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 .