I'm a Hugo Award finalist! Also, I am short on cash!

Hello, friends! Today the Hugo Award finalists were announced, and I am delighted to be a finalist in THREE (3) categories this year! This is overwhelmingly wonderful, and I can't thank everyone who voted for me enough! 

I'm up for the Best Editor Short Form category, which is really meaningful, since I love editing and have been putting my heart into it since I started editing for Strange Horizons in 2012. Magazines I've worked for have been nominated several times, and that is always a wonderful feeling, but this is the first time that the Hugo votership has chosen to recognize me specifically. I don't have words to express how much of an honor that is. 

Fireside is up in the Best Semiprozine category, which always sounds really weird to people who aren't super steeped in the jargon of the Hugo Awards. Basically the rules for the Semiprozine category stipulate that magazines in it need to pay their contributors, but also that they can't pay any of their staff anything resembling a living wage (because, see, then they'd be professional magazines, I think is how the logic goes). Of course, I am beyond thrilled to share this with everyone who worked on Fireside Magazine with me in 2018! Plus extra congratulations to Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Meg Frank, who are each finalists in other categories as well! Wow, do I work with a bunch of talented people!

The rules distinction  about what exactly makes a magazine qualify for this category is important to note! Why? Because it explains why I am not actually sure I can afford to attend the awards ceremony at Worldcon in Dublin this August. That's where you come in! If you want to support me as a patron, your dollars will help me potentially attend Worldcon! Which I would REALLLLLLY love to do this year especially, because... 

My THIRD category is Best Related Work, in which I'm a finalist along with Libia Brenda, Pablo Defendini (Fireside's Publisher and Art Director), and John Picacio for www.mexicanxinitiative.com  The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76! This one means SO MUCH  because it was a real labor of love. Last year Hugo-Award-winning artist John Picacio led a movement to get a bunch of amazingly talented Mexicanx and Mexicanx American creators to Worldcon. I got to go as part of that initiative and I was blown away by all the amazing people I met. One of the Initiative members, Libia Brenda, decided to put together a bilingual anthology of work by some of the Mexicanx Initiative authors, and one thing led to another until, by the time we actually go to Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California, we all really felt like family. mexicanxinitiative.com is a text and photo documentary of that experience. You can get the anthology there for FREE in English and in Spanish, plus see essays, photos, recipes, poems, and more by Mexicanx Initiative attendees, and inspired by their experiences! 

Mexicanx Initiative participants walking as a group in San Jose
Copyright 2018 by Richard Canfield

Please do check it out, even if you can't afford to become my patron! If you read the content there, I think it'll be clear why this particular nomination is so special to me. And I'm even more delighted that I get to share it with Libia, who is the first Mexicanx woman Hugo finalist. Libia worked so hard to make all of this happen! Without her, there would be no anthology and no mexicanxinitiative.com, because the website grew out of the anthology. Libia is a wonderful human, full of infectious excitement. I want to share with you some of the words she shared with the anthology contributors today. I'm putting her Spanish text first, followed by my English translation:

The English language Mexicanx Initiative reading group at Worldcon 76: Libia Brenda, Gabriela Damián, Felecia Caton Garcia, Julia Rios, Mario Acevedo, Manuel Gonzales, and Andrea Chapela
Copyright 2018 by Kateryna Barnes

Libia's Words:

¿Se acuerdan de la primera vez que vieron Twelve Monkeys? A mí nunca se me va a olvidar la emoción que me causó ver a todos esos animales corriendo por la ciudad, mientras Piazzola estrujaba su acordeón. We did it!, decían los graffitis del Ejército de los 12 monos, We did it!

(La escena de 12 Monkeys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HigxGvmHEdQ)

La emoción de hoy es mucho mayor, porque les escribo para contarles que Una realidad más amplia/A Larger Reality, como parte del Scrapbook de The Mexicanx Initiative ¡está incluida en los finalistas al premio Hugo en la categoría de Best Related Work!


La nominación dista de ser el premio, pero oigan, esta es un lujo total. La categoría  de "Best Related Work" se instauró en 1980 (creo que hay gente en esta lista más joven que eso), y se otorga a obras de no ficción; nuestro  libro es de ficción, claro, pero está incluido en el trabajo más amplio  que es el scrapbook que hicieron Julia y Pablo, es decir, es parte de un  trabajo testimonial, autobiográfico e incluso de reflexión sobre la  ciencia ficción desde  https://www.mexicanxinitiative.com/ 

En  la nominación van a ver cuatro nombres: John Picacio (quien ideó y  llevó a cabo la Mexicanx Initiative, y está nominado también como Mejor  Artista), Libia Brenda (osea yo, por la antología), Julia Rios (por  convocar, traducir y armar el scrapbook. Ella también está nominada como  editora, dos veces)  y Pablo Defendini (por diseñar el  scrapbook); pero en el libro y en el sitio estamos todxs nosotrxs, así que este logro es nuestro, podemos anunciarlo a los cuatro vientos y presumirlo hasta  con la marchanta del mercado.

