Previous entries in this series:
- Strange Horizons - This is as close as I'm going to come to nominating myself, and the reason I can justify it is that Strange Horizons is far more than just my work (which is anyway also the work of dozens of reviewers and several associate editors). To my mind, it remains one of the best all-around sources for speculative fiction, non-fiction, and reviews.
- Giganotosaurus - Two of the stories on my short fiction ballot were published in this magazine, which is all the more impressive when you consider that they represent a sixth of the magazine's output in 2013. Embodying the triumph of quality over quantity, Giganotosaurus is a stripped-down operation that publishes one story a month in the most unassuming format imaginable. But those stories are always worth reading, and in addition the magazine is to be praised for being a venue for long-form works, publishing at least two novellas in 2013.
This category gives me pause. The original fanzine format is one that I don't read or participate in, and in recent years the category has become the home of blogs. I'm all for recognizing how important blogs have become to the conversation surrounding genre, but I'm not sure that every blog suits this category--two-time winner SF Signal, for example, suits my idea of a fanzine because it features multiple forms of content, from news to reviews to essays, and covers books and all forms of media. I'm less persuaded, however, that single-author blogs belong here, as I've seen several people suggest in their ballot posts. Nevertheless, I might change my mind, so the list I have here should be considered extra-provisional.
- SF Mistressworks - This project, begun in 2011 by Ian Sales as a response to the paucity of women in Gollancz's SF Masterworks series, is an excellent resource for people looking for discussion of older, less well known (and sometimes out of print) SF by women. Featuring reviews of multiple authors by multiple reviewers, it's a great example of the online community coming together to provide a new and vital resource.
- The Book Smugglers - Excellent group blog covering mostly YA but also other genre works--see for example their excellent recent discussion of Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
- Ladybusiness - Another group blog that covers a wide range of books and media from an explicitly feminist pespective.
- Pornokitsch - You have to stand up and respect a blog that has turned its own award into a major media event, and even more so for highlighting art as well as novels.
This category, as well as the fan artist category, is one that in years past I've tended to ignore for lack of any knowledge about the field. So I'm grateful to the organizers of the Hugo Award Eligible Art(ists) tumblr for organizing this ambitious and useful project this year, and to the many people who have noted their favorite artists in their Hugo ballots (I'm also grateful to Aidan Moher for collecting these ballots into a handy, single post).
- Anna & Elena Balbusso - I don't know whether it's possible to nominate a team for this award, but the Balbusso sisters' work is too lovely to ignore. The piece that most people will probably be familiar with is the illustration for Veronica Schanoes's "Burning Girls" at Tor.com (and this is a good time to commend the site's editors for commissioning original art to go with each of their stories), but the entire gallery is worth paging through.
- Sarah Anne Langton - The person who designed the Hodderscape dodo surely deserves recognition, but Langton has also designed several lovely, boldly graphic covers (most recently for SpecFic 13, which is wonderful).
- Olly Moss - It's a sign of Moss's talent that when I looked through his gallery while compiling this list, I kept stopping to say "wait, he did that piece?" (It's also a sign of how much attention I pay to art and the people who make it during the year.) I don't doubt that you've seen Moss's work--his movie posters and infographics--but seeing it all together makes it clear what an impressive body of work it is.
- Victo Ngai - Ngai has drawn illustrations for several Tor.com stories, as well as the covers for several Tor novels, and all combine elaborate detailing with bold colors and settings. I'm particularly fond of his illustration for Jedediah Berry's "A Window or a Small Box," which captures the story's surrealism and its characters' sense of running through a maze.
- Fiona Staples - I'll have a bit more to say about Staples when I write about the Best Graphic Story category (and maybe whenever I get around to writing up my recent reading), but Saga wouldn't be what it is without her clean but wildly imaginative illustrations, which make the comic's vivid, varied world the delight that it is.
- Mandie Manzanano - Manzanano's style--stained glass style illustrations of everything from Disney cartoons to Adventure Time--seems a little twee at first, but it's impeccably done and gorgeous to look at.
- Autun Purser - The Fantastic Travel Destinations series is precisely what fan art should be--original, irreverent, and of course beautifully done.
- Angela Rizza - Rizza's gorgeous, meticulously detailed illustrations of fan favorite as diverse as The Lord of the Rings and Breaking Bad are stunning and often quite funny. I'm particularly fond of her Harry Potter illustrations, which I actually like better than some of the official artwork.
- Sara Webb - This was one of the names I picked out from Hugo Award Eligible Art(ists). In a field full of artists producing gorgeous, luminous, lushly colored fantastic landscapes, Webb's stood out.
- Nina Allan - On top of being a fantastic writer of fiction, Nina is an exceptional reviewer, thoughtful and insightful and most of all curious about fiction from all walks of life--I can't count the number of books I added to my TBR list because of her reviews. As well as writing reviews for places like Strange Horizons, Nina blogs at The Spider's House, where she is predictably smart and worth reading.
- Liz Bourke - Another Strange Horizons reviewer, Liz also blogs at Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and reviews for Tor.com. In particular, it's worth noting her Sleeps With Monsters series at the latter venue, where she covers books, films, and games from a feminist perspective, and has made me note several names for later reading.
- Natalie Luhrs - I became aware of Luhrs this year because of her coverage of the SFWA petition brouhaha, which was incisive and to the point. Her blog, The Radish, is well worth reading.
- Sofia Samatar - The second time that Sofia appears on this ballot, but by no means the last. On top of writing excellent reviews for Strange Horizons, Sofia also blogs at kankedort, where she offers her unique perspective on writing, teaching, poetry, and Arabic literature.
- Genevieve Valentine - I'm not sure that Valentine is eligible in this category because a lot of her writing is for professional venues like The AV Club or The Philadelphia Weekly, but I would be remiss not to mention her fantastic column Intertitles at Strange Horizons (a recent example: her trenchant and necessary discussion of Clarice Starling in light of some of the character choices made by Hannibal), or her wonderfully snarky reviews of trashy fantasy films at her blog.