helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Here at the Lady Business HQ, we love recommendations. The start of awards season is always wonderful for recommendations as creators and fans start talking about their work, recommending work by others, and celebrating all the cool stuff that happened in the last year. In 2014, for the first time, we're all taking part in The Hugo Awards together.

From [tumblr.com profile] minorearth:

Also, I encourage anyone who likes the SFF genre and has the money to spare to go buy a supporting membership to LonCon, this year’s WorldCon. It’s 25 pounds, or around $40US. What does a supporting membership get you? The ability to a) nominate works/authors/editors/artists/etc for the Hugos, b) receive an electronic bundle full of (most of) the finalists’ work, after finalists are announced, and c) vote for the Hugos. [...] But, before that, there’s the nominating process. If you buy a supporting membership by January 31st, you are eligible to nominate works/people for the Hugos. This is a great opportunity to perhaps suggest some more diverse nominees, from parts of the genre that aren’t always properly represented in the awards. I intend to nominate for the first time this year, and I encourage anyone else with the means to do so as well!

Although the Voter's Packet mentioned above is never guaranteed, it's been going strong the last few years thanks to the work of all the volunteers who work with creators/publishers to make it possible (really, thanks!), so we're definitely hopeful for it this time around, too.

This year to make things easier, we started with our Hugo Media Spreadsheet (feel free to add stuff! yes, especially if you're eligible, as we have come down on the Creator Promotion side of this year's Hugo debate) so we could help ourselves out with categories we're not experienced in, have trouble following due to the size/scope, or want to learn more about beyond our own perspectives.

Back in 2012, Renay said:

There’s no wrong way to participate. There’s no wrong way to be a fan. There’s space on that rocket for everyone, if we want to get all sappy about it, and the more diverse the participants engaging in this fan award are, the more it becomes an inclusive, representative award that’s going to reach more people and bring them into fandom. No, it will never be perfect; no popular award can be. But we can make it better with as many perspectives as possible.

If you have the means to and decide to join up as member of LonCon3 (join by the end of January!), let us know and come talk nomination recommendations with us. We're always happy to hear about media other people loved. Below is a collection of our initial nominees for various categories that we're excited to nominate and why; feel free to share yours with us.

text that says Renay's Section

Well, predictably I couldn't wait to blabber about my choices, so lots of mine have been on my tumblr already (I'll link to them where I've crossposted) and I'll probably continue to put them up individually Because Recommendations. \o/ As per usual I have 3,000 thoughts and opinions, and a lot of my ballot is pie-in-the-sky dreaming, as I don't really subscribe to the school that I should nominate/talk about things that are more likely to end up on the finalists list rather than what I wholeheartedly loved (although I understand the impetus to do so). Regardless of my pipe dreams, I love all the stuff here and even if you don't like them/can't nominate, I hope you check them out! :D

Best Novel
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie: The longer I'm away from this story, the more I love it. I wish there were a way to kudos books besides buying them (done), harassing your library to buy them (done), and harassing everyone close to you to buy them (done). Maybe I just need to start sending Ann Leckie heart icons on Twitter randomly whenever I feel a surge of love coming on. TOTALLY NOT CREEPY. (See also: my recommendation on tumblr.)

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: I imagined a lot of things from the follow up to The Raven Boys, but not this story of an inheritance of loneliness and what such an inheritance can do to someone who doesn't seem to have an anchor. Beautifully told with incisive commentary on love and trust and friendship, not just of each other but of our own minds, it was perfect. (See also: my recommendation on tumblr.)

Cold Steel by Kate Elliott: I debated about this, because apparently there's a part of the rules that allows an entire series to be nominated if the final book in said series was published and is eligible in its own year (so say the supporters of a bid to nominate the entire Wheel of Time series)? I'm still not decided (needs moar research), but this is going on my list in some way. My feelings about this book involve keymashing, screeching over the portrayal of everything: from war, to villains, to dragons, to the spirit world, to friendship between women, to a romance and a relationship that's full of compromise and misunderstandings and the small ways we abuse the ones we love, and how we can move through those things to have success, anyway. I also liked the conceit of a magical skull as a mentor. I mean, there are probably people who can resist that, but I'm not one of them. :D

Still investigating: Love Minus Eighty, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, Parasite, American Elsewhere

Best Related Work
"'We Have Always Fought': Challenging the 'Women, Cattle and Slaves' Narrative" by Kameron Hurley: Friends, THIS ESSAY. It's perfect; I want to crawl inside it and wrap myself up in the way it tackles some of the ignorance about women in history. I had the revelation she mentions in this essay in high school, in my geography class of all places, and reading this I felt like that girl, gobsmacked and furious and humiliated that I had never seen this before. That was my bb!feminist FedEx arrow, and I feel like this essay could be the same for someone else. (See also: my recommendation on tumblr.)

Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy month by Fantasy Cafe: This event ran last year during April at Fantasy Cafe, a review blog run by Kristen. Out of all the blog events in 2013, it was my favorite, and I'm excited about the possibility of it running this year, too.

It featured a month of guest posts by women all over the SF fandom, including (but of course not limited to!) Kate Elliott, Seanan McGuire, Patricia McKillip, and Lois McMaster Bujold. It's filled with personal anecdotes, fandom history, and considerations of the issue of women in genre. It was a project huge and scope, but at the time felt really intimate and personal, and for me those are the best kinds of projects — the ones that stick with you and reverberate through your experience in fandom for weeks and months later. (See also: my recommendation on tumblr.)

Archive of Our Own: Last year after a discussion of eligibility with some friends it occured to me that, holy crap, the archive is totally eligible. I even went and looked up the rule for the category and examined it and asked advice of people, and decided: yep! TOTALLY ELIGIBLE:

Any work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year, and which is either non-fiction or, if fictional, is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text, and which is not eligible in any other category.

Having worked on the archive as part of the Tag Wrangling leadership back in 2010 and 2011, and being friends with many of the volunteers that work on it now I sincerely believe that it deserves to be recognized just for the scope of fan love and support that goes into its daily maintenance (AD&T! Tags! Systems! Support! Abuse! Open Doors! QA!). It's an incredible piece of fannish ingenuity that's extremely noteworthy for what it means: fans deciding to take control of their future and build a service that couldn't be controlled by advertisers or third-parties or services never meant for us but that we adapted to out of necessity for our communities. The AO3 is brilliant, fun, and shows just what can be accomplished if we work together. (See also: my recommendation on tumblr.)

Speculative Fiction 2012 edited by Justin Landon and Jared Shurin: Speculative Fiction 2012 was born because Justin asked, "What were people getting all worked up about in 1992? I knew that if I went online I could probably find all the best fiction that was in 1992. I could use awards lists, I could look at the Year’s Best anthologies from Gardner Dozois, and all the other people, and I could figure out what fiction was important. But I couldn’t really figure out what was important to the discussion of people like us, people who really engage in the genre." (source) Meta on fandom can be fleeting, subject to the vagaries of time, and easily lost/forgotten as the conversation proceeds and moves past old debates into new ones. This anthology seeks to take a snapshot of SF genre fandom conversations and allows them to reach into the future. It’s a tiny piece of fannish history, filled with important voices (just check out the contributors list!) taking part in fascinating discussions about stories, writing, and events in fandom.

Full disclosure: I’m in this anthology (under the Lady Business byline), so I’m biased in its favor. But I’m only one contributor out of many, and everyone else wrote such great essays that I still believe that it would be a worthy nomination even without my essay and data study that’s included. Fannish history is important to contextualize and understand what came before us for those of us who one day might want to track it down. I’m glad this anthology saved one tiny slice of it, and hope it will continue doing so every year to come.

Best Graphic Story

Still investigating: Nimona, Captain Marvel #2: Down

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Not really a category in where there will be much surprise on my part; I'm pretty easy. I know Pacific Rim is probably a shoo-in, and maybe Catching Fire? But the other three, not so much. THAT'S FINE EVERYONE GO PLAY/WATCH THEM and then come flail with me.

