Recommendations – Best Fan Writer

Post your suggestions for Best Fan Writer to this thread.

Eligible writers have:

  • Published SF and Fantasy or related work in any non-Professional venue (including semiprozines)
  • At least one eligible work published in 2015 in any format
  • May be professional authors but the eligible work may not be a professionally published work (e.g. a professional author’s blog about SF and Fantasy may contain eligible posts)
  • Yes, this does include fan fiction…

Please list the following:

  • Writer
  • Qualifying work(s)
  • About a sentence saying why you think it’s great
  • Links to somewhere people can read the qualifying works are also great

58 thoughts on “Recommendations – Best Fan Writer

  1. Mike Glyer
    His Puppy roundup posts.

    During the Puppy Kerfuffle of 2015, Glyer’s roundup posts were an excellent source of information regarding what Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, non-Puppies, the news media, and etc., were saying about themselves, the Puppies, and the Kerfuffle in general. While he was not neutral, he provided quotes and links to quoted articles, making it easy to understand the context under which everyone was posting.

    collected here:

    1. Seconded for Mike Glyer. As a new-ish voter, I appreciated his ability to bring some background to a kerfuffle that was sorely lacking in it. Moreover, he’s able to bring what is to me a “grassrotts-level” perspective to things, and this, more than anything else, is what a Fan Writer should be able to do.

      1. Rot[ts] (“grassrotts”) is right. Absolute rot. Glyer-50-hugo’s deserves another Hugo for his inultingly, occasionally deceitfully, biased coverage of this “kerfuffle” as much as Rolling Stone magazine deserves a Pulitzer for their despicable, repugnant, atrocity of a “gang rape on campus” story about “Jackie”. ie, not at all.

        I will however second Declan Finn’s nomination, and chip in a suggestion for Dave Freer on MadGeniusClub. If MGC as a whole is eligible, then swap my support to that. Many great fan writers there, but if I must choose one, Dave’s gotta be it. 😉

        1. Bibliotheca: Mad Genius Club would be eligible as a Fanzine, but not Fan Writer. Fan Writer is for an individual. Freer would be eligible as Fan Writer for his work done at MGC (and elsewhere, if he does fan work elsewhere).

      2. I disagree with the Glyer nomination. He purposefully had biased coverage of the Hugo controversy. He repeatedly links to tangential work that is ignorantly false. Just his latest example is:

        “(5) Aya de Leon’s article “Space Babe Fantasies: On Geoff Marcy and Sexism in Science and Sci-Fi” for The Toast begins with a headline example of harassment, and moves on to comment about the genre, including three paragraphs about Sad Puppies.

        Glyer’s comments are above. Link:

        Last Thursday, my colleagues and I received an email from the Chancellor of UC Berkeley informing us that Marcy had resigned. A panel had found that he had sexually harassed female students for nearly a decade. According to Azeen Ghorayshi, the reporter who broke the story for BuzzFeed, Marcy’s great success was part of the reason why his pattern of harassment went unchallenged. As Ghorayshi explained, “Marcy’s is the rare ilk of scientific research that is capable of both reaching the peak of his field and capturing the public imagination.”

        Ghorayshi lays out in painful detail how Marcy’s behavior was both widespread and well known; her article documents incidents of alleged misconduct with female colleagues dating back to the 1980s. BuzzFeed also noted that “UC Berkeley is currently under federal investigation for its handling of dozens of sexual violence complaints on campus.”

        Article Glyer linked to is:

        I think this is a good example of why Glyer is unworthy. Aya de Leon comments about the Hugos and the Sad Puppies are just ignorant. I don’t have a major complaint about Aya de Leon – she seems largely ignorant about the Puppies and the Hugos. Her main point is on a topic of which she has knowledge.

        But Glyer knows better and he could have linked the story without the gratuitous Puppy slam. OK – I forgot that Glyer cannot help linking to an inaccurate story with a Puppy Slam and bringing the slam to the attention of the reader.

