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Riley: Hi Laurie! I am really happy to have you here at Whiskey With My Book to talk about the SFR Galaxy Awards.

Laurie: I’m so happy to be your guest today. Thanks for inviting me.

Riley: First, please tell us a little about yourself.

Laurie: I’m a science fiction romance author who’s best known as the founder of the SFR Brigade community of science fiction romance writers and authors.

Riley: What is your involvement with the SFR Galaxy Awards?

Laurie: The SFR Galaxy Awards were the brainstorm of peer and fellow author Heather Massey, who has always been a terrific supporter of science fiction romance.

Early on, I assisted Heather in getting the awards rolling by creating the awards site, and also served for the first few years as a judge. After I published my first SFR books in 2015, I felt it was time to step down and let another reviewer or book blogger fill the niche.

For the upcoming award cycle, Heather anticipated a possible scheduling conflict with some real-life priorities, so asked if I would be willing to step in to host the 2017 awards. I was more than happy to help.

Riley: Why should people be interested in the SFR Galaxy Awards as opposed to any of the many other ‘Best Of’ opinions out there?

Laurie: The SFR Galaxy Awards are unique in that they strive not only to recognize standout books in the genre, but also to help readers find books that they might enjoy reading. That was the original premise for the awards, because SFR is a hard to find but diverse genre that often presents a challenge for readers in locating books that intrigue them. Our panel of judges are all prolific readers and several have review sites of their own, like Whiskey With My Book. 

The 2017 judges are (alphabetically):

Marlene Harris of Reading Reality review site
Jo Jones of Mixed Book Bag Blog
Lee Koven, who coordinates the SFR Recommends blogs
Heather Massey, blogger/founder
Anna McLain, reviewer and superfan
Riley Moreland — that would be you! 

And our new judge for the 2017 awards:
Chris Stock, an editor at the Roswell Daily Record, in charge of “Vision” magazine

Readers can learn more about the judges and see their site links or other contact information on the SFR Galaxy Awards Judges Page.

Riley: How did the awards get started?

Laurie: Heather Massey came up with the idea after reading something that legendary science fiction and fantasy novelist Ursula K. Le Guin said about wishing there could be multiple awards for multiple books, each highlighting a standout element of the story. In a 2011 blog for Book View Café titled Literary Bests, Ms. Le Guin wrote:

I wish that, instead of picking one and dumping all the rest, we celebrated our writers continually and in droves.

I wish we gave literary prizes freely, the way they used to give prizes at the Pet Show at Codornices Park in Berkeley when I was a kid. Every kid in the neighborhood brought their pet, and every pet got a prize, an ad hoc, unique prize: for Soulfulness — for Loud Meowing — for Unusual Spot Placement — for Being the Only Skink…. There was no Best of Breed …and certainly no Best of Show.

That gave Heather the spark that ignited the flame for the SFR Galaxy Awards. She ran the idea by me and I loved it. We collaborated to get the awards rolling, and cover artist Kanaxa was kind enough to create the SFR Galaxy Award icon for us, gratis. Danielle Fine, another cover artist and book editor, also designed several banners for the awards site, free of charge.

Riley: Not counting any that you have personally won, do you have a favorite award or two that you can mention?

Laurie: Books that I’ve personally written weren’t eligible for the awards in the years they were published because I was a judge. But there have been some fun and fabulous SFR Galaxy Awards presented over the years. Here are just three examples of imaginative award categories:

Best “Post-Apocalypse for Readers who don’t even like Post-Apocalypse”

The Backdraft Award
(A door can feel cool, but when you open it the heat explodes.)

Still Standing Award (Best Long Running Series)

Riley: Do you have a list of books in your head – books you would be giving awards to if you were a judge this year? (You don’t have to tell me what they are. I wouldn’t want me or any other judges to be unduly influenced!)

Laurie: I definitely have one SFR book in mind that I’d love to give an award but I’m not sure what I’d name the category. Maybe “Most Exciting New SFR Author” or “Most Imaginative Post-Apocalyptic Characters” or possibly even “Most Fabulously Original Voice.”

I get pretty excited when I find a book that checks all my boxes and this particular story was all that.

Riley: When will the 2018 SFR Galaxy Awards be handed out?

Laurie: The awards will be announced on January 31st on the site (link posted below). They will be presented in the traditional way, with one round being posted per hour beginning at 9AM (blog time). A “round” is comprised of at least one award–but usually multiple–presented by an individual judge, and in total there could be around thirty-five awards presented. It varies from year to year.

Riley: What is the best way for someone to make sure they don’t miss these fabulous awards?

Laurie: They can visit the awards site here: SFR Galaxy Awards

Links to the awards rounds will also be posted on the SFR Brigade FanPage on Facebook and tweeted with the hashtag #SFRGalaxyAwards.

Thanks so much for hosting me today to talk a little about the SFR Galaxy Awards. It’s always an exciting day for SFR authors, readers and fans.

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About the Author

Laurie A. Green is an award-winning, USA TODAY bestselling author, and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers.

You can learn more about her books and sign up for her newsletter on her website:
Laurie A. Green

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