i’m so happy for the team and for my small part in this win. it feels amazing to be recognised for our efforts among such a stellar line-up of nominees, especially as the mag’s been through the ringer in the last year, and everyone’s been working super hard amid really difficult personal and world circumstances. so thank you to the best magazine/periodical jury for seeing that :) and thank you to everyone who reads and listens to what we publish.
and then of course, i had the tremendous pleasure of serving on the british fantasy awards jury once again, this time on the best audio
category! there was a LOT to listen to, and even though we had most of the summer to do it, it was still a mammoth task. luckily i was in great company, and chatting to fellow jurors arden fitzroy
, pete sutton
, and tam moules
while we deliberated was as much fun as listening to the nominated podcasts and audio dramas.
our nominees were:
Breaking the Glass Slipper, Megan Leigh, Lucy Hounson & Charlotte Bond
The Magnus Archives, Rusty Quill
PodCastle, Escape Artists
PseudoPod, Escape Artists
The Sandman, Dirk Maggs & Neil Gaiman (Audible Originals)
Stellar Firma, Rusty Quill
it’s not a surprise to say that some of the nominated podcasts already numbered among my faves *coughPodCastlecough*, so listening to more episodes proved no problem at all. but it was important to listen deeply and widely, to ensure fairness. i knew of breaking the glass slipper as a staple among genre fans, and i can now definitely see why; i’ve since added it to my list of podcasts to regularly keep up with, and i love the topics and guests they pick every time. it gives me the same energised feeling as being at a great con panel every couple of weeks, which is the kind of high i’m always chasing.
fellow juror arden fitzroy brought stellar firma to our collective attention, and we added it on to the list of nominees with no hesitation. it quickly rose to the top of my personal fave list - an improv show with audience participation set in space? sign me up! also it made me cackle in public many a time, and that’s always a bonus point for me.
among the jurors, i was the only one who had never read the sandman before, so listening to the audible original full cast version featuring james mcavoy, kat dennings, taron egerton, and neil gaiman himself was in fact my first ever experience of the work. the production is superb, and definitely worth a listen, though i was surprised to find out it was originally conceived as a story that would fold into the larger DC comics world, and ngl, that was a major turn off. there were entire chapters set in arkham asylum and gotham city, and i was like….. nah thanks? but i greatly enjoyed the original stuff that bore no connection to the justice league, john constantine, or any other known DC character. the bits in hell and the dream world were *chef’s kiss*. and the score was a standout!! i think i’ll listen to the next “season” when it comes out, as i’m told the DC stuff fades to the background as the graphic novel goes on, but overall this is very peak gaiman, as was expected.
ultimately, i found it astounding that the magnus archives
had never been nominated for a BFA (or much else) before this point. i hadn’t listened to it before (it was one of those long-running, intimidating titles that somehow swished past me and i always felt too far behind to properly start it), but even i knew the influence it’s had in the horror audio fiction space, and the effect it’s had on its fans. i have no shortage of fandom friends who have been enamoured with TMA since the beginning, and even more so when a queer love story took centre stage, and the villains became more menacing (shoutout to friend of the blog, alasdair stuart
, aka peter lukas, and this year’s karl edward wagner award recipient!!), and the story more and more thrilling. though i didn’t get to catch up with all of it while juror-ing, the crescendo TMA built towards with its final season was unmistakeable. it’ll perhaps come as no surprise to you, but it was the runaway winner among the jury.