  • Pacific Rim
  • Tomb Raider: this game is like escape from Patriarchy Island. I fucking love it.
  • Orphan Black (S1)
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Frozen: ugh, this movie. Full of so many problems but also so full of things I want to become standard in films about family and falling in love and women and power. YES, PLEASE.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
You'll note my foray into idealism here, putting zero Doctor Who episodes into "the Doctor Who category" (although perhaps last year broke the streak?). My problem with this category is that I believe that there are writers, actors, and directors in other TV properties doing work that, in my opinion, has long since surpassed the creative direction/writing/acting in Doctor Who. I watch so much genre television that's dealing with issues of family, humanity, friendship, love, and power. These are topics Doctor Who has handled multiple times since I started watching Nine being sassy all over my screen (omg Nine I miss you), but after several seasons I struggle to see what makes Doctor Who stand out so much so it has eaten an entire category, where the only thing that can compete with it is a fantasy show with a built-in fanbase. The shows I watch are all wrapped up in SF packages similar enough to the topics Doctor Who tackles that I'm routinely surprised that this category's history looks so….well….boring/unchallenged. I understand Doctor Who carries a lot of respect in the community, but as awesome as it can be, it does spend an awful lot of time punching me (and others) in the face. If I'm going to reward media that punches me the face, I'd much rather do it with media that's engaging me more deeply than Doctor Who is at the current time on other topics. I'm probably not going to fix that by myself, but until something drastic changes re: Doctor Who, 2013 was probably the last nomination that show will get from me, however much I love it.

  • Teen Wolf, "Motel California": arguably one of the best-acted episodes of the hot mess that was the overarching plot of Teen Wolf 3A
  • Supernatural, "LARP and the Real Girl": Supernatural does parody episodes sometimes, and most of the time for me they miss. They miss by MILES, because it's not funny, it's just humiliating. But here it's so affectionate that I couldn't resist, and Charlie! I love Charlie. ♥
  • Supernatural, "Goodbye Stranger": #CROL #interspeciesromance #SPNsqueerbaitinglegacy
  • Sleepy Hollow, "The Sin Eater": the emotional notes in this episode were perfect between Abbie and Jenny, and later, Abbie and Ichabod. They use supernatural contexts for many of the emotional realizations in this show, I can't even. Also, John Noble is fucking brilliant.
  • Supernatural, "Heaven Can't Wait": my favorite part of Cas's storyline this season is the way it tackles the pain and suffering of being human, while underlying that it's worthwhile and that the range of human emotion is so complex to be inexpressible. The visual language of this episode was spot on, too. TO SUM UP: DUDES WITH BABIES. :D

Still investigating: Welcome to Night Vale, "The Sandstorm A & B"; Welcome to Night Vale, "Summer Reading Program"; Welcome to Night Vale, "A Beautiful Dream"

Best Editor
Devi Pillai: I am stealing from Justin, who is more handwavey about it, but I really like the direction Orbit is going; I'm not sure who that can be attributed to other than Pillai, because this category confuses the hell out of me, so here is my lone nomination so far for this category.

Best Professional Artist

Best Semiprozine
Strange Horizons: Unsurprisingly, I am 100% biased and have no shame about it. Working with people here, meeting new people through my writing for the magazine, and reading and learning (they pay me to do this….???) has been amazing.

Best Fanzine
The Book Smugglers: I've been following Ana and Thea since 2009. Years later, I still marvel at their regularity, the scope of their reading, the number of features they have like SF in Conversation and their Kirkus column and their newsletter and Smugglivus… They do so much and cover so many SF books, especially YA that I would otherwise never hear of or find. They're an invaluable resource as reviewers and they regularly provide a platform for people to promote their work and share their thoughts. It's only in the last two years I've had the nerve to reach out and befriend them, but they're wonderful and I hope they keep writing reviews and being awesome for many more years to come. <3 /biased friendship recommendation

Best Fancast
slashreport: I am behind on Season 3, but this remains one of the most fun times I have out of all my podcasts. They're definitely my kind of fannish — dudes-making-out fannish, with bonus fic recommendations — but they're also really engaged critics with fantastic offline perspectives they bring out for whatever they talk about. Whether I agree or disagree is up in the air depending on the topic (I'm more pro-SF shenanigans) but there's always something to think about here. I cannot overstate the level of comedic timing on this show, either. It's not even on purpose (I THINK??)! The main hosts plus their guest-star friends have such brilliant chemistry that sometimes halfway through an episode I'm on the floor crying in laughter and wheezing and my cats are sniffing around, like they're worried I'm going to die and stop turning on the heating blanket for them to steal from me (their only reason for concern). Which is to say, slashreport quickly replaced the hilariously pretentious Slate's Culture Gabfest in the "favorite podcasts" section of my heart. It's fantastically fannish in all the best ways and I highly recommend it. :D

