Arriving in our Google Alerts today was this post by Australian speculative fiction writer, Graham Clements. It is one in a long and predictable history of posts from people who independently come up with the startlingly new idea that speculative fiction awards are a waste of time. The structure of these posts is often so formulaic you could almost suspect that someone has written a “how to diss SF awards” book. We don’t actually know of one, but it seems to be a popular genre so to help other people wanting to get in on the act, here’s a brief outline of the plot structure:
- SF awards are useless because they are voted on by too few people
- You can only be sure that awards will go to the “best” books if lots of people vote
- But awards selected by juries produce better results because the people on juries are experts
- Besides, most awards are voted on by fans, and as we all know fans don’t bother to read the books before voting
- Also fans are deeply patriotic and will only vote for authors who live locally to them
If you have any other suggestions for common plot elements we’d be happy to hear them. We’d also welcome suggestions as to how people come to the conclusion that the problem with SF awards is that the voters are all stupid and dishonest but this can be cured by having more such voters.