I’m super excited to say that I’m a Hugo finalist! Twice, actually! For the second year in a row I have been nominated in the Best Fan Writer category, and, rather surprising me this year, Quick Sip Reviews has also been nominated in the Best Fanzine category. My eternal gratitude goes out to everyone who nominated me and QSR for this honor!
I am, as with most things, pulled between feelings at all of this. Mostly, I am so grateful for all the people who have helped to make Quick Sip Reviews what it is, and who have helped me find a place in fandom that is personally rewarding as well as appreciated. It’s easy to feel alone as a fan in SFF. For me, at least, being geographically rather removed from a vibrant SFF community, most of my footprint has been online, most of the people who have helped me and people I have in turn reached been those I have never met in person. Part of what pushed me to start QSR was that feeling of isolation and loneliness, and so to be recognized for my work online, as an advocate for and critic of short fiction, is just amazing.
Because even as I started the project and my work online, I have hardly been alone. I have been helped by so many, encouraged by so many, that it would be impossible to list them all. But I do want to take the time to say my thanks to a number of people who have helped to make these nominations possible. And I know, this is normally saved for an acceptance speech at the awards themselves, but as there is no way that I can attend this year, and because last year I didn’t publicly thank those who helped me get to be a Hugo Award finalist, I do want to take the time now to say a few words, if for no other reason than it’s always good to say, and to recognize those who have helped me.
So I want to thank The G and Vance and all the Nerds of a Feather crew for giving me my first real home in fandom I could be proud of. Thanks to A.C. Wise, who might be the kindest person in SFF, the most supportive of new voices and just an amazing advocate for short SFF as a writer, editor, and fan. Thanks to K. Tempest Bradford for giving me a boost just when I needed it. Thanks to Ana and Thea at The Book Smugglers for being awesome in general and for making me a part of the Smuggler Army. To Nicasio Reed for spending so much time talking Garak with me, and for introducing me to so many amazing things. To R.B. Lemberg for always giving me advice I need to hear. To Sam J. Miller for being amazing and encouraging and for writing stories that make me cry on the regular. To the entirety of PQ because you are all wonderful. To Sigrid Ellis for all the support and wisdom. To all my patrons, without whom I would not be able to keep doing this, and who put up with me drunkenly reviewing kids’ books when it has nothing to do with short SFF.
Thanks to the SPACECATs for being a little pocket of awesome in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. And last and most, thanks to my amazing partner Matt, who has been with me through everything and who I am nothing without. I am so much better because of nem, and would not be a fraction of the reader or reviewer I am without nem to break down my expectations and my defenses and show me a universe so much darker and larger and more beautiful than anything I might have found on my own.
There are many others who I am probably forgetting to mention, too, who have been instrumental to me being in short SFF. Who have helped me to grow and learn the ropes. I feel often like I have unpopular opinions about reviewing and about talking about short SFF, but I suppose I have to revise that sentiment in the face of the support I receive. Definitely there are a lot of people who find what I do valuable, and I’ll not lie and say that doesn’t feel good. In turn, I appreciate all the writers, editors, readers, and fans who make short SFF a space that I want to be in. Not that it’s always easy, but having been a short SFF reviewer now for over five years, I’m still inspired and challenged by the work being created. I’m still in awe of the creativity and humbled by the bravery of so many excellent people.
So to you all, again, thank you! Whatever happens at the awards ceremony this year, it’s always rad as fuck to be recognized with a nomination, and I’ll try to earn the trust that’s been put in me by this honor. Cheers!