Science fiction award season is here again, and the Hugo final ballot was announced for WorldCon 75 in Helsinki Finland. Lots of familiar names and publications on the list, and I’m looking forward to reading more of their work. Note that this year marks the instatement of some new rules by those who attended the WSFS meetings at the last two WorldCons, meant to counteract the voter collusion dominating the ballot in the last few years. First, although voters could still only nominate five things for each category, there are six finalists on the ballot instead of five. Second, there is a new nomination-counting procedure in place meant to weaken the effect of large groups of people voting for the exact same ballot, a rule called E Pluribus Hugo which I have researched and understood and then completely forgotten about several times since it was first proposed a couple years ago. And the rule changes do appear to have an effect–the ballot looks different than it has the last couple of years.
Lightspeed is still one of my favorite magazines, still edited by John Joseph Adams. This year has been a big one for Lightspeed, in large part because of their “Women Destroy Science Fiction!” movement–for one month the magazine was staffed by women with women writers (edited by Christie Yant), because historically women have gotten the short end of the stick in SF writing. The Kickstarter for this project blew its goals out of the water and even unlocked stretch goals for Women Destroy Horror and Women Destroy Fantasy movements. The WDSF issue of Lightspeed was published in 2014, and Fantasy Magazine (which had been subsumed by Lightspeed) revived for a month for the WDF issue (which is why Fantasy Magazine is included again in this page)
Podcastle’s going strong under the continued editorship of Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind. In 2011, they published 52 feature length episodes (from episodes 138-189), and 9 flash episodes (flash episodes 58-66), as well as 4 special feature stories from the Alphabet Quartet.