Hugo Nominations were announced today, and among them is one for Jeffro Johnson for Best Fan Writer!
Already there is a wailing and gnashing of teeth as though the Devil himself had made a clean sweep of the nominations. Yes, apparently the Sad Puppies have dominated the slate, and ugly fat socialists with frumpy clothes and rolls of neckfat are announcing that they plan on voting “No Award” in nearly a dozen categories so that their ballots can be “Puppy Free”.
Frankly, I don’t give a damn about most of the rest of it, and honestly, from what I’ve learned in the past two months the Hugos have lost a lot of the cache they had in my mind from back when I was a little kid who was all “Oh, hey, Babylon 5 won a Hugo! That’s awesome, right?” I mean, sure, If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love was not as bad as Interior Semiotics, but it hardly lends a lot of credibility to something nominally going to the ‘best of the best’. But it’s still, it’s awesome that someone I know is up for what was a once prestigious award in the field!
I suck and am a loser because I was two days late in meeting the registration deadline (“You mean I could actually vote for a Hugo nom? Cool! Oh, shit, I had to send in my form two days ago!”), but if you were smart and had better timing than me, I strongly recommend that you vote for Jeffro Johnson. If he can make you forget about what a PR debacle the Dwimmermount Kickstarter was and actually sell people on the idea that it’s worth having a look (gone are the stigmatic days of “9 rats/2000 copper” and Dwimmerdust!), then he can probably also make you forget how bad the Hugos were in the recent past. It’s a new day!
You heard it here first, folks, that Jeffro Johnson was gonna be somebody someday! Sure, it takes awhile to get past his crusty gamer exterior and his fundamentalist outlook on how games should be played (for which I’ve ribbed him in the past), but he’s always been on my shortlist of to-read blogs, and I deem him a gentleman and a scholar. Hell, when he’s not regularly updating his wordpress, I stalk him on G+ because he’s got a damn good nose for content.
Anyway, Jeffro’s been quasi-nominated for a Hugo Award for best Best Fan Writer. Why do I say quasi-nominated? Because the Hugo Awards nomination process is more convoluted than I can piece together, but a handful of “important” writers have listed Jeffro in their nomination picks. But because these writers have ‘the wrong ideas’, it’s generally assumed that their picks have ‘the wrong ideas’, so between accusations of ballot-stuffing and the longshot nature of some of the noms, who knows who’ll end up where. From what I can tell, the Hugo Awards has turned into a bunch of name-calling and slap-fighting over diversity in science fiction and fantasy, but hey, spaceship trophy!
What’s the “Best Fan Writer” category you ask? Don’t feel bad, most other folks don’t really know what it is either without having to look it up. It’s not for fan fiction. It generally means someone who has produced some sort of content related to science fiction or fantasy appearing in kind of underground zines, online or otherwise, paying or otherwise. Is it like if the Grammys had an award for “Best punk band that hasn’t toured outside the county yet”? Maybe. But whatever it means, you can be sure that someone (besides me) has taken notice of how awesome and potentially important the work Jeffro has done analyzing and proselytizing Appendix N over at Castalia House is.
Props to you, Jeffro, and props to Castalia House.
(Disclosure: Jeffro Johnson was a playtester for the Video Game I developed and coded in Microsoft Word and is listed in the Acknowledgements.)