Transcript: Not Now, I’m Prepping for the Hugo Awards

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin McLeod plays]

Chelsea: Welcome back to episode two of Not Now, I’m Reading, your one stop shop for all things genre. Today is gonna be our very, very special Hugo Awards discussion episode.

Kay: Yayyy.

Chelsea: Normally — yay! — normally right here at the top of the show is when we’d tell you what we’re currently reading and all the stuff we’re currently getting to.

Kay: But!

Chelsea: But. We don’t have time for that today.

Kay: No time.

Chelsea: We’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about with the Hugos, so we are just gonna jump right into it and start talking about what we are excited about. Kind of what our thoughts are. All of what’s going on with the Hugo Awards.

Kay: And we are going off the shortlist that is posted on the official Hugo Awards site. I believe that is up to date and that anyone that pulled out or whatever is not on there. If we’re wrong, sorry. We’re going off the official website. [laughs]

Chelsea: We’re also recording on Thursday, May 25, so anything after today that changes? That’s not on us.

Kay: Not on us. Sorry.

Chelsea: Yeah. Full disclosure. Should we take a pause to mention that the Hugo packet this year was super awesome? Like super great.

Kay: Baller. We’re gonna link to my tweet where I put all the things you get in the Hugo packet. It’s literally several hundred dollars worth of e-fiction.

Chelsea: Yeah. It’s at like ten, fifteen plus whole novels, not to mention short fiction and novellas and fan writing collections and all of that stuff.

Kay: Alright, so if you are already a member of WorldCon 75, which is the Helsinki WorldCon, you should already have your packet. If not, get in touch with WorldCon, they will make sure you get it. If you are not already a member of WorldCon 75 and you would like to be, you can still join up until when voting closes, which is July 15, and you will get this whole packet if you join any time between now and then. It’s a really great value. If you’re not actually attending you can get what’s called a supporting membership, and I believe right now it’s only $40 US, now. So just the Seanan McGuire material in the Hugo voters packet alone is worth twice that much. You will also get to be a nominating member for the next WorldCon, which is in San Jose in 2018.

Chelsea: I guess we’ll just start with Best Novel. The nominations for Best Novel are All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee, The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin, Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, and Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu. I really liked the Obelisk Gate. That one is probably gonna get my vote even though it’s the second in a series.

Kay: So I have actually read all of these and did a Buy, Borrow, Bypass piece for BookRiot.

Chelsea: Yeah, that was super great.

Kay: So if you want my super detailed thoughts, which some people were angry about —

[Chelsea laughs]

Kay: — we’ll have that linked in the shownotes. But, uh —

Chelsea: Some people are always angry about everything. Fuck those people. (laughs)

Kay: Yeah. I generally thought these were all good picks, some of them were just books that are really not for me.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: I’m probably gonna have A Closed and Common Orbit or All the Birds in the Sky as my top pick for this.

Chelsea: Out of the last couple of years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the short list for the Hugos as a whole.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: I feel like this year has been a solid, for the most part —

Kay: It’s a pretty freakin’ solid list of things, here.

Chelsea: — list of nominees. Yeah. Just across the board.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: So it was good to see the recent fuckery with all of that has, has kind of calmed down a bit and this is a very solid list. And this has, I probably, I had some weird stuff, I heard some weird stuff about some of the gender representation stuff in Too Like the Lightning and I have not, and I also heard some mixed reviews of All the Birds in the Sky. So I probably will not end up picking those up, but I adored A Closed and Common Orbit.

Kay: I gave All the Birds in the Sky five stars, which I almost, which I do three or four times a year.

Chelsea: Really?!

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Interesting. ‘Cause I’ve heard, most of what I’ve heard is that it starts really strongly, but then it kind of gets muddled by the end.

Kay: I firmly believe it should’ve been two books.

Chelsea: Okay.

Kay: I still loved it.

Chelsea: That’s fair.

Kay: I still loved it.

Chelsea: That’s fair.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Okay, well, I might, I will reconsider. And I will consider, ’cause that’s. It was nothing against the book so much as just there’s always stuff to read. (laughs) There’s always more to read.

Kay: If you don’t get around to reading it, you’ll live. I can loan you my copy, plus it was in the Hugo packet.

Chelsea: Also, yes, and that’s the main thing, is now that I have a digital copy now the odds of my actually getting around to it are way, way higher.

Kay: Much higher.

Chelsea: Are you, did you have anything else about Best Novel?

Kay: Uhhh. No, I’m just gonna link to my thoughts. And then for the Best Novellas we have: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson, Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson, and This Census-Taker by China Miéville. And this is a stacked as heck novella lineup.

Chelsea: Yeah, that is four out of six for Tor.com Publishing.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Cleaning it up in this.

Kay: The Tor.com Publishing novella initiative thing that they are doing is really working out for them.

Chelsea: They’re killing it, man.

Kay: As far as awards go. I dunno how they’re doing as far as money goes, but it’s certainly racking them up some accolades, there.

Chelsea: Killing it. Yeah. I mean, and I mean, when it comes to people reading short fiction these days, at least in the SFF community, if they’re picking it up, it’s coming from the Tor.com Publishing line.

Kay: Yeah, that’s generally what I’m hearing.

