This category... caused me some problems, and much irritation. I'll explain why.


1) Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer, with Jeremy Zerfoss (Abrams Image)
I've only read the packet version; I will be getting the print version soon. It's beautiful, and clever, and with a variety of voices and angles and opinions. It would be worth this position for the "history of science fiction" diagram alone. I think I would be a little sad if this didn't win, because it feels like the kind of thing that only comes along once every so often.
2) Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It Edited by Sigrid Ellis & Michael Damian Thomas (Mad Norwegian Press)
I didn't love every essay within this, but that's not quite the point. Some had power, some wit... and there was a moment where I had the "hmm! Maybe I shouldn't be arguing with this article written by someone who's bisexual about Doctor Who, because I don't have the credentials to... wait a second..." revelation. It may not, in many ways, be as crucial as "Chicks Dig Time Lords", but one of the slightly weird things about the new popularity of Doctor Who is that it has had the effect of de-gayifing a previously very (male) gay fandom. I think that an effort that re-includes the gay in the "narrative of Doctor Who", and at the same time widens that definition to the other letters, is worthy of praise.
3) “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)
I think this is a great essay, and an important and clear one. But it's a single essay, and to put it above the great essays in QDTL or the whole of the Wonderbook seems wrong to me. I could query some of the accompanying art choices, a bit, as well.
4) No award
5) Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary by Justin Landon & Jared Shurin (Jurassic London)
Don't get me wrong, much of this is wonderful. But given that it's a curated collection, I ended up hating the curation bias. And if a curated collection of already published work is nominated, it surely must be for the curation? In particular, there are not one, but two, articles from the "I didn't like all the stories in this collection therefore Speculative Fiction is DYING" mould (see every year ever) and the inclusion of Christopher Priest's diarrheic torrent of abuse ("I don't like some of these award-nominated stories therefore I must insult the authors, judges and a whole bunch of other people I just randomly wandered past"), is unforgivable. By curating blog pieces into a collection, you're essentially holding them up as worthy of separating from the general conversation - I think that Speculative Fiction 2012 ends up being unrepresentative, and it left a nasty taste in my mouth.
6) Writing Excuses Season 8 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Jordan Sanderson
Sorry, categories exist for a reason. However rough, they try to mitigate against the chips-to-daddy problem. This is a podcast. There is a category for podcasts. This belongs in that category.


(0) No footnotes. I must be unwell.
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