Best Semiprozine and Best Fanzine are another weird couple of Hugo categories that can be a little confusing if you don’t read much online content. However, if you do read a lot online, you can easily find yourself with a ton of options for both of these categories. On the bright side, at least there’s a fair amount of information available as far as eligibility and so on, so it’s not too hard to sort out the category placements once you decide who you want to nominate.
For me, Best Semiprozine is the toughest category because there are just so many amazing publications to choose from. I’ve been making a real, concerted effort to read more short fiction in the last year, and the first quarter of 2016 has partly been spent playing catch up so that the possible nominees for this category are all very fresh in my mind. Here’s my thoughts so far:
- Black Gate consistently publishes quality content, and I read something there almost every day. However, Black Gate also published Jay Maynard’s ill-advised and much-mocked proposal for an SF Storytelling award.
- The Book Smugglers is another site I visit almost daily, and I have been enjoying watching them expand into short fiction publishing. Of their three short stories published in 2015, one is firmly on my shortlist for Best Short Story.
- The Sockdolager is relatively new, but they are doing an excellent job of discovering first-time authors. I’m also a huge fan of shorter short fiction, and most of their published pieces are in to 2-5k word range, which is perfect for light reading.
- Uncanny is wonderful and only seems to get better as it becomes more established.
- A few others in the running: Crossed Genres, Pornokitsch, Podcastle, Daily Science Fiction, Fantasy Café.
Best Fanzine is a little easier, though it’s still a crowded category that I haven’t made any final decisions on just yet:
- Mark Reads/Mark Watches, because Mark Oshiro is a constant delight. He recently finished reading all of Tamora Pierce’s work, which I love, and he’s currently watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and DS9. He publishes an enormous amount of great content and is also just a very cool person.
- SF Mistressworks is one of the best resources around for reviews and information about women SFF writers, which is relevant to basically all of my interests.
- Lady Business is great, although they are slightly more interested in fan-work than I tend to be.
- nerds of a feather, flock together is one of my most trusted review sites…
- As are Fantasy-Faction and Fantasy Literature.
- Finally, File 770 is a regular source of excellent news and information on fandom stuff.