Just a little clarification as to why I’m no longer posting my usual star ratings or mini-reviews for the Philip K. Dick Award nominated books I read.
While I’ve been attending the award ceremony at Norwescon for quite a while now, last year I took on the responsibility of being the award ceremony coordinator for the convention. This position gives me no insight or influence over the nominees, the judging, or the selection of the eventual winner. I just make sure the ceremony comes together.
However, as part of organizing the ceremony, I do have contact with the authors and publisher representatives. Once the nominees have been announced, I contact the publishers to get permission to make poster-size reprints of the book covers to display at the ceremony, and I invite the authors to attend the ceremony at Norwescon (and, if interested, to participate in paneling for the convention as well). For those authors who can attend, I’m one of the primary points of contact before and at the con; for those who can’t, I assist with finding a stand-in reader if they don’t have someone they know already planning on attending.
So, then, a theoretical possibility: One of the nominated works is one I just don’t get into and end up giving a poor review. At some point in the next few years, the same author is nominated for a new work. Cue awkwardness! I’d like to avoid that.
I’ve also noted a few times in the past that I have a history of never managing to pick the winner as my favorite. So if I say which was my favorite, even though that actually has nothing to do with the final choice, then I’m (historically, statistically) predicting that that book won’t win.
It just seems prudent to keep my thoughts to myself for these books.