On Fanzines and Hugo Noms

Voting for the 2014 Hugo Awards opened on Friday, June 6th. I’m using this opportunity to reprint the introduction to A Dribble of Ink’s collection included in the voter packet provided to all eligible voters. Whether you’re a voter or not, you can download the collection below -ed.

Over the past several years, vast change has come to many of the fan categories at the Hugos.

The “Best Fanzine” category has seen a dramatic shift in the past two years, since SF Signal’s first nomination, and traditional zines are being replaced by blogs and online magazines. “So never the twain shall meet…,” said Mike Glyer, of the many-times nominated File 770, describing the seemingly impassable gulf that exists between the online community and the traditional fan community. I don’t believe Mr. Glyer. While this divide between the two fan communities is undeniable, genre fandom is ripe with opportunity for creating a global fan community that embraces diversity—of voice and publishing platform—and challenges readers, authors, and publishers to become more inclusive and welcoming than ever before.

Writers in the online SFF community have fought now for several years to encourage Hugo voters to recognize the work that their peers have been doing. The first step towards this future was the nomination (and win) for SF Signal. Two years later, I’m honoured to be on a ballot among four other fine online publications, and one of the best traditional zines around. Whatever happens in August, a rocket will end up in the hands of a first-time winner. That’s wonderful progress.

But, let’s stop drawing lines in the sand, and start blurring them instead. Fandom isn’t blogs and zines. It’s fans writing.

But, let’s stop drawing lines in the sand, and start blurring them instead. Fandom isn’t blogs and zines. It’s fans writing.

It’s important for fans and voters to continue to read widely and discover all of the wonderful voices within SFF fandom. If you’re a traditional fanzine reader, check out The Book Smugglers, Pornokitsch, and Elitist Book Reviews. I’m certain you’ll be surprised by the variety and quality of the writing. If you’re a blog follower, explore everything that Garcia, Bacon, et al. have to offer in Journey Planet, then head over to efanzines.com, where you’ll find some of the most passionate fan writers in the world.

Science fiction and fantasy are defined by their limitless possibilities, and their inherent need to embrace diversity—the weird, the wonderful, the impossible. The fan community must also embrace diversity with equal veracity. Read widely, tell your friends, ask for more.

Included here are ten essays and reviews from four of A Dribble of Ink’s contributors. From a rule of thumb for escapism, to reviews of some of 2013’s finest novels, a journey through one of India’s most epic tales, to Kameron Hurley’s Hugo Award-nominated essay, “We Have Always Fought”, this collection of writing highlights the finest of A Dribble of Ink in 2013.

I hope you enjoy it.

~Aidan Moher
May 6th, 2014
Victoria, BC

Table of Contents

  • Paul Weimer June 10, 2014 at 9:20 am

    “Fandom isn’t blogs and zines. It’s fans writing.”

    Indeed, Aidan. Well said.

  • Aidan Moher June 10, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Thanks, Paul. To the surprise of no one, this is something I’m passionate about, and that idea, that medium is not a defining attribute of fan writing, is an important distinction in encouraging fandom to become more inclusive.

  • […] has evolved into gentler, almost Fred Allen/Jack Benny-style feud (see for example here and here) – so congratulations, and better Aidan should win than a […]

  • Leave a Response
    You must be logged in to comment. Log in