I present this preliminary ballot here on the blog for a few reasons. I realize for other awards I don't do this, only presenting the final ballot for collection development and RA reason, but in this case I am intimately involved so I thought it would be a good chance to share some of the behind the scenes information and a few extra tips:
- I made a New Year's Resolution to stop apologizing for promoting horror on the main blog. Getting this diverse and inclusive list of excellent horror across a variety of formats and publishers on this blog in a manner where these titles can be found though a simple text search is important to me. You need to be able to find these authors and titles to help patrons.
- There are quite a few books and authors which I have reviewed and/or written about on the horror blog that are appearing here. These are names you need to pay attention to, and they don't include a man named "King" anywhere on the list.
- I was the chair of one of these juries. I understand how the entire process works. In light of all of the RWA problems and issues, I am proud of the work all of the Stoker Award juries did here and I wanted to give you insight into the process.
- We work independently throughout the year obtaining works and reading them. As the chair, I did work to solicit titles to add to our private digital reading area but my jury also sent me titles there were interested in seeing. In the case of my jury, one title I did not know about but another jury member did, made this preliminary list. This especially makes me proud of the system we, as an organization, put in place.
- Every member of each jury has an equal say in the titles that are pooled together to make the preliminary ballot. A group of at least 5 vote independently. Those votes are tallied and then the entire jury's list is presented in vote order to the overall Stoker Chairs. In the case of my jury I was pleased to see that every single individual member's top choice made the Prelimary Ballot and all, within our top 5 overall.
- However, the HWA does not stop with allowing each jury having the only say here. The membership of the HWA, at every level, has a chance to recommend works. The preliminary list that a jury sends in is then cross referenced with the member recommendations. If a title received a significant number of recommendations but is NOT on the jury's prelimary ballot, that title can still be added to the ballot. This is why each jury submits their titles in order of the "points" they received to the Stoker Chairs. This process allows for members to have a say. And I believe it works. It is also key to this process that the HWA has removed how many "recs" a title has received. No one except the Stoker Jury Chairs knows that number. Again, in my jury, our lowest vote getting title was dropped from our list and replaced by another title from the rec list. I am also happy to report, this replaced title did also receive votes from our jury.
And now on to the list: