Friday, 29 June 2018

The SPFBO is making big waves!


So, Barnes and Noble are America's biggest bookshop chain. Which makes them the biggest bookshop chain in the English speaking world, and maybe the whole world.
This means they are a pretty important voice in the business of fiction.

Yesterday they published their list of the best SFF books of the year so far.

I was very pleased to see Grey Sister among the 25 books listed. Red Sister was on last year's list too, hoorah!

It's no small thing when you consider that there are around a thousand books published (traditionally) in the US each day, and that a decent percentage of these will be SFF titles.

It was also great to see Master Assassins on the list. An excellent book.

But, the real eyeopener here was that on this list of 25 SFF books, selected by the biggest bookshop chain in the English speaking world to represent the best offerings over the last 6 months, were TWO books that broke big directly as a result of their involvement in the SPFBO!

Senlin Ascends and The Grey Bastards were both on the list.

Think about that for a moment. Nearly 10% of the biggest English speaking bookshop chain's list of best SFF books came from our little contest. 

That, it seems to me, is pretty awesome.

It could even represent a sea change of sorts where the SPFBO is truly a major channel in bringing excellence from the ocean of self-published talent to the attention of the wider world.


Not bad, huh?

A testament to the hard work of the many blogs and reviewers who have put so much effort into making the contest succeed.






Saturday, 23 June 2018

SPFBO blogger demographics.

Here is how this year's SPFBO blogs break down, gender-wise.

Over all we have 38 reviewers involved.

23 female.
16 male. 

6 of the blogs are majority female.
4 majority male.

This is fairly representative of previous years.

Finalists by year:
2017: 9 male, 1 female
2016: 5 male, 5 female
2015: 8 male, 2 female

Highest placed female author (in the year & over three years):
2017: 9th / 28th
2016: 5th / 16th
2015: 4th / 11th 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Where Loyalties Lie wins the PRESTIGIOUS SPFBO Selfie Stick!

Yes, that time has come again. Following Where Loyalties Lies' defeat of 299 other fantasy books in SPFBO 2017, it remained only for me to commission the fabled craftspeople of somewhere with low labour costs to fashion the third SPFBO Selfie Stick award.

This exquisite award, carved by hand from finest polymer resin has no association whatsoever with any wizarding school. So shut up.




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Monday, 18 June 2018

SPFBO 2018, Phase 1


In phase 1 the ten blogs each select 1 finalist from the batches of 30 books they have been given.

Phase 1 runs from August 1st to December 31st 2018.

The allocations will be listed below as they are agreed.

Once the process starts, reviews will be linked from the book titles here and other SPFBO blog posts will be linked in a general section.


Here's a wordle made from all the titles. It seems dragons are popular this year!

This year's average title might be: Shadow Dragons of Blood City!


& here's the gender breakdown of the authors based on a swift check through the names. This of course assumes that traditional male and female names are being used by the statistically more likely sex.

There hasn't been much change in the breakdown over the years. Though the colour scheme does vary so don't let that mislead you.
2017
2016
2015


Hiu has put 290 of the entries (the ones with Goodreads listings) on a shelf. Ordering it by number of ratings I see that Everblue has a very impressive 7,446 ratings, followed by The Arrival (1,579), Child of the Daystar (1,494), Orconomics (1,101), Rebel's Blade (874), and Continue Online (850).

The 20th book in that ordering has 286 ratings.

Blog posts (contestant reviews, and other SPFBO articles I notice)
Newest updates at the bottom.

