Brief Awards Catch-Up

Yeah, I know, no bloggage for a couple of days. We are a week and a half into the new year and already I can see myself starting to get backed up on projects. I need to focus. Here are a couple of things I would have spent more time on, if I had the time.

The nominees for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award have been announced. I have only read one of them — Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, which I loved. Some of the others look very interesting. I’m particularly pleased to see Haikasoru getting another book on the list. I’m hearing lots of good things about The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, and congratulations to Solaris for getting two books on the list.

Also there has been (another) a big fuss about pimpage posts. I really wanted to write something lengthy about this, but thankfully Amal El-Mohtar has said most of what I wanted to say. Banning pimpage posts doesn’t make it harder for writers with big fan followings to win awards, it makes it easier, because they are the ones most people have heard of. Also the big mouths will pimp themselves anyway, it is the nice people who will be shamed into saying nothing. I do understand where British writers are coming from. We are trained from birth to be self-effacing and find it very hard to put ourselves forward. However, when you start telling people that they shouldn’t say something, you always need to be aware who you are silencing.

Of course having pimpage isn’t perfect either. There is no such thing as a perfect awards system. And while most people will simply list what works they have in contention, and the best will promotes lots of other works as well, there will always be someone scheduling “vote for me” tweets to appear every hour between now and the close of nominations. On the other hand, that does allow you to see who is an arse and who isn’t, and that too can be valuable information.