What does that mean?
The award is given in memory of the late great Andre Norton to honour her considerable contribution to fantasy and sf young adult fiction. While it’s administered by SFWA and is announced along with the Nebula Awards, it is not actually a Nebula Award. This is the second year the Norton Award has been given. Last year it went to the fabulous Valiant by Holly Black. Woo hoo! (And much fun was had celebrating that win, wasn’t it, Holly?)
At the moment the preliminary ballot consists of Magic or Madness, Peeps, and Touching Darkness. Observant readers will note that those are books by me and Scott. Fear not! It will not be a solely Larbalestier/Westerfeld contest, the special dedicated panel for the Norton will add three extra titles from their own extensive reading, leaving a shorlist of six books for the award.
Correct me if I’m wrong on any of this, SFWAns.
Several people have written to ask, “How does it feel to be competing against each other for an Award?”
Firstly, I’d like to point out that this is the fourth time we’ve been on a shortlist together. Last year we were both up for an Aurealis and a Ditmar. This year we’re both up for an Aurealis and now a Norton.
Salient fact: so far someone else has won every time. That’s right, last year neither Scott nor I won the Aurealis and Ditmars we were up for. Will that trend continue?
But to answer the question: It feels very cool. I love that enough people are liking our books that we wind up on shortlists and best of the year lists. It’s beyond brilliant.
To be honest neither of us are particularly fussed about winning awards. This is not because we’re particularly zen or humble, but because we’ve both judged awards and voted on them and we know exactly how it works. Brilliant books win; brilliant books don’t even make it onto the short list. In judged awards it’s frequently the book everyone liked second or third best that wins, because the judges just can’t agree. Awards are a lottery. Always were, always will be.
What’s really cool as hell is to get on the ballot and be there together.
My chuffage is oceanic. (And, no, that doesn’t get in the way of walking.)