Ursa Major Awards 2009: predictions and forlorn hopes
However, as far as I am concerned, the main thing for me to look at is just the amount of work that I have not seen. I have not seen any of the motion picture nominations, any of the dramatic short works, the novels, the short stories, the magazines or the games! It is at times like this that I am glad you do not have to vote for every category.
Luckily the awards site does provide links so that you can find information on the nominees. In the case for "Best Published Illustration", it takes to the nominated pictures, which is useful. As far as this award is concerned, I like "New Coyote" by Kenket and "Gaia’s Strange Seed Blood" by Patrick Farley. However, chances are it will probably go to Blotch for "Out of Position", which was used as an illustration for a Kyell Gold story.
It looks like this will be another year that Gold strikes... well, gold. He has been given four nominations. If he wins just one prize, he will become the new record holder for the most Ursa Major Awards, beating Stan Sakai, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo. Gold is nominated once for "Best Novel" (Out of Position), twice for "Best Short Fiction" (Drifting and Stop the World) and once for "Best Other Literary Work" (X, which he edited, not wrote).
Now, I should that this point say that I am not attacking Gold. I am sure he is a very talented writer. After all, with so many awards under his belt, he should be. However, I really hope he does not win the award for "Best Other Literary Work". This is because one of the other nominations is "Who are the furries?"
For those who do not know, this is a BBC News article by Denise Winterman about the furry fandom for which I was interviewed for (under the name Ian Wolf) and also mentioned FurteanTimes.com, which saw a huge increase in the amount of traffic for the site. This is the first time a journalistic article has been nominated for an Ursa Major. I really do hope it wins, mainly for the sake of rather lame marketing. If it does win, and if my book The History of Humanity: A Somewhat Mildly Amusing Guide to a Now Extinct Species does get published, I propose to include the advertising strap-line "From one of the people behind the Ursa Major Award winning interview 'Who are the furries?'" mainly for a laugh.
In terms of the other awards, Avatar will no doubt win the award for "Best Motion Picture". Lackadaisy has won the Ursa Major Award for "Best Graphic Story" on a few occasions over the past few years, but old stalwart Jack might reap the prize. Several old webcomics like Kevin and Kell and Freefall are up for the "Best Comic Strip" category and will also be favourites to pick up a prize. Perhaps one surprising entry is that of a board game called "Predation" which is up for "Best Game". Sounds like a nice idea to me. Hope it does well.