Hugo reading 2016: Fanzines

I think this might be an area I’m not well-qualified to judge, because I really don’t know what the standard should be, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

Castalia House Blog edited by Jeffro Johnson – they provided a wealth of things to read, mostly about gaming.  Overall impression was that I was the wrong audience – I found it all fairly boring, except when it managed to be mildly annoying about gender essentialism and (I suspect) coded racism.

Superversive SF edited by Jason Rennie – Again, I’m the wrong audience.  But I didn’t spot anything obviously obnoxious this time!

Tangent Online edited by Dave Truesdale – This is interesting because the sample they give us in the Hugo pack is an article where the Sad Puppies set out their agenda for this year, which is to be inclusive and make a recommendation list for the Hugos that invites input from fans of al stripes. And then it lists all the stories recommended.  Which is ace, but I can’t actually see any of the stories that made it onto the ballot here, so I’m wondering what happened?  Because many of those that made it onto the ballot were allegedly in the Sad Puppy final ten. 

File 770 edited by Mike Glyer – The sample provided a best of, and I was pretty much sold from the point when they did a Dr Seuss version of Lord of the Rings.  And Ursula Vernon’s play ‘If you were a platypus, my darling’.  They also provided a 48-page newsletter.  I am becoming increasingly perfunctory here.  I read about 10 pages, and it’s a nice newsletter that assumes the readers all know each other and the people being talked about.  I could imagine the Bujold List producing a newsletter that read like this.  So that’s rather nice.

Lady Business edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan – this is a study that purports to show that SFF books by or about cis-women win fewer awards than those by or about cis-men.  Their methodology looks OK to me, as far as I can judge.  Their conclusions are depressing.  Is this actually a fanzine, though?

My scores:

1. File 770
2. Tangent Online, because I think they were trying
3. Lady Business – a good study, but not convinced it belongs in this category

I’m not scoring the other two, because I can’t actually tell whether they are boring or whether I am.  I suspect I am.   But I was still able to appreciate the three I’ve grouped above them.

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