New Judaica Art Print: A Wonder(ous) Woman  אשת חיל

Let the valorous woman in your life know how Wonderful you find her!

Blue and gold Hebrew text from Psalms 31 in the shape of the Wonder Woman logo

How It Came To Be:

Sometimes Ariela’s creative brain is tripped by odd prompts. She began searching for a way to put a particular Jewish spin on Wonder Woman after seeing a woman put a Wonder Woman bib on her daughter at kiddush* lunch at synagogue on Sh’mini Atzeret (the Eighth Day of Assembly). Once she thought of referencing Proverbs 31:10-31, an acrostic poem that begins with the phrase “A Valorous Woman,” the connection seemed obvious.

Hebrew art has a rich history of micrography, tiny calligraphy formatted so that it makes up a picture when you stand back, so the first plan was to fit all 21 verses into the logo. This lasted until Ariela actually thought about the message we wanted to send with the piece. Then most of the poem - the parts that talk about a woman’s value deriving from what she does for her husband and children, frequently in terms of her skills as a housekeeper or acquiring wealth - got cut. Even Terri’s favorite verse, the one that says "Many women have been made great, but you have surpassed them all,” was subjected to the sword. We at Geek Calligraphy do not embrace the Smurfette Principle** in any form - we will not condone the idea that there can only ever be one awesome woman at a time.

While Terri’s recent love of Wonder Woman comes largely as a result of the amazing 2017 film, the logo that Warner Bros. redesigned for Wonder Woman was deemed too angular and complicated. So instead, we used the classic DC Comics logo, with its clean silhouette and iconic red, yellow and blue.

The version up top has yellow text, but we also have an extra shiny (literally) version with gold text.

Gif showing the gold foil on the print reflecting the light.

Each print is matted on a black, archival-safe mat and comes ready to hang. The matted dimensions are 8”x10”. Prints with yellow text cost $30, prints with gold text cost $40. Ships flat.

*Kiddush literally means sanctification. In this case, it refers to the food served at synagogue after the sanctification of the Sabbath or a holiday is said over a cup of wine.

**Note - there are two links here, because one is to an old NYTimes magazine article and may be behind a paywall. The second link is to a TVTropes article, where you can explore all sorts of other lovely tropes about women in fiction and media.

Hugo Eligibility Revisited

by Ariela

The news is out! We’re a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist this year. I’m still working on believing it. Terri and I are both so, so grateful to you all.

Voting will begin soon, and when the voter packet is distributed, you’ll see two of our pieces in there:

“Penric’s Demon” Illuminated First Page From the novella “Penric’s Demon” by Lois McMaster Bujold. Licensed by Lois McMaster Bujold.

“Penric’s Demon” Illuminated First Page
From the novella “Penric’s Demon” by Lois McMaster Bujold.
Licensed by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Anathem  Illuminated First Page From the novel  Anathem  by Neal Stephenson. Produced with permission from Neal Stephenson.

Anathem Illuminated First Page
From the novel Anathem by Neal Stephenson.
Produced with permission from Neal Stephenson.

But where did “Lady Astronaut Nouveau” go?

So, funny story about that.

When we published our eligibility post in December, we included the above two works, plus “Lady Astronaut Nouveau” based on The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. The former two were created earlier in 2018 and shown in art shows at Confluence and ICON. We finished “Lady Astronaut Nouveau” late enough in the year that we didn’t have any more art shows booked in which we could show it. We put it all over the interwebs, though.

This is what the Hugo Awards Website gives as the criteria for the Best Fan Artist category (bolding ours):

The final category is also for people. Again note that the work by which artists should be judged is not limited to material published in fanzines. Material for semiprozines or material on public displays (such as in convention art shows) is also eligible. Fan artists can have work published in professional publications as well. You should not consider such professionally-published works when judging this award.

The internet is about as public as it gets, right? It was even included in Mary Robinette’s Pinterest Gallery for Lady Astronaut Fan Art.

