In the great wide world, genre fiction awards don't mean all that much. They're not like Oscars or Emmys or Tonys or Grammys, because comparatively few people read genre fiction (and the awards ceremonies aren't packed with celebrities and broadcast to millions of viewers). But to the people who write the books, and the fans who love them, they can be very meaningful. Even when they don't result in a lot of extra sales (though sometimes they do), they're acknowledgement by one's peers or readers of one's hard work. Writing can be a lonely profession without a lot of feedback from readers, so every little bit helps (it helps, too, if readers post reviews on online bookstore websites).
I've won a couple of Scribe Awards from the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, and been nominated for Stoker and International Horror Guild Awards (when they existed) (and in comics, the Glyph Award). Each time, it's genuinely an honor to be nominated. It sounds like what the losers always say, but it's really true. Winning is even better, of course.
This is the season in which nominations for most of the major genre fiction awards are released. Every award nominating process is flawed--they're popularity contests, they're subjective, they favor the current hot trends; any complaint you can come up with is probably valid. And of course, any list of nominees that doesn't include Marsheila Rockwell and me is doubly flawed (even when our absence is my fault, because I didn't submit something).
So take these nominees with a grain of salt. But if you want to see what at least some people in each of these literary communities think are last year's best horror, best mystery, and best science fiction and fantasy, these lists are a place to start.
- Stoker Award nominees (Horror Writers Association)
- Edgar Award nominees (Mystery Writers of America)
- Nebula Awards (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America)
Do you have any favorites from 2017 that didn't make these lists? Let me know!