is neither professional nor semi-professional and that does not qualify as a Fancast. The publication must also satisfy the rule of a minimum of 4 issues, at least one of which must have appeared in the year of eligibility.
This is the last of the “Fan” categories, meaning the ones that don’t meet the Hugo definition of professional, which, as I’ve mentioned a time or two before is loose enough to drive a Death Star through.
At a guess, I’d say the rule of thumb for whether or not something fits here is that it doesn’t fit better into any other category, and it doesn’t pay or – at most, if a printed zine – pays in copies. Based on the rules and prior nominations, blogs about writing definitely count, including book review blogs that focus mostly on SF & F.
Based on how I read these rules, Mad Genius Club is eligible (please don’t. Most of us don’t want a rocket, we just want to see more people involved with the awards process). So is Otherwhere Gazette. Tangent Online is a good, solid contender. I also like Shiny Book Reviews http://shinybookreviews.com/ for their reviews of books that are often overlooked by the bigger players (they review a lot of independent and small press works as well as works from the major publishers).
Take a look, and if you like what you see, drop a recommendation in
Best Semiprozine: This is the first of the three serial publication/work categories. To qualify, the publication must have produced at least 4 issues, at least one of which must have appeared in the year of eligibility (this being similar to the requirements for magazine editors in Best Editor, Short Form), and meet additional requirements as listed below.
Semiprozine is the most complicated category because of the need to define semi-professional. A lot of science fiction and fantasy magazines are run on a semi-professional basis: that is they pay a little, but generally not enough to make a living for anyone. The object of this category is to separate such things from fanzines, which are generally loss-making hobbyist pursuits. To qualify a publication must not be professional (see above) and must meet at least one of the following criteria:
The publication pays its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication.
The publication was generally available only for paid purchase.
I’m wrapping this category into the same post for a couple of reasons: the main one being that I have absolutely – and sadly – no idea what would count here. Again the definition is kind of… flexible… but publications eligible for this have to pay something, and probably should charge something or be behind a paywall. Beyond that? This one is over to you to pick out your favorites.
Please add your favorites – I’m only human and I can’t chase down good suggestions for every category.
RETRO HUGO ALERT
Speaking of which – every category this year is also open for nominating candidates for the Retro Hugos, so naturally, Sad Puppies 4 is taking suggestions for works published in 1941. Please add any suggestions for Retro Hugos to the appropriate page with a note that this is a Retro Hugo suggestion. Some categories are sure to be a bit thin on the ground, particularly the fan and semi-pro categories, for the simple reason that it’s a heck of a lot easier to start a fancast or fanzine now than it was 75 years ago.
I’ll separate out the retro suggestions when the list is collated – hopefully we can get enough of them in enough categories to inspire some nominations, since the Retro Hugos don’t always get enough nominations to justify an award.