Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Saga of Beowulf Wins PODBRAM Book Award

I've only just recently learned about this award, given out back at the beginning of January by the book review website POD Book Reviews & More (hence, PODBRAM), a site devoted to providing reviews of print-on-demand publications. The Saga of Beowulf was reviewed for their site in January of last year (link here) by retired linguistics professor Dr. Al Past, and consequently was eligible for the 2009 award, even though it was published in the last quarter of 2008.

No physical award is given out and there is no monetary or other prize, aside from the recognition and esteem afforded, which to my way of thinking is the most important aspect of such affairs, being somewhat akin to a psychological pat on the back. This is one of the best parts of getting a good review in the first place, aside from their being inherently useful in terms of the insight gained from getting a reader's perspective on your writing (it's virtually impossible to have anything at all resembling a subjective opinion of your own work). Just getting reviewed on PODBRAM is a little like a nomination in itself. Not all review submissions are accepted.

From the PODBRAM award notification webpage:
Regular readers of PODBRAM know that in order to acquire a review here, an author's book must pass the gatekeeper's initial examination, be specifically selected by one of our reviewers, and then survive our legendary book strip-search and dunking tank. These are the best of the best.
PODBRAM reviewed 84 books in 2009, giving out 12 awards, of which The Saga of Beowulf won for Best Contemporaneous Literature - a category I must admit I was initially somewhat perplexed as to the meaning of. A less "linguistic" title might be something like "Best Literary Adaptation of a Period Piece" or some such. There is actually a category for Best Historical Fiction, but I didn't win that one, and probably rightly so, since Saga is far more a work of literary ficiton than one with verifiable historical import (the book that did win is a Cold War era piece). I'm quite happy with Best Contemporaneous Literature, although I can't imagine there was much competition in that particular category.