Apparently the Hugo Committee disagrees. Per the email I received from the committee member who contacted me prior to the announcement of the ballot:

The first two pieces clearly qualify, so that is fine. I'm afraid that the rules exclude pieces that have only been displayed online.

This, dear reader, is ridiculous.

From elsewhere on the same page on the Hugo Awards website explaining eligibility:

Web Sites, E-books, and Medium of Distribution

Works published electronically rather than on paper have always been accepted as nominees. A decision of the 2009 WSFS Business Meeting formally acknowledged this by ratifying a Constitutional Amendment that added the words “or the equivalent in other media” to various category definitions. There is no requirement that a work be published on paper (for written/graphic fiction and non fiction), on film or video tape (for dramatic presentations), or that it be distributed through any traditional methods such as bookstores, movie theatres, etc. In other words, publishing and distributing your work on a web site is exactly the same as having copies of your book in a bookstore or your movie shown in a movie theatre. Aside from the fundamental distinctions between written, graphic, and dramatic works, medium of distribution has nothing to do with a work’s eligibility.

And further:

Self-Published Works

There is no restriction on who publishes a work. For example, if an author makes a novel available to be read on a web site or prints copies at his/her own expense, that novel is eligible just the same as a novel published by a well-known publishing company and sold in traditional bookstores.

So why is it possible to “publish” something online but not to put anything “on public display?”

As much as we are sore about losing what I consider to be one of the best pieces of art I have ever done from my Hugo-eligible portfolio this year, I am more upset by the general message this sends

We have blogged before about why we think that restricting the Professional Artist category to “professional publications” is outdated in an age when it is possible to make most if not all of one’s artistic income from online sales directly to customers. But there’s something extra odd and gatekeeper-y in telling a fan that their fan work doesn’t count until someone else - a zine or an art show head - gives it their stamp of approval.

(Also, art shows cost money to enter, adding an economic barrier-to-entry that I find particularly distasteful.)

If authors who publish online are real authors, then artists who post their work online are real artists.

If fan writers who write online are real fans, the artists who art online are real fans, too.

We will be attending Dublin2019, and Terri has a proposal for the WSFS business meeting in the works. I am told there are lists. Because it is time and past to overhaul the Pro Artist / Fan Artist categories. We would really love your support in this endeavor. If you are interested, please let us know by filling out the form below.

And in the meanwhile, please do not consider “Lady Astronaut Nouveau” when you fill out your ballot. If that means that you rank us lower than you would otherwise, so be it. This year’s slate is full of amazing Fan Artists and we could not be mad to lose to any of them.

Want to Help Revise the Artist Category Requirements for the Hugos?

Terri is working on a proposal. If you would like to support us, or be updated on our efforts, please let us know how to contact you below.


It's an honor...

Rocket ship logo of the Hugo Awards

Rocket ship logo of the Hugo Awards

by Ariela and Terri

Wow. A Hugo nomination.

Thank you so much to all of you. You are the ones who chose us for this honor and we deeply, deeply appreciate it. We love making art, but it’s especially gratifying to know that the art we have made has touched other people.

Also an enormous thank you Lois McMaster Bujold, Neal Stephenson, and Mary Robinette Kowal, for writing words that inspired us so deeply and were kind enough to open the door to us when we came knocking, asking for permission to play in their universes. It’s rather fitting for us to be nominated this year, when all of our public work was literally fanart of others’ writing.

And just look at this slate of nominees! We can’t believe we get to call these people our colleagues!

Likhain’s colorwork is so unbelievably phenomenal and Grace Fong’s use of space is extraordinary. Ariela has been a fan of both of them for years. Terri has been both a fan and a friend of Meg Frank for a while. This is Spring Schoenhuth’s umpteenth nomination, and frankly it is a crime that her jewelry is not more widely recognized as being fine art, because it is. And we don’t even know what to say about being nominated with Sara Felix, who has friggin’ designed not one but two Hugo bases.

And the whole ballot. That is, as Terri says, a whole lotta ballot. How the heck are we going to be able to pick favorites?!!?? Congrats to all of the nominees. So, so well deserved.


Ariela here:

You may notice two names up at the top of this blog post and that “we,” which is plural, not royal. That’s because this is a two-person operation. And though it’s my name on that list, it really should be “Geek Calligraphy,” because this art is a team effort. Editors get their own category for the Hugos, but there isn’t one for Artist Wrangler, who is a bit like an editor, agent, manager, assistant, and marketer/publicist all rolled into one. Terri is my creative partner; she comes up with a good chunk of the ideas that turn into our art. Lady Astronaut Nouveau, for example, was the direct result of her demand that I do art for The Calculating Stars, and her input and feedback along the way means you got a very different product than you would have seen from me working on my own. Hugo rules may say that it’s my name on the ballot, but the world should also know about Terri’s contribution.

Thank you everyone again and we will see you in Dublin this summer!

Pesach is coming...

by Ariela

We are the House of Judah. Our coat of arms displays a matzah on a field of tin foil. Our words are Pesach is Coming.

A round matzah on a background of tin foil with the words “Pesach is Coming” in the Game of Thrones font

(Neither Terri or Ariela actually cover anything in tinfoil to kasher for Passover, but you get the idea.)

Enjoy your spaghetti, cheerios, bread, pretzels, bagels, etc. Enjoy them until they are gone. And remember kids, don’t feed the Passover-Industrial complex.

Geek Calligraphy at Capricon

by Ariela

Flyer for Capricon 39: Strange Beasts Arise

I’m off to Capricon this weekend (Terri won’t be at this convention).

Art will be in the Art Show, both in the Gallery (which is auction sales) and Print Shop (buy it and walk out). Look for the green and purple signs and binders.

Ariela’s Capricon Program Schedule

Thursday, 6:30 PM: Beastly Beauty
Room: Ravinia A
Panel #: 199
Not all dangerous beasts fit the ugly monster stereotype. Sirens use beauty to capture their prey, as do many plants, bugs, and birds in the natural world. Serial killers are often physically attractive. Are humans hard-wired to trust beauty? And does that make the beautiful monster the most dangerous of them all?
(Ariela will moderate this panel)

Saturday, 11:30 AM: Art Show Docent Tour
Room: Ravinia C (Art Show)
Panel #: 280
Join artist Ariela Housman for a wander through the art show.

Saturday, 2:30 PM: Future Faiths
Room: Ravinia A
Panel #: 65
Is it possible that human beings riding in tiny, fragile little tin cans will face the vast reaches of space, with all its unpredictable dangers, without taking the religions of the world with them? If there will be Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Pagans, and others out there on the Final Frontier, how will their faiths adapt? Can a person still be a faithful Wiccan if s/he lives on a non-terrestrial planet? In what direction should the faithful Muslim pray? Will Christians believe that Jesus can save non-human sentient beings too? Why do so many writers resort to made-up religions, rather than extrapolating the evolution of real ones?

Sunday, 10:00 AM: Random Panel Topic
Room: Botanic B
Panel #: 164
What happens to the panel ideas that get rejected? They are reborn here as random panel topics! Our panelists will choose topics (at random, of course) and speak expertly on them for 5 minutes each. You'll be rolling on the floor with laughter!

Hope to see you there!

Where to find Terri, Ariela, and Geek Calligraphy Art at Arisia 2019

Arisia Logo

by Terri and Ariela

As we explained, we have decided to attend Arisia this year. We will be keeping our ears and eyes open, but we are cautiously hopeful that we, and everyone else, will be able to have a safe and enjoyable con.

If you aren’t there this weekend because of a principled boycott of the convention, we hope that you will support the artists and vendors who depend on Arisia sales for their livelihoods.

