f you’re a fan of science fiction, you’ve probably heard of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, but I’m willing to bet that you’ve never heard of the Parsec Awards. The Parsec Awards were created by Mur Lafferty, Tracy Hickman, and Michael Mennenga to recognize excellence in science fiction, fantasy, and horror (the genre is also known as speculative fiction) podcasts and podcast novels; in short, these awards are the audio equivalent of the Hugo. Past winners include Patrick McLean for his entertaining and informative How to Succeed in Evil, Norm Sherman for his The Drabblecast podcast, J.C. Hutchins for the novel Personal Effects: Sword of Blood, and Scott Sigler for more stories than you can shake a stick at.

Without further ado, the 2011 Parsec Awards winners are:

I’ve listened to a number of these podcasts, and they were all high quality; in fact, some of them have earned a permanent place on my hard drive next to Plants vs. Zombies. So, please join me in congratulating this year’s winners and in overloading their web servers with downloads.

Check out the complete list of 2011 Parsec Awards winners and finalists, find out who judges the awards, and look at photos from Parsec award ceremonies (this year’s awards were presented at Dragon*Con 2011).