Since I misremembered and I won’t have the detailed numbers to slice and di… ahem… analyze until after the winners are announced, I figured I’d start the reviews and highlights of the nominees instead, along with some side commentary on what numbers are available.
So, what with the Hugo parcels being a tad delayed, I’m starting on the freely available categories, the first of which is Best Fan Artist. First off, ballots in this category soared from 296 nomination ballots last year to this year’s 1073 nomination ballots. That’s phenomenal, and exactly the kind of thing I wanted to see this year. Given that last year, the lowest-ranked of the finalists received 23 nominating ballots and the highest 48, more ballots being cast is a really good thing. It’s not that hard to round up 50 or so people to vote for some specific work after all (I couldn’t, but my marketing ability is negative. Some of the writers I know could do it without breaking a sweat).
On to the finalists, as listed on the Hugo site :
Matthew Callahan – Magnificent Galactic War Fighters art series showing Star Wars clone troopers in combat situations is all that needs to be mentioned here. Go and look at it.
Christian Quinot – the site is in Russian, the artwork does not need translation. Or just run a google image search for the name and feast on the results. While there’s a broad streak of dark in the works, there’s also a number of fun and playful ones.
Disse86 – This artist also leans to the dark, but is very good- and I’ve got to admit to loving the humor in the Metallica-loving skeletal dude in his den.
Kukuruyo – This artist works in a much more manga-influenced style, and is – of course – the creator of the GamerGate life series (as well as several other damn good series – go check out the site. Just make sure you have plenty of time free when you do).
Steve Stiles – I’ve got to admit most of what’s here isn’t to my taste but I can see the cleverness and skill in it. The website and gallery are horrendously out of date and not exactly what you’d call stylish (and frankly not exactly attractive, either). His tumblr blog is a little less unfriendly to people wanting to check out his art.
Go check all of them out, take a good look at their eligible works, and decide which you think are the absolute best of the best of fan artists.
P.S. For those who want the numbers, the detailed data for last year’s awards is available here.