Hugo Awards – The Nominee Highlights – Best Fan Writer

This week’s category is another one that doesn’t actually require the Hugo Packet – Best Fan Writer.

The jump in nomination ballots for this one isn’t quite so dramatic: from 777 in 2015 to 1568 ballots this year – but still pretty damned impressive. At least one of the nominees probably should be there, but I’ll discuss that in my thumbnail reviews of the individual finalists.

On to the finalists, as listed on the Hugo site :

Douglas Ernst – He’s pretty active with his blog, so you’ll need to go a fair way to get to any of his qualifying writing. He’s also kind of opinionated, which means that those who disagree with him may well decide that’s reason enough to nix him. I disagree: agree or not, his analysis (at least on the topic where I have a bit of knowledge) is pretty damn good and so is his writing.

Mike Glyer – He needs no introduction here. While I have no objections to his site being a Best Fanzine finalist, I don’t see that much actual writing from him on his site, which makes him one of the weaker candidates – if one is judging on the quality of the writing on offer. There are some good articles there, just not as many as some of the other authors in this category.

Morgan Holmes  – Castalia really needs to do a better job of distinguishing their blog authors: it’s a pain to trawl through the 2015 archives to find the posts with Morgan’s name on them. That said, it’s worth the effort: he writes some damn good reviews of classic genre works.

Jeffro Johnson – Some very good gaming blogging here – along with some rather nice book blogging. Again – like all the finalists – it’s kind of a challenge to find the qualifying stuff amidst everything else – but it’s worth it for gems like the rant I found in the December 2015 archives over someone else misinterpreting a list of fantasy books that inspired tabletop games.

Shamus Young  – In terms of content, he’s probably the weakest of the contenders here, but still has some interesting things to say. Again, there’s a lot of digging to find the gems, but for the game-oriented, there’s some goodies.

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 writers.

P.S. For those who want the numbers, the detailed data for last year’s awards is available here .

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Hugo Awards – The Nominee Highlights – Best Fan Writer

  1. Christopher M. Chupik

    Though I’m not a fan of VD stuffing these categories with Castalia House nominees, I have to praise Morgan Holmes. I knew him before he blogged at Castalia, and his knowledge of older SF and Fantasy is impressive. He’s the real deal.

    • Kate Paulk

      Yes, his reviews of older works are excellent – and have the nice bonus of bringing the older works to the attention of people who might not have seen them.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Castalia house writers are simply legitimately the best fan writers. Totes for sure. Anyone who liked anyone else is simply a bigot, and did not have a legitimate opinion.

      It’s not like my suggestions are a matter of public record anywhere or something.

  2. I regularly read Ernst and Shamus. If they are eligible, Shamus’ “Mass Effect Retrospective” series should be a serious Hugo contender, they are very good. If comics are now a part of Hugo considerations, then Ernst definitely has earned recognition for some of his coverage of creators.

    And thx, Kate for pointing out that politics should come second to quality. Shame that’s getting to be so rare these days.

    • Kate Paulk

      That will be useful for evaluating File770’s best fanzine finalist position. For Mike Glyer as best fan writer, not so much – most of the columns in the zine were written by someone other than Mike (which is as it should be).

  3. I found Jeffro Johnson’s Appendix N and other stuff most entertaining and what he says mostly fits with my memories of being a gamer back in the day. So thank you for introducing me to his blog.