Chelsea: I have read every one of these but The Ballad of Black Tom because I’m not down for cthulhu stuff. That is not where I’m at. (laughs)

Kay: I didn’t know how anti-cthulhu you were. (laughs)

Chelsea: I’m just not here for, it just was never really…the appeal or the horror of the Old Ones never really got to me.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: I just don’t really understand it, plus HP Lovecraft is super racist.

Kay: Super sexist, racist douchebag. We’re not here for that.

Chelsea: Yeah, so, just compounding factors.

Kay: I actually have no particularly strong feelings about any of the novellas this year. The ones that I’ve read I quite liked. I didn’t think any of them were the most amazing thing I’d ever read. I thought they were all good.

Chelsea: No. I will, my vote for this will probably go to Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. Just because of them all, I just really, really enjoyed that one a lot.

Kay: That or A Taste of Honey. I did quite enjoy A Taste of Honey.

Chelsea: I did as well.

Kay: And it wasn’t that any of them are bad. I just don’t have super strong feelings about any of them this year.

Chelsea: And I feel like they’re all pretty, I would be okay if, I mean, again, with the exception of The Ballad of Black Tom, only because I haven’t read it, I would be okay with any of these —

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Winning. That would be fine with me.

Kay: Which is such a best-case scenario problem, you know? (laughs)

Chelsea: Isn’t it, though? You know? I have one I would maybe put in first, but also I’m not gonna be too heartbroken.

Kay: No.

Chelsea: Which is, like you said, kinda the ideal scenario —

Kay: Love it.

Chelsea: — when it comes to things that are nominated. Alright, so moving on to Best Novelette, we have: Alien Stripper Boned from Behind by the T-Rex by Stix Hiscock, The Art of Space Travel by Nina Allen, The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde, The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon, Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman, and You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay by Alyssa Wong.

Kay: Full disclosure, I am a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine, so basically any category where there’s an Uncanny Magazine, I am hopelessly biased. I really love You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay. I really love it.

Chelsea: I mean, I do to, and full disclosure I fully back Uncanny on Patreon and I have subscribed to them from the beginning and backed them and so.

Kay: And also —

Chelsea: I also am probably a little bit biased.

Kay: And also Alyssa Wong is just a delightful human and I —

Chelsea: Amazing.

Kay: — really enjoy her writing. The only thing I wouldn’t want to see win in this category is pretty self-evident. I don’t really think we need to dedicate any time to that.

Chelsea: I would be pretty okay with most of, with pretty much everything in this category, except for obvious choices. (laughs) Oohh, let’s do Short Story.

Kay: Okay. Best Short Story, we have: The City Born Great by NK Jemisin, A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong, Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander, Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar, which I believe just won the Nebula last week? That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughan, and An Unimaginable Light by John C. Wright. So, again, I would be happy with any of these winning except the obvious one that I don’t want to win.

Chelsea: Yes. (laughs)

Kay: But I really, really love Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies. Again, biased. Uncanny Magazine published that.

Chelsea: I had to refrain myself really hard from screeching really loud when you read that out loud, because that’s maybe my favorite short story that I’ve read in the last several years.

Kay: It’s phenomenal.

Chelsea: Definitely in the last year.

Kay: Basically everything in this category is great.

Chelsea: Seasons of Glass and Iron won the Nebula for Best Short Story in 2017.

Kay: Nice.

Chelsea: So.

Kay: And the editors of the collection that is from, that’s The Starlit Wood: New Fairytales from Saga Press, they just announced a new anthology that they’re gonna be putting out next, is it this winter?

Chelsea: I think it’s 20 — I thought it was right around Christmastime.

Kay: Which also has an amazing author lineup and we’ll link to that announcement. It looks really great.

Chelsea: Yes. And the fact that they’re publishing that is what finally kicked me in the pants to finally buy The Starlit Wood, which I would encourage you, if it fits your abilities, to pick up physically, because it is a beautiful book in physical object form. The cover is really pretty and it’s really nice.

Kay: The ebook is really formatted, too. My library has it and I read it in ebook and it was great.

Chelsea: It’s great. So. It just, in general, highly recommend the collection The Starlit Woods. So then we go to Best Related Work. We have: The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley, The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, the Women of Harry Potter posts by Sarah Gailey, which were originally run on Tor.com, and Words Are My Matter: Writing About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K Le Guin.

Kay: I actually did not love The Princess Diarist when I first read it, but given my love for Carrie Fisher and all of her previous body of work?

Chelsea: Yeah, this is. Yeah.

Kay: I would be quite thrilled if she won in this category.

Chelsea: Won. Yeah. This is one of those cases where, while the work nominated may not be my favorite, Carrie Fisher is?

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: So I would be fine with it.

Kay: And this is the Hugos. They are fan voted. You get to vote for what you want for whatever reason you want to vote for it.

Chelsea: Which you want. And you can define best of most deserving however it is that you want to define it.

Kay: Most personally important to you.

Chelsea: I really enjoyed the Women of Harry Potter posts that Sarah Gailey did.

Kay: They are. Yeah.

Chelsea: I thought that those were wonderful. (laughs) I did not love The View from the Cheap Seats. I mean.

Kay: I have only read snippets of it so far. I’m not a big Neil Gaiman person.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: It’s nothing personal. Just not my favorite.

Chelsea: I mean, I love Neil Gaiman and I feel like he works best in short form, but my thing, and I’m having a similar problem with Words Are My Matter, which is with essay collections like that, that are pulled from lots of different time periods and on lots of different subjects.

