The OF Blog: New site's first awards polling for best 2009-2010 fiction

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New site's first awards polling for best 2009-2010 fiction

Tuesday will mark the one-year anniversary since the large wotmania fansite shut down.  In the interim, a successor, more general fantasy/other writing site, Read and Find Out, sprang up.  Although I am not a moderator/administrator at that site like I was for wotmania's Other Fantasy section, I still participate there on occasion, sometimes raising a bit of hell just for the hell of it.  But this time, I'm just blogging about the site's first annual awards for fiction released in the 12 months since the site opened.  I nominated several of the books that appear on the final ballot and I think it would be interesting to see how people who read this blog would vote.

I'll list most of the entries below (I'm deleting the site-specific ones, even one that includes me, because I think it would have little interest to most reading this) and you can either register over there (it's free and takes all of about 30 seconds) and submit your responses in response to the thread linked to above, or you can just "vote" here and I'll be sure to let those in charge over there know what people chose.  It might be interesting to see if there is a difference in voting and that could be helpful for the people running the site (obviously, they don't mind me posting this, or else I would have used more faux-revolutionary language in this post about rising up and...something and something), so just vote in a Top 3 fashion and let's see what the people at this blog choose.

Oh, and you can forward this along to others as well, if you yourself want to stir up a bit of trouble, I suppose...

Voting will close at midnight RAFO time (currently British summer time, if you're not sure) on Sunday/Monday coming (that's 29/30 August, depending on how you look at things).

So here they are, the nominations for our inaugural Book & SF/F MB Awards.

You can vote for up to three books, with your first place vote counting as 3 points, second place as 2 and third place as 1. If you vote for fewer than three books, your vote is obviously counted as a first place, or first and second place, vote.


RAFO Book Awards:

* Book of the RAFO Year
Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson ~ The Gathering Storm
Jeff VanderMeer ~ Finch
A.S. Byatt ~ The Children's Book
Caitlín Kiernan ~ The Red Tree
Elizabeth Bear ~ By the Mountain Bound
Laini Taylor ~ Lips Touch: Three Times
Mike Allen, ed. ~ Clockwork Phoenix: New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness
Kristin Cashore ~ Fire
N.K. Jemisin ~ The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

* Best Fantasy
Robin Hobb ~ Dragon Haven
Jeff VanderMeer ~ Finch
Zoran Živković ~ Escher's Loops
Michal Ajvaz ~ The Golden Age
Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson ~ The Gathering Storm
Elizabeth Bear ~ By the Mountain Bound
Laini Taylor ~ Lips Touch: Three Times
Mike Allen, ed. ~ Clockwork Phoenix: New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness
Kristin Cashore ~ Fire
N.K. Jemisin ~ The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

* Best Sci-Fi
Caitlín Kiernan ~ The Red Tree
Cherie Priest ~ Boneshaker
Michal Ajvaz ~ The Other City
Elizabeth Bear ~ Chill
Paolo Bacigalupi ~ The Windup Girl

* Best Other Literature (basically, all the other genres)
AS Byatt ~ The Children's Book
Terrence Holt ~ In the Valley of the Kings (collection)
Paul Auster ~ Invisible

* Best Non-fiction
Stephen T. Asma, On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears
Umberto Eco, The Infinity of Lists/The Vertigo of Lists
Mark Bould and China Miéville (eds.), Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction

* Best author blog/twitter
Stephen Fry
Nick Harkaway
Brandon Sanderson

* Most anticipated book (as of yet unpublished)
Nick Harkaway's new book
Second volume of Stephen Fry's autobiography
Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson ~ A Memory of Light
Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.) ~ The Weird: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Fictions
Catherynne M. Valente ~ Deathless
Lyda Morehouse ~ Resurrection Code
Lois McMaster Bujold ~ Cryoburn
C.S. Friedman ~ Legacy of Kings - (the conclusion to the Magister Trilogy)
Elizabeth Bear ~ The Sea Thy Mistress (conclusion to the Edda of Burdens trilogy)
Elizabeth Bear ~ Grail
N.K. Jemisin ~ Broken Kingdoms
Catherine Asaro ~ Carnelians
Janny Wurts ~ Initiate's Trial

15 comments:

Larry said...