Check out the COVER CONTEST! From The Fantasy Hive: The Double Edged Sword of the SPFBO Superstar Drifter joins team Weatherwax I talk about the SPFBO making big waves! On The Thousand Scars blog are many interviews with SPFBO contestants. On Bookworm Blues Sarah talks cover art and her methodology for judging books. On Fantasy Book Critic an introduction and cover choices. Three more cover finalists chosen on Lynn' Books. Kitty G talks about being in this year's SPFBO. An introduction from the mighty Fantasy-Faction. Fantasy-Faction choose their cover finalists. We have results in the cover contest! More analysis of the entrants with most Goodreads ratings. Fantasy Book review kick off SPFBO 4 with a review of Hero Forged on the stroke of midnight! Bookworm Blues reviews Nectar and Ambrosia. SPFBO supporting blog The Fantasy Hive interviews the author of Deadmarsh Fey. Lynn talks about her SPFBO process on Lynn's Books. The Qwillery set out their stall. Bookworm Blues reviews Integral. City of Shards is reviewed on Fantasy Book Review. On Fantasy Book Critic 6 books are cut and our two semi finalists are chosen. The Weather Wax Report open their account with a review of No Sympathies. Darkblade Assassin is reviewed on The Weather Wax Report. The Weather Wax Report tackles Dixie! Bookworm Blues reviews The Jericho Prophecy. Booknest open their account by reviewing Doormaker. Feeding Frenzy is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. A review of The Stars Were Right over on Booknest. Khanh reviews Omnipresent Occulation for the Alliterates (now on the website too). The Weather Wax Report reports on The Red Hourglass. A Dance of Silver and Shadow is appraised on Bookworm Blues. Lynn interviews Jacob Sannox on Lynn's Books. The Weatherwax Report reviews Sorcerous Rivalry. Fantasy Book Review present their semifinalist, Symphony of the Wind. Scrooge and Marley (deceased) is reviewed on Fantasy Book Review. Fantasy Book Critic give their 2nd semifinalist a fuller review. Kitty G reviews her first five books on Youtube. Air and Ash is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. 3 more books selected for consideration on Lynn's Books. On Bookworm Blues The Finder of the Lucky Devil is reviewed. Fantasy Book Critic reviews Agent. Between the Shade and the Shadow is reviewed on Bookworm Blues. The Weatherwax Report reviews One Boy No Water. Silverglen is reviewed on Fantasy Book Critic. Fantasy Book Review consider The Mage Team. The Shepherd Girl's Necklace is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report Servant of Rage reviewed on Fantasy Book Review. The Weatherwax Report reviews Strangehold. Booknest reviews The Beast of Maug Maurai. Fantasy-Faction cut 5 books from their list. The Weatherwax Report reviews The Lion Prophecy. Over Raging Tides is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. Booknest reviews Blue Prometheus. Booknest reviews The Great Restoration. Booknest reviews The Summoner and the Seer. City of Crows is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. Bookworm Blues reviews The Necromancer Princess. Three novels are cut on Lynn's Books. Revenant Winds is reviewed on Fantasy Book Review. The Weatherwax Report reviews The Gods of Winter. The Impossible Wizard is reviewed on Bookworm Blues. Fantasy Book Critic choose another two semifinalists and cut six titles. Cave Canem reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. The Weatherwax Report reviews The Knight's Order. The Weatherwax Report reviews The Fire Eye Refugee. Runeforged is reviewed on Booknest. Semifinalist, The Boy Who Walked Too Far is reviewed on Fantasy Book Critic. The Carnival of the Night is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. When the Kingdom Falls is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. Fantasy Book Review takes a look at Angel of Destruction. Fantasy Book Critic review Here Be Dragons. It may be autumn but The Weatherwax Report has reviewed Balam, Spring. The Memoirs of a Faun is reviewed on Booknest. Weatherwax reports on Dawn of Darkness. Booknest reviews semifinalist We Ride The Storm. Ghost Electricity is reviewed on Booknest. The Lost Temple of Ssissythyss is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. The Weatherwax Report reviews Everblue. The Weatherwax Report reviews Lords of Asylum. The Gods of Men is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. On Lynn's Books five titles are cut and a semifinalist is found. Dragon Mount is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report. Blood is spilled for the first time on The Weatherwax Report. Those Weatherwaxers axe 11 more titles. Fantasy-Faction drop 5 more books. The Weatherwax Report reports more axing! Some of The Weatherwax Report's hopefuls. Booknest reviews Corruption of Honor. Blade & Rose is reviewed on Bookworm Blues. Orconomics is reviewed on the Booknest. Thoughts Stained With Ink joins the blogging crew to help with the Alliterates' batch. Fantasy Book Review take a look at The Endless Ocean. Bookworm Blues reviews Threats of Sky and Sea. Kitty G reviews 5 more titles on video. Fantasy Book Critic cut more titles and find two more semifinalists. A semifinalist from The Qwillery, and five meet the axe. Dragon Bones is reviewed on Booknest. Five Fall on Fantasy-Faction. Fantasy Book Review axe 7 and choose 3 more semifinalists. Twin Spirit is reviewed on Booknest. The Ember Child is reviewed on Booknest. Booknest reviews Continue Online. A semifinalist is chosen on Booknest. Touch is reviewed on Booknest. Booknest review The Cave Between Worlds. The Qwillery choose a semifinalist and drop five books. Booknest review Siege of the Northland. Five fall on Fantasy-Faction. Booknest review The Dragon Orb. An SPFBO book, Senlin Ascends, makes it into the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fantasy! Kitty G video reviews 5 more books. Four more titles cut on Lynn's Books. The Weatherwax Report choose their semi finalists. Thoughts Stained With Ink chooses a semi finalist. Fantasy Book Critic select their last semi finalist. Brutal is reviewed on Booknest. The Tainted Crown is reviewed on Booknest. On Fantasy-Faction the last five fall. The Weatherwax Report reports this year's first finalist! Kitty Grey video reviews five more titles. Khanh reviews Shadow Magic on Goodreads. Fantasy Book Review looks at The Vale. Sowing is reviewed on Bookworm Blues. The Weatherwax Report interview their finalist. Reboot is reviewed on Bookworm Blues. The Lost Voice is reviewed on Booknest. On Thoughts Stained With Ink five more books are considered. Fantasy Book Review take a second look at The Vale. Bookworm Blues reviews Dragon Sphere. The Crown of Stones reviewed on Booknest. The Red Deaths is reviewed on Booknest.
Lynn cuts 5 books. Khanh reviews William Wilde and the Necrosed. Booknest review The Curse Recalled. 5 more books video reviewed by Kitty G. Sentinel is reviewed on Bookworm Blues. Booknest announce their finalist! Bookworm Blues picks a finalist! The Qwillery choose their 3 semifinalists. Fantasy Book Critic announce their finalist! Fantasy Book Review announce their finalist! Kitty G reviews her final 5. Final five considered on Thoughts Stained With Ink. Thoughts Stained With Ink reviews The Tempest Guild.
239 of 300 books eliminated