Kay: Curation’s important.

Chelsea: The ones that are about things I’m super into I’m here for, but there are several book reviews in the Ursula K Le Guin novel that I don’t, meh.

(laughter)

Chelsea: It’s fine, but I just don’t really care.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: And, you know, parts of the Neil Gaiman book talk about bands and music reviews and I’m just like okay, but meh. So. Like I said. I would not be upset, obviously, if Neil Gaiman walked away with a Hugo. (laughs)

Kay: Sure. Yeah.

Chelsea: For this category, it would be fine.

Kay: I’m like, I just, Carrie Fisher today, Carrie Fisher tomorrow, Carrie Fisher forever.

Chelsea: Carrie Fisher forever.

Kay: Again, this is not my favorite of everything I have ever read by her, but she.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: Is very personally important to me as a bipolar person and, just, a Star Wars fan, and just a feminist and, you know. I just love her. So.

Chelsea: We miss you, Carrie, forever. Okay. Well, before we both cry.

(Kay sighs)

Chelsea: We’ll move onto Best Graphic Story.

Kay: So, for Best Graphic Story we have: Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, Paper Girls, Volume 1, Saga, Volume 6, and The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man. I’m a little sad Bombshells didn’t make the shortlist in this category, so (laughs) I’m having.

Chelsea: Yeah, me too.

Kay: I’m having trouble being as enthusiastic as I probably should be about this lineup. This is a lot of really great graphic work. There’s a lot of really great stuff here.

Chelsea: Yeah, Black Panther’s really great, Ms. Marvel’s really great.

Kay: Monstress is really great.

Chelsea: Saga I just don’t really care about any more, that’s my thing with Saga. It’s still beautiful. It’s still all of the same things, but —

Kay: I’ve never gotten into Saga.

Chelsea: — I kinda lost my steam. Yeah.

Kay: Yeah. I know that’s blasphemy, and everyone loves Saga, but it just. I. They’re really expensive, even if you wait for the volumes.

Chelsea: They are very expensive. They’re very expensive.

Kay: And so I just kept putting it off and then, there’s just so many of them now. That I just. (laughs) I just can’t.

Chelsea: And they’re beautiful and I was super into it when they started, but, I mean. We are six, seven volumes in and it’s just. There’s not a lot that has actually happened. In the grand scope of the seven volumes.

Kay: Oh, that drives me bananas. That drives me bananas.

Chelsea: Yeah, it’s really bad.

Kay: I’m like, if I’m paying you $30 to read this I want something to happen.

Chelsea: Yeah. Yeah.

(laughter)

Chelsea: And that’s, yeah. And it’s just not. It’s not. I really enjoyed Paper Girls. Brian K. Vaughan coming through on that one, doing the solid work that he always does.

Kay: I don’t know that I loved Volume 1, though? It’s been a while.

Chelsea: I loved Volume 2 more.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: I love the, the artwork. Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson, who are working on it, did really great jobs with the artwork and the coloring and stuff. It looks very aesthetically pleasing to me. I really gravitate towards those brighter colors.

Kay: See the art in that one wasn’t my favorite.

Chelsea: And the pop colors. And that’s, you know, your mileage may vary and that’s the awesome thing about graphic novels.

Kay: I mean, for sure. I love, I love the art in Monstress.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: And I normally love Marjorie Liu’s writing. Monstress, Volume 1 was not my favorite, as far as her writing goes. But the art is still gorgeous.

Chelsea: There is a lot of. It’s gorgeous. But it’s very dense.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: And there’s a lot of stuff that happens and a lot of information.

Kay: Mmhmm.

Chelsea: You gotta, you gotta read that one a couple times. Which, granted, it’s a graphic novel, so it’s not like.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Having to read a 400 page book a bunch of times. (laughs) But it’s still definitely.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: It definitely takes a little bit more than some of the other ones on this list.

Kay: I feel like, out of all these, I mean. I’m not wild about The Vision, I just don’t, I don’t…get it. I don’t like it. I don’t love the art.

Chelsea: Yeah, I’m not super good with Marvel. I’m not super great with Marvel.

Kay: We’re, yeah.

Chelsea: I picked up Black Panther specifically cause it was Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Kay: Yeah, I canceled my Marvel Unlimited subscription earlier this year because I just can’t. (sighs)

Chelsea: Everyone on this podcast has broken up with Marvel. And it can. We’re done with it.

Kay: They’re our evil ex, and yet I still, I still really want Black Panther to win just to be like, fuck you for canceling this, Marvel.

Chelsea: I am done with your fuckery, man.

Kay: Here you go, they get a Hugo Award, you guys are morons. (laughs)

Chelsea: Fuck you for blaming your diverse titles for not getting any of your attention and then they, and then they don’t sell and, like, I’m just like fuck off.

Kay: Just fuck off.

Chelsea: Your diverse titles are outselling things that you offer.

Kay: Fuck off.

Chelsea: Go home, Marvel, you’re drunk. Get outta here.

Kay: Go home Marvel, you’re drunk.

Chelsea: But yeah, so.

Kay: We can’t talk about this any more, we’re just gonna get angry. (laughter)

Chelsea: We’re just gonna move on, okay. So Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. We have Arrival, Deadpool, Ghostbusters, Hidden Figures, Rogue One, and Stranger Things: Season One.

