Time for another peek at the progress of the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards panel! Is it April already? Cue not so much chaos as panic (at least for this reader), as that means we’re halfway through the process – at least in terms of time, if not in progress… So how are we getting on?

My reading progress puts me at somewhat less than halfway there. I’ve read 15 nominees, with 18 left to go – but 2 of those 15 represent 6 books (two trilogies in series), so I’m not really as halfway as I’d like to think! But it’s not all about the reading…

This is my first time sitting on an awards panel, and it’s an interesting and rewarding experience. From the very start, it has been discursive: everyone has a great deal of respect for each other and for the subject matter, which means there’s a genuine desire to know what other people think and to understand their point of view.

The nominations suggested that we have overlapping but slightly different preferences, and the comments as we read have reflected what I guessed from reading our various blogs and reviews: we also all have slightly different approaches to review. It’s making for a good mix of commentary: analysis, criticism, enthusiasm and of course FEELINGS.

We’re also delightfully blunt about where we stand. We’ve now had variations on “I’m sorry, I’ve read it and I just don’t get it. Explain why this is awesome, because I think I’m missing something” at least 4 times, including from me. It’s not a put down or an indication – it’s an invitation to educate, and the ensuing discussions have revealed willing hearts and open minds.

None of which will help us make our decisions in the end. It’s going to be exciting and I half expect you’ll find us clustered around a laptop in a Nine Worlds bar the night before we hand the awards out still trying to make our decisions. But I may be wrong – it’s still early days, and as we all inch closer to completing each category, there may be overwhelming consensus after all.

I can’t wait to find out.