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.)”
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.