Kay: I think these are all excellent.

Chelsea: I think these are all fantastic. I would be okay with any of them. My money is on Rogue One. Cause my money is always on the Star Wars title.

Kay: But I would love to see this go to Arrival.

Chelsea: I would love to see it go to Deadpool. And I will stand alone on that bench until my dying day, because I love Deadpool.

Kay: I know you love Deadpool.

Chelsea: An unhealthy amount.

Kay: Deadpool’s humor’s just not my thing.

Chelsea: I can respect that Deadpool will not win.

Kay: It’s just not my particular bag. I get why people love it.

Chelsea: And that’s fine.

Kay: I get why people love it.

Chelsea: But man, Ryan Reynolds plus Deadpool, I just. Man. I’m fucking here for that shit so hard.

(Kay sighs)

Chelsea: But I can respect that Arrival probably deserves the Hugo more than Deadpool does.

Kay: I just. Didn’t Arrival not win for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars? And I screamed?

Chelsea: Yeah, that was like, super bad.

Kay: I mean, I think that was a thing that happened. (laughs)

Chelsea: Was that a thing that happened? Oh, was that another piece of complete bullshit that happened at the Oscars? Oh wait, it absolutely was. Spoiler alert.

Kay: This was, this was. I did the worst ever this year in my Oscar pool. I usually win a couple hundred dollars, but I actually went with my heart on a couple things. Which is always a bad idea. (laughs)

Chelsea: Never go with your heart. Hollywood never votes with their heart, Kay. Come on, now. (laughs) Alright, so then Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

Kay: I am real pleased with this. Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form, we’ve got: Black Mirror – San Junipero, Doctor Who’s The Return of Dr. Mysterio, The Expanse – Leviathan Wakes, Game of Thrones – Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones – The Door, and Splendor & Misery – the album by Clipping. This is just a really wild, really wild shortlist. And I love everything about it. (laughs)

Chelsea: It’s so good. Can we take one second. Splendor and Misery, for the record, is actually an album.

Kay: Yes.

Chelsea: It’s a musical album by the group Clipping which is Daveed Diggs, William Hutsonon, and Jonathan Snipes. Daveed Diggs of Hamilton fame. And it is him rapping and providing vocals over this crazy found music street sounds just noise?

Kay: It’s wild. It’s not my thing at all, but I think it’s super cool. (laughs)

Chelsea: And just the fact that it’s nominated as a musical album.

Kay: I love that.

Chelsea: For this? In this Hugo category? Is just so wild. I just think it’s great. I kinda want it to win just cause it’s so.

Kay: Weird?

Chelsea: Innovative.

Kay: Yes.

Chelsea: And interesting and weird.

Kay: Yes.

Chelsea: To be nominated to begin with? (laughing)

Kay: I would just like Doctor Who not to win. I haven’t seen this episode. I just am really tired of Doctor Who winning. I mean. I would not love it if Game of Thrones won.

Chelsea: I’ve not seen this episode of Black Mirror, but I’ve heard really good things about it.

Kay: It’s so great! And I’m not even a Black Mirror person.

Chelsea: Is it good? Yeah.

Kay: But oh my god. (laughs)

Chelsea: I mean, I can’t vote for The Door because  it put me in a bad place for a hot minute. But I thought Battle of the Bastards was actually a wonderful episode of Game of Thrones.

Kay: I heard that both of those are very good episodes. I failed out of —

Chelsea: They’re very good.

Kay: I failed out of Game of Thrones several seasons ago.

Chelsea: That’s fine.

Kay: And everyone’s like you have to come back, now! And I’m like, but I can’t just come back cause I would have to watch all the crap first.

Chelsea: No.

Kay: And I refuse to do that. (laughs)

Chelsea: And it’s another one of those thing where I would never. I don’t necessarily recommend people start form the beginning. I don’t necessarily recommend it as a thing people get into, but I will say if you’re already watching, the last season is definitely better in terms of a lot of critiques of rape for plot and weird gender stuff and queer tragedy and a lot of that definitely has not been there this last season. And whether or not that is because the last season has started to depart from the books? Mm?

Kay: We’ll just leave that out there.

Chelsea: I dunno. We’ll just leave, we’ll just drop that there. But. So. As opposed to years past with some of the Game of Thrones episodes, I’m actually okay with both of these episodes being nominated.

Kay: Okay. And do you watch The Expanse or not?

Chelsea: I have not started. I want to read the first book and then start the TV show. That’s my plan.

Kay: Okay. I would actually read the first two books before starting the TV show.

Chelsea: Okay, I can do that. I’m actually waiting for my hold to come in on audio for the first one. So once I get.

Kay: Yeah, I do them on audio. I’m actually stalled out because the next one I need to read has a different narrator and I listened to the sample and it’s terrible.

Chelsea: Ohhh, no I hate that.

Kay: I was like, I don’t really. I don’t really wanna switch formats. Cause I’m one of those people who likes to read a series all in the same format.

Chelsea: In a format, yeah.

Kay: I do all audio or ebook, you know?

Chelsea: Now, so that, so format trumps narrator switch? You would rather switch narrators than switch formats?

