By Steve Weddle
Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame voting is more of a joke each year. Maybe things will get better, but something has to change.
I'm not interested right now in arguing whether Jack Morris should be in, alongside Maddux and Glavine.
But what's going on is a mockery, which is often something I'm in favor of. Not this time.
You have reporters with Hall of Fame votes handing their ballots over to sports blogs. You have other voters turning in blank ballots to protest something something Steroid Era. You have voters who won't vote for Biggio because he played at the same Canseco was taking needles to the buttocks.
People have lost their damn minds.
Voting is a joke and the reward itself, being named to the Hall of Fame, is being pooped all over.
Which brings us to the week in crime fiction.
The Bookernet (as @bookriot calls the book folks who blog/tweet book conflicts on the internet) was on fire earlier this week and last as authors began receiving solicitations for nominations which went something like this: "Hey, I wrote a book called INSPECTOR DOLT SAVES THE DAY. It's eligible for a Stout Award. Can you click HERE and nominate it? kthxbye."
As someone who has done thoughtless, dopey things myself, lemme just say: Dude. Bad form.
Over the past few years, the Bookernet has talked about how book awards seem to be less about the most talented works winning, more about the most marketed book winning.
Of course, these are the same people who were super-duper rioty after a year went by with no one worthy of the fiction Pulitzer.
Look. I get it. You want your book to be noticed. It's a tough market. Being able to put a sticker on the paperback re-issue of your book would be hella sweet. But what are you doing to the process? She with the most email addresses wins? That's what you want to win for?
So I'd like to propose that each of the big awards for crime fiction immediately add some new awards. In addition to Best Novel and Best Debut and Coolest Reader and those, perhaps the committees for these awards can institute awards Most Solicitous or Most Soliciting? Best Marketing Campaign. Most Egregious Etiquette Breach. Most Self-Deprecating Grovel for Attention. Greatest Twitter #Humblebrag. Most RTs of Positive Review. Most Clever Way To Rile Up One's Own Fans To Offset A Two-Star Review. And so on.
Once we can get this done, then we get the baseball writers to select one of their own for Biggest Jerk. They don't even have to be very good writers to win.
After all, many writers seem to care much more about winning a writing award than they care about the writing.