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[personal profile] bookgazing
I always go into Hugo voting with the best of intentions. I'm going to read all the things, view all the things, and not just get bogged down in the Novel category. 2017 is going to be different!

Yes. Well.

Appropriately for the Hugo Awards this optimistic view proved to be, as usual, pure fantasy. Still, I did pretty well for a lady with a long commute and limited data; particularly when it came to the Best Short Story category. I read four of the six stories nominated in this category for 2017. And what better way to get back into writing than to share all my thoughts with you?

Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
We're excited to announce that Lady Business is a finalist for the Hugo Awards! \o/ You can read the official finalist list here. Now: PARTY BREAK.

Viola Davis showered with confetti and then raising a glass of wine to the viewer in a celebratory toast

This is our second time as a finalist in the Best Fanzine category, and we're super thrilled to be here. To everyone who nominated us and our friends and supporters who read and recommend our work: thank you! We're so glad you enjoy our work and find us worthy of this award. You help make this project fun and rewarding and we appreciate you all so much!

gray and white cat laying under a blanket and hugging a teddy bear

Thanks to Worldcon 75 and the World Science Fiction Society for all their work to manage the Hugo Awards. Running the award is a massive undertaking, and it's done entirely by volunteers — fans! — and we are stoked to be a part of it.

For those new to Lady Business, we're a group of women and genderqueer people who write about media from an intersectional feminist perspective. You can learn more about our individual editors here. If you'd like a sampling of our posts in 2016, here is some of what we've done:

In conclusion:

A muppet sitting between two humans screaming as they watch him.
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Guest Post (guest post)
[personal profile] helloladies
We're happy to welcome [personal profile] forestofglory to Lady Business to discuss the Hugos Awards and their history (and their future! Which you can influence!) with an award for Young Adult literature. Thanks, [personal profile] forestofglory!

I’m part of a committee helping to create new award for YA books to be given out at Worldcon (short for the World Science Fiction Convention) like a Hugo award. Currently the committee working on the award is running a survey to gather name suggestions. If you are interested in this we’d love for you to take the survey. It is online at The survey will remain open until November 15.

If you’ve been reading Lady Business you have probably heard about the Hugo awards – some of you even nominated Lady Business for the Best Fanzine Hugo last year. But for those of you not familiar with the awards, they are a big deal in SFF and one of the few awards people who don’t follow SFF closely have frequently heard of. The Hugos are given out every year at Worldcon and are voted on by the members of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
It's just three weeks until nominations for The Hugo Awards close. With that in mind, I present my draft Best Novel ballot. There's still (barely) time to bury your faces in some of these great novels before nominations close and make your own decisions even harder. You're welcome!

Read more... )

If you're planning to nominate for The Hugo Awards, drop into the comments and let me know what's on your draft novel ballot.
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[personal profile] bookgazing
February is such a short month. I swear, it just started yesterday and now we're almost at the end of it. Every year around this period in Hugo nominations I start to freak out that there is. Just. NOT. Enough. Time! Even though logically I know that I don't have to read and watch everything - hell, I don't even have to nominate in every category if I don't want to - I tend to kick into overdrive in February and start trying to guzzle down five books at a time. Trust that the next (and final) installment of The Little Rocket That Could is going to be epic.

Before I move on to talking about what I've read and watched, a quick public service announcement. This week I discovered that I'm eligible to vote in The Locus Awards, from the shortlists they've already created. Turns out, anyone can vote in The Locus Awards for free (although votes from subscribers to the magazine count as double). And they've got a YA category. The deadline for voting is April 15, 2016. Yeah, my reading is not slowing down anytime soon.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
If you're planning to nominate for The Hugo Awards you need to have your membership (supporting or otherwise) for MidAmeriCon II by now. Nominations for The Hugo Awards have opened. Hugo PINs are now apparently on their way out. This thing is really happening.

If you're anything like me, then you briefly freaked out when you saw the announcement that nominations had opened. THERE'S JUST NOT ENOUGH TIME - my brain screams until it calms the fuck down and remembers that I can nominate right up until March 31st. It's going to be OK, everyone.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
This year, after taking a short break from giving a fuck, I will be paying my dues and signing up to MidAmeriCon II so I can, once again, nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards. And, wow, do I have a lot of opinions this year. 2016 was a good year for science fiction and fantasy, and I'm eager to get loud about all the media that I think deserves attention.

Before I start shouting my mouth off, let me offer up a quick primer in case you don't know what the Hugo Awards are. Basically, they're public choice awards which recognise science fiction and fantasy media. The ability to nominate in these awards is open to anyone who can afford to pay for a supporting membership to MidAmeriCon II, 2016's World Science Fiction Convention. Once nominations close, and the shortlists for each category have been created, everyone with a supporting membership gets to vote on which nominees should emerge as victorious winners.

And when I say 'everyone' that means you! Yes, you can vote for your favs of 2015 to be recognised by this award. For more information, including what the categories are, and how to sign up for supporting membership before Jan 31st 2015, go to the WorldCon website or the Hugo Awards website.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Today, Memory - the lady that comics built - explains the mysteries of the Hugo's Best Graphic Story category, and reveals ten award eligible comics she loves.

My name is Memory and I'm a vocal comics-lover.

This being the case, Jodie invited me to come by this week and talk to y’all about the Best Graphic Story category at the Hugo Awards. I want to say a bit about what qualifies for the award, how you (yes, you!) can nominate your favourite comics, and which 2014 releases I particularly recommend you check out.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Still waiting for an invite to the short fiction party? Well let us dispense with the formalities, sweep you inside and get you the beverage of your choice!

Today, Short Business features blogger and short fiction enthusiast forestofglory who's keen to tell you all about her favourite short fiction of 2014. Whether you're planning to nominate short work for the Hugo Awards or just looking for a great story to read, let this post guide you through a variety of excellent options.

Red, white and blue short business logo

One of the best things about my participation in the Hugo Awards is that it has lead me to realize how much awesome SFF short fiction is being published. As I’ve become more aware of SFF short fiction as the number of authors and online magazines I follow has increased. I am now much more aware of new things that I want to read. This year I’ve read an impressive amount of short fiction. I’ve read about 85 works online and 4 anthologies, plus collections which included original work. Of course I still haven’t read anything like all the of short SFF work published this year. There is just so much!

Anyways, based on what I’ve read here are my favorite short works from 2014. I’ve divided them by length based on Hugo categories. If you have nominating privileges this year I hope you’ll consider nominating some of these stories. And even if you aren’t a World Con member I hope you’ll read and enjoy some of these works.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
At Lady Business HQ, we thrive on recommendations from friends and strangers alike. As Hugo award season gears up, it's especially helpful so we can collect recommendations and horde them like media dragons (pony dragons? dragon ponies?). Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
As everyone knows by now, we were pretty invested in the Hugo Awards this year, and are super excited they've been announced, featuring some of our favorite people. \o/

And now we promise to chill out about them until at least December 2014. ;)

2014 Hugo nominees and winners )

Did any of your favorites win? :D
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[personal profile] bookgazing
I nod. "Awful day." And because we say it all the time, because it's the kind of silly, ordinary thing you could call one of our "refrains," or maybe because of the weed I've smoked, a whole bunch of days seem pressed together inside this moment, more than you could count. There's the time we all went out for New Year's Eve, and Uncle Tad drove me, and when he stopped and I opened the door he told me to close it, and I said "I will when I'm on the other side," and when I told Mona we laughed so hard we had to run away and hide in the bathroom. There's the day some people we know from school came in and we served them wine even though they were underage and Mona got nervous and spilled it all over the tablecloth, and the day her nice cousin came to visit and made us cheese-and-mint sandwiches in the microwave and got yelled at for wasting food. And the day of the party for Mona's mom's birthday, when Uncle Tad played music and made us all dance, and Mona's mom's eyes went jewelly with tears, and afterward Mona told me: "I should just run away. I'm the only thing keeping her here." My God, awful days. All the best days of my life.

Much like "All Our Pretty Songs", Sofia Samatar’s "Selkie Stories Are For Losers" mixes folklore with a contemporary story of intense female friendship, love and troubled families set against the backdrop of summer jobs. I’m a big fan of small town stories which light up regular lives through the use of carefully chosen detailing. And I love fantasy stories which bring magic down to earth by setting it in everyday situations. So, the variation of urban fantasy in Samatar’s story, which mixes the deliberately mundane like the details of crappy jobs, random jokes, aimless hours spent hanging around with folklore, is a knock out hit for me. The combination of the magical and the commonplace creates a sense of specificity which grounded me and made it easy for me to relate to the story.

Read more... )

Other Reviews

Susan Hated Literature
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[personal profile] bookgazing
In the beginning, "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" seems set to live up to its whimsical title. It starts, as you would expect, with the narrator explaining that her partner would make the most charming terrible lizard:

If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.

He sounds adorable. In my mind’s eye, I gave this dinosaur a cane and bow tie.

Read more... )

Other Thoughts

Calico Reaction - discussion thread
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[personal profile] renay
Banner for Strange Horizons online SF Magazine

My latest column is up in the most recent issue of Strange Horizons! \o/ Communities: Raise Your Voice is a slightly belated essay about how I feel about author eligibility posts for fan awards (tl;dr version: yes please, bring me ~all the eligibility posts in the land~).

Sadly, I cut A LOT of words where I flailed about how all the smartest critics I've ever met came from fandom, fandom is FULL of critical fans, and how we are SUPER PICKY and demanding from our favorite sources.


Maybe I will use that some other time for something else! It was pretty good even if it ended up being off topic.

Other parts of the issue available now:

FICTION: Such Lovely Teeth, Such Big Teeth (Part 1 of 2), by Carlie St. George
FICTION: Podcast: Such Lovely Teeth, Such Big Teeth, by Carlie St. George, read by Anaea Lay
POETRY: Fat Women, by Sandi Leibowitz
REVIEW: Short Fiction Snapshot #7: "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" by Ted Chiang reviewed by Abigail Nussbaum
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[personal profile] helloladies
Lady Business+ cover art

Episode #10 — Planet Hugo

Grab your ballots and your pin numbers and hold on tight as Justin and Renay tackle the 2014 Hugo Award Debate Season and all associated tickle fights. Self-promotion wank, category wank, and the inevitable unpredictably of it all due to the non-U.S. Worldcon are all up for analysis. Download the episode if you're way too invested in Best Related Work category.

Follow us on twitter, tumblr, via RSS, or subscribe via iTunes.
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[personal profile] helloladies
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 [ 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.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
This year I filled out my first nomination ballot for the Hugo awards. As an SFF fan who also reads a lot of other genres, and isn’t 100% focused on reading and reviewing new SFF releases, I found myself hit with nominator panic – what the hell had I already read that was eligible and what the hell could I cram in that was eligible before nominations closed?

I found determining eligibility difficult – not because a work’s publication or release date wasn’t clearly marked somewhere but because there were a lot of fly leafs to open up hopefully, a lot of DVD covers to scan only to see the wrong date appear, and a lot of separate ‘Coming In 2013’ or ‘Best of 2012’ lists to hunt down on the internet in order to work out what could go on my nominations list. My house contains a lot of books and DVDs. My local library contains even more. I take in a lot of media over the course of a year that might fall into one of the Hugo categories throughout the year and (foolishly) I hadn't noted which year any of that media was initially released in.

I also couldn’t find one easy way to work out which media that I hadn’t got to yet, perhaps media I hadn’t even heard about yet, might be eligible for Hugos so that I could do a last dash media cram before nominations closed. Although I probably talked about wanting to read a lot of books when they were new out that doesn’t mean I always went straight off to read them (hahahaha) or that, as nominations drew ever closer, I remembered that their release date made them eligible for Hugos

So, I thought that this year I would get ahead in at least a couple of categories. I've gathered together some useful lists about 2013 SFF media to help me create a smarter, more informed nominations ballot next year. And I'm going to share them all with you just in case you also found yourself bashing in search terms and trying to weed through recommendation lists five days before this year's Hugo nominations closed. Please tell me I'm not the only unprepared fan out there!

First, I’ve searched the internet and gathered together as many lists as I can find of SFF books (largely novels) that have been published or are going to be published in 2013:


io9 - All the essential science fiction books coming in 2013

Sleeping with Monsters - Anticipating the first half and the second half of 2013

The Book Smugglers reflect on 2013 so far

Locus - 2013 releases up to May 2013 and June - Dec 2013

SF Signal's monthly round ups of forthcoming books for 2013

My Bookish Ways - July 2013 New Releases: SF/F/Horror

Tor - British Genre Fiction Hitlist

That’s a lot of books! Allow yourself a brief moment of excitement before you keel over under the weight of the volume.

I also wanted to drop links to all the major SFF publisher’s 2013 catalogues. I did find some of these catalogues but unfortunately the list I’ve included below is by no means exhaustive or complete. SFF publishers I am not a patient woman and sometimes it’s hard to find your output broken down by year. If you publish SFF and have a list of 2013 books somewhere on your site please help me out and drop a link to it in the comments section:

Books by publisher



Strange Chemistry

Angry Robot


* Bonus Orbit - Autumn 2013

Now, we come to lists for a couple of categories that mean a lot to me – long and short form drama. I love TV. I love film. There is more SFF in those mediums than Dr Who and Peter Jackson flicks:


io9 - The Ultimate Guide to this Summer's Science Fiction and Fantasy TV

io9 - The Ultimate Guide to this Fall's Science Fiction and Fantasy TV

Scifi Chick - New SFF TV shows This Fall


io9 - 77 Science Fiction and Fantasy movies to watch out for in 2013

What Culture - 44 unmissable Sci-fi & Fantasy Movies Still to Come in 2013

Movieweb - Sci-fi 2013

What I’d love to see is more personal recommendation lists of SFF media from 2013; lists by bloggers who are excited about new releases, especially if those lists include lots of media created by, or featuring, women. I basically want to know what you'd put on your own version of io9's Scifi That Could Change Your Life rec list for 2013. If you’ve created a list like that then please feel free to leave a link in the comments and I’ll drool over its contents before adding it into the post. This year, with your help, I will go into the Hugos as prepared as I can be without bankrupting myself. And maybe I'll take a few of you along for the ride?
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
If you would like a fiery discussion about the Hugos, please see my tag on pinboard, containing all the passionate Hugo discourse you've ever wanted! Here, instead, I want to talk about my perspective as a new fan to this process. I'm almost tempted to not count my participation last year, because I missed all the verbal fireworks due to other professional obligations. This year has been a different matter. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Today I am over at The Book Smugglers, who have graciously provided me a soapbox to shake my virtual pom-poms over participation in the Hugo Awards on. Although, let's be honest, it's a little self-serving. Last year I did it by myself and it wasn't as fun/was pretty overwhelming and confusing. *g* Goal: ADD MY FRIENDS and be in it together. :D

Check it out and then check out all the other awesome posts Ana and Thea have organized via their Smugglivus tag. And if you get a hankering to buy a Supporting membership, let me know so we can be Hugo pals. :D


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