Eric Flint at Marcon
I didn't even know who science fiction writer Eric Flint was until a few weeks ago, but he turned out to be one of the most interesting writers at Marcon. An academic historian by training, he was a left wing labor union activist and factory worker until he turned to full time writing.
Commenting on the running kerfuffle over the Hugo nominations, Sad Pupplies, etc., Flint made a several points when he spoke at Marcon: (1) The emphasis on short fiction in the Hugo Awards is hopelessly outdated, as it dates from the time when magazines dominated the field; today, most of the action is in novels, particularly novels that are part of a series; (2) the relatively small number of people who hand out awards have little connection to what is actually popular these days in the science fiction field and (3) science fiction has grown so vast that it's inevitable that many really fine writers will be overlooked for awards.
For more on this, I strongly suggest reading the essays posted recently on his website, in chronological order: "Some Comments on Hugos and Other SF Awards," "More on the Hugos from a Dark, Dark Place," "And Again on the Hugo Awards," and "What the Hell, Let's Do it Again — Still More on the Hugo Awards." The essays do become a little less interesting as he goes along — the main points are in the first essay.