BLOG The Stuff Of Legends – The Gemmell Award 2011

SFX Blogger Alasdair Stuart previews the greatest Fasntasy Literature prize of all. Have you voted yet? And get your tickets for a very magical awards ceremony

The David Gemmell Award has that rarest of beasts: a mission statement that makes sense. Founded in the name of the late fantasy author, the award exists to:

  • Raise public awareness of the Fantasy genre
  • Celebrate the history and cultural importance of Fantasy literature
  • Appreciate & reward excellence in the field
  • Commemorate the legacy of David Andrew Gemmell and his contribution to the Fantasy genre

Wolf In Shadow and Legend are both books that are very, very dear to my heart for a couple of reasons. Wolf In Shadow and its sequels are fantasy horror westerns that honour all three genres, throwing in a liberal dose of post apocalyptic science fiction for good measure, whilst Legend is a surprisingly moving story about the last thing a hero can do. Plus, I always remember reading an interview with Gemmell about writing the book. He wanted to work out whether a particular move in one of the closing fights would work, so waited until everyone in his office had left and proceeded to swing a broom around with tremendous enthusiasm, mapping the battle out. If I remember correctly, the police were called and were very understanding. I always liked that story.

The Gemmell Awards have just entered their shortlist phase and if you’ve read any of the books, now’s the perfect time to vote and try push them all the way to the top. All votes are started over for each of the nominees at the shortlist stage, so even if you voted before, you should vote again:

Here’s a reminder of the shortlisted nominees:

Legend Award (Best Fantasy Novel 2010)

  • The Alchemist In The Shadows – Pierre Pevel (Gollancz)
  • The Desert Spear – Peter V Brett (Voyager)
  • The Black Prism – Brent Weeks (Orbit)
  • The Way Of Kings – Brandon Sanderson (Gollancz/Tor US)
  • Towers Of Midnight – Brandon Sanderson & Robert Jordan (Orbit/Tor US)
  • The War Of The Dwarves – Markus Heitz (Orbit)

Morningstar (Best Fantasy Debut 2010)

  • Shadow Prowler – Alexey Pehov (Tor US)
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N K Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Warrior Priest – Darius Hinks (Black Library)
  • Spellwright – Blake Charlton (Tor US)
  • Tymon’s Flight – Mary Victoria (Harper Collins Australia)

Ravenheart (Best Fantasy Artwork)

  • Todd Lockwood for The Ragged Man (Pyr edition)
  • Frank Victoria for Tymon’s Flight (Harper Collins Australia)
  • Jon Sullivan for Shadow King (Black Library)
  • Cliff Nielsen for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Orbit)
  • Olof Erla Einarsdottir for Power & Majesty (Harper Collins Australia)

Even better, the award ceremony’s open to the public. This isn’t an industry event, it’s a chance for fantasy authors and fans to meet and celebrate the successes of the past year. Oh, and the ceremony takes place at the Magic Circle in London, which, as a former stage magician, makes me very happy. Tickets are just £20 and can be ordered from Christine Harrison through christineharrison_007@hotmail.com. So if you’re a fantasy fan, vote and if you can, vote and attend the ceremony. After all, how often do you get to see the start of a Legend?

And DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!