I have half a dozen awards I consider worth the effort to be involved with, and one of them is the Nebula Awards. The members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. nominate and vote on the various entries into that competition and select the winners. Along with the Hugo Awards it is one of the best places to learn about new authors and the best new stories. The video equivalent for these two would be the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes; one chosen by the pros, one chosen by the fans. Each award system has something of value to contribute, so you want to pay attention to both.
The nominations just opened for this years Nebula’s, so if you are a member of the SFWA now is the time to push your candidates to the front of the stage. When I say just, I mean it opened yesterday, the 15th of November 2010, and will run until February 15th of 2011. It really doesn’t matter if anything nominated wins or not from a Fan perspective. If it was good enough or important enough to be nominated, it is worth your time to read it at least once, even if your conclusion is you do not feel it is worth recommending to anyone. From these beginnings cult classics are born.