During my acceptance speech last year, I said, “There are so many brilliant and wonderful fan writers out there. I don’t know if there are enough rocket trophies in the world to recognize everyone who’s written passionate, insightful, clever, funny, and flat-out awesome articles and essays about our community. But I’d love to see us honor as many of those diverse voices as we can.”
Pop quiz: when was the last time more than one woman made the final ballot for the Best Fan Writer Hugo?[1. 2006] And when was the last time more women than men made the final ballot?[2. 1974, if my research is correct.]
I’m not saying the people who made the ballot didn’t deserve it. But this sort of trend makes me believe fandom needs to broaden our scope. To that end, I’m trying to pull together some of the fan writing (mostly blog posts, because that’s what I tend to read) that stood out for me last year.
I would love to hear your thoughts on who else deserves recognition, because I know there are a lot of great fan writers I’m either not aware of or else I’m just forgetting, because of brain-leaks. I’ll probably do a follow-up on this, or maybe run a few spotlight blog posts for people I believe should be on that ballot.
N. K. Jemisin: Things People Need to Understand, Issue 223.2. I like Jemisin’s writing, both fiction and nonfiction, and this piece makes a number of good points about the state of fandom and the so-called agenda of people pushing for change and accountability.
Cat Valente: Let Me Tell You About the Birds and the Bees: Gender and the Fallout Over Christopher Priest. Addressing and documenting the differences in how men and women are treated online.
Seanan McGuire: Things I Will Not Do to my Characters. Ever. In which McGuire responds to the question, “When are Toby or one of the Price girls going to be raped?” Because apparently this must happen in order for her work to be “realistic,” which is both messed-up and symptomatic of larger issues.
Genevieve Valentine. For her writing about sexism and objectification in the SF/F community.
S. S. White, aka calico-reaction. Purely for the number of good reviews and discussions of SF/F books, stories, and shows.
These are just a few of the people who come to mind as contributing to the ongoing conversations in fandom. But there are so many more. (I know the instant I post this, I’m going to kick myself for omitting someone.)
Who do you think should be honored this year for their fan writing? Please leave your suggestions in the comments, along with links and whatever additional thoughts you’d like to share. If the links cause your comment to go into moderation, don’t worry about it – I’ll be keeping an eye on the comments and free those up as quickly as I can.