Genre episodes to check out from Season 3: The Hobbit, Mystery /report Three Thousand: Star Trek XI, Ironman 3, Supernatural, Star Trek XII, Stargate Atlantis, Welcome to Night Vale, Pacific Rim, Sleepy Hollow

Skiffy and Fanty is my favorite straight genre podcast. It's very chatty and laidback and I really like the dynamic Shaun has with the people he hosts with. On the plus side, my interests and this podcast's topics align pretty well, which is hard in other places because I guess I've gone full on pop culture. The only thing I don't really make use of is the interviews, unless I already know an author and like them, but there's so much other stuff to choose from that I barely notice the lack. The output on this podcast is wildly good, too.

Episodes to check out: Catching Fire, The Riddick Trilogy, Elysium, Speculative Fiction '12 and SF Criticism, Pacific Rim, Violence in Genre Fiction

Friends in Your Head: One of my favorite film commentary podcasts, Friends in Your Head recently rebranded. It's still just as awesome! Unfortunately they don't have a very friendly way to browse episodes, but episodes can be browsed in a little sidebar on their main site, or on iTunes. :)

Still investigating: Writer and the Critic, Galactic Suburbia

Best Fan Writer
Gav, the personality behind the genius Hello, Tailor is the critic who made me care about the use of clothes in TV/film, and is also intensely hilarious in her own right. Gav has a really distinctive perspective when compared to say, me, who only knows how suits are supposed to fit and the characterization choices around why someone might want a suit to fit incorrectly because of her work. Although I started following her Teen Wolf recaps, she's since expanded, and does Agents of SHIELD, genre movie critiques, as well as tons of commentary about SF media on twitter, which is definitely worth a read.

Writing to check out: Thor: The Dark World, Part 1: Heroes and Villains, Thor: The Dark World, Part 2: Female characters & representation, Costume design TED Talk: From Clothing to Character. (Plus some notes on Sleepy Hollow.), Stargate: Watch it. Love it. Learn educational info about real "Egyptian" "archaeology", Dressing for the Apocalypse: How to build a believable dystopia, The costumes of Pacific Rim

Abigail Nussbaum: I disagree with Nussbaum 95% of the time, about everything, especially genre. I know we're often coming from radically different spaces, though, and my lack of experience with years and years and years of being surrounded by SF's particular brand of complacency is why we experience the same texts so differently, but it's so fascinating to see just how huge the gulf is between our readings of a text, whether it's a book or a show or a film. I am also very clearly less educated than she is, which is why I often treat her like I did difficult readings in my graduate level classes that I foolishly took as over-confident undergraduate -- print that shit out and get out the highlighters and a page for notes and, inevitably, the dictionary. I really feel like I'm learning something new every time I sit down to read her work and seeing things that I wouldn't have otherwise. The best teachers you have are the ones you never expected to find, and lucked into, and took forever to realize that's what they were, and she's definitely that for me. Her archives and her past work are full of riches in criticism, seriously. A+ recommend.

Liz Bourke: Probably not a radical surprise given that once I discovered Liz's writing I began a campaign of idolatry that lucky didn't last very long once I got to know her. ;) Her Sleeps With Monsters column has been excellent, but her commentary on Twitter and around the genre community in 2013 was equally awesome. Perhaps a trend has been defined, where I inevitably love writers that are smarter than me and have knowledge leaking from their fingers in ways that attract me like some sort of social justice buzzard. Dear Liz, I will follow your brain forever. Call me. ♥