Kay: (sighs) I mean, at this point I’ve completely stalled, I’ve completely stalled out on even reading the series. That’s how much I’m like, oh god, I don’t even know. So. I’m probably gonna go borrow the ebook from my library, is what’s gonna end up happening. But I’m not gonna be happy about it. (laughs)

Chelsea: That’s fair. (laughs)

Kay: But I’ve already, I own the next two audiobooks after this one’s got a different narrator. So I’m definitely gonna eventually get to the rest of the series. But um.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: But this is not about that. (laughs)

Chelsea: It’s an understandable thing to take a minute.

Kay: But this episode of The Expanse is quite good. I thought the series as a whole is quite good.

Chelsea: Where is this episode in the series? Is it?

Kay: I, uh…

Chelsea: Is it the pilot? Or more of the finale?

Kay: I think it’s…. I don’t remember the names of anything. I was like, it was either the pilot or it was the season finale, and I was pretty sure it was the pilot, but I’m wrong. It’s the season finale.

Chelsea: So. I just think that’s interesting. Cause then The Door and Battle of the Bastards were both the penultimate and then the season finale. So they were right there at the end. So I always think that’s interesting. But okay. So I guess then moving on to Best Editor, Short Form. The nominees are John Joseph Adams, Neil Clarke, Ellen Datlow, Jonathan Strahan, Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas as a team, and Sheila Williams. I mean, I feel like —

Kay: I mean, I’m.

Chelsea: Do we have to say it?

Kay: I mean.

Chelsea: Do we? I mean.

Kay: Obviously I’m pulling for my Uncanny folks, Lynne and Michael.

Chelsea: Yeah. I mean, Lynne and Michael. Not only do they do such amazing work at Uncanny, but just as people.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: They are, they just seem like such fabulous humans.

Kay: This is a lovely shortlist. I would be happy basically whoever won.

Chelsea: I also very much enjoy Ellen Datlow’s work. She does a lot of editing in horror, in horror.

Kay: Which I would like to see more horror stuff winning Hugos. You know?

Chelsea: Uh, yes.

Kay: I know that they have their own awards.

Chelsea: I’m fully here for that. I love horror.

Kay: Is it the Edgars that are? Yeah.

Chelsea: Yeah, there’s the Bram Stoker Awards and then also the Edgar Awards.

Kay: But I would, I would love to see some more horror action up in the Hugo lists, so. I’m pleased to see her on there.

Chelsea: Mmhmm. So. Always, you know, again, very solidly good category, but our hearts belong with Uncanny. So. Lynne and Michael.

Kay: Space unicorns forever.

Chelsea: Do you wanna do Long Form?

Kay: Yeah. Best Editor, Long Form, we have: Vox Day, Sheila E. Gilbert, Liz Gorinsky, Devi Pillai, Miriam Weinberg, and Navah Wolfe. So Best Editor, Long Form is always tricky, because they don’t specifically say what their qualifying things that they edited were. And so you kind of have to do a lot of digging to find out what they even worked on in a given year.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: And it’s hard to know what work they did on it.

Chelsea: I feel like as a from a yes. From a reader perspective it’s easier to see the editing at work on some short fiction.

Kay: Yes.

Chelsea: It’s harder —

Kay: Especially cause that’s much more of a selection thing. It’s almost like when you’re a short form editor you do all the regular editing, but you’re also —

Chelsea: Content editing, but it’s also the selection, yes. Exactly.

Kay: — curating content, yeah. Whereas with Best Editor, Longform, I just no strong feelings about this, you know?

Chelsea: To be honest, I don’t know enough about any of these people and the work that they do as editors to have strong opinions. Okay and then we have Best Professional Artist. We have Galen Dara, Julie Dillon, Chris McGrath, Victo Ngai, John Picacio, and Sana Takeda.

Kay: This is a great list.

Chelsea: I love Sana Takeda’s work, but this is a really fantastic list.

Kay: This is stacked.

Chelsea: Personally, the professional artist and the fan artist are the contributions in the packet I always look forward to the most. And am always most glad are included.

Kay: Oh, really?

Chelsea: Yes. I mean, I love getting the free books, but I’m not the greatest at keeping track of art and artwork and artists.

Kay: Mmhmm.

Chelsea: So having the samples of the work included in the packet is incredibly helpful to me, so.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: I always really look forward to seeing those samples.

Kay: I have prints of Dara and Dillon’s, some of their Uncanny covers, on my wall in my room, so. I love their work. I would love to see either of them take it home this year. Best Semiprozine? Beneath Ceaseless Skies, uh, apologies in advance if I butcher this, Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, GigaNotoSaurus, Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, and The Book Smugglers. I have read and really loved —

Chelsea: This is a really hard category.

Kay: — all of these except that one that I could not pronounce. I’ve never even heard of that.

Chelsea: Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. I have such strong personal feelings for both Uncanny and The Book Smugglers.

Kay: For sure.

Chelsea: That that is, that’s a very tough decision. That’s a tough call.

Kay: I’m very emotionally invested in both of those. I also adore Strange Horizons and they have been doing their particular brand of awesome for such a long time. And I believe this is gonna be the last year that Harrison is gonna be eligible, cause I believe he’s stepping down.

Chelsea: Aw.

Kay: So, I mean, I would be sad if Uncanny didn’t win, but I wouldn’t be heartbroken if it went to Strange Horizons this particular year, if you catch my drift. (laughs)

Chelsea: Well and like you said, they’ve been, they’ve been doing it, they’ve been doing their particular brand for a long time and doing it really strongly and really well and.

