Monday, February 19, 2018

Final 2018 Hugo Recommendation Post

This is a bit of a catchall post concerning the remaining categories. In many of these categories, I don’t really have any choices. This doesn’t mean I don’t think highly of those categories – I do! But I just can’t say much intelligent about any of them. I’ll go ahead and mention the categories anyway, for information’s sake.  

Best Semiprozine

I’ll nominate from the online world Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny, Lackington’s, and Kaleidotrope, as well as, from the print world, the venerable and still excellent Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Each of these magazines publishes fiction primarily – and excellent fiction. Most of them are pretty well known, but perhaps Lackington’s, edited by Ranylt Richildis; and Kaleidotrope, edited by Fred Coppersmith, deserved special mention because they don’t get quite as much attention.

Neil Clarke maintains a list of eligible semiprozines, here: Neil’s list still includes Black Gate, but I believe that’s more appropriately a Fanzine – it does not pay its contributors, John doesn’t make significant money from it I’m sure, and it hasn’t declared itself a semiprozine.

I should add a couple of extra particular mentions: two sites that focus on longer fiction: The Fantasist (edited by Will Waller, Evan Shiloh Adams, and Bernard Foyuth), and Giganotosaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith.

Best Fancast

I am more or less clueless on podcasts, but I’ll mention one that I’ve enjoyed, and not only because I was the featured guest on one episode: The Literary Wonder and Adventure Show,, run by Robert Zseldes ("Robert Zoltan"). I’ll add a long-running and always very good podcast, The Coode Street Podcast,, run by Jonathan Strahan and Gary Wolfe. (I was going to be a guest on an episode of that a couple of years ago, but technical difficulties intervened.)

Best Related Work

I have one book to recommend: Paul Kincaid’s Iain M. Banks (University of Illinois Press), a very interesting and illuminating look at the career of a very significant SF and Mainstream writer.

Professional Artist

I am going to mention three new names in this category (nothing against the excellent work of previous nominees and winners such as Julie Dillon, John Picacio, and Galen Dara, who surely still deserve consideration). But these are three folks who did some very nice work and who haven’t previously been nominated.

1.       Kathleen Jennings – I saw two lovely covers from her this year for Small Beer Press books: Telling the Map, and The River Bank. Not traditional SF illustration – which is not at all a bad thing! She has got notice in the past as a World Fantasy Award artist nominee. And she’s a very good writer: I used her story “Skull and Hyssop” in my 2015 Best of the Year volume. A portfolio is here:

2.       Gregory Manchess – He was the Artist GOH at World Fantasy this year, and I was really impressed by his work displayed there. He wrote an illustrated novel, Above the Timberline, published in 2017, which I have not read, but, again, the illustrations I’ve seen from it are very good indeed. Samples of his work can be found here:

3.       Dave Senecal – Senecal did some intriguing covers for Interzone this year, which attracted my attention. A Google search also found some interesting work based on Lovecraft, and lots more stuff, not necessarily SF or Fantasy-oriented. But the Interzone pieces themselves are well worth a look. UPDATE: I am informed, thanks to JJ at File 770, that as Interzone is by WSFS rules a semiprozine, Senecal's work would be eligible for Best Fan Artist, and not for Professional Artist. I confess he certainly seems like a professional to me (and so does Interzone seem like a prozine), but the rules are the rules, I suppose.

Fan Artist

Here’s a category I’m going to bow out of – I just haven’t seen enough fan art this year to make a recommendation. (With the exception that, as noted above, I will nominate Dave Senecal for Best Fan Artist unless I find some qualifying professional work by him.)

Best Graphic Story

And one more I’ll bow out of – I don’t read graphic novels as a rule. Don’t take that as disparagement – I’m really impressed by the artwork and storytelling, but it’s a case of “so many books, so little time” …

Best Novel, Series, YA
Best Editor, Campbell Award


  1. Interzone is a semiprozine, not a fanzine. But, yes, work in semiprozines would qualify for fan artist. I really hope that some of these categories get changed or clarified to make it easier to understand what/who is eligible for what.

  2. Thanks! Of course you are right (and I knew that, I just had "fan" on the mind) ... fixed now!