Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2008 Cititor SF Awards - Results

Et voila, the polls are closed and now we know the winners of the 2008 Cititor SF Awards:

Best Translated SF Novel:
Dan Simmons – Ilion 32% (68 votes)

Best Translated Fantasy Novel:

Best Romanian Novel:

Best Translated Short Story:

Best Romanian Short Story

Best Anthology:

Best Reprint:

Best Translation:

Best Cover Art:

Best Horror Novel:

Link to the vote results page

Link to the winners announcement page

And now the comments... this was one tricky voting process I will have to say. The nominations were made by the readers of the said blog, and the voting was open to everyone. To be completely fair one would have to read all the titles in all categories, which is a lot to ask in our country and given the current state of economy. Therefore it's a good thing the vote wasn't mandatory for all categories. Not everyone is into SF and Fantasy and Horror. I don't care how many awards a horror novel has got, I'm still not gonna read it because it's just not my cup of tea.

Now that we have established that, let's focus on the categories that do actually interest us. Again we're prone to be partial. Given one category, those are only five of all the titles published last year, we're faced with the following possible case scenarios: we read everything, make a decision and vote, or we read some of the titles and we choose from those few, or we read just one work and vote? But what if we didn't like that much what we read and we're pretty sure some other title is better only that we didn't get to that one yet? For example, I've got all 3 volumes from the Dozois anthologies. I didn't have time to read them, the way things are going it looks like I'm saving them for the summer vacation, but I did read the first volume published the previous year and I liked it quite a bit. Will I be tempted to vote for one of them assuming they're close in quality and disregard the other titles which I might or might have not read?

Hardest category to vote in was Best Translated Short Story and the reason is pretty simple. There are at least five anthologies published plus other stories from SF magazines and you really have to be into short stories to read them. I for once would pick a novel over a series of short stories any day, it keeps me entertained longer. Also tastes can vary a great deal here.

One puzzling category was Best Translation. Unless I've read the original how am I supposed to know for sure that when the story flows well or stumbles the credit/blame belongs to the author or translator? Of course we're not talking about typos and lack of accords but still, the translator has and important job too.

Best Reprint was probably one of the easiest since all titles are close to what one might call classics or at least they're famous enough. I'm still a little disappointed Picnic on the Side of the Road didn't win, I have soft spot for it.

One category that should have been easy, Best Cover Art, it wasn't because they didn't provide links to the nominated covers, or at least I didn't find them, and I had to go online and look for pics big enough to figure out what was going on in those images. That part was annoying.

I left the juciest part for the end, Best Romanian Short Story. In theory this should have been rather easy too. One didn't need more than an hour to read all the stories and there was even time for a coffee break to muse over them and pick the favorite. In practice though... where have all those votes come from? It looks like a voting war. And if those votes come from friends, like someone suggested, then I'm really envious 'cause I know for sure that one of the authors doesn't have that many friends.

Don't ask me if the winner deserves it, I can't possibly be objective in this particular case. Make up your own mind!

Here's the winning story - Inghetul:

Here's the votes rundown:

And here's an interview with the author:
(the poor thing should have tried to be more awake when she answered those questions in order to sound more articulate)

It has to be said that the technical implementation behind the voting process had something to do with it. It's an online poll, so it's either based on cookies or IPs. Anything more complicated than that would have decreased the voters' number to half or less. But on one hand one can work around cookies, and on the other the use of IP can leave people with the impossibility to vote, which again isn't fair. There is no clear answer. The way things are my only complaint is that they shouldn't have showed the percentages for the partial results.

I will end here saying that I am happy and, why not, proud that the story won. If even half of the voters have read it then I'm happy and I thank them all. And one more thing... if you had to choose between coming in second place for such an award and winning in a category that will be discarded next year, what would you choose?


kyodnb said...

thanks four your support...a little late but hey i guess you understand us :D

kyodnb said...

the ideea from the covert art it`s a good`s true it was a little annoying this year.we`ll take in considerations all the good things that people are telling us and hope the next year to have a more easy and better organized voting process...

Weird Vision said...

I'm glad I could help even if just a little. I'm afraid I was a bit too hard with my comments, but I do think you did a great job not only with the contest but with the entire blog. Good luck in the future and let's hope for as many readers as possible!

kyodnb said...

No,no, i wasn`t under the impression that you used harsh words :)so, really its not a problem.
Thanks for your interests in us and your good words..good luck to you too with this interesting place;)

Weird Vision said...

Haha, interesting is one way of calling it. Thanks!