Verity! has been nominated for a Hugo Award in the Fancast category. This is a project that has consumed massive quantities of time, all given willingly and (mostly) cheerfully. It is something I think about every day, and work on nearly as much. Don't get me wrong, last year's nomination for Chicks Unravel Time was pretty amazing, but books are a different beast. The lead time for a book is considerable so by the time it is actually published you've moved onto the next thing and its become a sort of "what I did on my summer vacation" memory. (Seriously, all of a sudden the hand wringing, deadline anxiety, copy edit wrangling is wrapped up in a hazy fondness. Much like childbirth, you tend to gloss over the pain!) But Verity! is very immediate. It's what I did last week, it's what I'm doing today, and what I'll be doing next month. And I couldn't be more pleased. So hats off to Erika, Kat, Liz, Lynne and Tansy - we made a really cool thing. Just as importably, hats off to all the Doctor Who Podcasts who supported us, offered assistance and set the bar amazingly high (I'm looking at you, Radio Free Skaro). We couldn't have done it without you.
What else is making me happy about this year is SO MANY of my nominations made the ballot.* I'm particularly pleased that Aliette de Bodard was nominated for her novelette The Waiting Stars. Her work just keeps getting better and better. Lee Harris of Angry Robots is another happy making nom. Angry Robots' range keeps surprising me so kudos to the team. The entire, incredibly diverse "Best Related Works" category is fantastic, with a special shout-out to book-cousin "Queers Dig Time Lords" edited by Michael Damien Thomas and Sigrid Ellis. And check out the Best Fan Writer nominees! I literally squeaked when they were announced. How can I choose the best out of THAT line-up? Collectively they've put out hard-hitting, gut-wrenching and incredibly impactful pieces that not only examine SF/F but the SF/F fandom and gender politics. I'll also admit a soft spot for Paul Cornell's "The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who", nominated for Best Graphic Story. And not only because Verity! is vaguely referenced. It really is a charming love letter to all that is good in Doctor Who.
My Verity! cohorts have also done very well for themselves. Tansy Rayner Roberts has the distinction of competing against herself as her own podcast, Galactic Suburbia, has also been nominated for Best Fancast. Lynne M. Thomas has once again been nominated for Apex Magazine. Well deserved nom to top off her final, triumphant year as editor. (I had an essay published in Apex in 2013 so I'm basking in a bit of reflected glory....) All in all, 2014's ballot is diverse, representative and filled with things I love. (Five-ish Doctors! Vote Five(ish) Doctors!)
Then there's the Sad Puppy Campaign. Whatever. The downside of a democratic process is that someone, somewhere will find some way to the job the system. Is it illegal? No. Is it distasteful? Yes. For the record, I have NO problem whatsoever with a creator announcing their eligible works. A year is a long time to have things stick around in crowded brain spaces. I also don't have a problem with anyone (creator or fan) telling me who they're voting for or who they'd recommend. There have been more than one instance where I've discovered amazing works that hadn't hit my radar thanks to recommendations made by someone whose work I admire. What I do have a problem with is someone making the nomination a political "shove-it-up-their-arse" move. But, perhaps naively, I have faith in the inherent decency of people. I hope that all of those who bought memberships simply for political reasons find something in the voting package that blows their socks off, expands their world-view and makes them rethink their life choices. They probably won't, but it's possible. I hope that the cream rises to the top, on its own merit. I hope that, this year more than ever, votes are cast thoughtfully and with great conviction. Yes, name recognition is often a deciding factor when someone has run out of time, or interest, in a category but I hope people give this year's votes more care. The award, and ALL the nominees, deserve that consideration.
This year's ballot may be slightly tarnished, but I'm choosing to bask in the good. There is an awful lot to be happy about. So, congratulations to all the nominees! May the odds be ever in your favor. ;-)
*I'll save my ranting about the lack of a YA category for another day. Because...really?