An interesting post over at Velcro City Tourist Board ponders the value of science fiction awards in light of the recent Hugo Award ceremonies. The gist of the post is that they matter more to writers than readers. Here’s my comment from to that post…
My own reading experiences with award-winning sf books are hit-and-miss. In no way are they in perfect alignment with my tastes. Since I tend to read a larger number of sf books than the average consumer, if I only read award-winners – and for the sake of argument, let’s only consider Hugos and Nebulas – I would soon run out of stuff to read. So, for me, award wins are nice, but have little effect on reading choices.
I would think Joe Consumer is a bit different, though. He’s the guy looking for guidance on what to read. He reads maybe 6 – 10 books a year and doesn’t want to waste time on the dregs. He will use the “Award-Winner” marketing blurb as a beacon to “the good stuff” and then (probably) judge the rest of the field on it: “This is the best they have to offer?”
Then there are those who make it their goal to read all the award-winners. That’s not a bad reading project. It’s more appealing to me (who has not read all the award-winners) way more than watching all the Academy Award-winning movies – which makes no comparative sense, I know. Maybe that’s the sf fanboy in me coming to the fore.
So, award wins do matter to the reader, methinks, depending on who that reader is.
Now I ask you, SF Signal reader: Does an award win influence your reading choices?