The Best Fancast category in the Hugo Awards is the newest category of the awards; 2016 will only be the fifth year it’s been contested. It’s also the category that, IIRC, gets the least number of nominations and least number of votes. And this saddens me, cause it’s also one of the most important categories to me: podcasts are my main form of fannish interaction these days, both as a podcaster and a listener, and as a mode of fannish discussion, they are amazing.
We may not have jetpacks, but we can chat with friends all round the world, and then broadcast that conversation to thousands of listeners. It’s like convention panels whenever you like, tailored to your interests. Panels that can have half dozen people in a long, involved sprawling conversation of over on hour, or a single host delivering a short, sharp, on-point opinion in less than five minutes.
I’m a regular on two podcasts, and I’ve guested on dozens more, and I love them. And I want the Fancast category in the Hugos to be as awesome as it can be. To be hard fought and exciting, and to show off all the hard work, dedication, and talent of the podcast community. For more people to vote in it, and discuss it, and flail and complain when their favourites don’t make it, and delight when they do.
So, please, if you are a Hugo voter this year and you’ve not nominated five podcasts in the Best Fancast category, I encourage you to go out and take a look at what’s catering to your interests. Listen to a couple of episodes, find what delights you, and nominate.
The nominees from the previous years are a keen place to start, but there’s so much more. Every year, I find myself with more podcasts I want to nominate than I’m allowed to. So, minus the ‘casts that have already been nominated, these are the ones on my list this year. I think they’re all wonderful, and you should give them a listen if they sound like your sort of thing (heavy on the Doctor Who here, cause that’s my sort of thing):
Women at Warp – My go to Star Trek podcast. Every episode is a delight. It’s a winning combo of utterly loving Trek while cheerfully discussing its problems. I listened to an ep about Ferengi because I love them so. FERENGI. (I do not like Ferengi, except Quark, obv.)
Total Party Kill – This is how I always imagined Dungeons and Dragons would be. It is the best.
Radio Free Skaro – In many ways *the* Doctor Who podcast, and that is mostly because they’re super good at what they do (and a little bit they’ve been at it for so many years).
Cornell Collective – Cosy yet lively discussions involving authors, comickers (that’s a word, right?) and people from the world of Doctor Who. Ideally listened to with a nice cup of tea.
The Audio Guide to Babylon 5 – Smashing, in-depth B5 discussions as the hosts go through the whole series episode by episode.
Two Minute Time Lord – podcasts can be super short too! I disagree with Chip over so much Doctor Who, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a top quality ‘cast.
The High Council – Fan commentaries on Doctor Who episodes, as lolarious and geektastic as they should be.