Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Quills Returneth Like a Bad Penny

This year's Quill winners were announced yesterday, with about as little fanfare and pomp as can be imagined. There will be a "gala awards ceremony" on October 22nd, said ceremony to be televised on NBC at some point (though certainly not live).

Let's review the process, just in case our eyes are blinded by the glare. Publishers Weekly editors nominated five books each in eighteen categories, based on those books' PW reviews, appearances on PW's bestseller lists, and good old-fashioned unspecified "industry expertise." Then, a group of industry professionals -- chosen by PW -- were allowed to vote on what we're all agreeing not to call the Publishers Weekly Awards.

Now, I seem to remember that there is a "Book of the Year" Award -- a Quill of Quills, if you would -- that will be voted on by the general public, but I can't find any reference to that in those linked press releases. So that will have to hang in limbo for now.

The categories we might care about include:
  • Children's Chapter/Middle Grade: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
  • Children's Picture Books: Flotsam by David Wiesner (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin)
  • General Fiction: The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf)
  • Graphic Novel: Making Comics by Scott McCloud (Harper)
  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
  • Romance: Angels Fall by Nora Roberts (Putnam)
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (DAW)
  • Young Adult/Teen: Sold by Patricia McCormick (Hyperion)
By my count, there are three winners with fantastic content: Flotsam, The Road, and The Name of the Wind. (I'm not sure if Invention of Hugo Cabret has any specifically fantastic elements, but it certainly sounds like a steampunk book otherwise.) There could have been a few more (fantastic works lost in the Romance, Graphic Novel, YA/Teen, and Chapter Book categories), but that's a good showing.

Nothing against Scott McCloud's book, which is pleasant and probably useful to wanna-be graphic novelists, but I really wish Ode to Kirihito, a completely insane and sui generis work, had won in its category. (On the other hand, Flotsam is wonderful and Wiesner a master of wordless picture books, so I'm happy about that category.)

I wrote about the Quills earlier this year, when the process was announced. If this post wasn't sarcastic enough for you, please click on that link.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hugo Cabret doesn't really have fantastic elements,more's the pity. It would have been better if it had.

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