Voting for the Neil Gaiman Audio Contest is over! And thanks to you guys, yes, I did indeed land somewhere in the Top 20.
(dabs at eyes)
Now the contest moves on to Stage 2, in which the Panel of Harper-Collins Judges chooses the one they like the most.
And I do think that’s the operative phrase. I think what happens now is that each judge will listen to all 20 and then vote for the one that they flat-out Liked for whatever reason. The nature of the contest gives them a lot of freedom. There’ll be reactions like “That guy sounds like he’s just been in a bar fight. That’s kind of cool.” or “Wow, doesn’t [name of finalist] sound perfect for [unnamed incidental character]?”
Or even: “#6 is dressed in an awesome troll costume in his entry photo, and his audition sounds like a million bucks…and he’s dressed in an awesome troll costume. Gentlemen and ladies, why the bloody hell are we looking any further? WE. ARE. USING. THIS. MAN.“
But most likely it’ll simply be a gut response. It’s not an award to recognize America’s Next Top Audiobook Narrator. The judges will be making the statement “You have a cool voice. Come and record a part for us, won’t you?”
So I think I’m in there with a chance, along with 19 other Equally-Worthy Humans. Give them a listen. A Neil Gaiman fan with some scripting mojo wrote a neat little gadget that (I think) scraped the site once an hour during the voting period and maintained an updated list of top vote-getters, with links to their audition pieces.
No matter what the outcome, I wanted to be sure to thank everyone who helped me finish in the top twenty! That finish is put a lottery ticket in my pocket for the next few days. The outcome won’t be known until the end of the week, and I know that my chances aren’t great. But until the announcement, hell: I’ve got a nonzero chance of winning something awesome. And that’s a fun thought.