Early in January, a group of readers assembled, heroes ready to tackle an extra to-be-read pile, and not a small one too!
We are now in July, the pile is done and dusted and the voting is now happening.
Reading through all the categories and challenging my comfort zone.
Well, it was quite an experience for me. I tend to have very well defined likes and dislikes, and I'm often quite intense when I dislike something. To have to read books that took me very much out of my comfort zone was very interesting in the sense that, for grimdark for instance, it had me re-evaluating what the genre amounts to nowadays (I had given up on it when the second Abercrombie was published) and there are some really good things out there. Other stories, sadly, I still remained completely impervious to.
I finished reading in all the categories a day or two late (and after yet another modification of our rules!).
Voting: first round.
We decided to go for a system akin to the French voting system: you choose the winners of a first voting round who have the highest number of votes and pitch them against the others.
Only people who had read all the books in this category could vote in that round. We each chose two books: the first one got two points, the second got one point. Which is why we end up with categories in which there are more than two books in the final round because we had ties.
And our finalists are...
BLURRED BOUNDARIES CATEGORY
Now we start our final discussions before we vote in the second round.
The discussions while we read were really fascinating. Strangely enough, we had a lot of discussion about genre, how blurred the boundaries were or how much some novels were defined by the restraints of their own genres. But we also had discussions about how such or such character or story captured our imagination (or failed to).
Every member of the jury who has read all the finalist in a category can take part in the final round for this category. So it should shake things up, and also it lets us vote some more because even if choosing is heartbreaking, it's also extremely fun.
We will announce the winners at Nine Worlds, taking place in London in August 2018. (Nothing fancy. It'll probably just a bunch of us huddled in the corner of a pub!).
I will publish here a final post afterwards.
You can also read a report of this round on Imyril's blog, on Runalong's blog and on Hammard's blog.