Here's a nice bit of news I just got:
WSFA Small Press Award – Finalists for 2009
The Washington Science Fiction Association is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2009 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction. The WSFA is based in Washington DC and covers the capitol, as well as the greater Baltimore MD metro area.
The award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction (up to 17,500 words) published by small presses in the previous year (2008). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.
The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association (www.wsfa.org) and will be presented at their annual convention, Capclave (www.capclave.org), held this year on October 16-18th in Rockville, Maryland.
Listed alphabetically (by story title), the seven finalists are:
“Drinking Problem” by K.D. Wentworth, published in Seeds of Change, edited by John Joseph Adams, Prime Books (August, 2008).
“Hard Rain at the Fortean Café” by Lavie Tidhar, published in issue 14 of Aeon Speculative Fiction Magazine, edited by Bridget McKenna.
“His Last Arrow” by Christopher Sequeira, published in Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes, edited by Jeff Campbell and Charles Prepolec, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, (October, 2008).
“Silent as Dust” by James Maxey, published in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, edited by Edmund R. Schubert, Hatrack Publishing (January, 2008).
“Spider the Artist” by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, published in Seeds of Change, edited by John Joseph Adams, Prime Books (August, 2008)
“The Absence of Stars: Part 1” by Greg Siewert, published in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, edited by Edmund R. Schubert, Hatrack Publishing (December, 2008).
“The Toy Car” by Luisa Maria Garcia Velasco, (translated from Spanish by Ian Watson) published in April 2008 edition of Aberrant Dreams, edited by Joseph W. Dickerson.
Two for IGMS is, of course, great news, but the thing I like most about this particular award is that it really is about the story. With the judges not knowing who the author is or what publication it appeared in, there's nothing left but the story. That's the way it ought to be...