The inaugural Annual Wooden Rocket Awards have just been launched to identify online excellence in the science fiction and fantasy genre.

The awards are voted on by the Internet's science fiction and fantasy fans to give recognition to their favourite web sites across a wide range of genre categories.

Award Director Mark Lewis has this to say about the new awards:

"It's ironic, given the first Internet connection was established on the UCLA campus in 1969, that we've now stepped into the new millennium without any award worthy of the name being established for online science fiction and fantasy.

Even the darling of the field, the Hugo Awards given out annually at the World Science Fiction Convention, sadly do not yet have a permanent category to recognise web site excellence."

If you include all the related media searches such as Star Wars, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, almost 9 per cent of the search engine Google's traffic is related to science fiction and fantasy ... although you would be hard pressed to find recognition of this by big Internet awards such as the New Media Awards or the Webbies."

It was with the aim of breaking this cycle of snobbery that the Committee of the WRA was established this year. The Wooden Rocket Award will finally recognise the vast amount of money, time and sweat which is poured into SFF- related web sites by countless thousands of webmasters, fans, professionals and media operations."

There are 17 award categories for the genre:

1) Best Online Magazine
2) Best Print-to-Web Magazine
3) Best Author Site
4) Best Artist Site
5) Best Gallery Site
6) Best Print Publisher Site
7) Best E-book Publisher Site
8) Best E-book Site
9) Best Official Movie Site
10) Best Fan Movie Site
11) Best Official TV Site
12) Best Fan TV Site
13) Best Online SFF store
14) Best Fan Site Home Page
15) Best Directory Site
16) Best Convention/Society Site
17) Best Foreign Language Site

The award ceremony will take place in June 2003.

Further details and entry forms are available at the official Wooden Rocket Award site at