I just finished my second stint as a Nebula Award jurist. I have to say that this one was more satisfying than the previous go-round, as the novel we added to the ballot is a worthy one this time. In fact, I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t win the award – the SFWA’s membership votes for the award itself – unlike last time when I could not believe what my fellow jurors were voting for.
The one we chose wasn’t my preference, but it’s one that I can accept without any complaint. Of course, the president’s little pals will probably end up voting for one of their friends again* and make the award look increasingly silly, but then, this really shouldn’t bother me. I don’t believe in democracy anyhow, this is just one of a dozen reasons.
*The winner in 2001, The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro, is a mediocre romance novel in space. I tossed it aside after being introduced to the third consecutive strong, beautiful, intelligent, independent, but lonely woman in the book. It was as if Maureen Dowd was writing science fiction, and the results were about as good as you’d imagine. Meanwhile, neither Neal Stephenson nor JK Rowlings has ever won the award.