        I am unaware of anyone who knows better yet throws more kerosene on the fire about the Hugos than Glyer.

        1. I’m a little confused. by your objection–The sum total of Mike’s own comments in the post is “including three paragraphs about Sad Puppies.” That quote says nothing, positive or negative, about them. The article he’s linking to is indeed critical, but his choices are to either not include the article in the roundup at all, or to include it without a full explanation of why it’s there.

          One can certainly disagree with Ms. Leon’s comments, and Mike’s linking to the article, but it seems weird to object to Mike’s descriptive six-word phrase, which he probably included to explain why he had selected this article in particular in the roundup at all.

          And yeah, I’m nominating Glyer, for his obsessive dedication to linking to as much as possible.

          1. Actually, his obsessive linking is reason enough not to nominate him. Might as well nominate a links aggregator or Amazon’s recommendation algorithms instead.

            And when a person has more nominees than any professional writer, editor, or artist for being a fan (and zero presence in the greater fandoms), I think it’s time to reconsider voting incumbent.

          2. While I disagree with nominating Glyer because of his linking (I think that might worth nominating File 770 as Fanzine), it’s worth noting that he hasn’t been nominated as a Fan Writer since 2003 and hasn’t won since 1998 – both were back when Fan Writer and Fanzine nominations were fairly stagnant with the same handful of people picking up nominations and David Langford winning something like 19 years in a row.

            It is a different era now for Fan Writer, though even when the Langford monopoly was broken most of the nominees were still the older school fanzine writers for a number of years.

            I’m personally not concerned with how many nominations an individual has as a fan or a pro and how that compares to other fandoms or other writers / editors / artists. My sole concern here is: Do I think this individual / work / publication is one of the best of the year? If yes, I consider nomination. If no, then no.

  2. Jeffro Johnson of the Space Gaming and Castalia House blogs. His mammoth list of Chapter N reviews of all the various novels that inspired Gary Gygax in the creation of Dungeons & Dragons is exceptional and far surpasses the work of any other current fan writer.

    1. Seconded – especially interesting are his insights into how exactly each particular work could have inspired Gygax, what elements from the work can be seen surfacing in D&D, and what ideas can a DM find in the work to spice up his campaigns.

        1. Fourthing Jeffro. His Chapter N series is a tremendous fan effort that’s literally been discussed in nearly every corner of our fandom.

  3. Somber, for “Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons”.

    For one thing, this is actual fan fiction by an actual fan writer. Based on Kkat’s “Fallout: Equestria” (which I would recommend instead, but it was published prior to 2015), the premise is what’s said on the tin: a merger of the Fallout and My Little Pony franchises. “Project Horizons” has been published on a chapter-by-chapter basis over several years, exceeding 70 total chapters before it finally reached completion.

    WARNING: each chapter is often the length of a novelette or even a short novel-length, in itself. Chapter 1 weighs in at more than 23,000 words. The original “Fallout: Equestria” was longer than Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and “Horizons” dwarfs it

    DOUBLE WARNING: this novel is an exceptionally contentious subject amongst MLP fans who are aware of it. It has equally strident defenders and detractors. If nominated, high drama will almost certainly result, entirely apart from the guaranteed drama from those folks who don’t believe MLP fandom is even a real thing.

    It is, nonetheless, a highly-evocative story. It is at once experimental, hopeful, and gruesome, and if you think Somber pulls any punches you will be in for a very rude surprise. This is fanfic written with a razor blade, tenderly wrapped in tattered velvet.—project-horizons-the-security-mare

      1. As an aside, it should be noted that Ralph Hayes is not just a fanfic writer but also has some more works under his belt, including the webcomics “Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger” and “Tales of the Questor”. ( ) I haven’t read them though, so I can’t vouch for their quality, but it’s worth mentioning.