Kay: I really appreciate their mix of fiction and critical work and their dedication to diversity and they really have an amazing crew over there.

Chelsea: I don’t know. I actually don’t know which one I’m gonna end up voting for. That’s probably gonna be one of the ones I’m kind of fiddling with up until.

Kay: It’s tough. It’s tough.

Chelsea: The very end. It’s very tough. After that we have Best Fanzine. So the nominees are: the Castalia House Blog, Journey Planet, Lady Business, nerds of a feather, Rocket Stack Rank, and SF Bluestocking.

Kay: There’s some great stuff here, but Lady Business today, Lady Business tomorrow, Lady Business forever.

Chelsea: Lady Business forever.

(laughter)

Kay: We’re friends with the crew over at Lady Business. We love them. We love what they do. We love what they stand for.

Chelsea: We love them, they just do such amazing work. They, they, they post such great, varied content. It’s books and media and reviews.

Kay: I believe this is their second year on the shortlist. I would really love to see them take it home this year.

Chelsea: Yes. Mmhmm.

Kay: Really, really love to see them win this year

Chelsea: I was literally, I was just rereading their actual, their contribution to the packet actually. And just.

Kay: So amazing.

Chelsea: Kinda reremembering and goddamn, they just have done some great stuff this past year. Over the course of the site they’ve done great work, but this last year they just really hit it out of the park.

Kay: And obviously it’s a given with the Fanzine category, but they’re not getting paid. They’re not making any profit.

Chelsea: Yeah. No.

Kay: They’re doing this for love of the genre. So massive respect to everyone in the category, but personally knowing the Lady Business crew, I know how much work they put into that.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: I wanna see them win. (laughs)

Chelsea: Not gonna lie. No respect to the Castalia House blog. Don’t care. Mass respect to everybody else in the Fanzine category.

(Kay laughs)

Chelsea: Cause it’s a labor of love, but everything Castalia House touches can go fuck itself.

(laughter)

Chelsea: Not that I have strong feelings about that at all.

Kay: We have no strong feelings about this.

Chelsea: Nope. No strong feelings about Castalia House or Vox Day or, or anything at all related to that.

(laughter)

Chelsea: Not even a little bit. Okay, this is like. This next category is literally one of my favorite categories, so. Your turn.

Kay: Okay. We’ve got Best Fancast: The Coode Street podcast, Ditch Diggers, Fangirl Happy Hour, Galactic Suburbia, The Rageaholic, and Tea and Jeopardy. And I’m a semi-regular listener to all but The Rageaholic, which I had not heard of prior to this.

Chelsea: And I have no interest in checking out.

Kay: No.

Chelsea: I have enough rage in my life.

(laughter)

Chelsea: I don’t need any more of it.

Kay: Sorry, uh, Razorfist. We will not be partaking of your podcast.

(laughter)

Chelsea: Oh man. Oh god. So good. Okay.

Kay: I probably shouldn’t shittalk someone who calls themself Razorfist, should I?

(laughter)

Chelsea: But it’s Razӧrfist cause it’s got the umlaut over it.

(laughter)

Kay: The umlaut, how could I?

Chelsea: How dare you? How dare you?

Kay:  But this is a stacked category.

Chelsea: And what I like the most about this category, especially this year, is that it’s really coming at fandoms from all sides.

Kay: So many different perspectives, here!

Chelsea: Yeah, dude! You’ve got some academics, Gary K Wolf on Coode Street. You’ve got some just kind of very intelligent and passionate, but just fans coming from Renay and Ana at Fangirl Happy Hour.

Kay: Love them.

Chelsea: Who also works in publishing and self publishing. But then you have Emma Newman doing Tea and Jeopardy and so it’s just so yeah. There’s just so many good perspectives and different angles all coming at SFF in general. Plus I’m, Kay and I are both pretty solid podcast listeners just on the whole.

Kay: Yes.

Chelsea: So it’s always a fun category to see what —

Kay: In case you couldn’t tell we’re fond of the audio format.

(Chelsea laughs)

Kay: Considering we’re recording a podcast right now. (laughs)

Chelsea: On a podcast? I mean, I don’t wanna put too fine a point on it, but you know.

Kay: You know.

Chelsea: And then we have Best Fanwriter. The nominees are: Mike Glyer, Jeffro Johnson, Natalie Luhrs, Foz Meadows, Abigail Nussbaum, and Chuck Tingle.

Kay: Great category, again.

Chelsea: Yes. Another solid category. Foz Meadows is the only person going into this that I was familiar with on the shortlist before the packet came out.

Kay: Really? You weren’t already reading Nussbaum?

Chelsea: Yes. Mm-mm. I was not. So.

Kay: Oh, I’ve followed Abigail for forever.

Chelsea: So I remedied that immediately.

Kay: One of my favorite critical blogs. And I don’t always agree with her, but her stuff is amazing. And so well thought out. And just.

Chelsea: Yeah, her, the stuff, the contributions she had in the packet really kinda floored me a little bit.

Kay: Amazing.

Chelsea: So I’m, since remedied that.

Kay: Also Chuck Tingle. Very different, but (laughs) I would not, I wouldn’t be mad.

(laughter)

Kay: Wouldn’t be mad.

Chelsea: I mean, Chuck Tingle.

