Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Lloyd Penney for the Hugo and Aurora

by Rob - January 16th, 2009.
Filed under: Awards 2009.

This is the tenth in a series of blog posts in which I’m going to discuss people and things that I think merit consideration for this year’s Hugo and Aurora Awards; both sets of awards will be given at the Montreal Worldcon this year.

You know why Locus — the trade journal of the science-fiction field — is called that? It’s a pun. See, it started off as a fanzine — an amateur publication — and the heart and soul of many fanzines is the part where letters of comment (responses to earlier issues) are printed; in fact, one of the standard ways to get a fanzine is by having sent in a letter of comment.

Well, “letter of comment” is a mouthful, and fans just love abbreviations, so instead, they’re usually called a “LoC” or “loc,” and that abbreviation can be employed as both a noun and a verb, so Locus‘s title was an inviation for people to send in letters of comment: “LoC us!” Cute, huh?

The Hugos have a category for Best Fan Writer, and the Auroras have one for Best Fan (Other). A clever, voluminous letterhack (as those who write a lot of LoCs are affectionately known) is eligible for both those awards, and Canada has one particularly diligent letterhack: long-playin’ Lloyd Penney.

In years gone by, you’d have to get an awful lot of fanzines to see Lloyd’s output, but this is the online era, and Lloyd took my suggestion a while ago, and established an online repository for his clever, heartfelt, warm LoCs. You’ll find them here.

For the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer:

  • Lloyd Penney

For the Aurora Award for Best Fan (Other):

  • Lloyd Penney for fanzine letters of comment

(For trivia fans, Lloyd Penney is tuckerized [another long-standing fannish tradition — it means he appears as a character] in my novel Illegal Alien, and my novel Hybrids is dedicated to Lloyd and his wife Yvonne.)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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