March already! How time flies when you're having, er, fun.
260 Locus Poll ballots received thus far, with several categories indicating clear leaders and others still too close to call. I've seen only ballots submitted online, however, not any of the paper ballots mailed into Locus HQ, where the over-worked staff has only just begun to transcribe them into the website form. The results might well be perturbed by the differential in constituencies...
Speaking of awards, I've once again been invited to submit nominations for this year's Sturgeon Awards, even though, as in the previous two years, I've not been reading short fiction (let alone reviewing it) regularly. In fact, I must confess, as of this moment I've yet to read a single work of short fiction (unless you count novella-length books like Shepard's Viator
-- and even that is on a long side for a novella, I suspect) from 2004. I will now be buckling myself into a chair for the next 10 days to read as much as I can, so as to nominate intelligently for both the Sturgeon Award and for the Hugos. I have the Locus recommended reading lists to guide me, of course, as well as personal best lists from Jonathan Strahan and Rich Horton, available various places online, not to mention Jonathan's and Karen Haber's two best-of-the-year anthologies, which I've now purchased both in hardcopy and in electronic format, the better to read in whatever circumstance I might find myself. My plan is to focus on short stories, and maybe novelettes, so that I can read as many stories as possible in the time available, leaving longer novelettes and novellas for later... the Locus Poll deadline isn't until May 1st.
All of that said, if anyone reading this has any strong opinions about stories (especially short stories or novelettes!) that I absolutely must read before making any nomination decisions, by all means let me know.