The Armchair Audies: My Picks and Predictions for the 2013 Audie Awards

16 02 2013

Welcome to my initial 2013 Armchair Audies post. *cues celebratory dancing* As you know, myself and a bunch of rabid audiobook fans gather together every year to talk about The Audies under the guidance of our Audio Mistress Jen of Literate Housewife. Since, we are not rich, celebrity narrators who get to travel to New York City and are wined and dined in posh fashion by the Audio Publishers Association, we are forced to sit at home and talk audiobooks on our blogs and Twitter. Such a discussion led to The Armchair Audies, where us lowly bloggers listen to and review titles within our chosen categories, and make our picks for the winners. Last year, we had a pretty strong prediction rate, and I *humblebrag* correctly picked two of my three categories “damn you, Khristine Hvam and Laini Taylor.*

Now, with many narrators, audiobook industry execs, publicists and authors waiting for the gala announcement Monday of the nominees, probably with some celeb like James Marsters or Dion Graham giving a press conference to a packed room of eager entertainment reporters, I will be making my predictions today of what titles I think could, or should be nominated for the Speculative Fiction categories, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal. I will be assigning three levels to my picks, they are:

Fave: These are titles I think I think have a really good chance of being nominated by the APA.
Wildcards: These are titles I think could see a nomination, if they are submitted by their Publisher for consideration.
The Baubies: These are titles I would have nominated, and believe deserved, but probably will not receive a nomination due to politics, not being submitted, judges with poor taste and karmic retribution for past sins.

One last note, I already posted my favorite titles from 2012. Although you will see many titles on this list that are on that list, I am basing my picks on the Award worthiness of a title, and not on whether I personally really, really liked it.

So, here we go, Bob’s 2013 Pre-Audie Nominations Picks for Audie Nominations for Armchair Audies, or The Baubies, if you wish.

Science Fiction

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Read by Wil Wheaton

Audible Frontiers

FAVE

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Read by John Hodgeman

Random House Audio

WILDCARD

14 by Peter Clines

Read by Ray Porter

Audible Frontiers

WILDCARD

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Read by Michael Fenton-Stevens

Harper Audio

THE BAUBIES

Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo

Read by Sean Runnette

Tantor Audio

WILDCARD

I think that Redshirts is almost a lock for a nomination, and probably the Favorite for the win this year. It’s hard to bet against Scalzi and Wheaton, and while it was my least favorite of the Scalzi/Wheaton Audiobooks, it is still a great listen. Year Zero should be nominated, it has the bonus of a celebrity narrator, and is a great listen. Yet, I put it in the same category as Ready Player One, it probably should be the Audie winner this year, but there’s a good chance it won’t even be nominated. 14 was the surprise hit of the year for Audible, and a great audiobook and probably the strongest Non-Redshirts lock for a nomination. My last two picks are really “go out on a limb” type picks. Zombie Fallout is hugely popular, and a big win for Tantor this year. I think that there is a big question of what category Zombies fit into, so if we don’t see a nomination here, perhaps it will be in one of the other categories. I think the more deserving zombie title, Blackout by Mira Grant, will be neglected, and Zombie Fallout is just quirky enough to get noticed by the judges. Finally, The Long Earth has two big named Science Fiction and Fantasy authors and while I doubt it will be nominated, I think it is, it could be a potential surprise upset over Redshirts.

Fantasy

Nine Princess of Amber by Roger Zelazny

Read by Alessandro Juliani

Audible Frontiers

FAVE

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Read by Khristine Hvam

Hachette Audio

FAVE

The Stand by Stephen King

Read by Grover Gardner

Random House Audio

WILDCARD

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce

Read by John Lee

Blackstone Audio

THE BAUBIES

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

Read by Phil Gigante

Brilliance Audio

THE BAUBIES

Fantasy was a very hard category for me. There are two books that I believe should be Audie Nominees, yet both missed the cutoff dates by a few weeks, one too early and one too late. Those two are The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett and Among Others by Jo Walton. Right now, I think the Fantasy category is a two Audiobook Race between the follow up to last year’s winner Days of Blood & Starlight and the first entry in a classic Fantasy series, The Nine Princess of Amber. I strongly believe Steven King will pull off a nomination this year. I think that The Stand is more deserving of a nomination, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Wind Through the Keyhole pull it off instead. My final two picks I doubt will receive a nomination, but I think should. Throne of the Crescent Moon is a refreshing, Arabian Fantasy wonderfully narrated by Phil Gigante, and would be my pick to win, if I thought it would be nominated. Some Kind of Fairy Tale is more Magical Realism than Fantasy, but such a thought provoking novel that could appeal to a more diverse audience.