Justin Landon: I needed a controversial pick for my ballot — would we call this a political nomination? Maybe. Justin's been on fire since he crashed the scene in 2011 (....was it seriously only 2011? It feels like we've had him a lot longer than that...) and churning out quite a few essays and opinion pieces that created long-running dialogues that deliberately challenged dominant opinions in SF fandom. I've been impressed with how much he's learned, and the ways I've watched his writing grow and change since his early days, and 2013 was an awesome year for his work. My favorite essay from him in 2013 was obviously Gender Parity and Cover Art, because it made me think about how I was erasing non-male artists from the conversation when discussing gender parity in genre. Death, and Death in Science Fiction and Fantasy was intensely personal and thought-provoking, and Suvudu Universe: Hai Can I Haz Ur Stuffz?, was a great look at the way that companies are going to continue to take advantage of fans, and whatever, I have a huge crush on Justin's brain, sue me. :P

Best Fan Artist
My trouble with the fanart category is that I'm way out of the loop on fanart; I have a huge list of people I might be able to consider, but I'm not sure if they're still into fanart and doing current work. Research is hard, etc. The move to tumblr has thrown me for a loop. There's also the fact that the Hugo voting body has a different definition of fanart. I definitely don't think that definition is wrong, I just think it's only one potential definition, and that the constitution allows for a wider consideration.

I've found other awesome meta about art, like An Analysis of the Hugo Art Categories, and of course Hugo Eligible Art(ists) has been a welcome addition to my ability to research really widely, but it's all still pretty overwhelming.

I know for sure I'll be nominating Euclase, but all my other slots are still up in the air. Probably I'll shake down [tumblr.com profile] justira for more recommendations. :D

text that says Ana's Section

So, it's my first time doing this and there are many gaps in my knowledge — recommendations that would help fill them would be much appreciated, of course.

Best Novel

To investigate: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow

Best Novella

Best Short Story
  • "Flawless" by Frances Hardinge
  • "For the Briar Rose" by Elizabeth Wein
  • "Estella Saves the Village" by Theodora Goss
  • "The Party" by Susan Cooper

Best Related Work

Best Graphic Story
  • Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
  • The Search part 1 by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru
  • Saga vol 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
  • Orphan Black (S1)
  • The Legend of Korra: Book Two — Spirits
  • Frozen
  • Gravity

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
  • The Legend of Korra: ""Beginnings, Part 1"
  • The Legend of Korra: ""Beginnings, Part 2"

Best Editor (Short Form)
  • Ellen Datlow

Best Professional Artist
  • Julie Dillon
  • Anna and Elena Balbusso
  • Fiona Staples

Best Semiprozine
  • Strange Horizons

Best Fanzine

Best Fan Writer

text that says Jodie's Section

I maintain that it is impossible to get to everything you want to review before Hugos. So, I still have quite a few works I'd like to try before the nomination deadline closes in March. In graphic story "Hawkeye" and "The Deep"; in short story: Nnedi Okorafor's "Wild Ride" and the "We See a Different Frontier" anthology; in novella: "The Deep" (this one by Zetta Elliott). And that's on top of all the novel reading I have left to do. For now though here's my incomplete draft nomination slate. As always further recs appreciated!

Best Novel
"Ancillary Justice" - Ann Leckie: A wonderful novel that I’m confident is going to make the short list with or without my help. I actually found that it didn’t completely conform to the expectations I had after following the chatter surrounding it and that I liked it so well because it did different things with language and gender than I was expecting. I ended up being prodded to think much deeper about language and gender and narrative construction than I might have done had this book just straight gender flipped everything.

"The Dream Thieves" - Maggie Stiefvater: There’s so much character shading in this series that I want to cram it in the face of anyone who has ever been off hand about YA work. And the fantasy set up is so interesting as the plot relies on an old idea (mystical sleeping kings and a quest) and embroidering it into this individual, personal tale about people’s hopes and dreams. Also, not gonna lie, I enjoyed the book’s unabashed use of anticipation to produce super sexy results.

"Orkney" - Amy Sackville: This is a lovely little novel about marriage and sea-people and men’s reaction to mystical heroines. The language is meticulously beautiful and the use of limited male pov to produce ambiguity is interesting (if something I’m quite familiar with in the context of these kind of stories). No one else will vote for it because it’s a piece of SFF coming out of the literary world.

"Parasite" - Mira Grant: A strong start to a new SFF series. What I appreciated the most about this novel was that it felt like the author was trying to write a completely different kind of heroine to the ones she’s written before (under both her author names) and that in doing so she contributed to the ongoing conversation about what makes a heroine. It didn’t kick me in the gut like the Newsflesh series, but this book had a different pace and feel to it than that series so I feel like a different reaction is almost to be expected.

