Monday, June 26, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Fan Writer - Natalie Luhrs

I'm not sure I'd ever heard of Natalie Luhrs before the Hugo finalists were announced, although the chances are good I've run across her at some point in my readings just like most of the other fan writers. I enjoyed her packet, which included a piece on Hamilton, an analysis of the Locus Recommended Reading List, a rant about people who review Romance without understanding the genre, an overview of silencing tactics, and thoughts on the World Fantasy Convention.

The Hamilton piece made me want to check out the Hamilton soundtrack, just to see what my brain will make of it. The Locus analysis reminded me why statistics are so nasty to deal with - there's just so much information there that can be read different ways. And in the comments, she notes that some people are upset because of the dataset she used. But you have to draw a line somewhere, and the Locus list is at least an accepted "best of" list in the field, even if it isn't all-inclusive. As an aside, I recognized quite a few names in the comments sections of her posts - so people I know and like follow her writings.

I didn't really understand the romance piece, except in the broadest terms - it's dumb to criticize an entire genre when you object to certain examples from it and aren't even familiar with the vast majority of the field. I don't go to the World Fantasy Convention, and probably never will, so - while I was sympathetic - I didn't really understand the specific issues she referred to except - again - in the broadest terms.

The most informative piece in her packet was probably the overview of silencing tactics, and I spent some time wondering if I'm guilty of any of them and trying to think of concrete examples that I might need to apologize for. I felt more informed coming out than I did going in, and that's a good piece of writing.

Conclusion: Yet another good writer... this is really gonna be a tough category for me to judge.