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Poll

Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?

Yes, I read award winners who are new to me
26 (74.3%)
No. I ignore awards and stick to books by my favourite authors.
8 (22.9%)
No, I read any SF book that takes my fancy.
1 (2.9%)

Total Members Voted: 35

Author Topic: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?  (Read 7111 times)

Jedi Allure

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Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« on: April 19, 2010, 05:19:11 AM »
Are you influenced by fantasy and science fiction awards such as the Clarke Awards, the David Gemmell Legend awards?

Do you read the winners or the short-listed authors just because they have made the cut, or do you read who you already know and ignore award winning novels?

Emmett Etherington

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 05:27:33 AM »
For me, it probably depends on the awards.

The first Gemmell awards were a bit hit and miss, with some, Polish, I think, author getting the prize because he mobilised the whole country into voting for him.

The Nebula awards are normally a good indicator of books to read if you haven't already got around to them.

Janet Rider

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 05:39:45 AM »
I think the problem with most reader voting awards is that they are too small a sample. The actual amount of people who might vote in a Hugo are less than 200 most years, all die-hard fans.

You might as well go for a Juried prize like the Arthur C Clarke Awards, as it's likely to produce just as good - or bad - a choice of potential books to read.

All the awards tend to throw up more interesting reads than the Amazon sales-by-numbers approach to filling out the fantasy and scifi section.

Oh good, another Stargate or Dr Who tie-in book, or Warhammer 40K novel. Sighhhhhhhh...

RJ

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 06:14:42 AM »
if I'm browsing I'm more likely to pick up something that's been nominated than not.  It still has to pass the first page test though.

Dreamer

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 06:15:47 AM »
Awards in prestigious competitions may bring a new name to my attention, but in general the sampling of books judged is small and I have a better chance at finding a new read right on the bookshelves at my favorite bookstore or hearing of someone new through other readers.
Popularity contests never interest me, and Amazon is pretty well useless for SF/F

Vinxlady

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 11:18:29 AM »
For me I think it depends a lot on what is nominated in a particular year. This year the Arthur C Clarke awards shortlist contains 2 books I've already read (one of which I loved and the other I was a little unsure about) plus another by an author I already know I really enjoy (China Mieville). Given that the people selecting the books have clearly chosen books I've already picked from the bookshelf myself, I'm more likely to go and try out the others on the shortlist. If on the other hand a shortlist contains things I've really hated or nothing I've heard of I'd be less likely to give the books on that shortlist a go. Then again, I'm always looking for recommendations, wherever they come from so maybe I would try them anyway.

Vinxlady

Jackobyte

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 01:35:19 PM »
You should enjoy a book for the story, not because its won a gong; most of which the rest of the literary world don't give two hoots for anyway.
I've read many a Hugo/Nebula/Arthur C.Clarke winner and some have been really good (Tau Zero / The Forever War) whilst others have bored me to tears (The Fifth Head of Cerberus), but it's all a matter of taste and should'nt be about who won what.

Geoff the head Uncle

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 02:44:29 PM »
Being a book reviewer I know what goes on with the awards. You're better off choosing the books that appeal.

By the way, anyone interested in becoming a reviewer and lives in the UK, check our guidelines and contact me.

I don't bite.

Geoff

Geoff the head Uncle

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2010, 04:07:35 AM »
Hello everyone

Two of my reviewing team have been judges on the Clarke Awards. Pauline Morgan even wrote an article on what happens year before last.

All the publishers who want in, send books that have to be read and that was nearly a 100 and on top of that, the finalists have to be read a second time.

With something like the Hugos, as long as a book is released during the designated year, those who've paid to go to the WorldCon or even an associate fee, can submit a vote for their favourite. Works well for the books but for some of the lesser things like magazines and such, the same things keep coming up - remember newbies to the Cons finding the place is loaded with their cliques - because its the same people voting all the time and they only pick the things they would normally pick up.

Me dubious? As long as you're aware of such things, you tend to get a taste for salt.

Geoff
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 12:45:16 PM by Geoff the head Uncle »

Vinxlady

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2010, 04:44:56 AM »
I just read The City & The City by China Mieville, which I saw won a couple of awards this year. And yes, I think I did pick it up quicker because I'd seen that it had won the awards. However, I'm not sure that this didn't in a way spoil some of my enjoyment of the book. Yes, it was a good read (though not close to Perdido Street Station (also by MiƩville and definitely one of my favourites) in my opinion), but I found myself thinking that it wasn't as good as I'd expected.

I'd already read a couple of others from the shortlist for one of the awards and one of those (Princess, or the Spirit of Bois Dormant by Gwyneth Jones) I really enjoyed, so I was expecting a GREAT read. Now I know it's a totally different style from that book, and indeed from China MiƩville's previous novels, but even so, it just didn't fully grab my attention, I didn't spend every waking moment wishing I was reading it. It was a GOOD book, with some really good ideas, but I didn't think it was a GREAT book. So maybe in future I'll hold off from reading something which won awards because I think I'd have been less disappointed with this book not knowing it was a double award winner.

Having said that, I'd still recommend it - it's an interesting mix of crime fiction and science fiction with some brain-twisting Orwellian concepts :-)

Vinxlady

Evil Dentist

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2010, 04:58:24 AM »
China is a bit of an ambassador for the brand of fantasy and SF now.

You can't open a mainstream newspaper without seeing his face somewhere!

It's very rare for this to happen to genre authors, who are usually despised by the mainstream .lit establishment.

That by itself must be worthy of an award, surely!

 :P

JLJamieson

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2011, 12:27:22 PM »
Personally, a bit of both. I read from authors I know and love, but I also consistently make stops into the book store, and give new writers a chance. I like to look for books from new publishers, or first-time novels just as much as books from seasoned professionals. I *do* pay attention to the awards, because if the nominees and/or winners are books I haven't read, I *do* often make a deliberate habit of reading them. I like to stay abreast of what people as a whole believe to be noteworthy--I don't want to miss something I might find enjoyable as well. :)

andyw1691

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 09:17:34 AM »
I'm a bit late to this thread but here goes anyway!

After seeing a lot of praise for Zoo City when it was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Science Fiction Association Award so I bought it. It was - in my opinion - very poor. It is certainly not Science Fiction. Apart from being in a slightly different reality, there was nothing else to distinguish it.

Having been so disappointed, I'm inclined to avoid the nominated titles unless it's an author I know or a subject matter I know I will enjoy.

rubbersoul19

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Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2012, 05:22:48 PM »
I haven't finished "All Men of Genius" yet but so far Lev AC Rosen has been a bummer.

SFcrowsnest.net: The genre media magazine

Re: Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2012, 05:22:48 PM »