Yes, today we proudly announce the seven finalists for the SPSFC. And they are:
Steel Guardian by Cameron Coral
Captain Wu by Patrice Fitzgerald and Jack Lyster
A Star Named Vega by Benjamin J Roberts
In the Orbit of Sirens by T.A. Bruno
Monster of the Dark by K.T. Belt
Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire by G.M. Nair
I could not be more happy with this result, and could not be more delighted for our seven finalists even while I share the disappointment of all the excellent authors whose stories didn’t make it through.
You can, of course, see reviews of five of our seven finalists right here on the Hatstand already! A Star Named Vega and Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire were two of Team Space Lasagna’s three picks for the semi-finals; and Steel Guardian, Iron Truth and In the Orbit of Sirens were three of our semi-finalists. What this proves, aside from the fact that Team Space Lasagna is clearly the best judging team and our majestic cheesy tomatoey splatter of cosmic approval is of almost inestimable value to an ambitious independent author with starry eyes and a taste for spaceborne pasta and / or victory, is that … well I don’t know what it really proves, but we were fortunate to have some amazing books in our allocation. That’s all I guess.
What this means is, there will be reviews of Monster of the Dark and Captain Wu coming to the Hatstand shortly. Since I also have a bit of spare time (*hysterical, cynical laughter,*) with Team Space Lasagna only having to read two books while some teams have to read all seven in this next phase, I may also sit down and read a few books that fell through the gaps and the other teams have been raving about. You’ll be getting reviews for them when the time is right, too.
The debate and mathematical gymnastics performed to get us here, by our contest organisers and colleagues from other judging teams, has been nothing short of amazing. This was not easy! After the finals have settled a bit and we’re looking back with our leftover books and our piles of chewed-up book-fragments and charred review drafts, all the teams are going to be putting forward some lost cyber-gems, some space-diamonds in the rough, to give as many books that were screwed over somewhat by a tricky balancing act of judging scores and wildly differing opinions a fair chance at some eyeballs. The winner of this contest will be getting a silly ray-gun, but it won’t necessarily be the perfect book for you. The perfect book for you might be one that didn’t even make it out of the first phase.
Our continuing mission is to take books, and eyeballs, and mash them together like Dark Helmet playing with his dolls again. And damn it, that’s what we’re going to do!
Nice! So a lot of yours got through, as it should be! Congrats to the finalists! *marching band*
Congratulations to all 7 finalists (but, wait, weren’t there supposed to be ten?) and thank you to the judging teams for a monumental task. Nevertheless, this list does prove that Space Lasagna had one quality batch of books at the outset. Can’t wait to see who the ultimate winner will be. And love the Spaceballs reference.
There was much confusion right to the end on how many finalists there were meant to be, and how to balance the scores.
We had judging teams with lots of members, judging teams with very few members, judges who scored really strictly, judges who scored really highly, judges who didn’t finish the books for reasons of taste (genre, characters, themes, formatting…), judges who didn’t have a chance to even start some of the books. And then the balance between phase one and phase two, where one team’s highest scorers were tanked by the next team to get the books. All of it had to be balanced out in a series of statistical adaptations and sanity checks, and I do not envy the think tank one bit for any of it. I think there’s going to be lively debate over how it’s done for a long time to come.
Well at the very least it sounds like there was a monumental effort to do a good job in the end!
If it were somehow possible to multiverse this just to see how the results would have shaken out if all the books had been allocated to different teams at the outset, to find their optimal readers and scorers, that would be fascinating to see. In a boring monoverse like this one, though, it would basically mean every judge reading all 300 books. Which, while not impossible, might mean a 5-year contest.
Yeah, and if you included Beyond-the-Walls every book would have won…an infinite number of times!
So much winning. We’d be tired of it.
Winning very bigly! Many people are saying.
Damn I see an actual author already used that adjective. Ah well! It’s a good’un!