Monday 1 June 2015

The Gemmell Award Short-lists!

The Gemmell Awards short-lists were announced this morning, and these are they:

Legend (Novel)
  • Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (HarperCollins)
  • Valour by John Gwynne (Pan Macmillan/Tor UK)
  • Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (HarperCollins)
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (Gollancz)
  • The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks (Orbit)

Morningstar (Debut)
  • Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot)
  • The Godless by Ben Peek (Pan Macmillan/Tor UK)
  • The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley (Pan Macmillan/Tor UK)
  • Age of Iron by Angus Watson (Orbit)

Ravenheart (Cover)
  • Laura Brett for The Slow Regard of Silent Things (Gollancz)
  • Mike Bryan for Half a King (HarperCollins)
  • Jason Chan for Prince of Fools (HarperCollins)
  • Sam Green for Words of Radiance (Gollancz)
  • Jackie Morris for The Fool’s Assassin (HarperCollins)

Congratulations to everyone!

Thousands of votes were cast in the first stage and you can vote in the final stage here.

I was sorry not to see Robin Hobb on the Legend short-list with the excellent Fool's Assassin. The five selected include four previous Gemmell Award winners: Sanderson, Weeks, Lawrence, and Gwynne (won the Morningstar award in 2012) along with Joe Abercrombie (short-listed for the Legend in 2009, 2010, and 2012). So in terms of the Gemmells there are no new faces here.

I've not read any of the other four works on the list so I've no strong basis for voting. I've read the débuts of Weeks and Gwynne. It's probably healthier for the award if an author who hasn't won before wins this year - which would mean Gwynne or Abercrombie. Gwynne has won a Gemmell Award before though, albeit not the Legend, and it would be harsh for Joe to be short-listed four times and still not get the big axe ... so it's probably Joe's time to be an award wielding author!

As last year's winner I am invited to hand over the trophy to this year's winner at the Nine Worlds Geekfest, which would be a lot of fun to do. I do have an ambition to pass the axe to Joe on stage, with great reluctance, and then just point blank refuse to let go.

Sadly, I don't think I will be able to make it. My duties in caring for my very disabled daughter make that kind of travel very difficult, especially in the midst of the relentlessly long summer holiday. But it should be a great event!

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