This week’s category is another one that doesn’t actually require the Hugo Packet – Best Fancast.
Again, nominating ballot counts in this category roughly doubled from 668 last year to this year’s 1267 nominating ballots. Because professionally backed podcasts can compete with old fashioned amateur productions in this category, it’s an interesting mix.
On to the finalists, as listed on the Hugo site :
8-4 Play – This is one of the professionally-backed nominations: the localization company 8-4 which specializes in English translations for Japanese games runs a podcast blog with a high SF/Fantasy content level. Production quality is high with nice clear audio and no extraneous noise, despite what sounds like a mostly live recording from the collection ums and ahs and verbal filler. The discussion tends to ramble and wander, and there are times where the quality drops and there’s a lot of noise.
Cane and Rinse – This is a weekly podcast where each week’s episode focuses on a single game or game franchise. The podcast has been edited, and older episodes can be located fairly easily through the forum on the site (I recommend this method rather than the side-scrolling panels on the main page). They have very high production values, and tend to go into a lot of technical geekery on the games they’re discussing.
HelloGreedo – This is a one-person YouTube channel with a whole lot of Star Wars material. His reviews of the Star Wars movies are pure gold.
The Rageaholic – This is another single-person effort, primarily reviewing games – although the comic commentary is also potent. Production quality is good, with no extraneous sound noise, and the individual episodes tend to be quite short. If you have an issue with coarse language, you might want to skip this. The man is very opinionated, very passionate, and very, very… erm… scathing about that which he dislikes. If you disagree with him, you’ll probably find him offensive. If you agree with him you might also find him offensive – but you won’t find him boring.
Tales to Terrify – This is a horror audiozine run on a subscription/donation basis. Production values are very high, and the introduction to each work being read is clean and without any verbal filler. If you don’t like the reader of a particular episode, you probably won’t like that episode. If you do, you probably will.
Go check all of them out, listen to some of their eligible recordings, and decide which you think are the absolute best of the best of fancasts.
P.S. For those who want the numbers, the detailed data for last year’s awards is available here
P.P.S. A bit of Hugo trivia: In 2015, if you could guarantee 100 nominating ballots, in 11 of 17 categories you would have been a finalist. This is why I want more people voting and nominating.