Between the Aurealis, the Ditmars, the Locus, and the Hugos, award season is well and truly here in the world of speculative fiction.
So why should you care?
If you’re a writer or other creator, you’ve probably already answered that question. We are, for the most part, an insecure breed, forever convinced that our work just isn’t that good.
Creators also spend a lot of time isolated from their audience, holed up at their computer or easel without easy access to the reactions of the wider world. For my part, all it takes to set fireworks off in my head is a reader getting in touch to tell me they liked my story. To be shortlisted for an actual award, let alone to win one? Validation and joy unimaginable!!
If you’re a reader (or viewer) of spec fic and related works, why should you care? Well, first because paying attention to awards gives you a chance to find great works of SF that you might otherwise miss. If something has made it to one of the finalists’ list in a category you enjoy, chances are it’s worth checking out.
Second, because nominating/voting in awards gives you a chance to share your own opinion on what’s worth checking out, and reward the works you’ve really enjoyed.
And third, because you could help spark that feeling of happy, disbelieving wonder in an author, artist or creator whose work you love.
This year, just saying, that creator could even be me…
Since I’ve always found the different awards systems a bit confusing, and I can’t be the only one, I’ve written a concise and (hopefully) straightforward guide to the defining features of the two major Australian spec fic awards, the Ditmar and the Aurealis, as well (in a later post) as the two major international awards, the Locus and the Hugo – and how to take part in nominating/voting for them.