My name is Seanan McGuire, and I'd like to talk to you about the Hugo Awards.
I'm going to be upfront here: I do have a potential horse in this race. I've posted about my eligibility for this year's awards already, and I've never made any secret of the fact that I really would love to win a Hugo for fiction. In my perfect world, this would be my year, because a Hugo for Blackout would be like a Hugo for the whole trilogy. There's no way I could make this entry without these facts being considered, because if I didn't state them up front, it might seem like I was trying to hide them, and I'm not. I just want you to set them aside for a moment, and focus on the awards as a whole.
Did you know that anyone can nominate, and vote, for the Hugo Awards? All you have to do is become a Supporting Member of this year's World Science Fiction Convention by January 31st. (You could also become a full member and attend the con, if you've been hankering for an excuse to go to Texas and see lots of cool people, like me, and Paul Cornell, and probably more than that, but let's be honest. Me and Paul in the bar for the weekend would be a pretty good time.) The Book Smugglers hosted this amazing post about the Hugos, and I want to quote one bit that really stood out to me:
"I highly encourage everyone, especially people who believe, like I do, that there’s space for YA recognition, more women, non-white, and international voices, to look at the membership options and if joining the process and the conversation around it is possible, give it a shot. See if it’s worth investing in each year. Nominate the people and things you love. Vote for the stuff you think represents the best of genre, the best of all the things that the future science fiction and fantasy fandom should remember."
We can shape the future of the genre, everybody, and that's amazing.
Now that I've made my plea for the awards in general, and made my own horses known, I'd like to bring up three horses that I have nothing to do with, but which I still think deserve your consideration, if you have the opportunity.
Fringe season four, episode 19, "Letters in Transit." Oh my sweet Great Pumpkin. This is an amazing hour of television, it's just breathtaking, whether you're a Fringe fan or someone who doesn't know the show. Fringe hasn't made the ballot before, and seriously, I think that may be a crime against televised science fiction. Please consider this episode for Best Dramatic Short Form.
Phineas and Ferb season three, episode 18, "Excaliferb." Phineas and Ferb is some of the best science fiction being made for television today, and the fact that it's primarily geared at eight-year-olds doesn't stop it from being enjoyable and accessible to an adult audience. This was the first part of the time-slip chronicles, and is basically a Princess Bride parody with a fire-breathing dragon/platypus hybrid. Please consider this episode for Best Dramatic Short Form.
And finally, my biggest horse...Mark Oshiro, of Mark Reads. Mark produces interesting, hysterical, thoughtful videos and blog posts almost daily, and has built a huge, inclusive, interactive, exciting fan community dedicated to discussing and dissecting his reviews and analysis of speculative fiction. Seriously, this is some of the best deconstruction of genre I've ever seen. Plus the man is a living reaction shot. When he is not prepared for something, he is totally not prepared. Were he to win a Hugo, his acceptance speech would probably go on to receive an Oscar nomination, because it would be the ultimate in unpreparedness. He's a great guy who runs a great blog and provides some of the best fan writing I've seen on the Internet in years. Please consider Mark Oshiro, of Mark Reads, for Best Fan Writer.
Those are the horses, and those are the reasons you should put yourself into a position to choose some horses for yourself. The Hugo Awards are a big deal, and participation, while not free (or even affordable for everyone), is well worth the cost if you can swing it. Be a part of history. Be a part of choosing what the community etches into the roll of heroes. Help somebody win a medal so big and shiny that it'll make all of Felix's medals wet their pants (did I mention that I want Wreck-It Ralph to win everything, forever?).
Thank you for your time.