If you're on staff/volunteering for the convention, you can catch us at the Art Show reception in our business colors. Otherwise, you can see our work there (and us, from time to time). Protip: our art is cheaper at conventions than it is online!

You can also see us on these panels:

Terri’s Schedule:

Saturday, 11:30 AM: Neurodivergent Protagonists
Room: Franklin
Panel #: 301
So many mental health issues can make us feel disproportionately terrible for minor, everyday mishaps, and the culture of "neurodivergent character = villain" doesn't help. Instead, let's talk about neurodivergent protagonists and stories about people working around or even using their Quirky Brain Stuff to save the world and live happily ever after.

Sunday, 2:30 PM: Jewish SFF
Room: Tremont
Panel #: 201
It can be hard to find Jewish stories that don't focus on the Holocaust. Luckily, there are many works relating to Judaism in science fiction and fantasy. Naomi Novik and NS Dolkart are two Jewish authors who include Jewish characters and themes in their works. Marie Brennan based the world religion of her Natural History of Dragons series on Judaism. Let's celebrate Jewish authors, worlds, and characters!

Monday, 10:00 AM: Fluff and You: The Worth of Fun Reads
Room: Tremont
Panel #: 294
"Beach reads," "candy," "fluff," "guilty pleasures," -- so many words to downplay the fact that we may be reading something "less than literary"! But fun reads have worth of their own, and lightness and artistic merit are not mutually exclusive. Join the panelists as they discuss the delights of fluff, their favorite works, and moving away from a culture of shame.

Ariela’s Schedule:

Saturday, 1:00 PM: Girl Power in Anime
Room: St James
Panel #: 156
In anime, many female characters tend to fall into one of two stereotypical groups: weak and meek or angry warrior women. There are characters who go deeper, who might even make good role models. From the girls in Studio Ghibli to Junko Kaname in Puella Magi Madoka Magica to Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan and beyond, who are these strong, nuanced female characters? What about them screams "GIRL POWER!" Which characters or tropes are doing a disservice to women today?

Saturday, 4:00 PM: Female Relationships in Fiction
Room: Beacon Hill
Panel #: 196
Though great strides have been made in recent years, we still hunger for depictions of complex relationships between women, whether familial, platonic, or romantic. What are we still lacking? What stories about female love would make the panelists' hearts sing?

Saturday, 5:30 PM: Clothing Modifcation
Room: Winthrop
Panel #: 361
Whether you're making a cosplay or something for everyday wear, learn to extend the life and utility of off the rack or second hand garments. Take a thrift store find and turn it into something amazing or save a favored piece from the trash pile with creative solutions for poor fit and minor stains and tears.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 1:00 PM: First Steps for New Costumers
Room: Cambridge
Panel #: 378
So you want to be a costumer, but don't know where to begin? Then this panel is for you. Our group of veteran costumers tell you how to get started in the hobby with everything from tips and tricks to demystifying the terms and expectations that are out there. We all had to start somewhere, so let us help you do the same.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 5:30 PM: Treatsments of Abuse in SFF
Room: Beacon Hill
Panel #: 429
While discussing Lethal Weapon, Junot Diaz, and toxic masculinity in a Fireside Fiction essay last year, author Brandon O'Brien reminded us that "We need to teach and remind men as often as possible that recovery means responsibility." How has SFF treated cycles of abuse and recovery, and how can it do better? Which books/shows/movies get it right?

If You Boycott Arisia, Support the Artists Anyway

by Terri and Ariela

Well, this stinks. The situation is pretty terrible.

Well, this stinks. The situation is pretty terrible.

Recent revelations about Arisia’s woeful mis-handling of numerous incidents of stalking and sexual assault have inspired a widespread boycott of the convention. Unfortunately, as with all boycotts, this one has some proliferating consequences for some vulnerable people.

