Awards among the shallows:
Hugos considered as dyptich of semi-precious novels
Vernor Vinge and why the golden age of science fiction is still twelve
I really ought to know better by now. It doesn't matter whether an award is given out by fans or by peers, critics or the general public, whether the criteria is ostensibly "best" this or "favourite" that.
Awards are a crap shoot, influenced by fashions, by lobbying and by plain old bad taste.
That's right, I said it. Sometimes an award is given out to a book (or a movie, or a play, or a poem — the list is as endless as variations in the arts) that simply doesn't deserve it. That doesn't even merit being on the short-list in the first place.
Let me tell you about Vernor Vinge and why the golden age of science fiction is still 12. My full review lives at Edifice Rex Online. Yell at me here, or there.