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Annual SF Site Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2005

Vote For Your Favourite Books of the Year

by Neil Walsh

You've waited patiently for a whole year, but at last your favourite season has rolled around again. Yes, that's right, it's time to finish reading those new books that have been stacking up on your bookshelves, your floor or bedside table, because very soon you'll need to determine which ones you feel are the best of the best. Or at least, you will if you want to have a say in the annual SF Site Readers' Choice Awards!

The rules are the same as they've been for previous years, but in case you're new to this, or if you just need a reminder, read on and learn how easy it is to have your say.

First of all, you'll need to know what you're voting for:

What's Eligible for Your Vote

Any book is eligible for your vote, as long as

  • it meets our definition of a "book",1
  • it is in some way related to "speculative fiction",2 and
  • it was released in the 2005 calendar year.3
1.   We here define a "book" as any collection of printed words that requires reading as a primary means of conveying the message, including but not limited to novels, novellas, collections, anthologies, chapbooks, essays, biographies, comic books, graphic novels, e-books, magazines, etc.

2.   Related to "speculative fiction" means anything that could reasonably be said to be associated in some way with fiction of a speculative nature (including, but not limited to science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, and probably even a fair selection of what is generally considered mainstream fiction). By "related to" speculative fiction, we mean to include such non-fiction items as biographies, essays, speculative science writing, etc., as well as any sub-genre fiction or associated non-fiction.

3.   By "released in the 2005 calendar year" we mean that your chosen book must have been released in English during the 2005 calendar year, either for the first time, or as a new edition, or a new translation to English, or even a "new" reprint.

Next, you'll want to know how to vote:
How You Vote
  • In the body of an e-mail, list up to 10 of your favourite books of 2005, in your order of preference, with your top choice clearly indicated as #1, etc.  Do not submit your list as an attachment; e-mails with attachments are filtered out and will not be read.
  • Remember to clearly indicate your #1 choice, etc. as the votes are weighted according to your own personal ranking. If you didn't read 10 books worthy of inclusion, you are welcome to choose fewer than 10, but please include no less than 4, since we know you must have read at least 4 good books this year.
  • Remember to list the title and author for each of your choices, or the specific issue(s) of a periodical such as a magazine or comic book. If you know the publisher, you could include that information as well.
  • E-mail your list to vote2005@sfsite.com with "VOTE" in the subject line.
       Please don't forget to put "VOTE" in the subject line, or your e-mail may be mistaken for spam and will likely be deleted unread.
       (Any and all e-mail whose subject line offers a genuine Rolex, encourages me to give my partner more pleasure, or promises that the enclosed offer can't be beat will be routed automatically via our special spam filter to the Cult of Shudde-M'ell, whose adherents have a method of extracting the tainted soul of the original sender which is fed to their demonic patron.)
  • Each voter may vote one time only for up to 10 books. If you share an e-mail address with someone else, only one of you should submit your list (perhaps you could agree on one list between you). If you personally have more than one e-mail address, you still only get to submit one list -- not one list per e-mail address.
       You get 10 votes, so there's no need to try to stuff the ballot box. Ballot stuffers are easier to track than you might think and they will simply have all of their votes disqualified.
  • Deadline for voting is Friday, 10 February 2006 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.
Past & Future Results

Sometime around our Mid-February issue of SF Site, we'll provide you with the results of the SF Site Best Read of 2005 Top 10 list, as chosen by the SF Site editors and contributors. In the following issue, we'll post the results of the Readers' Choice Top 10 for 2005.

If you want to see how previous picks by staff and readers have overlapped and diverged, you are encouraged to look through these results from past years:

Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2004
Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2003
Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2002
Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2001
Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2000
Readers' Choice: Best Read of 1999
Readers' Choice: Best Read of 1998
Best Read of the Year: 2004
Best Read of the Year: 2003
Best Read of the Year: 2002
Best Read of the Year: 2001
Best Read of the Year: 2000
Best Read of the Year: 1999
Best Read of the Year: 1998
Best Read of the Year: 1997

If you think a book might or should be eligible, go ahead and vote for it. Voting is wide open -- there's no list of nominations to choose from. This may seem a little overwhelming, so if you want to look at a sampling of books that appeared in the past year, why not wander through our New Arrivals archive, linked below. Check out the pages listed under the 2005 column. These pages will absolutely not provide you with a complete list of books from 2005, but it's a starting point.

Some of the books of the past year

Keep reading, and start compiling your own list to vote for. We're looking forward to seeing your choices for the Best of 2005.

Copyright © 2005 by Neil Walsh

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