It’s that time of year again – book awards are beginning. The Christy Award nominations came out recently. The ACFW Book of the Year judging is underway. I’m sure there are a host of other fiction awards soon to be made as well.
In 2007 a group of Christian speculative fiction writers conceived of an award to draw attention to our genre and especially to call attention to the best books being published in that category.
Because of organizational issues, the Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction took nominations for two years without choosing a winner. However, in 2009 the award turned to a Readers’ Choice format, and Donita Paul became the first winner.
Once again it’s time to accept nominations.
The books that are eligible are those considered Christian because of overt Christian content or a Christian worldview, published in English by a royalty paying publisher from January 2009 through December 2009 in the science fiction/fantasy/allegory/futuristic/supernatural/supernatural suspense category.
Of course, we’re not looking for an exhaustive list but the books readers believe to be the best in the category. Below are standards to consider.
If you would like to nominate a book, please leave a comment including the title, author, and publisher.
Nominations for the Clive Staples Award should be evaluated in these categories:
- Does the quality of the author’s prose (syntax, tone, voice, pacing etc.) enhance the story?
- Do concrete and particular details appeal to various senses and strengthen each scene?
- Is there a balance between exposition and dramatization (telling and showing)?
- Are there errors in word use, spelling, grammar, paragraphing, and punctuation?
- Is the setting well established and realistic?
- Are the speculative elements believable and necessary to the story?
- Does the main character have clear internal and external goals?
- Are the characters complex, with both strengths and weaknesses?
- Are the characters believably and realistically motivated?
- Is dialogue natural and does it contribute to characterization so that each person possess a unique voice?
- Is there discernible and appropriate character development?
- Is the story structured with a clearly recognizable arc of conflict, crisis, and resolution?
- Does the narrative flow, or does it tend toward the disjointed?
- Are the obstacles to be overcome sufficiently challenging to the protagonists?
- Are the complications and the protagonist’s efforts to overcome them unpredictable?
- Is the resolution innovative? Credible? Authentic?
- Does the story contain a central or dominating idea?
- Does the theme arise from the characters and events of the story?
- Is the theme consistent with a Christian worldview?
- Does the theme overwhelm the story, or is it well integrated into the story?