Books in red have been cut. Books in green are semifinalists (when/if they are cut they will be marked with a + to indicate semifinalist status). Books in bold bright green are finalists.
1. Bookworm Blues Richard Fierce - Dragon Sphere Angie Grigaliunas - Sowing Dean Rencraft - Voices Chris Weston - Fragile Nights Jordan C. Robinson - The Last Whisperer Jeffrey Collyer - Dreams and Shadows Philip Dickens - From the Hill of Meggido Domino Finn - Reboot Aldrea Alien - In Pain and Blood Anaya MacLeod - In the Moon's Shadow Chad Ballard - Sentinel Valery Keith - The Necromancer Princess A. Woodley - Witch Spelling Melanie Cellier - A Dance of Silver and Shadow Miranda Honfleur - Blade & Rose Michael Awadalla - Reign of the Walrus Witch Fiona Tarr - The Jericho Prophecy Tyler Kalarchian - Rucaern Orb Olivia Rising - Gift of Light James Wisher - The Impossible Wizard Ivana L. Truglio - Rilla  Elisabeth Hamill - Nectar and Ambrosia J.L Metcalf - The Last Daughter of Lilith K.S Mulholland - Escape Coleman Alexander - Between the Shade and the Shadow Adam Thielen - Integral Jennifer Ellision - Threats of Sky and Sea Cameron Smith - The Holtur Curse Megan Mackie - The Finder of the Lucky Devil Watson Davis - The Snow Tiger's Trail
2. Fantasy-Faction Sarah Wilson - Dragon School Matthew Ward - Spectre of the Spheres Dorothy Dreyer - Phoenix Descending T.J Muir - On Borrowed Luck Lauren Kuzimski - Second Nature G.D Talbot - The First Warrior's Code Raymond St Elmo - Letters from a Shipwreck in the Sea of Suns and Moons Ryan Mueller - Sunweaver Sandell Wall - The Tenth Reaver Alan Brenik - Rogue Arcanist Jeffery L. Kohanek - A Warden's Purpose Peter Fugazzotto - The Rise of the Fallen Anthony Jones - The Sword of Goliath Emerald Dodge - Battlecry Megan Crewe - Ruthless Magic Ross Kingston - Awakening Darran M. Handshaw - The Engineer Ryan Hague & Ivy Smoak - Be Careful What You Joust For Nathan Van Hoff - Boy of Dreams Bryce O'Connor - Child of the Daystar Rhiannon Held - Mirror Bound William C. Tracy - The Seeds of Dissolution Sherry Perkins - At the end of the Rainbow Roh Morgon - Watcher Caldon Mull - Mirrored Myrrh John Magna - Rogue Hunters Marilyn Peake - Blood and Ashes D.P Prior - Carnifex: A Portent of Blood Janeal Falor - Mother of the Chosen T. Norman - Blood-Stained Heir
3. Fantasy Book Critic D.H Dunn - Under Everest Skyler Grant - Glitch Hunter Raymond St Elmo - The Blood Tartan + C.D Gallant-King - Hell Comes to Hog Town + Jason A. Holt - The Bladesman of Darcliff Ingrid Seymour - Godmaker A.K.R Scott - Inharmonic Karen Peradon - The King's Voice J.A Devenport - By Raven's Call + William Markham - Missing Michael R.E. Adams - Recumon E.M. Wooden - Dominus Silentia Coleman Grey - Seeking Shiloh Debbie Taylor - Nia Rae Dale Ivan Smith - Agent Derek Hampton - The Soul Prison E.A. Burnett - Silverglen Sheryl R. Hayes - Chaos Wolf Heide Goody & Iain Grant - A Spell in the Country Craig Aird - Truth or Darkness Mitchell Edward Bell - The Kingdom of Thieves Gwendolyn Pendraig - Dancing in the Dust Matt Larkin - Apples of Idunn J.D Hart - The Chronicles of Nartesis Shazarack Jonathan J. Bowerman - The Secret Realms of the Hidden Elves David Macpherson - Here be Dragons + Dominic Watson - The Boy Who Walked Too Far + Amy McNulty - Fangs & Fins Philip Tucker - Death March + Nerine Dorman - The Firebird + Justan Henner - Death's Merchant
Devin Madson - We Ride the Storm +

