2020 Hugos: Serial Categories

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, has announced the finalists for the 2020 Hugo Awards, the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and the Astounding Award for Best New Writer.  You can watch a video of the announcement on CoNZealand’s YouTube channel or view the complete list on the Hugo Awards website.  JJ at File 770 has put together a post on Where To Find The 2020 Hugo Award Finalists For Free Online.

This is the fourth and final post of my initial thoughts.  I’m dividing the nineteen award categories into written fiction works (novel, novella, novelette, short story, young adult book), other individual works (related work, graphic story, long form dramatic presentation, short form dramatic presentation), people categories (short form editor, long form editor, professional artist, fan writer, fan artist, new writer), and serial categories (series, semiprozine, fanzine, fancast).

Best Series

  • The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • Luna, by Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
  • Planetfall series, by Emma Newman (Ace; Gollancz)
  • Winternight Trilogy, by Katherine Arden (Del Rey; Del Rey UK)
  • The Wormwood Trilogy, by Tade Thompson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

I’ve read at least one book and have been meaning to continue The ExpanseInCryptid, and Winternight.  I have at least the first book and have been meaning to start the other three series.  I was a little disappointed that The Expanse got nominated just before its conclusion, but there’s no guarantee that it would have made the ballot next year.  Now I’ll have extra motivation to get caught up by the time the last book comes out.

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor Scott H. Andrews
  • Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, audio producers Adam Pracht and Summer Brooks, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart
  • Fireside Magazine, editor Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson, copyeditor Chelle Parker, social coordinator Meg Frank, publisher & art director Pablo Defendini, founding editor Brian White
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editor Troy L. Wiggins, editors Eboni Dunbar, Brent Lambert, L.D. Lewis, Danny Lore, Brandon O’Brien and Kaleb Russell
  • Strange Horizons, Vanessa Rose Phin, Catherine Krahe, AJ Odasso, Dan Hartland, Joyce Chng, Dante Luiz and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, nonfiction/managing editor Michi Trota, managing editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky

Beneath Ceaseless SkiesStrange Horizons, and Uncanny were my nominees.  The other three are also returning finalists.

Best Fanzine

  • The Book Smugglers, editors Ana Grilo and Thea James
  • Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus, senior writers Rosemary Benton, Lorelei Marcus and Victoria Silverwolf
  • Journey Planet, editors James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Ann Gry, Chuck Serface, John Coxon and Steven H Silver
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, editors Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla, and The G
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor Charles Payseur
  • The Rec Center, editors Elizabeth Minkel and Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

The only newcomer here is The Rec Center which I’ve noticed on the longlist for the past two years.  The Book Smugglers was first nominated as a fanzine, then a couple times as a semiprozine, and now it’s back in fanzine.  My own nominees were nerds of a feather and Quick Sip Reviews.

Best Fancast

  • Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced & presented by Claire Rousseau
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, producer Andrew Finch
  • Our Opinions Are Correct, presented by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show, presented by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke

I’m very excited to see a BookTube channel on the final ballot.  There have been a couple on the longlist, but Claire Rousseau is the first finalist from the community.  The others are all returning podcast finalists.

What have you read, listened to, or watched from these categories?

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 Awards: Fan Categories

The Hugo Award for Best Fanzine was first awarded in 1955, making it the oldest of the current fan categories, and given every year since with the mysterious exception of 1958 (categories were more or less in flux in those early years).

Best Fanzine:

Any generally available non-professional periodical publication devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects that by the close of 2017 has published four (4) or more issues (or the equivalent in other media), at least one (1) of which appeared in 2017, that does not qualify as a semiprozine or a fancast, and that in 2017 met neither of the following criteria:

  1. paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication,
  2. was generally available only for paid purchase.

In spite of some resistance, in recent years many nominators include regularly updated websites or blogs, rather than just traditional zines or e-zines, in their interpretation of this category.  Of course, blogs are now getting supplanted by social media so who knows where this category will go in the future.  I nominated my five favorite go-to online resources:


In 2011, a podcast won Best Fanzine, and a proposal to create a new category for audio or video fan productions was approved.  Best Fancast was first presented in 2012 and ratified to continue for at least four more years.  In 2016, it was re-ratified to become an ongoing category.

Best Fancast:

Any generally available non-professional audio or video periodical devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects that by the close of 2017 has released four (4) or more episodes, at least one (1) of which appeared in 2017, and that does not qualify as a dramatic presentation.

While I enjoy listening to the occasional episode, I haven’t managed to become a regular follower of any podcasts.  However, a few years ago I discovered Booktube, a community of YouTube channels which are primarily devoted to reading-related videos.  I nominated my three favorite that focus on SFF:


In 1967 two more fan categories were added for writers and artists (see my previous post on the artist categories).

Best Fan Writer:

Any person whose writing has appeared in semiprozines, fanzines, or in generally available electronic media during 2017.

Here’s who I nominated with links to their blogs (a couple repeats from fanzine above):

I would have included last year’s winner Abigail Nussbaum, but she stated that she didn’t want to accept a repeat finalist spot this year.  I’m not sure who I would have left off in her place though.


What do you think about the fan categories?  Who and what are you a fan of?