Kyell Gold withdraws from Ursa Majors to give others a go
Twelve-times Ursa Major Award winner Kyell Gold has announced his withdrawal from the Best Novel and Best Short Story categories this year, and for "a few more going forwards", to ensure that other authors win:
There is precedent in other awards for frequent winners stepping back. One of the people on the Ursa Major committee told me that in a musical award, when someone wins three years in a row, they are retired from that category by the award. That's not how the Ursas work: they have been very hands-off and admirably resistant to public opinion. When Stan Sakai won the Best Comic award multiple years running, they assured people that in time, other comics would win, and they were right. In response to my multiple wins, they have assured people that, in time, other authors will win.
I have no doubt that they are correct, given the profusion of talent in the fandom. In fact, each of the last two years I have been convinced I would not win one of the two awards (perhaps neither). But I have also observed that it would probably be better for the writing scene if that day comes sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, what it comes down to is this: I've won a dozen awards over seven years. I know you guys love me and my books. :) But I'd like to help the fandom's literary scene mature, and part of that is showcasing more of the authors that are doing really good work. My name's already up there in the lists; let's see some of the other people.
In addition, this allows me to recommend other books in the fandom for you to read, other stories to look at, without being conflicted. I would really like you guys to keep reading and keep voting in the awards, because that's important to the fandom.
What this does not mean: It does not mean you should stop voting. It doesn't mean I'm stepping out of the fandom. I'm going to keep writing, keep going to conventions, keep posting to FA and answering mail and whatnot. You guys aren't going to get rid of me that easily.
Kyell has won Best Anthropomorphic Novel since the 2005 Ursa Major Awards (except for 2007), and Best Short Fiction since the 2006 Awards. His domination of these categories led some to dismiss the Awards:
|Past UMA winners|
|2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006
Prior years - more coverage
In 2008 he won four of six Short Fiction nominations. He became the most successful Ursa Major Award winner in 2010, topping Stan Sakai's six.
In an email to Ursa Major organizers posted to the UMA discussion list, Kyell was candid about his reasons for withdrawing:
[...] look, I've won a dozen of these, six for novel, six for short story. For the last two years I have been thinking about this, but I listen to what the ALAA Committee has said about the voting to people who've complained, that basically it will all even out in time. I've watched the field of furry lit mature--not that it IS mature yet, but it's heading in that direction--and despite other works that I thought were worthy, my loyal fans keep coming back. So I'm hoping to take on a slightly different role w/r/t to the Ursas now, one where I can wholeheartedly recommend and point people to other worthy works in the fandom.
Kyell Gold has notified the ALAA administrators that he wishes to withdraw his works from the Ursa Major Awards' consideration in the Best Novel and Best Short Fiction categories for at least the next three years, He has won twelve awards since 2005, six for Best Novel and six for Best Short Fiction, and he wants to give other worthy nominees a chance.
We will honor Mr. Gold's request. This withdrawal affects only Mr. Gold's own work. The cover artists of his books are still eligible in the Best Published Illustration category.
Anyone who wishes to change his or her nomination, for this or any other reason, may do so by logging in at http://www.ursamajorawards.org/nominations/ and amending their entries on the form before the February 28 deadline.