A GLBT-Friendly Addendum to the 2011 RT Awards

The annual RT Booklovers’ Convention was this past week, and on Thursday night they handed out their awards. There were a LOT of them. They are called the “Reviewers’ Choice Awards” and there are about 60 categories, some of which I don’t understand (Historical K.I.S.S. Hero – I’m assuming it doesn’t stand for Keep It Simple Stupid), and others which seems awfully specific (Scotland-set Historical Romance; where is the anywhere-but-England category?). The nominees and winners are selected by “our staff of over 50 reviewers representing the readers’ voice in the women’s fiction industry.” Since these reviewers aren’t listed anywhere I could find on the RT website, I can’t independently assess whether they are qualified to claim to represent my voice, let alone the collective voice of all readers.

I’m thrilled that so many authors whose work I like were singled out, as nominees and as winners. Susanna Kearsley won for The Winter Sea, Meljean Brook for The Iron Duke, and Anne Stuart for Ruthless. Almost every Harlequin line gets its own category (except for Medicals, dammit! What is wrong with you people?), which makes me happy. Hey, if Scottish historicals can have their own award, I see nothing wrong with separate categories for HP and HP Extra.

However (and you just knew this was coming), even though they have multiple awards for mysteries and SFF that are not romance, RT still avoids acknowledging that GLBT romance exists. It’s not just that there isn’t a separate category; they can’t even include individual books and authors within appropriate categories, e.g., in Erotic Romance/Fiction, or in one of the mystery categories, like Amateur Sleuth. Or they could sneak it in to one of the Small Press categories. Maybe an m/m or f/f is lurking in the YA category, but I’m not holding my breath.

I was about to rant and rave about it, but we’ve done that so many times. Instead, here are the Vacuous Minx awards for best non-het romance of 2010. These are carefully selected by the staff of VM and represent the readers’ voice. And you know that statement is true because I’m telling you so. I make no pretense to complete coverage of the subgenre, but these are really good books.

Best book that would be an Oprah pick except it has m/m, and m/m/m/m, and lots of detailed descriptions of sex, and a happy ending: Double Blind, Heidi Cullinan

Best Contemporary with College Student heroes: Life, Over Easy, K.A. Mitchell

Best Cozy Mystery that would shock the Cozy Mystery readers: All She Wrote, Josh Lanyon

Best Zombie Novella: I Fell In Love With A Zombie, Sean Kennedy

Best Historical and amazingly it’s not set in Regency England: Whistling In the Dark, Tamara Allen

Best Angsty, Atmospheric Contemporary with a Helicopter Scene (no not that kind): Driftwood, Harper Fox

Best Slightly Paranormal Short Story Collection: Petit Morts, Vol. 2, Jordan Castillo Price, Josh Lanyon, and Sean Kennedy

Best Holiday Short Story Collection: His For the Holidays, L.B. Gregg, Harper Fox, Josh Lanyon, and Z.A. Maxfield

Best Mystery with a closeted yet sympathetic cop: Death By Misfortune, A.M. Riley

Best Romance published before 2010 that kept me awake all night reading to the end because it was so awesome: TIE between Death of A Pirate King, Josh Lanyon, and Tigers and Devils, Sean Kennedy

Feel free to argue with the list or add more books, authors, and award categories in the comments.

13 thoughts on “A GLBT-Friendly Addendum to the 2011 RT Awards

  1. “Scotland-set Historical Romance; where is the anywhere-but-England category?”

    Scotland isn’t in England, so maybe that is the “historical-set-anywhere-but-England-category.”

  2. Heh. Good point, although then it should more properly be named “the only place besides England we care about” category. :-)

    ETA: I realized as I was writing the post that England meant not-Scotland, but I found it befuddling that England and Scotland were both singled out, but nothing else. But no more befuddling than the KISS hero, I suppose.

  3. Apparently K. I. S. S. = Knight in Shining Silver, which should be nominated for an Overly Contrived Acronym Award. What the heck does that mean? (I looked it up because I’m supposed to be grading papers).

    I thought Josh Lanyon’s Fair Game was one of the best romantic suspense books I read this year. But that’s much too straightforward an award category. I like your non-ranting approach.

  4. I couldn’t stand not knowing what K.I.S.S. was supposed to stand for, so I kept searching until I found out that it means “Knight in Shining Silver.” I wonder if that really means “Knight-in-Shining-Armour-only-K.I.S.S.-is-a-more-amusing-acronym.”

  5. Sorry, I was still searching when Liz posted her comment, and I didn’t see it until after I’d posted mine. By the way, are those pictures appearing to the left of the comments supposed to look like space invaders?

  6. @LizMc @LauraV: Ah, thank you both! What a strange phrase, why would they want to crate an even more annoying acronym than the original? I hope that only Really Rich Billionaire Knights are eligible.

    Fair Game is so very good. I was thrilled to see it get to the round of 8 at DABWAHA. I put it on my Best of 2010 at DA so I thought I should give equal time to other works in the 2010 Lanyon oeuvre. ;-)

  7. @LauraV: They are among the options in the basic WordPress template for commenters who don’t have an avatar, I think. I don’t know how I selected them, but you’re right! And since I am old enough to have played Space Invaders when it was New And Cool, they seem appropriate.

  8. Good for you, naming our own winners. Yu’ve got me curious about some of these. Also, just noticed that Will Grayson, Will Grayson, a wonderful novel by John Green and David Levithan, was nominated in the YA category.

  9. Pingback: RT and Gay Romance: (some of) the backstory | VacuousMinx

  10. @kellye: This sounds fantastic! I think I’d heard about it but of course forgot. Thanks so much.

    I think all of these have been reviewed, at DA and numerous other places. All the authors are terrific writers and favorites of mine (as if you couldn’t tell).

  11. I’ve read quite a few of the nominations/winners (and for those I’ve read, I totally agree!) plus I have a new list for when I’m next shopping. I’d also add KA Mitchell’s No Souvenirs to the list of awesome and Marie Sexton’s Strawberries for Dessert.

  12. Pingback: Monday Morning Stepback: RT wrap up, new Dark Prince, and a Wollstonecraft blog | Read React Review: Rethinking romance and other fine fiction

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