February 21st, 2007


More Stoker Silliness

This is the very first time I'm voting in the Bram Stoker Awards, and I'm psyched. In fact, I'm drunk with power! Voting opened yesterday. I immediately clicked the link to look at the online ballot and discovered something rather silly.

According to the rules, you must vote for a First Place choice and a Second Place, or "tiebreaker," choice in each category. This is not an option. You have to vote for a Second. If you don't, your vote will not be counted. In fact, the electronic ballot may not even allow you to vote for only one.

Here's why this is silly. Let's say you're voting in the Medium-But-Not-Too-Long Fiction category. You want to vote for "Awesome Story with Ghosts" because you think it's genius. You've read everything else nominated in the category, and you think they're all junk, all unworthy of the award. In order for your vote for "Awesome Story with Ghosts" to be heard, you literally must vote for one of the junk stories as well.

So let's say you hold your nose and vote for the story you consider the least unworthy, the one that made your brain hurt less than the others because at least the grammar was correct. You've now given a story you don't like a vote solely in order to have your real vote, for a story you do like, heard. You've now given that junk story a chance to tie with the one you intended to vote for. In other words, because you were forced to vote for something, the crap story has a chance to share the award with the genius one, thus securing its place in history as being of equal quality. Which it isn't.

Worse, you cannot choose to abstain as a Second Place choice, nor can you choose the "no award" option. Your second choice must be another work in the category, or your first choice will not be counted.

According to the Stoker rules, the Second Place choices aren't even counted unless there's a three-way tie, but still, I have to vote for something I may not like in order to vote for something I do? That's crazy talk!

There's got to be a better way. Making the Second Place vote optional instead of mandatory would be a good place to start.

The Power of LiveJournal

Back in my birthday haul entry, I mentioned receiving a copy of John Cuneo's art book nEuROTIC. Well, today I got an email from John Cuneo saying someone had tipped him off about my LiveJournal. He thanked me for mentioning the book and wished me a happy birthday! So cool!

So spill. Which one of you tipped him off?