Awards eligibility post

I don’t have a large amount of stuff to announce for this year in terms of awards-eligible material — no novels this calendar year, and my only short story was “At the Sign of the Crow and Quill” — but I do have something to mention, which I realized while I was at Worldcon.

Most if not all of the time, the individual episodes of a Serial Box season are novelette-length. And at least for the Hugos (because I talked to someone involved with the Hugo rules about this), they are certainly eligible to be nominated in the novelette category, in much the same way that individual episodes of a TV show are eligible to be nominated in Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

Which is interesting because while the novella category is booming these days, thanks in large part to Tor.com, but also more generally to the way that digital publication has made a novella a useful size of thing to publish . . . the novelette category has really been languishing. They’re too long for most magazines to tackle, except maybe at the very short end — 8K or so — but too small to really sell well on their own, even in digital format.

But Serial Box is over there putting out dozens of novelettes every year. Yes, they’re installments in longer stories — but I can vouch for the fact that the Serial Box approach really emphasizes making them act like episodes in a show more than chapters in a book, i.e. each one is designed to have its own distinct shape, rather than just feeling like a slice taken out of the middle of something bigger. So nominating a Serial Box episode makes sense, in a way that nominating a chapter out of a book wouldn’t.

My three episodes for Born to the Blade are “Fault Lines” (1.02), “Spiraling” (1.06), and “Shattered Blades” (1.10). The season is eleven episodes long in total. If you particularly enjoyed one or more of them, or if there are stand-out episodes in some other Serial Box project you’ve read, then consider nominating them in the novelette category. Let’s get some fresh blood in there!

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