Originally Posted by Elfwreck
Awards are "someone liked this book well enough to recommend it." Usually, "a group liked this book well enough to recommend it." Sometimes the group claims to like books of a specific literary quality; sometimes they don't. Book awards are, by their nature, popularity contests; it's just that some of them claim to be popular with certain people of specific, supposedly discerning, tastes.
If those tastes don't match yours, the award is meaningless. The Pulitzer tells me that a book fits some set of qualifications for "literary excellence;" it doesn't tell me I'll enjoy reading it, nor that my life will be improved thereby. The Hugo award tells me that I'll probably enjoy reading the book, regardless of whether it's "well-written" by the standards the Pulitzer team uses.
I know I'd probably enjoy any book that's won a Rainbow Award
. I might even nominate one. I know that the odds of it getting second-and-thirded would be very low, and the odds of it getting voted in as the selection are beyond negligible--not because MR readers don't trust the quality of the award, but because most of the readers here don't have a strong interest in LGBT-themed books. Likewise, recommendations from the ENnies
are unlikely to get selected.
I would love the Award Winners category to avoid the larger, well-known awards like Pulitzer and Man Booker, and seek out smaller, oddball awards to say "here's something that you probably have never heard of, and wouldn't normally consider trying, but it did win an award so you know at least someone thinks it's good."
And whether or not the books from those awards get selected, we'd be able to discuss them and recommend books that might not come up on other topics. Most of the Rainbow Award books fit under "romance;" some are science fiction; some are mysteries--they could get nominated other months. The ENnie winners are in a niche industry that's hard to define; it often straddles the line between fiction and nonfic. (Is a gaming manual fiction or not?) Still, The Investigator's Guide to Occult London
might be an interesting read even to people not interested in the RPG aspects.
Thanks for the Rainbow Awards mention. I wasn't aware of that one. I just put The Zero Knot
on my wish list. My recent contact with an LGBT award was the Lambda Literary Award. I read an award winner from there and was absolutely impressed with the story - if not the copy editing.
I guess I'm waiting to see what constitutes an award for this one. I have no issue with the big prizes, but I also like some of the smaller prizes. I'm interested in the IPPY awards for example (Independent Publisher Book Awards).
But as long as your Rainbow Award nomination isn't just an LGBT equivalent of a bodice ripper or purely erotica I wouldn't necessarily have trouble voting for it.