Many fannish artists and vendors sell their work at Arisia each year. In the past, Arisia has been a convention that could be relied upon for significant sales; we suspect that, with the damage done to Arisia’s reputation, that will not be the case in 2019, or for many years to come. Moreover, the news about all of these problems broke when it was already far too late for artists or vendors to book an alternate convention for that weekend.

We are lucky in this respect: neither Terri nor Ariela relies on Geek Calligraphy income to pay our rent, or food, or other bills. But artists and vendors who make their living creating the fandom and geeky merch that we love will see a bite taken out of their livelihoods as collateral damage to the bad decisions made by Arisia’s Incident Response Team and Incident Review Board.

The following is an incomplete list of artists and vendors who were planning to show at Arisia 2019. We ask that you look through their websites and order from them. They cannot continue making wonderful stuff for all of us if we don’t support their work.

(note: we have only included artists with websites. There are other artists who routinely show up, but without a website we cannot direct you to them)

R. L. Allison (aka robdamnit) mixed media & paintings horror, steampunk and fantasy themes


Julia Austein Digital prints of pieces based on dream imagery

Victoria Chapman Colorful watercolor illustrations of nature and spirit

Sarah Clemens Fantasy art, realistic, Magnus and Loki series

LJ Cohen Hand built and wheel thrown ceramics

The Corey Press Hand carved images of medieval madness pressed to wood

Rachel Creemers Futurism with Ink and Watercolor

Charlene Taylor D'Alessio Humorous, Acrylics, Fantasy/SF Cats, Hamsters, Dragons, Owls

Lori Del Genis Photorealistic portraits of fan favorites real and imagined

Meredith Dillman

Duncan Eagleson Fantasy, SF, and game illustration

eHawk illustrator from Somerville, MA

Wendy Ellertson Sculptural Leather Mythic Figures and artist books

Michele Ellington Jewelry, ceramics, painting, sculpture

EveL Illustrating the combination of nature and man

Sara Felix jewelry and resin

Meg Frank Space focused, high chroma, fantasy art

Remmi Franklin Mixed media of both aerials and imagination

Heather M Gamble

Gil The best of dreams and monsters from every reality

Mike Greenberg Space and Time

Griffin Ess figurative illustrations using watercolors and inks

Lauren Grover Victorian style paper quilled pieces

Sara Eileen Hames Brilliantly colored watercolors: space, botanicals, monsters

Carol Hanson Explorations in a variety of forms: jewelry, sketches, masks

Lisa Hertel Watercolor, pottery, encaustics, alcohol ink, pencil, more

Butch Honeck Bronze fantasy sculpture

Elaine Isaak fiber artist creating one-of-a-kind wearables

herman james Pop-Surreal painting and drawing

Jeliza Whimsical space inspired art and jewelry

I. S. Kallick Folkloric illustration

Boriana Kantcheva a varied cast of characters between reality and imagination

Kimberly's Creatures Cloth & papier mache creatures

Ryan Klemek Strange sci-fi and fantasy paintings

Johnna Klukas art boxes, sculpture, musical instruments, usually in wood

Liz LaManche

Scott Lefton Sculptural metal, glass and wood, and digital fantasy images

Elizabeth Leggett Fantastic Realism, image storytelling, bold color, matte prints

Tracy Levesque Paintings in the Style of Fairytale Realism

Julia Burns Liberman Whimsical abstract watercolor cityscapes

Lily Lion Labyrinth Mixed media pieces exploring fantastical realms of emotion

Lubov The art of the fantastic - fantasy, phantasmagoric.

marcart Matted Art Prints

Theresa Mather Fantasy subjects in acrylic and colored pencil

V McMican Bright & bold graphic illustration

Alexander Merkel Clockwork Jewelry, Computer Mice/Misfit-toy monstrosities

Chris Mindle Pop surrealism and fantasy in oils and giclee prints

Christine Mitzuk Fantasy art with dramatic lighting, and a hint of whimsy

MooreWarmth Fiber Art focusing on fantasy and science fiction

Sarah Morrison Fantasy Illustration

Erika Morton fine art fantasy photography

Anne Nydam Relief block prints that celebrate the realms of imagination

Margaret Organ-Kean Whimsy and watercolors

William O'Connor Fantasy and Science Fiction Painting

David Lee Pancake Fantasy sculptures and prints

Maria Photinakis Boston area-based illustrator, comic creator and painter.

