2012 Hugos: Best Fan Writer

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I'm a bit concerned that my write-ups of the Hugo nominations so far have been too grumpy. Perhaps it's due to my listing the nominees in reverse order of preference; writing about the ones I didn't like puts me (and possibly my reader) in a bad mood before I reach the ones I did like. So for the next few lists I'm going to apply the principle of listing the nominees in the order I intend to vote for them, and hope to say more nice things as a result.

Once again, Best Fan Writer is a category I don't think I have ever cast a complete ballot in previously. As someone whose fandom experience is largely on-line and occasionally in-person, I know three of the nominees as people rather than as writers, and had not read much by the other two at all. So I'm basing my vote entirely on the contents of the Hugo Voter Packet, rather than on any of their other writings that I may have seen, because with the exception of Steven Silver's livejournal entries, I haven't seen any. Anyway, I found it pretty straightforward to rank the candidates as follows:

1) Claire Brialey. Four solid pieces, three about fannish subjects, and one about last summer's riots in England. All well written and well presented, and felt to me like they described parts of my fannish and personal universe. Easy decision to give her my top vote. (NB that Brialey is the only female nominee in this category.)

2) James Bacon. One standout piece - "Hurt: A Dog Day Afternoon" - which is a brilliant and moving meditation on being a dog-loving train driver, the best single item of any of the nominated pieces. The other two pieces, on military sf and Irish-language sf, grabbed me less and had some imperfect editing.

3) Jim C. Hines. The only nominee whose entries are mostly blog posts. Best is the one on Jane C. Hines. Others include a parody of a song I don't know, complaints about genre-bashing, and dealing with sexual harassment.

4) Steven H. Silver. Three very short pieces (of which the best is the Anne McCaffrey obituary from The Drink Tank #299) and also the June 2011 news posts from SF Signal. All presented as a single document.

5) Chris Garcia. Four short pieces presented as a single document. The best is "The City of LA: A Love Story" from The Drink Tank #300. Other topics covered are the film Rollerball, what it feels like to win a Hugo, and the museum in one's head.

All entirely subjective, of course, and I think reasonable people can disagree about any of these rankings. I note, though I think it is coincidental, that the two writers I ranked last were the two whose writing is represented by single documents rather than by separate files for each article.

See also: Best Novel | Best Novella | Best Novelette | Best Short Story | Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) | Best Professional Artist | Best Fan Artist

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