For the six of you who read my blog you might have noticed my focus on reading and reviewing books that have appeared on shortlists.  Well, starting next year I’m going to amp this up ever so slightly.  You see, while the internet is full of shortlist discussions, mostly focused on favourites like the Man Booker and the Hugos, no-one has ever put these shortlists side by side and decided which is the best one in any given year.  And do you know why?  Because such a comparison would be utterly insane.  You only have to check this link to see that there are hundreds and hundreds of literary awards given out every year.  Even if you just focus on the English-speaking world, the number of awards (and therefore books) to consider is beyond the reach of any person.  (Unless they literally do nothing else but eat, sleep and read books).

But that’s not going to stop me.

Next year I am going to read through the novel shortlists of the following genre and literary awards (they’re in the order of when the shortlists are announced).

Phillip K Dick Award
National Book Critics Circle
Hammet Prize
The Folio Prize
Nebula Award
Andrew Norton Award
Stoker Award – Best Novel
Aurealis Award – one category
Bailey’s Prize
Tiptree Award
Believer Magazine Award
Clarke Award
Hugo Award
Edgar Award – Best Novel
Shirley Jackson Award
Locus Awards
Desmond Elliot
British Fantasy Award (Horror)
World Fantasy Award
Man Booker
Goldsmith Prize
National Book Award
Costa Award
New York Times Best Books

Now, in the case of the Pulitzer and the Tiptree I’m going to only read the winner.  And for those awards that have more than one novel category, like the Stokers or the Aurealis Awards, I will focus on a specific category (though I do intend to read all the Locus Award novel categories).  Overall, this amounts to an estimated 156 books.  Taking into account some shortlist overlap (books appearing on more than one list) I believe I’ll still be required to read 125 books.

This year I’ve read 90.  So, the chances of actually getting through all these shortlists is buckleys and none.  Still, we all need to set ourselves insane, unreachable, mind breaking goals from time to time.  And this is mine.

In Part Two I’ll explain what I intend to do with all this shortlist reading.