Además,  esta nominación nos pone junto a la gente más admirada y a la que hemos  leído desde que estábamos muy jóvenes. A ver, el año pasado la obra  ganadora fue No Time to Spare, de la adoradísima Ursula K. Le Guin (que también se lo ganó el año anterior, con Words Are My Matter); el primer año (1980), el premio se lo llevó The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, de Peter Nichols; ¡en esta categoría de Hugo ganó Cosmos de  Carl Sagan!, y si ven la lista de nominaciones, la lista de nombres con  quienes ya compartimos espacio, se van a caer de la silla (como yo):  Joanna Russ, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, ¡Carrie Fisher! :D

Hace justo un año estaba empezando a escribirles, en muchos casos los mensajes por Facebook eran del tipo "no me conoces, pero ¿no me quieres dar un cuento para una antología que vamos a hacer en cuatro meses?", y gracias a su generosidad, miren hasta dónde llegamos. Sigo profundamente agradecida con cada una y cada uno de ustedes, por depositar en mí y en el proyecto del libro su confianza, su tiempo, su trabajo, incluso su dinero. 

Las nominaciones son cinco, tradicionalmente, es decir que tenemos el veinte por ciento de probabilidades de ganar un Hugo en este 2019. No sé ustedes, pero para mí rebasa la categoría de "sueño hecho realidad" porque ni siquiera creo que hubiera soñado con algo así. Sin John y la Mexicanx Initiative, sin la colaboración de ustedes, sin la campaña de Kickstarter, sin el scrapbook que ideó y convocó Julia y armó Pablo, esto no estaría pasando. Pero lo hicimos y aquí estamos. We did it. We f*ckin' did it!!! [elefantes, tigres y jirafas corriendo por todos lados]

Por ahora, les mando todo el amor rabiosamente nerd que me cabe en el cuerpo. Gracias y gracias y ¡a celebrar!


My English translation:

Do you remember the first time you saw Twelve Monkeys? I'm never going to forget the emotion I felt seeing all those animals running through the city while Piazzola squeezed his accordion. "We did it!" said the graffiti of the Army of the 12 monkeys, "We did it!"

(The scene from 12 Monkeys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HigxGvmHEdQ)

Today's excitement is even greater because I am writing to tell you that Una realidad maás amplia / A Larger Reality, as part of The Mexicanx Initiative Scrapbook, is a Hugo Award finalist in the Best Related Work category!


Being a finalist is not the same as winning the prize, but listen, this is still an amazing experience. The category of Best Related Work was established in 1980 (I think there are people who contributed to this project who are younger than that), and it is awarded to nonfiction works; our book is fiction, of course, but it is included in the broader work that is the scrapbook that Julia and Pablo did; that is, it is part of a testimonial, autobiographical, and work of reflection on the genre of science fiction.

There are four names on the ballot: John Picacio (who devised and carried out the Mexicanx Initiative, and is also nominated as Best Artist), Libia Brenda (that is to say me, for the anthology), Julia Rios (for editing, translating, and organizing the scrapbook, and who is also nominated as an editor, twice) and Pablo Defendini (for designing the scrapbook); but all of us are in the book and on the website, so this achievement is ours, and we can announce it to the four winds and brag about it everywhere.

On top of everything else, this nomination puts us next to the people we have read and admired since we were very young. Let's see, last year the winning work was No Time to Spare, by the much adored Ursula K. Le Guin (who also won it the year before, with Words Are My Matter); the first year (1980), the prize was taken by The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, by Peter Nichols. Other notable winners in this category include Cosmos by Carl Sagan! And if you look at the list of past finalists, the list of names with whom we already share space, you will fall out of your chair (like me): Joanna Russ, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Carrie Fisher!  : D

Just a year ago I was beginning to write to you. In many cases the messages on Facebook said, "You don't know me, but do you want to write me a story for an anthology that we are going to put together in four months?" And, thanks to your generosity, look how far we've gone! I remain deeply grateful to each and every one of you, for giving your trust, your time, your work, and even your money to me and to the project of creating this book. 

There are traditionally five finalists in this category, which means that we have a twenty percent chance of winning a Hugo in 2019. I don't know about you, but for me this exceeds the category of "dream come true" because I don't even think I would have dreamed of something like this. Yes. Without John and the Mexicanx Initiative, without your collaboration, without the Kickstarter campaign, without the scrapbook that Julia conceived and organized and Pablo put together, this would not be happening. But we did it and here we are. We did it. We f*ckin' did it!!! [elephants, tigers and giraffes running everywhere]

For now, I send you all the rabid nerd love that fits in my body. Thank you, and thank you, and let's celebrate!


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