Goodreads Choice Award Voting Now Open
The annual Goodreads Choice Awards, one of the open “Best of the Year” votes on the internet, is now open. While this vote has never correlated well to the Hugos and Nebulas, it does give us some initial insight into what the most popular books of the year are, at least with regard to the Goodreads audience. Historically, the Hugo and Nebula winners have appeared on the list of the Goodreads semifinalists, but that isn’t a huge feat because there are 20 semifinalists for each category. If you can’t hit the eventual winners when you’re choosing 40 texts . . . Still, it helps to narrow down the field of contenders.
At this point (Opening Round), Goodreads selects 15 books to let people vote on; voters can also write in their own works. In the SF category, you’ve got heavy hitters like Cixin Liu’s Death’s End, Bujold’s Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, as well as popular texts like Pierce Brown’s Morning Star or Blake Crouch’s (of Wayward Pines fame) Dark Matter. Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter show up with The Long Cosmos, the final volume of the Long Earth series—and a potential Hugo Best Series nominee, given it will be the last time readers can vote for Pratchett. Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning shows up, and that’s a book I have my eye on to see if it grabs momentum. Connie Willis is missing—did Crosstalk come out too late in the year? Remember, voters can write books in, so it has a chance to show up in the semifinals.
Fantasy is more of a genre mish-mash on Goodreads, pulling together epic fantasy, things like J.K. Rowling’s play Harry Potter and the First Child, and a bunch of paranormal romances books. Aside from Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate and Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky, I don’t see a ton of awards contenders on that list. Sanderson might be viable for a Best Hugo Series nomination—would Mistborn be tempting? Or the entire Cosmere? Also, will Harry Potter be nominated for Best Series on the backs of The First Child? The rules would seem to make that acceptable.
Goodreads gives us one of our first glimpses into the avalance of “Best of 2016” lists—we’ll get a bunch more soon. Head on over and vote and let your voices be heard!