October 8, 2014

Chasing Tale [10/8/14]: Awards! Huh, Yeah! What Are They Good For?

Chasing Tale is a recurring highlight of the most recent books to wind up on my bookshelves, as well as a rant about whatever is on my mind.

I see this morning that the shortlists for Canada's Giller Prize and Governor General's Literary Awards have been announced. We're just a couple months removed from the Hugo Awards, the World Fantasy Awards are about a month away, and horror hounds are gearing up for the nomination process of the Bram Stoker Awards. Everywhere you turn, there is some kind of chatter about books awards.

The thing I wonder is whether all this chatter is resonating with readers as much as it is with writers. I dig the award seasons for two reasons:

1) When it comes the literary awards, it is the one time of year when mainstream media seems to even acknowledge the existence of books. The rest of the year, books basically get mentioned whenever there are movies based on books.

2) Award ballots and shortlists are one of the ways I get book recommendations. It's not the only way, not even the most influential way, but they serve as a way to talk with fellow writers and readers to see what books we're reading, what books we're anticipating to read, and what books we are stymied as to how they could be considered as deserving any kind of award.

As far as campaigning and politicking and the embittered authors fuming on social media ... well, that's just a delightfully entertaining side-effect. The kerfuffle that was the "sad puppy" campaign leading up the Hugo Awards was certainly sad, but not in the way it was intended. And when it comes to the Stoker Awards, they never disappoint in supplying at least one disgruntled rant from a jilted author or cynical spectator. For all the awards do to shine a light on the best books of the year, they also offer a chance to see the writing community's worst nature.

At the end of the day though, I just want some book recommendations. How about you? What do these book awards mean to you?

Oh, and speaking of books, some more were added to my to-be-read pile. Take a look:

Defender of the Innocent by Lawrence Block - A collection of clever mystery tales involving a lawyer who prefers to do his job outside the court room as much as possible.

Warm and Willing by Lawrence Block - I believe this might be the first erotic novel Lawrence Block ever had published, now re-released under his own name with Emily Beresford narrating.

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish - This showed up on my doorstep last week from Simon & Schuster Canada. It looks like an urban fantasy with a January 2015 release.

Crossover by John C. Dalglish - John is taking a little break from his Jason Strong series to kick off a new series called The Chaser.

Hawthorne: Tales of a Weirder West by Heath Lowrance - One man against evil? Set in the wild west? Sign me up.

Crossroads by Kelli Owen - Squee. A novella from Kelli was offered up for free the other day on the Kindle Store, and just in time for Halloween too. Teens in the woods with a Ouija board? Oh yeah, bring it on.

Grave Men by Tom Piccirilli - I don't recall ever reading one of Tom Piccirilli's westerns. Well, I got one off the Kindle Store, so that's half the battle right there.

Short Ride to Nowhere by Tom Piccirilli - I also bought this tempting little novella last week too, because ... well, it's Tom Piccirilli, man.

Dying for a Living by Kory M. Shrum - I won a copy of this audiobook from Kory last week, which looks to be a cool-sounding urban fantasy.

A Beautiful Madness by Lee Thompson - Lee was kind enough to send a signed copy of his Texas thriller the other day. *fist pump*

Dead On Writing by Robert W. Walker - Here's an audiobook I received that's actually a nonfiction title dedicated to the craft of writing. This should be an interesting listening experience.

Scavenger Part 2: Blue Dawn by Timothy C. Ward - This is the second offering in Tim's Scavenger series set in Hugh Howey's Sand universe. He did a pretty darned good job with the first story, so I'm curious to see how the second turns out.

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