Eli Portman Pen and Ink drawings and Illustrations

Catherine Roop Fantasy art in pen, pencil, paint, & digital media

Karen Roop Laser prints of digital original artwork

Kimball M. Rudeen Steampunk themed sculpture

Ruth Sanderson mythic images in scratchboard

Sandra SanTara Visionary symbolic fantasy

Scrumpy Illustrations Stippled images of cephalopods and Lovecraftian monsters

Diane E Seiler Enamel, clay bird rattles & castle planters, possibly fiber

Donna Shapleigh Enamel switch plates, jewelry, seascapes astronomical

Andrew Sprague Fantasy and scifi artist working in multiple mediums

T. M. Originals Distinctive wearable art that stands out in a crowd

Kendra Tornheim Wire and hand-colored brass jewelry featuring antique keys

Joan Turner Paint Pouring is my newest adventure!

Mercy Van Vlack Celtic jewelry and superhero SF prints

Andy Volpe Drawings & Prints, Historical replica; Living History

Arrionna Wagoner Digital art of the female form in pop culture in all genres

Raelinda Woad Miniature book art and jewelry

(note: we have only included vendors with websites. There are other vendors who routinely show up, but without a website we cannot direct you to them)

Angelwear Creations Angelwear has pretty shiny things. Come see them!

Art by David Lee Pancake A Fantastical Magical Emporium

Auntie Arwen's Spices/Hutnik's Used Books Spice blends, fudge, books, catnip mice, and lots more

The Blonde Swan Our hats turn heads.

Broad Universe Celebrating the work of women-identifying writers of speculative fiction.

Cloak & Dagger Creations Timeless historical fashions for everyone, all ages and sizes.

Cross Rose | Ears & Rearz Ears & tails, Lolita fashion dresses, jewelry and accessories.

Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery Making Meal Time

Delicious Boutique Specializing in unique and high quality independent designer styles.

The Dragon's Lair The best selection of T-Shirts and Plush in the known multiverse.

Earth Wisdom Earth Wisdom sells exquisite silk jackets, nifty tees, magic dresses

Emporium 32 Vintage-inspired treasures for the fashionable geek.

FanTanimals Come get your dragons!

Fanservice Nails Handmade fandom beauty for chic geeks

Fantastic Books Publisher of new and reprint sf novels, collections, and anthologies.

Felix Eddy - The Clockwork Sphinx Original artwork and embroidery accessories and decor created by Felix Eddy!

Hibernacula Treasures and talismans, metal and bone, crystal and stone!

HKT Import Toys We are a premier importer of Licensed Japanese Toys and Colelctibles

Honeck Sculpture Unique items cast in bronze for you and your home

I Think I've Created a Monstah Rhode Island artist focusing in unique utilitarian "monstah" themed art.

Innsmouth Look Publishing Home of Indie author Michael C. Bailey

Knotty Designs Paracord products for all your knotty lifestyles

MajikCraft One of a kind, every time!

MeadHall Outfiters Costume, garb, corsets, props, and vintage clothing

Meloria Maille Artisan chainmaille made one ring at a time

The Mind's Eye Book Store Signed and unsigned science fiction and fantasy books

Paisley Peacock Body Arts Henna, Facepainting, Glitter, Custom Buttons

Pandemonium Books & Games Boston's specialty SF book and game store for 29 years!

Pawstar Pawstar, furry, cosplay, paws, ravegear, geekyhat, cybergoth

Pendragon Chainmail If you can think it, I can link it!

