January 18th, 2009

feels safe there, tardis console

OK, three times is well, not enemy action in this case. Friendly fire?

This is going to sound terribly precious, but I don't believe in fanfic awards. Most importantly because fanfic isn't a zero sum game: the existence of this story over here does not stop that story over there from being equally good nor prevent anyone who wants to read both of them from doing so. Second most importantly, there's far too high a risk of them degenerating into popularity contests, the biggest problem of which is the debasing of the currency when bad-but-popular fic wins over good fic. (Come back to me when someone starts a juried one, maybe.)

Just to stress, these are my personal feelings. I have nothing but respect for the huge amounts of effort people put into running awards (well, as long as they take the time to talk to the people whose fics are nominated -- I really don't know what to do about my recent discovery of dwtwslashawards, which I apparently won something in despite never being told I was even nominated; frankly I've been ignoring it and hoping it'll go away). I have no problem with anyone who does get involved, and I wish people nominated every success. But if you nominate my fics (and I've had three emails concerning two different awards since the start of the year, so somebody out there is) then I'm afraid I'll decline.

The arguments in favour of awards that I can see are that they provide recognition for authors, and help readers find good fic. That's all great, and I'm sure they do (I won't deny that I got egoboo off the nomination emails). But as far as I'm concerned, feedback and recs work perfectly well for those functions without any of the drawbacks.
a great bear winner is me

Book rec

The Case of the Imaginary Detective by Karen Joy Fowler

I have literally just finished this two seconds ago. It's all about the intersections between fiction and reality, and writers and fandom, and the real world and online (and also a whole bunch of stuff about mad cults) and basically if you're reading this post, then it's pretty much guaranteed to be at least somewhat Relevant To Your Interests. It's very funny in places and very moving in others.