Kay: Wouldn’t be mad.

Chelsea: I mean.

Kay: A gift.

Chelsea: If you’re gonna troll the trolls, man. That’s. He is a gift unto us all. And, really, I think more so cause he kinda came outta the woodwork. Nobody really knew how seriously to take Chuck for a while, but I think it’s become pretty clear recently that he is doing the Lord’s work.

(laughter)

Chelsea: When it comes to keeping us all entertained and sane.

Kay: I am almost positive that is the first time anyone genuinely meant that Chuck Tingle was doing the Lord’s work.

(laughter)

Chelsea: The Lord’s work. You know what? It. I’m, I’m gonna stand by it, man. He makes every single time I see Chuck Tingle’s name pop up in a thing, it is cause he is making me fucking laugh by trolling —

Kay: He brings me such great joy.

Chelsea: — the people who need trolling.

Kay: And we need that in our lives.

Chelsea: It brings me joy. He’s not doing the kind of serious actual kind of strong more academic and insightful work that a lot of these writers are doing, but goddamn Chuck is funny, so.

Kay: But that doesn’t matter! Cause Best Fanwriter can be whatever.

Chelsea: No, it doesn’t.

Kay: Is Mike Glyer…

Chelsea: Yes?

Kay: Is that File 770? Am I remembering that correctly?

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: So File 770 is such a mainstay of kind of oldschool-ish online fandom, if that makes sense? Did they start out as a listserv? Like did they —

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: They’ve been around since the dinosaur days of the internet. I’m not a regular reader, but they are…so much respect.

Chelsea: Much respect to the work Mike Glyer has been doing for a very long time at File 770.

Kay: Also Natalie Luhrs.

Chelsea: And Foz and Abigail are both, I don’t know Natalie.

Kay: Um, I don’t know her personally.

Chelsea: You don’t?

Kay: I do not.

Chelsea: You don’t just know everybody?

Kay: I am not a regular Pretty Terrible reader, mostly just because I just am always behind in all of my blog reading.

Chelsea: Mmhmm. Yes.

Kay: But whenever I do catch Natalie’s pieces they’re always great.

Chelsea: And that is, I think, part of the problem, is that of all of the kind of forms of getting my SFF news and kinda commentary I’m not great at blogs and staying great on blogs. I don’t have a super great RSS reader. I don’t so that’s kinda the one area that I think tends to get a little less attention as opposed to the podcasts and all of that stuff that’s very easily assembled and updated and kind of easier to stay on top of.

Kay: So Best Fanartist I’m gonna apologize in advance for butchering multiple people’s names. I did actually do some googling before this to try not to fuck this up, but I’m gonna fuck it up anyway. I’m really sorry. Steve Stiles, Spring Schoenhuth, Likhain, Vesa Lehtimaki, Elizabeth Leggett, Ninni Aalto.

Chelsea: Okay, so what are your thoughts here.

Kay: I have no thoughts.

Chelsea: I really love this list.

Kay: I think it’s a great list.

Chelsea: Having looked at the samples in the packet I really like this list.

Kay: Again, I would be fine with any of these people taking this home

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: So. Way to go being great at art.

(laughter)

Chelsea: Yeah, and that’s the thing is, to be fair I am not an artist and I am not artistically inclined. So I, my assessment of both Fan and Professional Artist literally goes to that is pretty to my eyes.

Kay: Right?

Chelsea: And then that’s it.

Kay: I could get into some more technical stuff, but it just gets boring and basically it boils down to I liked all this shit. Good job, guys.

Chelsea: Yes. Good job, guys.

Kay: You know?

Chelsea: Yeah. But still. Solid representation across the board, a very strong category. And then, alright, well the very last category, well, okay. Last official Hugo category and then we’ll get to the Campbell Award, but Best Series, which, of course, is the new award in 2017 that they’re kind of doing their —

Kay: It’s a test year.

Chelsea: That they’re doing their test run. And the nominations are: The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone, The Expanse by James SA Corey, The October Day books by Seanan McGuire, The Peter Grant/Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovotich, The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik, and The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Kay: So I’m really into this category, not in the way that it’s formatted. I hate the requirements that they’ve laid out.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: I don’t really wanna get into that cause I’ll just, I just, I just hate them.

Chelsea: That’s like a whole separate thing.

Kay: A whole separate thing.

Chelsea: It’s kind of too late now, like it’s kinda too late to go off on that. (laughs)

Kay: But I think that as a whole, this is a really great list of series.

Chelsea: Yes. There are not nearly just as many white dudes as I thought there would be. So props to that.

Kay: Yeah. And it’s not my favorite on this list, but I’m gonna vote for Temeraire because it’s done.

Chelsea: Also yes.

Kay: And even if this continues to be a category, as far as I know you have to have a work published in that year in the series to nominate.

Chelsea: Yes. So technically this is the —

Kay: So this is probably the only time.

Chelsea: — the only year.

Kay: Yeah. And the last book in the series was not my favorite, but I love the series as a whole. And I love Naomi Novik’s work.

Chelsea: I was gonna say. I’ve only read the first book in the series, which is also the book that they included in the packet. They included the first and the last book. And I really enjoyed it. I don’t necessarily know that dragons and the Napoleonic Wars as a whole are necessarily always what I’m into? The addition of dragons definitely helps.

