For podcasters, the Parsec Awards aren’t the only awards around, but they are one of the most prestigious. The Parsecs recognize excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, and include categories for best story in a several formats, best behind the scenes podcast, and best fan podcast. The actual categories vary somewhat each year. Nominations for the Parsec Awards begin each year on April 1st and conclude on Memorial Day, although this year the nominations were extended to June 1st. Eligible podcasts must have been released between May 1st the previous year and April 30th. Anyone can nominate a podcast. And each year, around the end of July, the finalists are announced. These are the top 5 podcasts in each category. The chosen few who will continue on in the competition, one of which will win the Parsec at the Parsec Awards Ceremony at Dragon*Con each year. And today, this year’s Finalists were just announced!
If you’ve followed along, you may know that my short story “The Cross of Columba”, which I did for the Tales from the Archives, Volume 2, podcast, was nominated for a Parsec this year. Sadly, it was the only thing I had done that was eligible. Also sadly, despite the fine work we did with the episode, The Cross of Columba did not make the list of Finalists. Oddly enough, the list of finalists in my category, Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form), had six finalists instead of the usual five. Two of these podcasters I know, and I know that they have more experience writing and podcasting than I do. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try to out-do them next year.
The finalists in the Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short From) category are: Fiends: Mines by Paul Elard Cooley, The Gearheart by Starla Huchton, Royal Offworld Navy by Imagination Lane, Silence: A Fable by HartLife NFP, Kill Screen by Chris Lewis Carter, and Now Cydonia by Rick Kennett. I wish each of them luck, and I guess I’ve got some new podcasts to listen to to size up the competition. Paul and Starla have both been Parsec Finalists before, but neither has won. I wish you luck, my friends.
Some other friends of mine have made it to the finals this year. I won’t list all the finalists. If you want to see that list, check out the Finalists page on the Parsec Awards. But I do want to mention a few of my friends who are still in the running.
In Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Long Form) Secret World Chronicles, Season 6: Revolutions by Mercedes Lackey, Dennis Lee, Cody Martin, and Veronica Giguere reached the finals. This is amusing, because in the same category is The Diary of Jill Woodbine by Jay Smith (from HG World), where Veronica Giguere voices Jill Woodbine, and Secret World Chronicle, so she is essentially competing against herself.
The Guild of The Cowry Catchers: Book 4 Out of the Ashes by Abigail Hilton made the finals in Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form).
Several of my friends are competing in the Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast category, with The Drabblecast by Norm Sherman, Tales from the Archives, Volume 2 by Tee Morris and Pip Ballentine, and Every Photo Tells… by Katharina and Mick Bordet all in the finals.
In Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation Get Published by Michell Plested is up against Writing Excuses by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal. OK, I don’t know the whole Writing Excuses crew, but I met Howard when he was at Balticon 44. And I think these two both made it to the finals last year…
Anywho, best of luck to everyone who made the finals. Thank you for continuing to raise the bar of podcasting and speculative fiction, bringing hours of enjoyment to listeners everywhere. And I’ll be gunning for you next year.