George R. R. Martin used to include quite a few fan Hugo endorsements in his annual post at Not A Blog. His 2015 article “For Your Consideration: Stuff Not By Me” names only one —
BEST FAN WRITER. There have been arguments in the past about what, precisely, constitutes fan writing, and who should or should not be eligible for this award. LAURA J. MIXON is a professional writer, and a very talented one, with half a dozen strong novels under her own name and her pseudonym of M.J. Locke… but this year she published on-line, in a non-professional and unpaid capacity, ‘A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names,’ a detailed, eloquent, and devastating expose of the venomous internet troll best known as ‘Requires Hate’ and ‘Winterfox.’ You can find it here: http://laurajmixon.com/2014/11/a-re
port-on-damage-done-by-one-individual-un der-several-names/ It’s not your usual sort of fan writing, admittedly… but it wasn’t done for money, and it wasn’t published professionally, and it’s a terrific piece of journalism, an important piece that speaks to issues of growing importance to fandom in this internet age. So I’m nominating Mixon for Best Fan Writer, and I urge you to do the same.
I keep an eye on Martin’s recommendations as a kind of sanity check because he knows the field thoroughly. If he has a completely different idea about what should be nominated for the fan Hugos than I do then it’s instructive to ask myself why. In this case, I agree Mixon’s article was a milestone in the field, even though I generally avoid nominating sf novelists for fan awards.
Another reason to check in with Martin is that, as he is just about the most famous sf/fantasy writer alive, I am curious how much clout he has with Hugo voters. So far the answer has been, not as much as you might expect. He plugged 12 fanzines and fanwriters in 2012 and none of them made the final ballot. In 2013 he named three fan writers he considered deserving, his only formal endorsements, and they didn’t make it. The 8 blogs he complimented in the same post didn’t make the 2013 shortlist either, although one of them, A Dribble of Ink, won Best Fanzine in 2014, a year he made no recommendations in the fan categories. And for Worldcon site selection he endorsed Helsinki in 2015, which lost to Spokane.
[Thanks to Janice Gelb for the story.]