New Beginnings (Vitalis) has won the first Radioactive Dung Beetle Award!
I think this victory provides an important lesson for authors: make sure your marketing blurb matches the genre, style, and tone of your story. Don’t bait-and-switch, and don’t assume that the customer has read your previous work and therefore knows what to expect. If your story is humorous, erotic, dark, or whatever, your blurb should make this clear. New Beginnings may or may not be an excellent science fiction story, but I have no interest in reading erotica, so I never found out.
Dishonorable mention goes to Whipping Star, which came very close to taking the award. One commenter voted for New Beginnings after strongly considering Whipping Star, and I chose not to vote as I couldn’t decide between those same two choices.
Seventy by Liana Brooks comes through the process unscathed, not receiving a single vote.
Once my dung beetles manage to ball up and roll away another six stories, we’ll have a second Radioactive Dung Beetle award.