Pendragon Costumes Purveyors of men's & women's historical & fantasy clothing for over 25 years.

Picklepot Steampunk treasures for all humans!

Purrfect Pastimes Eco-friendly and handmade science fiction/fantasy for your home!

RuRigami Quirky crafts for creative minds

Silver Owl Creations Fantasy and steampunk jewelry in wire and hand-colored brass

Spring Green Interior Design Hidden Door? Game Room? Reading Nook? Themed bath? Gotcha Covered.

Strange Hours Atelier Curious millinery, esoteric art, and assorted whimsies

Sunspot Designs Unique, affordable adornments for mortals and others.

Tally Mark's Sculpture Studio Handmade adorable baby fantasy beasts cast in resin.

Tea & Absinthe Tea and barware for the geeky people

Threads of Time Historically influenced clothing and costuming, with a large Fantasy flair.

Wendy Ellertson Studio Sculptural Leather figures and accessories to encourage creativity and story

Zooguu Colorful decorations for wild imaginations

2018 Hugo Eligibility Post: Best Fan Artist

by Ariela

2018 was a hard year. While I didn’t make much new art, I am extremely proud of what I did.

The Hugo Committee has decided this is not eligible.  Lady Astronaut Nouveau Inspired by  The Calculating Stars  by Mary Robinette Kowal. Licensed by Mary Robinette Kowal.

The Hugo Committee has decided this is not eligible.

Lady Astronaut Nouveau
Inspired by The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.
Licensed by Mary Robinette Kowal.

Anathem  Illuminated First Page From the novel  Anathem  by Neal Stephenson. Produced with permission from Neal Stephenson.

Anathem Illuminated First Page
From the novel Anathem by Neal Stephenson.
Produced with permission from Neal Stephenson.

“Penric’s Demon” Illuminated First Page From the novella “Penric’s Demon” by Lois McMaster Bujold. Licensed by Lois McMaster Bujold.

“Penric’s Demon” Illuminated First Page
From the novella “Penric’s Demon” by Lois McMaster Bujold.
Licensed by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Explode the Gender Binary sticker Watercolor and digital.

Explode the Gender Binary sticker
Watercolor and digital.

Hugo Category Eligibility

Once again, I am eligible for the Best Fan Artist Hugo category. If you are able to nominate for the Hugos, please nominate me as “Ariela Housman,” as the award is for the artist, not the business. (This doesn’t recognize Terri’s hard work and the way she contributed, which is annoying. Any rocket which I may eventually win will really be part hers.)

In a sense, this feels like the first time I really belong in the Fan Artist category, since three of the four pieces above these started as art by a fan of books, even though they are licensed and whatnot.

Explanatory Thingee About Hugo Category Eligibility

Some Hugo categories (Best Professional Artist, Best Fan Artist, Best Semiprozine, and Best Fanzine) are defined by whether the work done was professional, semi-professional, or fannish. The definition of what is a “professional” publication is somewhat technical. A professional publication either (1) provided at least a quarter the income of any one person or, (2) was owned or published by any entity which provided at least a quarter the income of any of its staff and/or owner.

For the purposes of Hugo categories, you are only a Professional Artist if your stuff gets published in a Professional Publication. So you can make a living entirely for years by selling your SF art directly to other people and still not be considered a Professional Artist for the purposes of the Hugos if your art was never included in a publication that earns according to the above criteria.

When making prints was harder and there wasn't much in the way of direct-to-fans selling outside of conventions, this made sense. Today it is ridiculous, but the rules are the rules.

A Note About Lady Astronaut Nouveau’s Consideration

Update: The Hugo Committee has ruled that Lady Astronaut Nouveau is not eligible. Our post announcing that and our response is here.

When considering whether or not to nominate an artist, only their art which is (1) completed in 2018, and (2) meets the criteria of the category, in this case, Fan Art. An excerpt from the description of the Best Fan Artist category:

Again note that the work by which artists should be judged is not limited to material published in fanzines. Material for semiprozines or material on public displays (such as in convention art shows) is also eligible.