(laughter)

Chelsea: But I still don’t know if it’s wholly my jam. I just.

Kay: It’s basically Master and Commander with dragons.

Chelsea: I fully respect, like.

Kay: For those of you who know nothing about that series.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: That’s basically what it is.

Chelsea: Which, you know, sounds like definitely more my speed than just Master and Commander.

Kay: Right?

Chelsea: And I fully respect wanting to give the award to a person in kind of the only year they have a chance of doing that, but goddamm those October Daye books.

Kay: I mean.

Chelsea: I just love them so much.

Kay: You know how much I love the October Daye books.

Chelsea: I know. I know! I know you do.

Kay: So.

Chelsea: And so I know, I understand what your vote for Temeraire means.

Kay: You, our listeners, do not know how much that means, but for me to say that.

Chelsea: Fully endorse that that’s a vote. That is a statement to be made. I also have just picked up the first Vorkosigan book, which I read forever ago and didn’t really understand, but I was also a wee baby.

Kay: I’m just not gonna read those. There’s too many of them.

Chelsea: There are a lot.

Kay: Published over a long period of time. And the timeline’s weird and I just, it seems like a lot of effort. You know? (laughs) I don’t have the time.

Chelsea: But, but, so, so across the board, yet again, this is a very good category. They included pretty much all of the books of The Craft Sequence, too, or at least most of the ones that are already published. I’m actually really excited to look into those.

Kay: I’ve been meaning to read those.

Chelsea: It’s the first five, yeah.

Kay: I have not read them, but I’ve heard good things.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: The Expanse. Obviously I’m not done reading them, but I like the series so far that I’ve read.

Chelsea: I have not read the Ben Aaronovitch books.

Kay: Me neither.

Chelsea: So I have no —

Kay: No horse there. Ya know? (laughs)

Chelsea: No comment on that. But no horse in that particular race, but yeah. I think of the whole series I just. Toby Daye has my heart for life. So. Plus, Seanan. I just she’s killing it, lately. Just across the board with her shorter fiction and doing the Toby Daye stuff still. And writing as Mira Grant.

Kay: We’re big Seanan McGuire fangirls, so. I would be perfectly happy for her to win this, but I’m probably voting for Temeraire.

Chelsea: Okay. So, do you wanna do the Campbell, Best New Writer? The Not-A-Hugo.

Kay: So we have for the Not-A-Hugo John W Campbell Award, which is for Best New Writer. They’re always very adamant this is not a Hugo, but it is administered along with the Hugo Awards.

Chelsea: But it is.

Kay: It’s a Hugo. I, can we just, it’s a Hugo. It just is. Sorry. That’s a whole nother argument that we’re not gonna have right now. The —

(laughter)

Kay: — people who are up this year, we’ve got: Sarah Gailey, J. Mulrooney, Malka Older, Ada Palmer, Laurie Penny, and Kelly Robson. The people who are in their second year of eligibility, so this is the last year they can be considered, are Older, Penny, and Robson. Palmer, Mulrooney, and Gailey can all be eligible again next year.

Chelsea: And my personal philosophy is almost always to vote for somebody who’s in their second year of eligibility.

Kay: Same.

Chelsea: For this particular award. Just because that’s how it works.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: So of the three that are in their second year, I think Malka Older is probably gonna be my vote.

Kay: I think so.

Chelsea: Infomocracy was stunning. And plus, the Older family. Malka Older is the sister to Daniel Jose Older. Who also writes really stellar SFF and speculative fiction and young adult fiction and stuff, so.

Kay: I definitely did not know that.

Chelsea: Yes. They are related and it’s super awesome.

Kay: That’s a delight.

Chelsea: I love the Older family. They’re delightful.

Kay: That’s lovely.

Chelsea: And they’re both doing such cool, but very different things. So. Again. Of the three who are in their second year, I’ll probably, I think, Malka Older’s gonna get my vote.

Kay: But I, I like this lineup. All of them. Obviously I wouldn’t, I would not be sad to see Sarah win.

Chelsea: Mm-mm, no. But I also imagine that Sarah Gailey will probably —

Kay: I’m sure she will be.

Chelsea: I could very easily see her being nominated again next year.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: If and when she is she will probably get my vote next year.

(laughter)

Chelsea: Because I really like the work that Sarah does.

Kay: For sure.

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin McLeod plays]

Chelsea: So. But alright, guys. That is everything. That is the whole Hugo shortlist. The long shortlist.

(laughter)

Kay: The very long shortlist.

Chelsea: Obviously, let us know what you’re thinking. What you’re voting for. What you’re not voting for is also always a very fun discussion to have. But yeah. We will be back next week with another one of our book talks. We are gonna be discussing The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

Kay: Don’t forget, if you are voting this year, you can still get your membership until July 15. That’s the day voting closes. You will get all of those works that are included. I’m gonna leave a link in the show notes that tells you kind of all the things you’re gonna be getting with that. And the Hugo Awards will take place on August 11th in Helsinki, Finland.

Chelsea: So we will of course be here for all of that. Watching closely to see what ends up being the winner. Until next time, until next week, you guys take care of yourselves and of each other, and we will see you in a little bit.

Kay: Bye!

Chelsea: Alright, bye!

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin McLeod plays]

Bloopers:

Chelsea: I dunno. I really like puns and Stix Hiscock makes me laugh! I’m sorry. (laughs)