2008 Hugo Awards Countdown: Best Fan Writers

My first steps in exploring the world of science fiction were the direct result of reading John Scalzi’s Whatever blog. I’m not totally sure why, but it probably has something to do with the way he presented science fiction—not as just an extension of himself and his books, but also as a presentation of the smorgasbord of the genre.

This is what a fan writer does.

Nominees for Best Fan Writer

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Meet the Fan Writers: Chris Garcia

My biggest thing may be this: I write for fanzines first and foremost. I love fanzines and think they’re one of the best ways to interact with fandom. I’m not a big blog guy, I keep one because it provides a place for my thoughts that aren’t big enough to expand into a full Drink Tank article. I want folks to seek out fanzines, not only as readers but as writers. I certainly wasn’t nominated for the writing I did in my blog. I was nominated because of the writing I did in fanzines, and that’s what I want to encourage. I want folks to write for fanzines and I want folks to notice that.


The Drink Tank [2008 Hugo Nominee]
Reviews and articles at Some Fantastic


David Langford RAQ

Q. Can I have a short biographical paragraph about your wonderfulness?

A. One version that’s appeared a few times goes like this: “Born 10 April 1953 in Newport, Gwent, South Wales. Studied at Newport High School and (1971-4) Brasenose College, Oxford. BA (Hons) in Physics 1974, MA 1978. Weapons physicist at Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston, Berkshire, from 1975 to 1980. Freelance author, editor and consultant ever since-main fields: science, technology, science fiction (both fiction and criticism), humour, small-system computing and futurology. Sideline in software marketing/consultancy (as Ansible Information, in partnership with fellow author Christopher Priest) since 1985. Married since 12 June 1976 to Hazel Langford — no children but some 30,000 books. Most work published under own name; one admitted pseudonym, William Robert Loosley. Hobbies include real beer, antique hearing aids and the destruction of human civilization as we know it today.”

[more RAQ]

Ansible [2008 Hugo Nominee]
Fan Writings in 2007
SFX Column
Cloud Chamber


Meet the Fan Writers: Cheryl Morgan

As for the “usual suspects” thing, I must admit that I thought my time was done. I ceased publishing Emerald City back in 2006, and I was astonished to get a nomination again this year. However, I wasn’t always one of the in-crowd. Back when I first started getting nominations there was a huge upset about it and I was accused of, you guessed it, not being fannish enough. Apparently the fact that I published Emerald City electronically rather than on paper meant that it wasn’t a proper fanzine, and the fact that I wrote mainly book reviews meant that I was too serious about SF to be a proper fan. (This is one reason why you sometimes see me describe myself as a “Menace to Fandom”.) Nevertheless, despite a lot of noise being made, I went on to get many other nominations and one win. And that, I think, tells us a lot about fandom as a community.


Emerald City [2004 Hugo Winner]
SF Awards Watch


A Brief Biography of John Scalzi
Out of This World: John Scalzi by James R. Winter

James R. Winter: Last year, you won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. This year, you’re up for a Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. We always hear it’s an honor to be nominated, but does the attention ever get overwhelming?

John Scalzi: Not generally. Fame in a literary genre is not comparable to actual, genuine fame, the sort where you can’t go to the grocery store without people staring. In order to get any sort of attention, I have to go somewhere where science-fiction fans hang out, like a convention. I get a couple of days of people being happy I’m around, and then I go back home. It’s single-serving-size fame, basically. I think that’s doable; I’m not sure I’d want to be any more “famous” than that.

As for the awards themselves, they’re nice, and I don’t want to pretend that they can’t be useful to one’s career — particularly a Hugo, if you’re a science-fiction writer. But I also think worrying about awards is a fine way to mess with your own head. In any event, winning awards is not the right way to win a reputation as a writer; writing books that people want to read is.


The Scalzi Creative Sampler


Biography of Steven H. Silver at Spiritus Temporis

Steven H Silver is a seven time Best Fan Writer Hugo nominee. Since 1995, he has been a contributing editor to SF Site, being the site’s news editor since 2002. Since 2001, Silver has published the annual fanzine Argentus and since 2004 he has been publisher of ISFiC Press, which has produced books by Robert Sawyer, Harry Turtledove, Jack McDevitt, Mike Resnick, and Tanya Huff. A con-runner, he chaired the programming division for Chicon 2000, the 58th Worldcon. He was one of the coordinators of the 2005 Nebulas and has been a Nebula juror three times. In 2003, DAW Books published three anthologies he edited, Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings. He founded the Sidewise Award for Alternate History in 1995.

Profile at The Fix

Argentus [2008 Hugo Nominee]
shortshortshort.com at The Fix
Summary Bibliography at ISFDB