Recommendations request

Roger Burton West roger at
Sat Jan 15 16:11:47 EST 2005

On Sat, Jan 15, 2005 at 10:42:26AM -0700, Melissa Proffitt wrote:

>But all the way home from the
>school, my discontent was growing, because this isn't the first year I've
>done these awards, and when you don't have the books on hand and have to
>find them at the library, it's a miserable process even if they're great
>books: type the author's name, find the title, see if it's checked in or at
>a different branch, place a hold if necessary, repeat until your brain is
>the consistency of Jell-O pudding.  And I feel honor-bound to do this even
>if I suspect that the books are crap.  When I turn out to be right, it feels
>like a giant waste of time.

When I first met... um, "a certain well-known fantasy author and
editor"... he asked me to give him a lift to the nearest Red Star depot
with a load of packages. "World Fantasy Award nominees," he explained.
"Mostly mint condition."

I should perhaps explain. The only eligibility criterion for the WFA is
publication date; publishers are given the addresses of the judges, and
can if they wish (and some do) send them their entire output for the
year. This often includes dire genre-pap, horror, science fiction,
textbooks (!), and plenty of other material which is clearly not going
to be on the short-list after one's taken a brief glance at the blurb.
Because he is a conscientious chap, this person had chosen to hang on
to all the books until the judging was complete, and _then_ sell them
to a second-hand book dealer he knew.


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