Every year, there's that moment of anxiety as the Cybils SFF nominations come in. You think, "OH, my goodness, I should have read more this year, where did THAT book come from, who nominated that? Are they serious? MORE zombies!?" You fret and mutter and start haunting the library, trying to stay ahead of the curve and do as much reading as you can before the inevitable pressure mounts.
One hundred and forty-seven books. Two months to get through them.
You read like a mad person and swing between those transient moments when you breathe out a happy sigh over a fresh and original premise, and then you read something that makes you want to both shriek and hurl and fling things, and you wonder HOW on GOD'S EARTH some things get published, and you mutter old person sounding direness about the publishing industry, and the state of science fiction and fantasy in general, and your head spins, and you puke pea soup.
And then you read the next awesome thing.
And it's the Cybils. And you remember, through all the stress, why it is you do this thing: because you love the heck out of books.
Last night, we had the science fiction and fantasy "discussion." We missed Gwenda Bond, who has served on the YA team for two years; this year she graced the middle grade group with her fun and snark, and we felt her absence. We tried to squabble on without her, and were fairly successful, but it was much more Book Club than Fight Club. The goofiness came from a.) Leila and I being on any committee together, and b.)starting at 12:30
Normally, we approach the discussion with the feel of mourners going to last rites; we know there will be some of us sitting in the Crying Corner before the night is out, because with as many books as we shortlisted during the first vetting process, there was NO WAY we could all agree on seven books without some minor bloodshed. And there was some bloodshed and a few heartbroken sniffles (♥ Love to Angie & Heather! ♥ You both are intensely awesome.). This year, I realized that I was looking forward to the fact that there were seven crazy people who wanted to talk books with me. And we did talk books - for four and a half hours.
And we also talked Zac Efron -- 'cause some of us NEEDED to,
And we also talked kokopelli -- because Leila needed to help me annoy Josh,
And we also talked plot and theme, explored predestined evil, discussed colonialism, and debated different endings, and what we would have done if we were writing the romantic elements of several novels.
Oh, my word, it was fun.
I went to bed at 5 a.m. this morning.
But, it was the Cybils. And it was good.
Stay tuned for our choices... soon, soon, coming soon! After a nap. Or three.
Thank you, Sheila, for letting me play, and for everyone on the team. It is such a crazy, high-pressure, stressful job, to be a panelist. But I look forward to it every year like yay!, and oh-my-goodness-who-wrote-that. It was good to be part of the team.