Still to be investigated: "The Shining Girls" - Lauren Beukes, "Ascension" - Jacqueline Koyanagi, "The September Girls" - Bennett Maddison, "Cold Steel" - Kate Elliott

Best Related Work
"A More Diverse Universe" (web event): Aarti hosted this event, which adds to the critical discussion about SFF books by chromatic authors, for a second year. I know that finding the time to run this event again was difficult for her, but she pulled it off and left a

"We Have Always Fought" (essay): I found myself coming back to this essay again and again throughout the year as a touchstone. Not only did it remind me that women have always been here (in SFF but also everywhere else) during tough times when people seemed determined to erase our presence, but it reminds me to keep expanding my knowledge and not to conflate “marginalised and oppressed” with “absent”.

"Tropes vs Women" (video series): Anita Sarkeesian’s videos about female characters in video games are a great place to start if you’re looking to understand media representation of women, or a source of detailed knowledge if you’re interested in how specific games treat female characters. They feature a lot of SFF characters; at one point she spends an extended amount of time deconstructing Princess Peach’s changing storylines.

Still to be investigated: "We See a Different Frontier" (anthology)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
"Pacific Rim": Ha, obviously. I really enjoyed this film about giant robots and the woman who pilots one of them. Renay and I talked about it at length in our podcast, so I recommend you check that out if you want to know more about my feelings for this film.

"Frozen": I feel like everyone is saying this, but I wish this film (and twenty more like it) had been around when I was growing up. Like Brave, Frozen is a smart reaction to certain prevalent tropes in the fantasy princess genre. All its feminism is wrapped up in a story about sisters and emotional barriers and ice magic. I can’t recommend it enough.

"Catching Fire": This franchise has my heart. Central female character, emotionally complex facial expressions, social commentary and bats costuming all combined to make this a film I’ll want to return to soon.

"Orphan Black" (S1): So no one else wants to give Tatiana Maslany all the awards for her outstanding, distinct multiple performances? Ok – whatever. Let’s get the program a Hugo! This was easily the freshest and most innovative SFF program I saw last year, and it also had a thrilling propulsion element to it that made me want to keep watching. Well plotted, scripted and acted I may scream if this doesn’t make the short list.

Still to be investigated: "The Legend of Korra" (S2)

Best Professional Artist
I don’t spend a lot of time observing the pro SFF art community so, after working out what gingerhaze’s real name was, I used Julie Dillon’s excellent list of eligible professional artists and Justin Landon’s recent post about gender parity in cover art to find people (apart from Julie Dillon) that I wanted to nominate. I’m still trying to decide on a fifth nomination — perhaps you have suggestions?

Best Fanzine
"The Book Smugglers": I’ve been following The Book Smugglers for years now and their blog just continually provides so much great content. Apparently this year they will review even more, which I assume means they have perfected cloning.

I like that they’re a multi-genre blog with a huge stake in the SFF community (I’m a multi-genre kind of reader too, but a large part of my media heart belongs to SFF and I always love hearing voices from the crossover community). And I enjoy how much focus they place on YA, because there isn’t a lot of chatter about YA on the bigger SFF blogs.

"No Award": This is a new co-authored blog that talks about media from a wide variety of genres, including SFF. It provided some of my favourite commentary on Pacific Rim this year and featured smart post about dystopias.

Eve’s Alexandria: Another co-authored blog which talks about several genres including SFF. Using close reading and insightful criticism this blog manages to make me want to read everything.

Best Fan Writer
A lot of the people I follow for fan writing left criticism to focus on their fiction writing this year, but there are still plenty of people out there to fill my slate with.

Liz Bourke: "Sleeps with Monsters" is a fantastic column that has spotlighted lots of interesting books (especially older SFF) and issues over the last year. I’m looking forward to seeing what Bourke will bring out into the light this year.

