Hugos and Eastercon and Breaking Bubbles

What happened to that amazing plan to blog every week, self? What happened? You’re going to have to do a week of lists or something to catch up. But lists are great, right? Everyone likes lists! (Five Vegetables of Most Hellish Taste; Five Beigest Trek Episodes; Five Lego Creations People Should Make For Meeeee….by gum, I could do this all day…)

Since last time, when I was apparently Judging Cybermen, as you do, there has, at least, been some Exciting News. Verity! (that delightful podcast what I do) has been nominated for a Hugo Award in the Best Fancast category. It’s a bit ridiculous, and brilliant, and exciting, and thank you so much to everyone who nominated us! Particularly awesome as the Hugo Awards ceremony will be in London this year, a mere 400-ish miles away! Splendid days. (We also have an intro to the podcast type post up, if somehow you’re here, and interested in Doctor Who podcasts and haven’t tried it already.)

And we’re nominated alongside what is actually my favourite podcast: The Writer and the Critic. If you have even the vaguest interest in SFF books, for goodness sake, go, go now, and enjoy. Kirstyn and Mondy are fantastic hosts, smart funny people, and have brilliant chemistry. I’ve been nominating in them in this category FOREVER (well, last couple of years, whatev) and given that they missed out on the short list by one vote last year, it’s keen to see them make it this time.

(Also, thumbs up for Galactic Suburbia, another favourite podcast, which is co-hosted by Tansy Rayner Roberts, who’s also on Verity! …will we find out who she votes for first on the Hugo ballot so one of her podcast teams can shun and judge her? Or will she be able to keep it a secret, despite the flying space monkeys I’ve despatched to find out? Stay tuned!)

(Further thumbs up to Tea and Jeopardy, hosted by the fabulous Emma Newman, which I’m also a fan of, for many reasons, but my current favourite is Emma’s deadpan delivery of the most absurd exposition. Like…if Elizabeth Bennett suddenly started talking about secret underground volcano bases. It is joyous. If you’ve never tried it, give the Emma Vieceli ep a shot; tis my fav thus far, and my favourite means best, obviously.)

And I have not heard the others, but I will! (We shall not speak of the fact I only recently realised that Skiffy and Fanty was *not* some odd reference to the tasty orange chemical flavoured fizzy pop Fanta, but a diminutive of fantasy. Yeah, I got the sci-fi bit, but fantasy? Just too much for my delicate brain…*shame*)

Many of the fiction categories are a strange mess, what with there being a voting campaign based on malicious intent to upset the sort of people who aren’t hard right-wingers and like equality and shit (and, no, I’m not reading that stuff: I don’t *care* how good the food is, if I can hear the chef yelling sexist racist rhetoric in the kitchen, I am not wasting my time in that fucking restaurant. There’s too much good food in the world, okay?).

It’s one thing to for creators to let people know what works of theirs are eligible; another for people to make suggestions for stuff they loved or thought was great. It’s a very different thing when you campaign for a suggested slate that’s mainly designed to piss other people off. Spirit of the law, dammit.

Anyway, there’s still some nifty stuff in those categories, particularly Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Aliette de Bodard’s The Waiting Stars. And great to see Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Lady Astronaut of Mars there, after the joys of last year’s technicalities.

The Fan Writer category, however, is just amazing. Genuinely don’t know what to do there. Seriously considering flipping a coin. Wouldn’t know how to judge between Foz Meadows, Abigail Nussbaum, Liz Bourke and Kameron Hurley based on quality. My personal preferences mean I don’t enjoy Nussbaum’s work as much as the others, but then…yeah, I don’t have a clue. It’s a beautiful slate.

In the Best Doctor… I mean Best Short Form Category (shutup, that joke never gets old, NEVER) there’s a whole lot of Doctor Who. And, yes, I am one of Those People who just votes for Doctor Who in this category. I know, I know, I’ve been told, loudly, angrily even, and yet I am unrepentant. For nothing else bring Teh Joy as Who does. I’m sorry. Except not really. Especially since The Five-ish Doctors made it in! Ah, The Five-ish Doctors, only the greatest gift the cast and crew of a telly series have ever given their fanbase…

And congrats to everyone I know who’s been nominated for a thingie! You are all wonderful, ra!

The ballot was announced at Eastercon, in Glasgow this year, where it was terrifyingly bright and sunny and warm. The Clyde looked gorgeous, the con had a plethora of entertaining panels, and Gollancz put out loads of free pens. Which was important to me, since I’ve got about three pens that are working and was starting to get worried.

Also, poetry panel, and various attendee types meant I’ve been reading the archives of Goblin Fruit. I still don’t feel like I know a damn thing about poetry, but now can at least now express views on what I like, sort of, which is an improvement.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was there. I did not speak to her. That would not have gone well. But I saw her speak and she was a bit more amazing than I expected (which was Quite A Lot). Also, people sometimes get all yay at Irish accents and I don’t get it, but I cannot deny Burnell does have a fantastic accent…maybe it’s the words. Maybe science is more science-y in Northern Irish intonation.

Moving on, I had a slightly exciting moment last week when the cover for my Big Finish audio went up. Lookit! Is it not divine? I may have been cooing over it a bit. My name is on it! Right there on the front. In letters! (I still haven’t screwed up the courage to listen to the trailer…but you should. It’s probably brilliant, maybe, somehow.) You can see the full, perfect, I desire an A1 print of this, artwork on Paul Cornell’s blog here, scroll down. All the way down. Right to the bottom. There it is.)

Until next time! Farewell, delicious readers!