By this metric, whether or not Lady Astronaut Nouveau meets the criteria of Fan Art is questionable, as it was neither published in a semiprozine nor displayed in a convention art show. However, it was posted on this website and blog, Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s Pinterest Gallery for Lady Astronaut fanart. Given the wording “not limited to” and “such as” in the category description, we’re reading the examples of semiprozines and convention art shows as just that, examples, and the list thereof as inclusive but not exhaustive. We think that being on the internet is about as public as a display gets, so Lady Astronaut Nouveau should be included when considering Ariela’s 2018 body of work.

Should the Hugo Committee think otherwise, we will remove it from all Eligibility posts about Ariela’s 2018 work.

Arisia 2019 - Go or Cancel?

By Terri & Ariela

Well, frak. It sums up our feelings.

Well, frak. It sums up our feelings.

When the Internet blew up surrounding several accusations of mismanaged Incident Reports by the Arisia Corporation’s Executive Board, we faced a very difficult decision. Do we stay with a convention that has been a very important source of both income and fun for us, or do we boycott as many are doing? This was compounded by the fact that Terri is now living in Israel for two years, and going to Arisia means an expensive international plane ticket.

Neither of us wants to support an environment in which assaults are not taken seriously or handled properly. While Arisia has an extensive Code of Conduct and a dedicated Incident Response Team, it’s clear that changes need to be made in who this team consists of and how they manage both official and unofficial reports.

Our difficulties in making this decision were further complicated by the vagaries of space and time. Ariela first heard about it on a Thursday night, when Terri was already in bed. By the time both of us were up the next day, Terri was about to bring in Shabbat. And what with one thing or another, by the time we managed to sit down and have a discussion about what to do, the window for a principled exit to effect change had closed: the former president had been kicked out, most of the EBoard had resigned, and an external review team had been contracted to revamp the IRT processes. At this point, publicly stepping away would signal dissatisfaction with the changes that are taking place, not disgust with the initial problem. And while we think that the changes made so far are not sufficient to call the problem fixed, we want them to continue this process.

Because of these efforts, we are cautiously giving the convention a last chance. We will be watching carefully to see how these changes are implemented. If we are unsatisfied, we will no longer be attending or exhibiting at Arisia until we can be sure that everyone in attendance is safe.

We ask that if you choose to boycott the convention, you support the artists and vendors who rely on it for their income. These people do not deserve to be punished for the actions of others. We will be posting a list of all of these in early January, before the convention.

Holiday Shipping Notes

Image shows a chibi Ariela under a pile of boxes and cardboard tubes saying "a little help, please..."

Image shows a chibi Ariela under a pile of boxes and cardboard tubes saying "a little help, please..."

Thanksgiving is now a memory of turkey and food comas, which means that the $_WINTERHOLIDAY shopping season has begun in earnest. As such, we wish to make you aware of the purchasing deadlines we will be using to make sure that you (or the recipients) receive your purchases in time to celebrate. Unfortunately, we do not possess a time machine, so we are unable to ensure Diwali gifts arrive on time. If someone could hook us up with with the TARDIS Express folks, we'll get right on that.

As per our FAQ, we generally ship USPS First Class. That requires the item be mailed by December 20th to guarantee delivery for December 24th. In order to give Ariela adequate processing time, we will require the orders to be placed by December 15th to make sure that there is enough time to get things printed, matted and shipped to you.

If you were looking for the perfect חנוכה gift from us, that needs to be ordered by November 28th to ensure arrival before the holiday is over. And may we suggest the Lady Astronaut Nouveau for the Jewish space fan?

No matter what holiday you celebrate, our Holiday greeting card makes the perfect accompaniment to any gift. Be sure to pick one (or a pack) up with any order you place in the next month.