The Noth­ing With­in is a semi­fi­nal­ist in the Self-Pub­lished Fan­ta­sy Blog-Off (SPFBO).

A big “thank you” to The Cri­tiquing Chemist for giv­ing it such a pos­i­tive review. Some­how I’m still pleas­ant­ly sur­prised every time some­body enjoys it.

About the Contest

In case you’re not famil­iar, the SPBFO is a big event in the fan­ta­sy world. For this year’s con­test, ten well-known fan­ta­sy book blog­gers are eval­u­at­ing 300 self-pub­lished nov­els. Each blog­ger makes a first pass to iden­ti­fy one or more semi­fi­nal­ists from the 30 or so nov­els they were assigned.

That’s where The Noth­ing With­in is right now.

Next, each blog­ger will decide which nov­el they liked best out of their 30. Final­ly, all ten blog­gers will read and score all ten finalists.

What is “Fantasy?”

I’ve often described The Noth­ing With­in as a sci­ence fic­tion nov­el that reads more like a fan­ta­sy nov­el, but it does have sci-fi deep at its core, so I assumed it did­n’t even qualify.

As fate would have it, one of my first pre-pub­li­ca­tion read­ers on Goodreads and Net­Gal­ley was Łukasz Przywóski…who is a review­er at Fan­ta­sy Book Crit­ic, one of the book blogs that judges the SPFBO. Łukasz encour­aged me (three times, I think) to enter. Łukasz explained that fan­ta­sy cross­es over with SF increas­ing­ly often. In fact, the SPFBO con­test rules acknowl­edge that non-mono­chro­mat­ic def­i­n­i­tion of fan­ta­sy: “It must be a fan­ta­sy book. (If you say it’s fan­ta­sy then it is. But if it isn’t real­ly it won’t get far.)”

Next Steps

Even if The Noth­ing With­in goes no fur­ther, I’m tick­led that it reached semi­fi­nals. In any case, I’m grate­ful to Łukasz for help­ing me to get past my genre-myopia, and to the Cri­tiquing Chemist for ush­er­ing me through the first round of review.

You can find out more about the SPF­BO’s rules and the sta­tus of this year’s con­test.

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