Posts Tagged: Fanzines

A Dribble of Ink's 2013 Hugo Nominations & Recommendations

Welcome to my 2013 Hugo nominations and recommendations. Here I will be collecting the novels, writers, films and videogames that I believe are deserving to win a Hugo award. I have not filled out every category, for one reason or another, but there is a nice variety here, all of which entertained me in 2012. Also included in these nominations and recommendations are other notable items for your consideration. These are generally items that I’ve not read or experienced yet but come well-recommended by people I trust and are on my plate to do so before the nomination process.

This list is still a work-in-progress and can (and will change) before the nomination period ends on March, 10th. I hope you find something of interest here. Enjoy.

Best Novel

If you look at the list of 2012-published novels I read last year, it might be no surprise that, as of now, I do not have enough novels to fill my ballot in this category. Between now and the nomination deadline I will be doing some catch-up, and I’ve included those novels in the ‘Other Notables’ section, but it 2012 was not a particularly strong year for me. The novels I include below, however, I believe in fully.

THE KING'S BLOOD by Daniel AbrahamThe King’s Blood by Daniel Abraham
(REVIEW // Buy: Book/eBook)

Geder Palliako’s star is rising. He is a hero of Antea, protector to the crown prince, and darling of the court. But storms from his past are gathering, and with them, a war that will change everything.

Cithrin bel Sarcour founded a powerful bank on stolen wealth, forged papers, and ready blades. Now every move she makes is observed, recorded, and controlled. Unless Cithrin can free herself from her gilded cage, the life she made will be for naught; war may provide just the opportunity she needs.

An apostate priest sees the hidden hand behind all: a long-buried secret of the dragon empire threatens everything humanity has built. An age of madness and death approaches, with only a few doomed heroes to stand in its way.

Last year, I chose to nominate Abraham’s The Dragon’s Path over Leviathan Wakes, his SF collaboration with Ty Franck, published under the name ‘James S.A. Corey.’ Leviathan Wakes made the ballot, The Dragon’s Path did not. I still believe in that nomination and that Abraham is behind some of today’s most interesting and exciting Fantasy. The Dagger & The Coin takes the comfortable, adventurous Fantasy built by Terry Brooks, David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist and imbues it with an intelligence and depth that sets it apart from the rest of the field. The King’s Blood is an improvement on The Dragon’s Path on every level and continues to prove Abraham’s worth the genre. As I said in my review, “It’s about time we stop comparing Abraham to other authors, and start comparing other authors to him.”

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Hugo Awards 2013 Banner

As a fan writer, I’m personally eligible for the ‘Best Fan Writer’ award, but this space will not be devoted to me as a fan writer, but A Dribble of Ink as a publishing platform. I think I’ve published some pretty cool stuff, by some very talented fan writers, and I’d like to bring attention to some of those articles. 2012 was a big year for this blog, and I feel that several of the articles published here, and listed below, contributed positively to the ongoing discussion of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction in general.

Below, for your consideration, is a collection of asides, reviews and articles published on A Dribble of Ink:

  • “Concerning Historical Authenticity in Fantasy, or Truth Forgives You Nothing” by Daniel Abraham

    The idea that the race, gender, or sexual roles of a given work of secondary world, quasi-medieval fantasy were dictated by history doesn’t work on any level. First, history has an almost unimaginably rich set of examples to pull from. Second, there are a wide variety of secondary world faux-medieval fantasies that don’t reach for historical accuracy and which would be served poorly by the attempt. And third, even in the works where the standard is applied, it’s only applied to specific, cherry-picked facets of the fantasy culture and the real world.

  • “It’s Amazing the Things We Know, That Are Actually Wrong” by Kate Elliott

    Let’s say my unexamined understanding of the European Middle Ages means I view the era as a monolithic block where the oppressed women of the time were in constant danger of having sexualized violence perpetrated on them, where women had no lives outside of their relationship with a man who gave them guardianship or money, and where they could barely be said to have personality because they were too oppressed and socially inferior and ignorant to have personalities. If this is what I think I know, then my attempts to read—much less write!—a fantasy story with women who do not fit those limited and limiting parameters will fail. Understandably so, since to write outside those assumptions means my normative ideas will have been transgressed. How unrealistic a more “diverse” story will seem to a reader or writer whose views of the past are mired in these sorts of errors. How flawed, even though it actually isn’t.

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Speculative Fiction 2012, The Years Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, edited by Landon and Shurin

It’s a nice cover. Clean, and reminiscent of high end literary journals without looking stale. It’s a cute play on expectations to change the letters of the keyboard as well.

Of the project, Landon says:

Our goal, if any such thing can be claimed, is to create a record of all the incredibly rich content being created on the web. We put out a call for submissions from the community at large and received over 200. Accounting for our own finds, that means well over 300 pieces of non-fiction that range from reviews, to essays about the field, to what it means to live the genre life (or something to that effect).

I’m very excited for this project, and contributed several handfuls of links and articles around the web for consideration by Shurin and Landon. I’m hoping to see some of these articles, written by my favourite online members of the fan community, make it among the 40-50 articles published in the collection. Speculative Fiction 2012, The Years Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary is a great step towards not only chronicling the best online fan writing, but also for providing a new audience for these writers. How great would it be to see a collection like this appear in packages distributed to members of major conventions, like WorldCon or the World Fantasy Convention? Speculative Fiction 2012, The Years Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary is set for release in late February or early March by Pandemonium Fiction.

Hugo Awards LogoBy now, you’ve probably seen the results of the 2012 Hugo Awards, which are littered across the ‘net. Instead of sounding like a broken record and posting the unabridged list, I thought I’d toss around a few of my thoughts on the results that most interest me, specifically ‘Best Novel,’ ‘Best Fanzine,’ and ‘Best Fan Writer.’ Overall, I’m quite happy with the results, and found many overlaps between my original nominating ballot and the votes I cast.

For the full list, visit Tor.com.

Best Novel

  • Winner: Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
  • Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan UK / Del Rey)
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

Very surprised, and delighted, to see Among Others sitting atop this list. I nominated it, and gave it my top vote earlier in the year, but I expected it to get trampled by A Dance with Dragons, or Mieville. Some consider the novel to be too pandering towards the older generation of fandom, who has a huge impact on Hugo voting, and many they’re right, but as someone who was born after Among Others ended, rose-tinted glasses didn’t have any effect on my perception and enjoyment of the novel; The dreamy Welsh setting did, the starkly drawn protagonist and the tender relationships she built around herself did, but nostalgia didn’t. Good choice, voters.
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The Drink Tank #315, Handicapping the HugosIssue #315 of The Drink Tank, the Hugo Award-nominated fanzine edited by Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon, just hit newstands efanzines.com and it’s dedicated entirely to examining this year’s Hugo ballot. It’s called “Handicapping the Hugos.”

Also included are thoughts on the awards from Charlie Jane Anders, Niall Harrison and some guy named “Aidan Mohr.” Despite the mispelling of my name, I’m absolutely thrilled to have been invited to take part in the analysis with several other Hugo-nominated fan writers (and Niall Harrison, who, damnit, should be a Hugo-nominated fan writer by this point,) all of whom have a strong online presence.

Also of interest are Garcia’s thoughts on the inclusion of SF Signal in the “Best Fanzine” category:

OK, there’s been a lot of folks in the blog community that were not happy with the Hugos last year.

They point out that much of fandom is blogs and podcasts and so on and they wanted to see them represented on the Hugo ballot. And there were others who didn’t like that and it went on and on. Aidan Mohr [sic] was one of the loudest folks decrying the lack of blogs and so on. There were others, but his were the most widely discussed among the folks I know. This nomination was probably not directly tied, though even I was a little surprised that it didn’t do better in the nominations last year . I expect it to destroy the rest of us completely. [W]hen it ended up somewhere around number 13 or so. It’s got a huge following, far bigger than any of the other nominees, or probably eFanzines.com in total!

So, go read “Handicapping the Hugos”, The Drink Tank #315. You’ll find insight into the ballot and also and interesting look at how another portion of the fan community views the awards and the nominated books/stories/writers/editors.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Drink Tank, its editors and the fanzine culture in general, check out Garcia’s “Ma Vie En Zines,” and article he recently wrote for A Dribble of Ink exploring fanzine history and culture.