Moher wins 2014 Hugo award for Best Fanzine

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, September 2 2014

Aidan Moher, born and raised on Gabriola, won a Hugo Award on August 17 at the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), which took place this year in London, England. He won in the category of Best Fanzine for his online blog, “A Dribble of Ink” (aidanmoher.com/blog) which he began while he was on Gabriola.

Moher now lives in Victoria, BC, with his wife. His parents are Frank and Diana Moher of Gabriola.

The Hugos have been awarded since 1953. There are currently 15 categories and winners are voted on by members of Worldcon. Works which fall into the fantasy and horror genres are also accepted as nominees.

The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, who founded the Amazing Stories science fiction magazine in 1926.

The Fanzine category (first awarded in 1955) is for any magazine that is neither professional nor semi-professional and that does not qualify as a fancast. 

The publication (online or in print) must also satisfy the rule of a minimum of four issues, at least one of which must have appeared in the year of eligibility.

The Sounder held an email interview with Aidan this past week to ask him about the thrill of winning the Hugo.

What does it mean to you to be a Hugo winner? Considering that the Hugos are named after the editor of Amazing Stories, the original sci-fi magazine.

You know, I hadn’t thought of it that way. The impact that Hugo Gernsback and Amazing Stories have had on modern fandom and the science fiction and fantasy genres is without measure. 

Though I’d never put myself on that level, it is lofty and humbling company to keep. 

My fellow fan editors and bloggers, including those on the Hugo Ballot in 2014, are quick to keep my head from swelling too great, so there’s always that.

Winning a Hugo is a tremendous achievement, and something I only ever considered a dream, a far-fetched goal and motivational carrot. 

To be honoured by the science fiction and fantasy community in such a way further validates my love of the people that create fandom. Sure, we’re all a little grumpy at times, but always interesting and never boring. Moving forward, I have a drive to continue to improve my output as both an editor and a fan writer, always striving for more diversity in my content and engagement with my audience.

The Hugo Award is not a destination, it’s a milestone.

I ran into Gabriolan Susan Yates yesterday; she was the librarian when you were growing up here and she remembers you quite well as a regular “customer.” How important was the library and the encouragement from your parents/teachers/mentors, in getting you started on writing about sci-fi and fantasy? In starting your blog?

Libraries are these magical things that are always there when you need them, and never ask for anything in return but your suspended disbelief and passion for reading. 

They’re the wardrobe to Narnia, but instead of just one fantastical world, they open the door to countless possibilities and realms beyond imagining. 

I had several teachers throughout my formative schooling years that were beyond encouraging, and it’s been wonderful to reconnect with them to thank them for helping me along the path that eventually led to A Dribble of Ink.

Also, I’d be remiss not to mention my mother, whose love of science fiction and fantasy was passed along to me biologically and has had its teeth in me since I first picked up reading.

Did you have a favourite series/author growing up? Favourite series/author now?

Like many genre readers, I was introduced to fantasy via J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. From there I discovered Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, and it was all over. I’ve never looked back. In more recent years, I’ve become an enormous fan of Daniel Abraham, Elizabeth Bear, Ann Leckie, Guy Gavriel Kay and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Any series/authors you would recommend to anyone wanting to get into the writing side of sci-fi?

For anyone looking to get into science fiction and fantasy, whether it’s first setting foot in the worlds as a reader, or beginning a journey through the realms of imagination as a writer, I think it’s important to read as much and as widely as possible. I could create a list of essentials a mile long and not come close to touching on all the important, formative writers that have influenced me over the years. 

So, I’ll limit myself to two novels: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman and Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Given the chance to interview any three authors, of any time or space, who would you pick?

I’ve been lucky to have worked with and interviewed many of my favourite authors that are currently alive and working, but it would be difficult to pass up the opportunity to chat with Neil Gaiman or J.K. Rowling. 

And, what genre editor wouldn’t like to sit down for a scotch with J.R.R. Tolkien?