2018 Hugo Finalists: Best Fancast

Today I’m looking at the six finalists for Best Fancast in the 2018 Hugo Awards.  Below I’ve linked the podcast’s website (noting which episodes aired in 2017), the hosts’ websites, and the episodes which were featured in their Hugo Voter Packet submissions.


The Coode Street Podcast (episodes 295-319) is hosted by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe.  They are five-time finalists in this category.

  • Episode #305: Kim Stanley Robinson and the Drowning of New York
  • Episode #308: Paul Kincaid, Ken Macleod, and the works of Iain (M) Banks
  • Episode #316: Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Warrior, Binti, and Beyond


Ditch Diggers (episodes 35-51) is hosted by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace.  They are two-time finalists in this category.

  • Episode #36: Cassandra Khaw and Lack of Self Preservation
  • Episode #38: Tobias Buckell and The Power of No
  • Episode #39: Lexi Alexander and Punching Hollywood. Metaphorically.


Fangirl Happy Hour (episodes 68-105) is hosted by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams.  They are two-time finalists in this category.


Galactic Suburbia (episodes 159-179) is hosted by Alisa KrasnosteinAlexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts (who is a co-host for fellow finalist Verity! as well).  They are six-time finalists in this category (which has only been around for seven years), and they won in 2015.

  • Episode #167: In which we launch new projects and Discover a new/old love for Star Trek.
  • Episode #168: In which we Continuum all the Continuum!


Sword and Laser (episodes 277-313) is hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt.  They are first-time finalists in this category.


Verity! (episodes 127-154, plus frequent Extra! mini-episodes) is hosted by Deborah StanishErika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts (who is also a co-host for fellow finalist Galactic Suburbia).  They are two-time finalists in this category.


We have five returning finalists with four repeats from last year and one first-time finalist.  Fangirl Happy Hour was my favorite last year.  (I love that they have transcripts because I have a hard time keeping focused when listening to audio only.)  I enjoyed Galactic Suburbia and Coode Street too.  Ditch Diggers is funny, but I find it a little too writer-centric for me.  I haven’t listened to either Sword and Laser or Verity! before.  Since I’m not normally a podcast listener (my three nominees were all YouTube channels) and I still need to listen to some of this year’s eligible content, I haven’t made any final ballot decisions here yet.  What are your thoughts on these finalists?

2018 Hugo Finalists: Best Professional Artist

Today I’m looking at the six finalists for Best Professional Artist in the 2018 Hugo Awards.  I’ve linked their websites and some examples of their work.


Galen Dara has been a finalist in this category three times.  She was also the winner of Best Fan Artist in 2013.  I nominated Dara in this category last year, but this year the work I liked best from her appeared in semiprozines which is actually considered fan art under Hugo rules.


Bastien Lecouffe Deharme undoubtedly came to many people’s attention due to some controversial remarks made by Terry Goodkind.  This is his first time as a Hugo Finalist.


Kathleen Jennings has won several Ditmar Awards, but this is her first time as a Hugo Finalist.  She often does cut-paper silhouettes as well as pen and ink drawings.


Victo Ngai was my only nominee who made the final ballot in this category.  This is her second time as a Hugo Finalist.


John Picacio has twelve nominations and two previous wins in this category.   He was also a finalist for Best Related Book in 2007.  He is the Artist Guest of Honor at Worldcon 76 and will host the 2018 Hugo Awards Ceremony.


Sana Takeda is the artist for last year’s Hugo Award winning Monstress comic.  The second volume is a finalist for Best Graphic Story this year.  This is her second time as a finalist in this category as well.  I nominated her for pro artist last year, but this year I stuck with just nominating Monstress.


We have four repeat artists from last year and two first-time finalists.  Ranking them is extremely difficult due to their wonderfully unique styles.  My favorites are the ones I’ve nominated previously.  Followed by Kathleen Jennings whose classic work I find fascinating.  Bastien Lecouffe Deharme’s pieces are stunning, but they’re not really my taste.  Finally, as impressive as John Picacio’s art always is, I feel like he’s had enough Hugo recognition already.  So here’s how my ballot looks:

  1. Sana Takeda
  2. Victo Ngai
  3. Galen Dara
  4. Kathleen Jennings
  5. Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
  6. John Picacio

What are your thoughts on the pro artist finalists?