I hesitate to write this because I know my heart sinks every time I see an awards post I want my friends or myself to be on it and we’re not. But I do want to write it because of some works/people I think deserve consideration but may not be in the eye of fandom.
So I won’t be listing my entire ballot here. Just a few thoughts.
Best Dramatic Work (Short)
At the meeting this year I’m going to lobby for it to be named “Best Dr. Who episode” because come on, we all know the Doctor will win. Again. And AGAIN. But that doesn’t mean we can’t put worthy work up against it.
I endorse Mario Warfare by Beatdown Boogie. This indie company made a name for themselves with Modern War Gear Solid, a hysterical mashup of the video games Modern Warfare and Metal Gear Solid. Their second offering (aside from other very funny shorts) is Mario Warfare, a mashup of the Mario world and Modern Warfare. The video quality, the choreography, and the humor are all awesome.
Best Fan Writer
“Any person whose writing has appeared in semiprozines or fanzines or in generally available electronic media during 2012.” But really, what they’re looking for is writing that looks at the genre with unflinching eyes, critique, and excellent writing ability.
So I’d like to bring up two people who fit all of the above criteria with laser accuracy, two women who are not afraid to say damn well anything they think, never mind internet reactions:
K. Tempest Bradford: She keeps up with the short fiction market unlike anyone else, and in a world where you can only find commentary on short fiction either in a larger anthology, or in comments about the story itself online, Tempest reviews both print and electronic media. She’s thorough, smart, funny, and is fearless about talking about race, gender, and other issues many tiptoe around.
A Cracked Moon: The blogger behind the blog Requires Only That You Hate. She’s a Thai blogger with absolutely no fear. She reads voraciously and reviews viciously, calling out sexism, racism, homophobia, colonialism, white tears, and simply bad writing. She has upset many, many authors. I am a straight white Western woman, and some of her reviews make me uncomfortable. And you know what? THAT IS A GOOD THING. She makes me think about why we accept certain sexist or racist tropes in our bestselling fiction. She makes me think about my own work and whether something is veering into Happy White Straight American Land where the PoC/GLBT/women/non-Westerners are all friendly and definitely not bitter or “tone” using. Some people really, really don’t like her. And that is what makes her viewpoint so damn important. She’s an excellent reader and an excellent reviewer and if she hates on your book, you can either deal with it the way you deal with any bad review (don’t read it; cry and drink a lot of wine; shrug and go back to writing; or do some introspection and see if your work can be improved based on her comments) or you can go all Anne Rice on Amazon on her. We need critics to have a critical eye aimed at our work. Fandom is about talking about literature and dissecting literature, among other things, and if she makes people uncomfortable, she’s doing her job.
And yeah, I fear bad reviews, and am certain that she would find my work sorely wanting (I would be in the “cry and drink wine” category, frankly), but that doesn’t mean she’s not good at her job, which is challenging SFF to be better and more inclusive.