My votes, copy/pasted from the site:

Book of the RAFO Year


1. Jeff VanderMeer, Finch

2. A.S. Byatt, The Children's Book

3. Caitlín Kiernan, The Red Tree



Best Fantasy


1. Jeff VanderMeer, Finch

2. Zoran Živković, Escher's Loops

3. Michal Ajvaz, The Golden Age


Best Sci-Fi


1. Caitlín Kiernan, The Red Tree

2. Cherie Priest, Boneshaker

3. Michal Ajvaz, The Other City


Best Other Literature (basically, all the other genres)


1. AS Byatt, The Children's Book

2. Terrence Holt, In the Valley of the Kings (collection)

3. Paul Auster, Invisible


Best Non-fiction


1. Stephen T. Asma, On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears

2. Umberto Eco, The Infinity of Lists/The Vertigo of Lists

3. Mark Bould and China Miéville (eds.), Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction


Best author blog/twitter


Not a follower of any.


Most anticipated book (as of yet unpublished)


1. Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.), The Weird: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Fictions

2. Catherynne M. Valente, Deathless

Paul said...

Book of the RAFO Year


1. Jeff VanderMeer, Finch

2. Caitlín Kiernan, The Red Tree



Best Fantasy


1. Jeff VanderMeer, Finch

2. Zoran Živković, Escher's Loops

3. Michal Ajvaz, The Golden Age


Best Sci-Fi


1. Caitlín Kiernan, The Red Tree

2. Michal Ajvaz, The Other City

3. Cherie Priest, Boneshaker

Most anticipated book (as of yet unpublished)


1. Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.), The Weird: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Fictions

2. Catherynne M. Valente, Deathless

Larry said...

If it weren't for one switch, people would think you copied me, Paul :P But we just know what's what, no? ;)

Paul said...

We both have exceptionally good taste. :P

James said...

The categories seem very... uneven. The fantasy category is large and ungainly. The science fiction category is minuscule and seems desperately inclusive in order to avoid being populated by only Chill and The Windup Girl. The Other Literature category is especially disappointing, in length, if not content (as I have not read any of the ones listed), and by the names listed, I am assuming you were probably one of the only members to contribute. The same can be said of the non-fiction category.

When it comes down to it, the imbalance between categories takes a lot away from the awards. It feels as though everything could be wrapped up under the Book of the RAFO Year award without the arbitrary attempt at split categories.

That being said, I suppose I will vote (though I may bitch a bit more later on in the post).

Book of the RAFO Year

1. Jeff VanderMeer, Finch

No two or three, because I have not read anything else on the list. In fact, I have read very little in the way of new books this year.

Best Fantasy

1. Jeff VanderMeer, Finch
2. Michal Ajvaz, The Golden Age
3. Zoran Zivkovic, Escher's Loops

Best "Sci-Fi"

1. Michal Ajvaz, The Other City

Best Other Fiction

I've got nothing except books on a to-read list.

Best Non-Fic

Again, nothing. Although, I was going to buy On Monsters after happening upon it by chance in a book store, but the dust jacket was ripped.

Best Author Blog/Twitter

Does no one actually use Twitter or follow blogs on this site? While I will not argue with the ones listed (I follow Harkaway), I am somewhat baffled by there being only three, one of which seems out of place. As such, I am going to propose some.

- Jeff VanderMeer, for his blog, Ecstatic Days.
- Warren Ellis (comics writer/novelist/screenwriter), for both blog and twitter.
- Mark C. Newton, blog and twitter.
- Paul Jessup, blog and twitter.
- Richard Kadrey, blog and twitter.

