Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Best Fan Writer

The Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer includes everything but “work in professional publications” according to the Hugo Awards website.  The WSFS Constitution, though, defines the Best Fan Writer category to include “[a]ny person whose writing has appeared in . . . generally available electronic media.”  This assuages my concerns about the two writers below whose writing appears on Tor.com.

Last year George R.R. Martin described “[m]ost fan writing [a]s… well, more fannish, often featuring wit and humor. Trip reports, con reports, satires. Investigative journalism, of the sort featured in Mixon’s report, is seldom seen here, and might have had a tough go. But none of the usual fan writers made the cut this year. Most of those opposed to the slates are going to unite behind Mixon, I think. The strongest of the Puppy candidates is Jeffro Johnson, who seems to be mostly a book reviewer.”  Well I never.  Book reviewer sounds alright to me.  And, accordingly, the writers I highlight below focus heavily on writing about actual books.  It is also not by chance, though, that the writing of each that garnered my attention has been part of an ongoing series.

 

Jeffro Johnson

Johnson got my vote for the Hugo for Best Fan Writer last year and he hasn’t let up.  He completed his Appendix N Retrospective this year, but not until October.  It wound up covering 43 posts.  Johnson read every book Gygax mentioned by name (or at least the first book of each series) and picked out one representative work for the entries of only an author’s name, and he wrote about 2k words per book.  It has to stand as the definitive look at the infamous Appendix N.  I particularly appreciated his post on Tolkien.  And the Castalia House blog is much better since he took the reins.

Find his work here.

 

Grady Hendrix

Hendrix has been going through his Great Stephen King Reread in phases, and the last post for 2015 was in August, but he did write ten posts this year (along with others on Tor.com outside of the Reread).  Anything Hendrix lacks in quantity he makes up for his quality.  His work might seem a strange pick for me—the only Stephen King books I’ve read are The Eyes of the Dragon (many years ago), The Stand, and Firestarter—but that’s the point.  He writes on a subject I have limited interest in and I can’t get enough of it.  That will be a theme.

Find his work here.

 

Mari Ness

I’m even less interested in Disney films than in the work of Stephen King.  But I’ve read every one of Ness’ posts in her wonderful Disney Read-Watch.  It’s rich in comparisons between the films and source material as well as a wealth of background on each.

Find her work here.

 

Kaushal Hooda

Hooda wasn’t kidding when he called it a Big Read.  He made it through the 4 million plus words in The Wheel of Time for the first time in 2015 and blogged every step of the way.  The entire thing is infused with the joy of reading and it’s a wonderful thing to see as a very old WOT fan.  It exceeds the much more popular Leigh Butler.  And not just her weaker posts (it’s no secret she often mails it in) but her stronger posts as well.

Find his work here.

 

Adam Whitehead

The Wertzone is one of the older speculative fiction blogs out there (I think, before my time).  He’s an exceptional reviewer, especially of TV, and remarkable in his brevity, but it’s his A History of Epic Fantasy that I’m talking about today.  The history—itself an epic 34 parts—was almost entirely completed in 2015, with the exception of the final part and an appendix.  It’s essentially the definitive work on the subject already, and Whitehead is already working on repackaging it into book form.

Find his work here.

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About H.P.

Blogs on speculative fiction books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday.
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2 Responses to Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Best Fan Writer

  1. Pingback: Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Introduction | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

  2. Pingback: Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Sundry | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

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