4. Lynn's Book Alice Sabo - High Barrens Phil Parker - The Bastard from Fairyland K.D Wloch - Paragon Christopher Percy - Dark of Winter David Joel Stevenson - Victor Boone Will Save Us Jacob Sannox - Dark Oak Melika Dannese Lux - Deadmarsh Fay Tim Marquitz - An Empire of Tears Craig Schaefer - Sworn to the Night J.C Kang - Songs of Insurrection D.P Woolliscroft - Kingshold Ben Myatt - Clockworld Andrew Einspruch - The Purple Haze Donna Maree Hanson - Argenterra Saffron Bryant - Shadow of a Slave Andrea Domanski - Crossfire Douglas Todd - How to go to Hell in 10,000 Easy Steps D.P Prior - Sorcerers' Isle Andrew Lynch - Sanctuary's Fiend J.R Rasmussen - Forsaken Kingdom Viel Nast - Savage Swords Phil Williams - Under Ordshaw A.M Justice - A Wizard's Forge Mike Sliter - Solace Lost Kent Corlain - Heart of the Destroyer Marcy Kennedy - Cursed Wishes Suzanne Rogerson - The Lost Sentinel Steve Thomas - The Sangrook Saga Ty Arthur - Light Dawning Frost Kay - Rebel's Blade
5. The Qwillery Benedict Patrick - Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords Sandy Frediani - The Binding R. Medhurst - Magically Bound Rosalyn Kelly - Melokai + C.C Aune - The Ill-Kept Oath Randal Doering - The Necromancer of Peach Valley Orchard E.D.E Bell - Diamondsong Mike Morris - Nathaniel Rane: He Who Fights Aidan R. Walsh - The Game Bird + James Pyle - Minding the Heavens Bryan Schuder - Ain't a Hero Kevin Potter - Rise of the Overlord S.J Hirons - Scenes from 'The War on Magic' David Gowey - Kaschar's Quarter Kian Najmechi - The Dragon's Heir Donna Maree Hanson - Dragon Wine Daniel Adorno - The Blade Heir T.J Brown - The Unhappy Medium Sharon Joss - Brothers of the Fang Nicole MacDonald - The Arrival Erik Bundy - Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves J.C. Boyd & Joshua Robertson - Blood and Bile Shakyra Dunn - The Final Lesson Gareth Lewis - Glyphpunk  Matt Larkin - Days of Endless Night + Carol A. Park - Banebringer David Oliver - The Great Hearts + M.M Perry - Enchanted Legacy Nicholas Kotar - The Song of the Sirin Mike Shel - Aching God +
6. The Alliterates + Thoughts Stained With Ink Thoughts Stained With Ink:
Travis M. Riddle - Wondrous Russell Cullison - The Hidden Ones Richard Nell - Kings of Paradise Jeramy Goble - Coven Queen Richard Writhen - A Host of Ills Jane Barlow Funk & Steven Boivie - The Pendant Path Vivian Lane - Never Trust a Vampire J.A Andrews - A Keeper's Tale + Kieth McArdle - Fallen Empire Casey White - Chosen + Edward M. Erdelac - Merkabah Rider Matthew Thompson - Hunters of Life and all that Matters Lorri Moulton - Magic's Betrayal David Mullin - The Tempest Guild + Patrick LeClerc - Out of Nowhere +

