The winners of our new science fiction and fantasy awards will be chosen by book bloggers, podcasters, and booktubers. That seems simple enough, but how do we decide if a person is one of those? Is one book review some time in the distant past good enough? One book review in the past year? Three reviews? Six reviews?
This raises another issue: should there be a minimum standard for a review? If someone says “thumbs up” or “five stars”, is that a review? I normally hate it when people equate length with quality, but should there be a minimum word count / time length for a review to qualify?
Should bloggers who are paid employees of a publishing company be allowed to vote? If so, should they be allowed to vote for books from their own company? Should they be allowed to vote for an author’s short story when their…
I’m asking my fellow book bloggers, along with podcasters and booktubers, to join me in creating a new set of awards for science fiction and fantasy stories. Why invent another award? In addition to numerous regional and sub-genre awards, there are currently two broad awards: The Nebula and the Hugo. While both are based on good ideas, it’s possible they are overly influenced by the publishing industry.
Nebula Award winners are chosen by the members of the SFWA. Having authors choose the best stories seems logical, but has some drawbacks:
Most fans can’t participate.
The tastes of fans and creators may not overlap as much as the creators believe they do.
SFWA members have ties to publishing houses (or are seeking ties) and may be subject to influence.
Anyone who is willing to spend $40 can vote in the Hugo Awards. The large fee is probably meant to limit…
In my last post on the short (story) road to the novel, I exhorted you to give the short story a try. I am a glutton for short stories and I guess my encouragement was a little coloured by my appetite. It hardly seems fair to nudge you on to a path without a map, so let me introduce you to Kurt Vonnegut and his eight rules for writing a short story.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922 -2007) is known to most as the author of the cult classic Slaughterhouse Five, his contribution to short stories is often eclipsed by the success of his work in the long form. Having written more than 120 short stories, he distilled his experience into 8 simple rules.
Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.