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

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.

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Winner: Betsy Wollheim
  • Lou Anders
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Anne Lesley Groell
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden

I think it’s cute that the editor of the novel most in need of editing won this.

Best Professional Artist

  • Winner: John Picacio
  • Dan dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Michael Komarck
  • Stephan Martiniere

Very happy to see John’s name here. He’s a wonderful fellow, and, more importantly, an artist who doesn’t fall into the general trends of the genre’s art. You know a Picacio cover when you see one, but they never feel like a rehash of something he’s painted before.

Best Fanzine

  • Winner: SF Signal edited by John DeNardo
  • Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • The Drink Tank edited by James Bacon and Christopher J Garcia
  • File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
  • Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, et al.

Best Fan Writer

  • Winner: Jim C. Hines
  • James Bacon
  • Claire Brialey
  • Christopher J Garcia
  • Steven H. Silver

I’ve had a lot staked in these two categories for the last few years, and have been very vocal about my opinion that the blogosphere and its writers need to be better recognized the by estabilshed/old school fandom. SF Signal taking the prize above category stalwarts like Journey Planet, File 770 and last year’s winner, The Drink Tank, is an absolute delight for me. Congratulations to John Denardo, J.P. Frantz, Patrick Hester and the rest of the crew over there. They’ve always been a delight to work with, and I’ll be forever grateful that I talked Denardo into shamelessly promoting SF Signal’s Hugo eligibility. It’s paid off tenfold.

Jim C. Hines is wonderful, I nominated and voted for him, and I couldn’t be happier to see his name here. Congrats, Jim!

Also of note, if you look at the 2012 Hugo Award Statistics, which breaks down the voting spectrum and also reveals the ‘long list’ of coulda-woulda-shoulda beens, you’ll see that A Dribble of Ink appears on the list, just 25 votes shy of making the final ballot. Sure, I only got 13 votes in total, but it shows that there are readers out there who believe in what I do here. I’m humbled, and already working on ideas of how to provide the great content necessary to convince those 25-30 extra voters that A Dribble of Ink belongs there. This is the first time that A Dribble of Ink has appeared among the long list statistics. So, thank you readers!

  • Renay September 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I was also happy to see SF Signal and Jim Hines win. I voted for both of these, too. :) I really hope to see more SF/F bloggers and critics appear in these categories in the future.

  • Joel September 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    The longlist stats are interesting. Quantum Thief missed a sixth spot on the ballot by one vote! (And I think it would have been a much better nominee than a few that did make it — ADWD and Deadline.)

    Meanwhile, farther down, 24 people continue to nominate Ansible for best semiprozine. Ansible, which is a text-only email that comes out sporadically and is mostly a collection of stuff published elsewhere. I totally see why it was awesome in the pre-internet days, but now…

  • Frodo Stark September 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    “I think it’s cute that the editor of the novel most in need of editing won this.”

    Yup…nuff said.

  • Jared September 5, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I know we’ve scorched this earth before, but I completely disagree about Among Others. (I also, for the record, bet that it was going to win the Hugo over a year ago when I first read it. So, er, yay me.)

    Delighted about SF Signal – it didn’t just win, it dominated the competition (so did Among Others, but,… sigh). I’m curious what this means for the next few years. Blogs are just bigger than fanzines. So if bloggers start caring, and voting, and going to WorldCon, it is easy to imagine all the traditional fanzines dropping off the list. Equally, I wouldn’t be surprised if this provided grist for another ‘ban the interwebs’ rules amendment. Or (best of all) a separate category for blogs…

    I was delighted to see A Dribble of Ink do so well (I voted for you!). Also happy to see Julie Crisp for Tor UK do well in the Editor (Long form) voting. She’s brilliant, and I’m glad to see an editor from outside the US make a showing.

    I’m curious how the voting patterns will change for London 2014. I *suspect* that the core of WorldCon attendees just go, every year, wherever it is. But even if, say, 30% of the attendees are one-off local con-goers, that’ll shake up everything. Someone should do a proper Nate Silver on the Hugo voting history and see what happens. (I guess I could, but, like all half-hearted activists, I’d rather someone else did and then I can shout about it.)

  • Joel September 5, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I think suggesting Among Others won because it panders to fandom is selling it short and ignoring the elements that actually make it work. It wouldn’t matter if all the titles the narrator is referencing were wholly invented, since it is her emotional journey that matters. I can see why the book isn’t for everyone though.

  • Aidan Moher September 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

    @Jared — I’m curious to see how the trends play out over the next few years. Also curious to see about the ruling made regarding ‘Best Fanzine.’ You can bet your ass I’ll start publishing a quarterly collection of A Dribble of Ink‘s best posts just to spite the new ‘periodical’ requirement in the suggested rule change.

    @Joel — I agree, but it’s a common accusation levelled against the novel, unfortunately; and, really, the Hugo crowd are incredibly nostalgic.

  • Randy September 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Been going through that list of “almost on the ballot” titles, checking out online zines not heard of before, which brought me to “Dribble of Ink”, and will be checking back in the future. Just wanted to add a small note here, though, to correct a comment above: “Ansible” is still available as a hard-copy printed sheet that is mailed out, as well as the text-only email for those who prefer it that way, plus there is also a webpage for ech issue. It is, in affect, available in three different formats, depending on how you prefer to read it. Just thought I’d toss that in.

  • Aidan Moher September 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Welcome aboard, Randy! I hope others like you will discover A Dribble of Ink this way.

    And, though I’m not a big Ansible fan (recognizing its place in SFF fandom, but less impressed with its current place in the conversation), it’s important to make those points. Ansible is more of a newsletter available in web format, than something that’s trying to be a website.

  • Joel September 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Yeah, sorry, I didn’t mean to lessen what Ansible is. It just seems like an artifact from another era. I get it, I read it, it’s amusing. I just don’t really know what it is for in 2012.

  • Dave September 5, 2012 at 11:46 am

    lol I’m not sure if cute is the word I’d use about the best editor. I’m not an expert on how the voting works for this but I wonder if Rothfuss’s blog post promoting her and including a link to the hugo’s site has anything to do with it.

  • JRVogt September 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    It was awesome to attend Worldcon and get to see the ceremony in person. Got to meet John DeNardo in person (incredible guy) and he totally deserved to win for the strides he’s made with SF Signal. Plus, Jim Hines removing himself from consideration for future fan writing awards to make room for others he feels are just as deserving? Epitome of classy.

  • Aidan Moher September 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Yeah, John’s a wonderful guy, though I’ve only had the chance to chat with him over Skype.

    And, I hadn’t heard that about Jim. I always respect those who make that decision, especially when they’re in the categories that have long been cluttered with the same names. File 770 has been nominated 22 times. And I think it would behoove the Dr. Who team to accept a nomination for only one episode per year.

  • JRVogt September 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Yeah, he basically said he believes there are so many fan writers who deserve attention that he’s removing himself from any future nomination possibilities. That, plus his panel where he did poses imitating female cover models made him one of the best parts of Worldcon, imho.

  • John Picacio September 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hey, Aidan — Thanks very much for the shoutout. I really appreciate it. Will keep working to get better here. :)

  • John DeNardo September 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Hey, Aidan — still catching up with stuff 1 week later! Thanks for the kind words and I hope you got to hear my shoutout to you and the other contributors during my (nervous) acceptance speech. It would be silly to pretend that I could have done it without the generous efforts of others — so thanks!