Going for Goodreads Gold…well, okay, how about Silver?

There’s a real two-edged sword when it comes to honors and awards. I remember reading about the “importance of awards” when reading titles about getting published, grabbing an agent’s attention, and even marketing a book once it is out there. Across the board: Awards and distinctions help sell books. At least that is what the pros I was reading were telling me.

For a while, though, I’ve been giving awards a sideways glance. yeah, they’re nice and all; but did The Case of the Singing Sword go gangbusters when it won a Parsec? No, not really. Picked up a few more listeners, sure, but it didn’t really give Billi a boost in print sales. So, yeah, awards — nice, and it was very cool going home with that trophy…but I can write without them.

Then Pip and I won the Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature of 2011. Regardless of what it did for Phoenix Rising sales, I won’t lie to you — it felt good. Really good. I mean, coming-in-from-playing-in-the-snow-and-having-Cream-of-Tomato-soup-with-a-bagutte-side good.

Then, two days before heading out west to Blogworld and ComiKaze Expo, we received word from Goodreads that Phoenix Rising had been short listed for Best Science Fiction of 2011.

At first I was just happy with the nod, but then I took a closer look at the company we were keeping:

  • Stephen King
  • Charlie Stross
  • Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
  • Robert J. Sawyer
  • China Miéville
  • John Scalzi

Then Pip and I noticed we were the only steampunk in the running for this distinction.

And then the ugly head that is my competitive streak reared back and asked “Hey, is that steak I smell on the grill?”

As cool as this honor already is, I’m keeping my feet firmly on the ground. We’re in the running with Hugo winners, Nebula winners, New York Times bestsellers, and a guy who is considered one of the most prolific authors of our day; so the plan is not to take the title. Pip and I just want to keep Phoenix Rising in the running.

Last week was simply the first round of voting. Here’s the breakdown in how Goodreads runs their competition:

  • Opening Round: October 31 – November 13, 2011
    Voting open to 15 official nominees, and write-in votes can be placed for any eligible book. (That’s what’s happening now.)
  • Semifinals: November 14 – November 20, 2011
    The top 5 write-in votes in each category become official nominees. You can vote for one of the now 20 nominees in each category. Additional write-ins no longer accepted.
  • Finals: November 21 – November 30, 2011
    The field narrows to the top 10 books in each category, and you have one last chance to vote.

So if you haven’t voted yet, and you have an account with Goodreads, please vote. We want to get the sole steampunk nominee of 2011 to the Finals. Top Ten. That’s our goal. Don’t mistake — we are thrilled to make such a fantastic list of authors. We just want to keep the momentum going.

We are not intending to turn our feeds into something spamalicious, rest assured; but you can expect to see:


Vote now for your favorite books!


  • At least a few tweets from Books & Braun asking for your vote
  • Facebook posts, asking for your vote
  • Widgets here and at The Ministry…and yeah, go on and post your own widget for us, if you like…
  • And perhaps, a quick blogpost reminding you of deadlines and where we stand

As they say in Pip’s ol’ stomping grounds, “Top Ten would really be choice, bro.” So please, take a moment to vote. If you have already, ask folks in your Goodreads network to show some love to the Ministry.

Let see if, together, we can bring the boilers to full and keep a steampunk title in the running.


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