Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Judging the Parsec Awards.
Parsec Awards
I've wanted to say something about this for a while, but I was instructed to keep it under wraps. As the page just went live (and my truncated little bio is up), I feel comfortable making the announcement: I, Geoffrey Long, served as a judge for the 2009 Parsec Awards.

If you're familiar with the Parsecs, you know what an honor this is. I was floored to discover that my fellow judges included Tobias S. Bucknell, Frank Conniff (Frank from Mystery Science Theater 3000), Ubisoft's Richard Danksy, Charles de Lint, Cory Doctorow, James Patrick Kelly, Annalee Newitz, Tim Pratt, and a whole host of other luminaries. If you're not familiar with the Parsecs, here's how the Parsec Awards website describes them:

Mur Lafferty, Michael R. Mennenga & Tracy Hickman founded The Parsec Awards in 2006 to celebrate Speculative Fiction Podcasting, under the banner of Farpoint Media.

Podcast shows are nominated by fans, and finalists are chosen by a yearly steering committee. Those finalists are then voted on by an independent panel of judges from outside of podcasting. Awards are given in several categories ranging from content to audio quality.

The Parsec Awards Steering Committee and their assignees (as selected by the committee) will determine a list of five finalists in each category. Each podcast will be evaluated by a set of numerical ratings based on criteria specific to the nominated category. These ratings and criteria are to be published separately. Steering committee members and assignees in this process will be recused from any portion of this judging process involving podcasts with which they are associated or have contributed. All participants acknowledge that the awards process involves subjective judgment on the part of those making award determinations and that artistic merit and ranking is highly influenced by personal preference. Nevertheless, every effort will be made in the selection of finalists and awarding the winner to be as fair and objective as possible.

Voting is conducted by secret and secure means, which shall be explained at the time of the award ceremony. Winners will not be informed in advance and the presenters will have no foreknowledge of the outcome. The award will be presented at the Dragon*Con convention held in Atlanta, Georgia, in the country of the United States. Podcast producers need not be present to be awarded but will be asked to participate in the awards show if present.

Alas, I will not be at Dragon*Con this weekend to witness the awards being given, nor do I have any idea who the winners are (so please don't ask). I'm dying to know how my picks fared against my fellow judges' picks, so I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on this week! What I will say is that all the nominees I was asked to review did a bang-up job, and I was well and truly impressed by the quality of the works streaming through my earbuds. Congratulations to all the nominees, and I can't wait to hear who won!

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