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Do you let science fiction awards influence what you read?

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Jedi Allure:
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:
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:
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...

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.

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


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