Each year, I read through the nominations for the Hugos and Nebulas that I can (the ones available in some form, excerpt or full). I give them my “Thumbs Up“, “Skip It” or “Either way” vote. Now these are completely arbitrary ratings, based on my opinion. The opinion of a citizen, a man with a college degree, but not a masters. A man with no real literary background or experience. A lowercase-A author.
My main concern is the ones I rate “Skip it”. They’re usually stories that are too complicated or sequels to something. Like this year I gave a “Skip it” to Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Glamour and Glass”. Miss Kowal’s a wonderful person — ally of Scalzi and co-anchor of Writing Excuses. But A) her novel’s a sequel B) it’s based on regency novels (Jane Austen stuff).
But it was never my taste to begin with. I tend to give “Skip It”s to novels with too much internationalization, high science, and experimental works. Last year nothing I voted “Skip It” won anything.
Also, is “Skip it” even the right term to use? I’m a lowly consumer, prone to idiotic things, not sophisticated prose. Is it right to tell you to not bother with something? Does anyone even care about my opinion? Does anyone follow these recommendations? I’m just an uncultured bastard. I can’t vote in these things. I’ve never had a book published. I’m not part of the SFWA. Who am I to say you should skip a story? Does it help you at all?