Friday, December 12, 2003

The perils of award-giving 

The Edgar Awards won't be awarded till May, but the shortlist for each category comes out the first week of February. Ever since the website was revamped a year or so ago (probably to coincide with Margery Flax taking over as Office Manager for the MWA) I've been obsessively checking the submissions list to see which books--and more importantly, how many--are eligible for the awards. As the deadline to submit was November 30, this list is more or less complete. I don't envy the committees in the slightest. I mean, look at the list for Best Novel. I lost count after about two hundred and fifty books or so. Best First is pretty unwieldy as well, though perhaps the most difficult category to pick from will be Best Short Story.

Like any award, the Edgars produces some deserving nominees and some serious headscratchers, but considering the volume they have to work with, no wonder. My hat's off to anyone who volunteers their time to read book after book after book in the attempt to cull the worst and settle on the best. In any case, it will be most interesting to see the final nominations list--and whether the committees' views mesh at all with my own.

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