The winners of the Cybils awards were announced yesterday. I wasn't sure how I was going to get through the last day of waiting--and then I had a migraine and skipped ahead an entire day. If I hadn't, I would have predicted winners...and only been right about Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.
I think I was the first person in the first-round panel to read the book--reluctantly, I might add, because it had a dead guy on the cover. It was one of the first books I read because I happened to have a copy on hand, and I was hooked. Now, off to strongarm some more readers into buying a copy.
I also think that it was a strong year for young adult fantasy and science fiction, in numbers and in content. There were about 150 books considered, and as I (think I) mentioned before, I would have loved to have had more room for finalists. I would have loved to honor another dozen or so books. A book by an author whose story structure isn't quite there yet, but whose voice is the heir to Diana Wynne Jones. A fairy tale that reminded me of warm places and spice and the sound of humming. A funny book about death. A con (almost) gone wrong. A superhero who isn't. One of the best techno-books I've read. A needling look at colonialism. A girl who defeats the most fearsome witch ever. A girl who just might be crazy. A couple of books I didn't like very much, but that I'd very much like to recommend to others. And that's not even mentioning the other finalists!
But that's the way awards go.
And I'm certainly not unhappy--Rot and Ruin has all of the elements I was looking for in a winner, and was the one I suspected had the appeal and elements I would have looked for in a winner: adventure, high stakes, pitch-perfect teen questioning, character diversity that's not a "message," romance, complications, samurai cowboy philosophy, drama. And zombies, but I didn't know I was looking for zombies.
Congratulations to Jonathan Maberry. Thanks to the many Cybils judges, administrators, and supporters.
You can see the books I read and wrote about here.