Now, many of you will already be familiar with these awards, which look at short SFF of any length (so up to novellas) across five award categories. These categories are mostly thematic, looking at the different aspects of SFF that I love and seeking to celebrate short SFF that other awards, by separating categories by length only, don't really do. And though I do not have the funds to make actual awards to send to people, I do make up little graphics, especially for the top story in each category, which I call the Big Sip Award Winner.
But what are the categories? So glad you asked! As a refresher, the five categories are...
The "I'd Ship That" Sippy for Excellent Relationships in Short SFF
This looks at stories that feature amazing relationships. Those might be romantic, sexual, friend, enemy, family, or really any way that people relate to people. It doesn't have to be "healthy" relationships (whatever that even means) so long as they're compelling to me.
The "I'm Sleeping with the Lights On" Sippy for Excellent Horror in Short SFF
This isn't just about horror. This is about the intersection of horror and SFF, which is something that has whole publications devoted to it but often finds itself on the outside looking in when it comes to awards. So I want to look at what makes me afraid, and what freaks me right the fuck out.
The "There's Something in My Eye" Sippy for Excellent Making Me Ugly-Cry in Short SFF
Okay, so I'm something of an emotional reader, and sometimes I read a story that leaves me sobbing into my coffee (or stronger adult beverage). I want to honor the stories that do more than tug at the heartstrings--I want to celebrate those that rip those strings out and leave me an emotionally devastated mess.
The "Time to Run Some Red Lights" Sippy for Excellent Action in Short SFF
EXPLOSIONS! SWORD FIGHTS! MAGIC FERRETS! Okay, well, maybe not that last one. But I do want to look at short SFF that features pulse-pounding, jaw-dropping action in a way that only SFF can. Because who brings a gun to a mecha fight?
The "Where We're Going We Won't Need Categories" Sippy for Excellent I'm Not Sure What in Short SFF
And finally, this one is for those stories that just don't fit anywhere. That really experiment with what SFF can look like and how it can feel. These are the stories that are hard to pin down, and that's what makes them so special. Sometimes, when something doesn't fit into a box, the best way to celebrate it isn't to try and force it, but to throw away the idea of boxes (but still, you know, give an award...).
So there you are! The four runners-up as well as the Big Sips for each category will be announced together on consecutive days in February, so look forward to that! Also, this is the fourth year of these awards. If you want to find the previous years, you can check them all out here.