Dear HWA

…your Stoker Award Final Ballot is stupid. I’m not saying that because I don’t agree with the finalists (although I don’t but I can’t complain about that because I was too busy having a nervous breakdown, fleeing the state, and piecing together the aftermath to think about nominations), but because the method of voting is stupid.

For those of you who are not Active members of the HWA (Horror Writers Association), let me explain: there are three ways to vote for the Stoker Awards. You may:

1.) Choose a first and second place in every category

2.) Abstain from voting in the category

3.) Let the HWA folks know that you don’t believe any work in this category deserves a vote (which smells a lot like option B, but whatever. It’s an option.)

The option you DON’T have is to decide to only vote for ONE item in each category. That’s right — even if you have decided you have a clear winner, you still have to go with a second place pick. This is ridiculous and I’ll tell you why. Because if 13 people pick Jane Doe for 1st place and 13 people pick Stephen King for 1st place and 26 people pick John Schlocky Spamsalot for 2nd place because they recognize his name, guess who has a REALLY good chance of walking away with an award? Have you folks not taken statistics? Look it up.

I’ve notified the HWA. We’ll see if they decide to fix this particular glitch. In the meantime, I honestly can’t place my vote. And that’s a shame.

9 Responses to “Dear HWA”

  1. Ron Dickie Says:

    You know why *I* won’t be voting for the Stokers? Because I was once nominated for one and didn’t win! *holds breath*


  2. Princess Alethea Says:

    See, I’d virtually punch you right now, but I’d rather wait till Thursday & do it in person.

  3. Martel Sardina Says:

    Alethea –

    I thought the purpose of the 2nd place vote was to determine a winner in the event of a tie.

    For example, Books A & B tie for 1st place votes. Book A gets 20 2nd place votes, Book B gets 10 2nd place votes. So Book A would be the winner based on getting more 2nd place votes.

    I wish they had a write-in feature because there are a bunch of books that should have been on the final ballot, that weren’t.


  4. Princess Alethea Says:

    Martel — nowhere did it say how or why there was a second place vote…but either way, it should not be mandatory. I don’t feel comfortable voting for something I’m not familiar with or that I don’t believe deserves a vote at all.

  5. Michele Lee Says:

    Totally, Ron. 😉 I can now officially have a grudge against HWA/Stokers since I’ve been snubbed. And Lee, I hope that whole mental breakdown thing is better now.

  6. Martel Sardina Says:

    Yes, that’s true. I wonder if you can vote for the same book for 1st and 2nd place…hmmm…

  7. William Schafer Says:

    Each year, it seems, the final ballot drifts farther and farther from any rational notion of quality fiction.


  8. Princess Alethea Says:

    Martel: You can’t. I tried.

    Bill: This year I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with you. Wow.

  9. Science Fiction Awards Watch » Blog Archive » Stokers Under Fire Says:

    […] Stoker Awards have received a bit of a bashing in various parts of the blogosphere. Alethea Kontiss doesn’t like their voting system. And Rose Fox is worried that they are too […]

Leave a Reply