  4. Brandon Kempner from Chaos Horizon ( I don’t necessarily dual nominate Fan Writer and Fanzine together because sometimes the fanzine has more of an editorial oversight than having one particular writer doing the heavy lifting (Aidan Moher from A Dribble of Ink is an example of this. I love A Dribble of Ink, by Moher stepped back several years ago from doing the primary fan writing there, being more of a curator of excellent content.)

    To that point – what Kempner is doing at Chaos Horizon in his Hugo and Nebula predictive articles using past data and current trending situations and writing it in a clear manner is simply outstanding. Chaos Horizon is currently my favorite blog running today and that is solely because of the work of Brandon Kempner.

    1. I second this recommendation. Brandon Kempner’s analysis is always based on the numbers. He clearly differentiates between his opinion and the actual data. In addition, Brandon will respond to both email and blog commentary on the analysis of the facts.

      Last, through all of the Hugo controversy in 2014 Brandon’s analysis of the actual voting was relied upon (or at least considered) by all of the factions.

  5. Here are my picks:

    For covering the cultural trends that are central to science fiction and fantasy in addition to some great posts and criticism on comics in general, Ron Edwards of Dr Xaos Comic Madness.

    For reading just about ALL of the rpg gaming blogs, finding the good stuff, and bringing new bloggers to peoples’ attention via his Best Reads of the Week series… Charles Akins of Dyvers Campaign.

    For covering tabletop gaming, vintage science fiction and fantasy, AND a range of culture war topics… the Cirsova blog.

    Finally, for doing the best series on comparative gaming and general rpg design over at Castalia House… not to mention for lighting up his own gaming blog with great material… Douglas Cole of Gaming Ballistic.

    Okay, that leans heavily towards role playing game related content… but then, I think a good chunk of fandom pursues their passion for science fiction and fantasy through their gaming.

  6. Sam “qntm” Hughes deserves at the very least a honorary mention.

    He’s a brilliant writer, but unfortunately he hasn’t been very active this year (his last excellent work was his online novel “Ra”, but alas it was finished riiiight half a month before 2015). Still, he deserves credit for his exploration of time travel mechanics in “Braid” ( and “Doctor Who” (, a handful of great stories set in the SCP Foundation verse (, as well as “To destroy the Earth” (

  7. I nominate Eric Flint. His commentary on the Hugo Awards

    and his plea that the Hugo categories themselves are screwed up with too much reliance on short fiction and pretty much ignoring series SF (think Dresden Files; Monster Hunter Series; you insert your own series here) were both constructive and useful.

  8. Glen Reynolds of Instapundit. If being a linker of science fiction related articles is a qualification for an award, lets acknowledge what an Instalanche does to an author’s sales…

  9. I’m a bit antsy on pro-writers coming into this category, but the following 2 are worthy:

    Eric Flint, for his writings on the Hugo kerfuffle in an industry then-and-now context, as well as being analytical of the various claims floating around:

    George RR Martin, for his writings on the Hugo kerfuffle, from a context of the long history of the awards, and what they have meant:

  10. Tom Simon’s essays on fantasy are tip-top (his _Writing Down the Dragon_ ebook may be the second-best work of Tolkien criticism I’ve ever read). 2015 was admittedly a weak year for him due to personal and ongoing health issues. But he does have some genre material that qualifies, certainly these two (and the part 1’s linked within)

  11. This is from my “Reviews” sub-category of Fan Writing. I’ll recommend the following three for their reviews – in-depth, and clear about their perspective, so you know whether something may interest you, even if the reviewer didn’t (or vice versa):

    James Nicoll
    Abigail Nussbaum
    Natalie Luhrs

    The next two do something different with their reviews –

    Mark Oshiro – Primarily for his reviews of TV shows, specifically the Best Star Trek Ever, Deep Space 9
    Alexandra Erin – mainly humour/ satire.(Trigger Warning- mockery)

    Again, apologies to whoever who has to come in and release this from moderation – Sorry!

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