As John Klima reminded me over the weekend, it’s time to send in those ballots for the World Fantasy Award (you’re eligible to suggest nominations if you attended last year or have a membership for this year’s con). Get ’em post-marked by the end of the month, and you can get the ballot here. The World Fantasy nominations are primarily chosen by the judges, but there is room in each category for suggestions from the field.
John also pointed out that the novel category is defined by “published in 2007” and “more than 40,000 words.” With that in mind, I’d like to suggest that if you are looking for a dark horse contender, you might want to throw The Oneiromantic Mosaic of Harry Potemkin on your ballot in the NOVEL category. Serialized hypertext novels will, of course, be all the rage NEXT year, but right now the novelty is still fresh.
HARRY is one of those projects that slipped under the radar a bit. Farrago’s Wainscot was publishing short fiction on a quarterly cycle, and it was a little tougher for us to keep eyeballs tracking HARRY during the other months. As the site’s popularity grew among readers, writers, and reviewers, the idea that it was a “quarterly” became more entrenched, and, well, HARRY on his odd little 30 day cycle, became odd man out. And I’m not whining about it; this is more of an observation in hindsight in how we didn’t quite match up content with perception. I’m still incredibly pleased with HARRY; I think it was an experiment that grew exponentially from our original vision, and while it’s not something I’m in a rush to do again, I think, as a writer–especially as a young writer, trying to figure out a work ethic and process–it was a phenomenal opportunity.
Darin Bradley [darinbradley] and Aaron Leis [ripperbard] should, of course, be nominated in the SPECIAL AWARD NON-PROFESSIONAL category for Farrago’s Wainscot, as the whole site went from a little germ of an idea into a powerhouse of content and intent. Darin edited HARRY, as well, keeping me on the straight and narrow, and frankly, the project wouldn’t have been completed if he hadn’t been there to keep prodding me to see it through.
So, yeah, there’s very little chance of HARRY winning, but if we want to push the genre boundaries, if we want to recognize that there are new models for reading and for telling stories, then asking the judges to consider the possibility of hypertext and serialization is certainly a valid way to keep the discussion of experimentalism alive.
There is also the expanded version, if you prefer something with a more robust navigational framework.