Award Annals is where creative works judged the best of their kind are documented and ranked. This site ranks over 11,000 creative works that have received some of over 180 awards. Here are some other site statistics.
The main product of this site is the Honor Roll—a ranked list derived from the literary award cross-reference database. Whenever a book, film, or album is nominated for an honor, the event is recorded in the annals. The nominated works are given a score for receiving the honor. A book that has garnered several literary honors will have a higher score, and appears nearer the top of our honor rolls. The top ten books on any literary honor roll have been judged by several different groups as an exceptional work of literature.
The Honor Roll menu at the top of this page will show you all the genres for which an honor roll exists.
The Award Annals was conceived and executed by Kenny Lucius in the summer of 2004 because of his unfulfilled desire to buy a good sci-fi book. (Kenny has a very important reason for speaking of himself in the third person. Just roll with it.) Kenny didn’t like any of the sites that listed Hugo and Nebula awards—they just weren’t set up for browsing. Kenny wanted a list of winners and nominees grouped by year so he could have a month’s worth of reading on one page. He wanted to see the cover art, read a synopsis, and see the prices without having to cross-reference or click all over Amazon. Just one simple page.
This simple page snowballed into a database of thousands of honored titles.
Kenny started with a Titanium PowerBook running OS X 10.3. Using only TextEdit, his page took shape. Then he installed MySQL along with CocoaMySQL which he extended to facilitate the gathering of book data. Arrangements were made to host the site with an altogether cheap host. Kenny had to learn PHP (very similar to C, fortunately) to program a web interface to the database. The nature of search engine crawlers demanded simplification of the design—no frames, more keywords, and a more straightforward document structure.
Then, rather suddenly at the end of August ’04, it all came together. Kenny froze the design and concentrated on adding books. In just a few weeks, the first fifteen awards were well-populated with winners and nominees—most of them back to 1990.
What is Award Annals good for? Who needs it?
The data gathered on this site is somewhat unique. Information about a particular work may be abundant, as are press releases from literary awards. A similar list of honors for a few of the works may exist elsewhere. The honor roll, however, is unique to Award Annals. Its uniqueness is probably due to the effort/reward ratio—it will never be commercially viable. The internet ads and bookseller affiliations barely cover the hosting costs.
This site was initially designed for readers who are looking for high-quality literature. The honor rolls display cover art and synopsis suitable for someone browsing for an interesting book that has been pre-judged—either by a panel of literary experts or by a gathering of fans. Librarians use the honor rolls to plan purchases. Students use it for research. It is entirely possible that authors brag about being included in an honor roll, but probably not.
Award Annals will continue in its current state so long as Kenny can afford to maintain it. There are many, many awards that are not represented, but Kenny can’t handle any more. If you would like to help, please contact us.