I learned the other day that The Desert of Souls made the Locus recommended reading list for 2011 in the First Novels category. What’s more, balloting for the annual Locus Poll and Survey is now open.
The winners of the poll are given the prestigious Locus Awards each year. Categories include Best SF novel, Best Fantasy novel, Best First novel, Best Anthology, Best Magazine, Best Editor, and Best Artist.
I hope you’ll swing by and place your own vote, and while I surely wouldn’t mind a vote for Desert, I hope that you’ll remember Black Gate magazine. John O’Neill, publisher of Black Gate, has been fighting for more than a decade to bring adventure fantasy to the forefront in short fiction, but I believe he’s been unjustly overlooked and underappreciated. Many of the authors who had their start at Black Gate are launching careers, thanks in no small part to the nurturing John’s given us. In addition to me, there’s John Fultz, who’s just received glowing praise from influential reviewer Paul Goat Allen for his novel Seven Princes. And there’s the critically acclaimed James Enge, nominated for a World Fantasy Award for his first Morlock novel Blood of Ambrose just a few years ago. And there are others besides, all helped and encouraged by O’Neill, who, in addition to being a gifted editor, is one of the most generous men I know, both with his time and his talent.
Anyway, as to the voting, it’s open to all, subscribers and non-subscribers, per the instructions:
In each category, you may vote for up to five works or nominees, ranking them 1 (first place) through 5 (fifth). Listed options in each category are based on our 2011 Recommended Reading List [this link will open a new window], with options in categories for editor, artist, magazine, and publisher including results of the past two years.
You are welcome to use the write-in boxes to vote for other titles and nominees in any category — if you do, please try to supply author, title, and place of appearance, where appropriate.
The ballot is here. The deadline is April 1, 2012. I hope you’ll make sure your voice is counted.