Abigail Nussbaum: I’ve been reading "Asking the Wrong Questions" for three years now and it pretty much never disappoints. I think I’ve said before that I often don’t agree with Nussbaum, but her writing always makes me think about subjects in new and interesting ways. And unlike a lot of mainstream pro critics that I don’t agree with, I always feel like Nussbaum is having a genuine opinion rather than trying to boost her own status or point out how clever she is for being above others with her reviews. She’s never an ass is basically what I’m saying. She always keeps her eye focused on the media, even as she allows useful context to inform her posts.

Nic Clarke: Part of the Eve’s Alexandria’s team and a writer for Strange Horizons. I really like Nic’s particular essay style and she manages to blend context and criticism into one package (anyone who has written a review will know how hard it is to stop one element from dominating your writing).

Hello, Tailor: What Renay said! I wish I knew more niche blogs that talked about SFF to be honest because it’s so interesting to see a critic break down just one aspect of media in such detail. I’ve also enjoyed the columns Gavia has written about Marvel films and super heroines for The Daily Dot.

I’m not sure who I’m going to put in my last slot yet because there are a few people who I have to decide between. And if you know of a great SFF fan writer (preferably woman, I mostly hang out with women on the web) please drop me a recommendation in the comments. I’m always looking for more people to follow.

John W Campbell Award
I am a little confused about this award to be honest. I checked the rules and as far as I can see everyone I list below is eligible but several don’t appear on the eligibility list for 2014. Are they eligible? If so, have their publishers asked for them not to appear on the list? Or do you literally only get onto the list if your name is put forward to the Campbell list makers? If you’re not on that list by the time nominations close are you still eligible? Does anyone have a Campbell primer is what I’m asking.

Anyway, until I know the answer to those questions here’s who I’m nominating:

Sarah McCarry (for "All Our Pretty Songs"): A very strong debut from the woman behind The Rejectionist blog. It’s all about myths and music and how we make myths about people we think we know so well.

Kat Zhang (for "What's Left of Me"): I was pleasantly surprised by this novel because I kind of went in with low expectations, set up by the cover and blurb. This was a solid story about two girls who share a body in a world where the recessive sibling is supposed to die off.

Sherri L Smith (for "Orleans"): Smith is an established author but I’m pretty sure this is her first piece of published SFF. Fen de la Guerre is a fantastic character and this book’s world building is really interesting.

Still to be investigated: Stephanie Kuen "Charm and Strange", Phoebe North "Starglass"

Date: 2014-01-22 03:10 am (UTC)
owlmoose: (Default)
From: [personal profile] owlmoose
I am participating for the first time ever. Getting familiar enough with what's come out in 2013 to feel comfortable nominating is a daunting idea (is it terrible if I punt on the short fiction categories?), but I'm sure it will be worth it. I'll have to look into the books and fan projects here, for sure.

Date: 2014-01-22 03:14 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
We approve of punting on categories that are too overwhelming!


Date: 2014-01-22 03:27 pm (UTC)
coalescent: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coalescent
I second Renay's comment, but would also say -- don't set the bar for being informed too high? I mean, if you love something, you love something, and (my feeling is) you should nominate it even if you've only read three other things that might be eligible in that category.

Date: 2014-01-22 06:16 pm (UTC)
owlmoose: (book -- glasses)
From: [personal profile] owlmoose
This is a good reminder, thanks. :) You're right, it's not as though I have some responsibility to have read half the stories released in 2013 before I can pick some favorites.


Lady Business welcome badge

Pitch Us!
Review Policy
Comment Policy
Writers We Like!
Contact Us

tumblr icon twitter icon syndication icon

image asking viewer to support Lady Business on Patreon

Who We Are

Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

By day Jodie is currently living the dream as a bookseller for a major British chain of book shops. She has no desire to go back to working in the real world. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

Renay writes for Lady Business and co-hosts Fangirl Happy Hour, a pop culture media show that includes a lot yelling about the love lives of fictional characters. Enjoys puns. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Susan is a library assistant who uses her insider access to keep her shelves and to-read list permanently over-flowing. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon AO3 icon


Book Review Index
Film Review Index
Television Review Index
Game Review Index
Non-Review Index
We Want It!
Fanwork Recs
all content by tags

Our Projects

hugo award recs

Criticism & Debate

Indeed, we do have a comment policy.

What's with your subtitle?

It's a riff off an extremely obscure meme only Tom Hardy and Myspace fans will appreciate.

hugo award winner
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios