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Annual SF Site Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2006

Vote For Your Favourite Books of the Year

by Neil Walsh

This year will bring the SF Site's 9th annual Readers' Choice Best of the Year Awards. But only with your help. As many of our long-time readers already know, every year about this time we solicit our readers for their input on what were the best books they read in the past year. We'll tally the results and post them in February or early March so that you can see how well your favourites fare -- and, with any luck, find some great recommendations too.

At the SF Site you can vote early and vote... well, if not actually often, at least you get to vote 10 times all at once! How's that for democracy in action?

The rules are the same as for past years. To begin with, here's what you're voting for:

What's Eligible for Your Vote

Any book is eligible if it

  • meets our definition of a "book",1
  • is in some way related to "speculative fiction",2 and
  • was released in the 2006 calendar year.3
1.   For our present purposes, we 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 2006 calendar year" we mean that your chosen book must have been released in English during the 2006 calendar year, either for the first time, or as a new edition, or a new translation to English, or even a "new" reprint.

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. If it was good enough for you to think it's the best thing you read all year, we want to hear about it.

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 2006, in your order of preference, with your top choice clearly indicated as #1, second choice listed second, etc.  Please 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, second 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.
  • 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 may include that information as well, although it is not strictly required.
  • E-mail your list to vote@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 dealt with accordingly*.
  • 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.
       We let you vote 10 times all at once, so there's really no need to vote often. 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, 9 February 2007 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.
* Note on spam: SF Site uses the Cult of Shudde-M'ell Spam Filter™, with a patented and extremely painful method of ripping the original sender's tainted soul out of the body and dragging it screaming to unnameable nether dimensions for eternal torment.
Past & Future Results

In addition to your efforts to choose your favourite books of the past year, SF Site editors and contributors will also be working on our own version of the SF Site Best Read of 2006. We'll post the results of both the Readers' Choice Top 10 and the Editors' Choice Top 10 in February-March.

If you want to see the great books that made it to the top 10 in previous years from lists chosen by staff and readers, have a look at these results from past years:

Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2005
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: 2005
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

As mentioned above, voting is totally open -- there are no nominations to choose from. If this seem a bit overwhelming, you may want to look at a sampling of books that appeared in the past year by having a look through our New Arrivals archive, linked below. Check out the pages listed under 2006. These will not provide you with anything close to a complete list of books from 2006, but it may jog your memory and shake out a book you read months ago, or inspire you to try something you've been meaning to read all year.

Some of the books of the past year

Thanks in advance for your participation. We're looking forward to seeing your choices for the Best of 2006.

Copyright © 2006 by Neil Walsh

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