Paranormal

Spellbound by Larry Correia

Read by Bronson Pinchot

Audible Frontiers

FAVE

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Read by Susan Duerden

Dreamscape Audiobooks

WILDCARD

Tricked by Kevin Hearne

Read by Luke Daniels

Random House Audio

WILDCARD

V Wars edited by Jonathan Maberry

With stories by Jonathan Maberry, Nancy Holder, John Everson, Yvonne Navarro, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Scott Nicholson, Gregory Frost, and James A. Moore

Read by Stefan Rudnicki, John Rubinstein, Gabrielle de Cuir, Roxanne Hernandez, Lisa Renee Pitts, Arte Johnson, Cassandra Campbell, Wil Wheaton and Grover Garner

Blackstone Audio

WILDCARD

Wildcards: Volume 1 edited by George R. R. Martin with stories by Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Michael Cassutt, David D. Levine, George R. R. Martin, Victor Milan, Edward Bryant, Leanne C. Harper, Stephen Leigh, Carrie Vaughn, and John J. Miller

Read by Luke Daniels

Brilliance Audio

WILDCARD

Paranormal is probably the toughest to predict, because I believe two or three of the nominations will go to Paranormal Romance titles, and being that I don’t listen to them, I can’t really choose. Despite the groan worthy (pun intended) public response to the series, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 50 Shades of Gray get nominated. I hope it isn’t, but it is insanely popular, and it would be crazy not to at least consider the possibility. Spellbound by Larry Correia is a follow up to last year’s winner, and Bronson Pinchot gives one of the all time best performances by a narrator I have ever heard. It’s stunning, and if it doesn’t win, I will sulk and throw things. The Rook is an amazing audiobook, with a great performance, and one of the most unique stories I have listened to. I think there’s a good chance that, if it was submitted, that it will be nominated. I really went out on a limb and picked Tricked by Kevin Hearne. The risk is that I personally haven’t listened to it, but I have listened to the first two in the series, and they were brilliant and funny, and the series is so popular that I have trouble seeing Random House not submitting it. If there is a surprise upset win, I would have to say the V Wars has the best chance of pulling it out over Spellbound. It’s an awesome production with wonderful narration, and it should pull an award in some category if not this one. Finally, Wild Cards, edited by George R. R. Martin could possibly pull of a nomination due to a great performance by Luke Daniels and the popularity of Game of Thrones.

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8 responses

16 02 2013
krishna

Does Blue Remembered Earth Qualify?It was very well narrated.

16 02 2013
theguildedearlobe

Yes it does. I never tried Reynolds in audio but I did struggle through one of his books in print years ago. I may have to check this one out, sounds interesting.

16 02 2013
Lucy

Looking forward to seeing the nominations on Monday. I think many of these have a good chance of making it on the ballot. A couple I want to check out are Days of Blood and Starlight, and the Kevin Hearne series. Some Kind of Fairytale also looks intriguing.

16 02 2013
Brenda Lee (@AudioGal2)

In answer to your Tweet about some paranormal romance choices for the 2013 Audie’s I’ll go with until I learn more about what it really takes to qualify…

Ilona Andrews Gun Metal Magic narrated by Renee Raudman
Any of Kresley Cole’s narrated by Robert Petkoff.
Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison narrated by Sophie Eastlake
Jeannine Frost’s Night Prince narrated by Tavia Gilbert
Nalini Singh’s Archangle’s Storm narrated by Justine Eyre

16 02 2013
Literate Housewife

I love your categories and analysis here, Bob. I will be really curious on Monday to see how close if at all the two of us are. I’m looking forward to our #AudieNomnoms chat on Monday. Let’s see how much buzz the two of us alone can generate.

I’m so glad Armchair Audies season is finally here!

17 02 2013
Felicia S. (@thegeekyblogger)

There are quite a few deserving from the romance side of Paranormal though it will be interesting to see how that divides down. However, 50 Shades of Grey should be strictly romance and not up for that category. I hope it isn’t nominated but it will be interesting to see if it is.

18 02 2013
montsamu

I’m having trouble putting thoughts together about the sf/f categories for some reason, but I do have some thoughts on the “narrated by the author” category. John Crowley’s “Little, Big” came out in late 2011, but I think it qualifies for this Audie awards year. One I’m not sure about qualification for is Neil Peart’s narration of Clockwork Angels: The Novel, because while Peart gets some story credit, the official author listing sometimes only lists Kevin J. Anderson. The favorite has to be Grammy Award winner Janis Ian’s “Society’s Child”, though!

18 02 2013
Laurie C

I was surprised to see some that I thought were older titles on this list, like Zombie Fallout and Among Others. Maybe I’m not as behind as I thought, although I haven’t listened to most of these. I bought Hounded by Kevin Hearne a long time ago but haven’t listened yet. Also want to listen to Red Shirts and The Rook. Have started listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and it seems to deserve its award!

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