First, the spam attack problem was solved the morning after I reported it to our hosting service, CI Host; it’s called ‘spoofing’, as several readers advised me, and the boffins at CI Host had some method (something about a ‘PTR record’) of preventing the effects of the incursion.
Second, the Locus Poll votes have been processed and databased and scrubbed for egregious voting sins (people– we tell you this every year, but if you vote for the *same item* five times in the same category, you have violated our voting rules and we will *throw out* your entire ballot) and tabulated and scored and ranked. The results are known. As we’ve done for two or three years now, we have posted a list of ‘finalists’, i.e. the top five ranking items in each category, as an enticement to attend the actual Locus Awards event in Seattle and learn who the actual winners are, before they appear in print in Locus Magazine (or are posted online here).
I’ve watched the ballots come in and have done several incremental tabulations of results, but I’m nevertheless impressed by the final results: the sets of five finalists in each category are, it seems to me, solid indicators of the year’s best books and stories, and are at least as impressive and substantial (maybe moreso in some categories) as the Hugo finalists, in those categories that correspond. If you’ve read nothing all year, you could do far worse than using these finalists as reading guides. Actually, there are a couple three categories where I need to do that myself.
Today I’ve been inundated by 2000+ emails in my inbox (meaning that the Outlook junk e-mail filter didn’t filter them) all with subjects along the lines of ‘delivery status (failure)’ and ‘mail system error – returned’ and ‘undelivered mail return to sender’, all with email attachments which *appear* to be spam emails sent from *my* email address, i.e. email@example.com, and returned by spam filters at their target addresses. Is this some new form of phishing, perhaps, or has my email address been hijacked, or identity thieved, by actual spammers? I’ve queried my hosting service and not heard back yet. At a minimum, it makes finding legitimate emails in my inbox much more difficult. Anyone know about this?
Last few Locus Poll ballots are trickling in — some paper ballots that have to be transcribed by the office staff into the online form — but I expect that we will be able to post ‘Locus Award finalists’, as we’ve done in previous years, within the next week sometime.
As if an abreaction to something in the Florida water or food wasn’t enough, I managed to catch upon my return from ICFA the rumored ’2-week flu’ which entails cold symptoms for that amount of time, nothing debilitating but an interference nonetheless. April 1st has come and gone, with no outraged letters in response to our (originally ICFA-inspired!) tomfoolery. Meanwhile Locus Poll ballots are pouring in, with the deadline tomorrow. I’ve read a few books and seen a couple interesting DVDs which I’ve been meaning to comment on here, and will try to do so soon. Stay tuned.