And many, many more! Am I mistaken for wondering why such an award of this was even bothered with? If you are going to have a category for best author blog or twitter... then at least know some authors that blog and twitter.

Most Anticipated Unpublished Book

1. Nick Harkaway's New Book
2. Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.) - The Weird: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Fictions
3. Catherynne M. Valente - Deathless

Yeah, that's it, I am done bitching. There are my votes.

James said...

The categories seem very... uneven. The fantasy category is large and ungainly. The science fiction category is minuscule and seems desperately inclusive in order to avoid being populated by only Chill and The Windup Girl. The Other Literature category is especially disappointing, in length, if not content (as I have not read any of the ones listed), and by the names listed, I am assuming you were probably one of the only members to contribute. The same can be said of the non-fiction category.

When it comes down to it, the imbalance between categories takes a lot away from the awards. It feels as though everything could be wrapped up under the Book of the RAFO Year award without the arbitrary attempt at split categories.

*grumble* Post too long, and continued...

James said...

Or not... seems it went through the first time despite Google telling me it didn't.

Larry said...

Google has been a problem lately. I just assume it goes through whenever I get those error messages.

As for your complaints, I agree for the most part. Some of them read as though people are voting on my top 3 more than anything else.

Paul said...

James: We are aware of the uneven-ness, it has a lot to with how most of our members don't read that many new books in a given year. Which kept many people from making any nominations at all. Perhaps next time we admins should take a more active role in the nomination process - not that we necessarily read much more new books, but for things like the author blogs, you're right that more could've been done relatively easily.
Thanks for the suggestions you made about those, by the way, we'll make sure to check those out!

Larry said...

Paul (I swear, between you and Paul Smith, I might get confused around here after a while! :P), good points. I know that for the eight years or so that I helped run the OF Awards, there never were any real good solutions to combat that unevenness that everyone is noting. Maybe it should be scaled back more or include paperback releases of the past two years to see if the readers there have read more? Except I seem to recall that even then there were never more than a few people nominating more than a handful of books total...

Nick said...

Book of the RAFO Year
Jeff VanderMeer ~ Finch

Best Fantasy
1. Jeff VanderMeer ~ Finch
2. Michal Ajvaz ~ The Golden Age
3. Zoran Živković ~ Escher's Loops

Best Sci-Fi
1. Paolo Bacigalupi ~ The Windup Girl
2. Michal Ajvaz ~ The Other City
3. Cherie Priest ~ Boneshaker

Best Other Literature
Terrence Holt ~ In the Valley of the Kings (collection)

Best Non-fiction
Mark Bould and China Miéville (eds.), Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction

Most anticipated book
1. Janny Wurts ~ Initiate's Trial
2. Nick Harkaway's new book
3. Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.) ~ The Weird: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Fictions

Certainly some flawed categories (I won't repeat James' rant against the blog/twit nominees except to say I agree wholeheartedly) but some rather interesting nominees all the same. Of my own, perhaps the most mismatched nomination is Wurts' forthcoming Athera novel, but I'm an unabashed fanboy and eagerly await her final three volumes.

Mike Allen said...

Hey, Larry! I sure am flattered to see Clockwork Phoenix on this ballot, but can you tell me which volume it's supposed to be? It has the title of the first but the subtitle of the third.

Larry said...

Hey Mike! I believe it's supposed to be for vol. 3, since it deals with releases from August 2009 to August 2010. Speaking of vol. 3, I plan on reading/reviewing it in the next few weeks. Just had to take a couple months off reading short fiction after cramming for BAF 4. But I am looking forward to reading those stories soon.

Mike Allen said...

Thanks, Larry! I look forward to your review...

Rebekah said...

Re complaints about stuff. It's one of the "problems" with having a broad range of people. There are even people who like Twilight. ;) So we get interesting requests for categories, and then we get few nominations.

It's a first try, we can adapt as we go along.

The other big problem, of course, is apathy.

In the end, it's just a little bit of fun, not worth ranting about.

 
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