The Goodreads Choice Awards are fun, in the way that popular votes are 80% predictable and 20% straight-up weirdness. GCA is further enweirdened by a crazy deadline (they start... now?!), a very American focus and the very fact that they are on GoodReads.
That said, as I am - for the first time in six years - not involved in an award of any type, I can give opinions! Freely!
So without further ado, my picks for the opening round:
- Fiction: Tigerman by Nick Harkaway.
- Mystery & Thriller: The Secret Place by Tana French
- Fantasy: City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
- Science Fiction: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
- Horror: The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly
- Debut Goodreads Author: Pierce Brown
- Young Adult Fiction: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
- Young Adult SF/F: Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I haven't read enough in any of the other categories, although I may wind up throwing in some specious votes at the end. GoodReads is also so big that write-ins don't fare well, so I'm wound up with the traditional small party dilemma of supporting 'the one I want' vs 'the best of what I've got'.
A curious thing: with Tigerman, Bone Clocks, Station Eleven and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki in Fiction (not to mention Mr Mercedes and The Secret Place in Mystery), some of the best SF/F/H isn't in SF/F/H.
A nice thing: just looking at the titles on display here, across all categories, SF is in a much better place than it was last year. Not to take anything away from Ancillary Justice and what it achieved, but the competition is much stiffer for Sword. That's no bad thing - nice to have lots of good books to choose from.
A consistently frustrating thing: 10 of the 15 books on the Fantasy list are all mid-series. Not only does this make comparing like-for-like especially tricky, but it further encourages voting-the-author instead voting-the-book - already an issue with popular awards. I don't know a way around this, although it would be fun to try (originally my idea for the DLGA) dividing fantasy books into 'Starts', 'Series' and 'Standalones'.
And the 'did the award achieve its purpose' thing: did this award successfully introduce me to new books? Yes. I've actually bought three: Panic, The Impossible Knife of Memory and [cough] Romancing the Duke. I would probably try some of the Fantasy category as well, but I figured I might as well wait for the DGLA.
Anyway: the first round has started, everyone can vote, it is a silly amount of fun and you might find something new. So go play! And comments: who did you vote for, why, and what do you like/dislike about this particular award?