Big Hugo News!

It’s Hugo Awards nomination announcement season, so you’ve surely seen more than enough tweets, toots, and statuses about the rad people and things that have been nominated. I have spent most of the announcement day geeking out about the news, because among all the rad things on the ballot, FIYAH is nominated for Best Semiprozine!

The logo of FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, with a yellow banner beneath which reads, "Now with 100% More Hugo Nomination Flavor!"
This badass image courtesy FIYAH Art Director and Project Manager L.D. Lewis, who you should absolutely be giving money to forever and ever amen

The semiprozine category alone is overflowing with magazines doing radical work, whose teams we have admired throughout our work:

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • Fireside Magazine, edited by Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, social coordinator Meg Frank, special features editor Tanya DePass, founding editor Brian White, publisher and art director Pablo Defendini
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editors Troy L. Wiggins and DaVaun Sanders, editors L.D. Lewis, Brandon O’Brien, Kaleb Russell, Danny Lore, and Brent Lambert
  • Shimmer, publisher Beth Wodzinski, senior editor E. Catherine Tobler
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Jane Crowley, Kate Dollarhyde, Vanessa Rose Phin, Vajra Chandrasekera, Romie Stott, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons Staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien

Just look at that lineup! I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that many of these mags not only helped house some of the work that made us fall in love with the radical potential of the genre (many of which was our own work), but their work to make the space just a little bit more inclusive was in part what triggered that discussion however long ago that sparked FIYAH, and inspired the team to make room for Black storytellers to be more visible in SFF.

I’m so grateful to be a part of the FIYAH team. Troy, DaVaun, Lekesha, Brent, Phenderson, Kaleb, and Danny (as well as Justina Ireland, who isn’t with the team now but was instrumental to us getting to where we are in the work) have done a lot of labour behind the scenes to make this space, not only on the magazine itself but literally in the conversation around it and the necessity of making Black voices and their perspectives of the past and future visible. The reception to each new issue alone is such an assurance that people agree on that necessity, value those voices, and want to learn what they have to offer. (Non-aside aside: FIYAH Issue #10, the Hair Issue, is out now, and definitely worthy of your attention.) Knowing that SFF fandom value that work enough to consider it as highly as some of our friends and colleagues fills me with joy.

The Skiffy and Fanty Show has also been nominated in the Best Fancast category, among similarly rad competition!

I have a special soft spot for Skiffy and Fanty, not only because they’re the home of Righteous Kicks, my new Kamen Rider podcast with cohost Iori Kusano, but because I’m just glad to get together with such eager and talented creators and fans of SFF who love to share that love with others. I’ve only been on the team very recently, but the effort that producers Jen Zink and Shaun Duke put out to allow all of its contributors to express all their fandom glee and sound rad while doing it has been obvious in all of my interactions. Every single show that the crew does is interesting and full of eagerness and delight, and I’m glad to be a part of the crew.

Here are just a few of the other neat things and people nominated for Hugos that I’m really pumped about:

  • Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Rivers Solomon, and Jeannette Ng are in their second years of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer!
  • Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles and Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation are both up for the Lodestar Award for Best YA Book!
  • Likhain, Grace P. Fong and Meg Frank are nominated for Best Fan Artist!
  • Best Professional Editor, Short Form noms for Fireside‘s Julia Rios, The Uncanny Thomases, and Shimmer‘s E. Catherine Tobler!
  • Best Fan Writer is stacked full of people whose commentaries I have consistently enjoyed, including Charles Payseur (whose Quick Sips Reviews blog is also up for Best Fanzine), Bogi Takács, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, and Foz Meadows!
  • P. Djèlí Clark is nommed twice! In Best Short Story for “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” and Best Novella for The Black God’s Drums, both of which I have adored!
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander is up for Best Novelette!
  • Short Form Dramatic Presentation nominations for Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer, two of my favourite episodes of the latest series of Doctor Who, and two episodes of The Good Place (which means I should finally get around to watching The Good Place).
  • The Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation category is bursting with films that I have critical feelings about, including A Quiet Place, Sorry to Bother You, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Black Panther!
  • Best Related Work includes such marvels as The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76, Lindsay Ellis’ three-part documentary on The Hobbit films, and all of AO3?!
  • Malka Older’s Centenal Cycle, Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire, and Aliette de Bodard’s Universe of Xuya all up for Best Series!
  • And in the grandmama category of Best Novel, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning, Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera, Yoon Ha Lee’s Revenant Gun, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars!

I’m really excited for all of my friends and colleagues, and all of the neat things I have read and seen and enjoyed that are on the ballot in their various categories. Worldcon has become in a lot of ways a kind of family reunion of the spirit to me, and I can’t wait to see all of these wonderful people and things be honoured for the ways in which they have, in ways large and small, made SFF a much more radical place, in all senses of the word.

I was already impatiently awaiting Dublin, and even moreso now. I hope it isn’t too forward at all to say that if you want to help me get there, feel free to support me in any way that you can, including Patreon and PayPal:

And in much milder good news: this week Thursday is my birthday! I’d say I’ve been having a damn good birthday week, wouldn’t you?