The Alliterates:
Aaron Cross - Robocopter Ski Patrol Kal S. Davian - Casting Rights S.K. Randolph - Dimensioner's Revenge Caldon Mull - Omnipresent Occulation Marilyn Peake - Whiskey and Dragon Fire Jeffrey Hall - City of a Thousand Faces Nazri Noor - Shadow Magic Gabriel Michaelson - Hunter Davis Ashura - William Wilde and the Necrosed Marilyn Vix - Love in One Act Stephen J. Coey - Scorpion's Sting D.K. Girl - Metal Angels Joyce Reynolds-Ward - Pledges of Honour Leroy Nichols - The End Begins M.L. Spencer - Darkmage

7. The Weatherwax Report Watson Davis - The Shepherd Girl's Necklace Brian O'Sullivan - Liath Luachra: The Swallowed Travis M. Riddle - Balam, Spring Andy Peloquin - Darkblade Assassin Alex Lidell - Air and Ash + Ashley Capes - The Red Hourglass J.A Alexsoo - The Knight's Order Alex Marks - City of Crows Kristen M. Corby - Daughter of Atlas Rene Sears - Strangehold Megan Hurst - When the Kingdom Falls Kevin Wright - Lords of Asylum + Nick Smith - The Carnival of the Night Lehua Parker - One Boy, No Water Jeff Russell - The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythyss Hannah Sullivan - Thunder Christina Ochs - Shield of Kings Samuel Gately - The Fire Eye Refugee William Cope - No Sympathies A.J VanOrden - To Walk a Road of Ruin Alexander Grant - The Lion Prophecy Adam Watson - Dawn of Darkness Jennifer Ellision - Over Raging Tides Brenda Pandos - Everblue Dale Harker - The Gods of Winter Jennifer M. Eaton - Dragon Mount Barbara Kloss - The Gods of Men Glendon Ewalt - Dixie Toby Bennett - Cave Canem Maaja Wentz - Feeding Frenzy Kayleigh Nicol -Sorcerous Rivalry +
8. Fantasy Book Review Paul J Bennett - Servant of the Crown S.C. Stokes - Dying to Meet You Josh Erikson - Hero Forged + Toby Bennett - The Endless Ocean + Staci Olsen - Defender of Dragons Virgil Debique - Angel of Destruction David J. Normoyle - The Mage Team Justin Lee Anderson - Carpet Diem Michael DeAngelo - Silver Serpent Cat Hellisen - Empty Monsters Peter North - The Boy Who Fell Through The Sky M.J. Kobernus - Blood in the Sand Scott Kaelen - The Blighted City + Steve McKinnon - Symphony of the Wind + L.L McNeil - Moroda + Kay Ling - Wards and Wonders Steve Rodgers - City of Shards + Aderyn Wood - Dragonshade C.J Erick - A Season of Pure Light Craig A. Price Jr - Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns Mike Shelton - Truthstone A.Z Anthony - Servant of Rage Mitchell Hogan - Revenant Winds + Dee Dickens - I Woke Up Early Lorri Moulton - Moonlight, Roses & Murder Jonathan Green - Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) Steven Smith - Dragon's Reclaim O.L Eggert - Vincent, Survivor Dean Rencraft - Mabus Brian D. Anderson - The Vale +
9. Booknest Anthony Mitchell - The Ember Child Devin Madson - We Ride the Storm + Senlin Safety Net -> FBC William Ray - The Great Restoration Ned Marcus - Blue Prometheus Ruth Rathband - Siege of the Northland J.E. Merritt - The Curse Recalled + Louis Emery - Whispers of Flame Andy Cooke - The Cave Between Worlds D.K. Holmberg - Dragon Bones C.L. Schneider - The Crown of Stones Caldon Mull - The Memoirs of a Faun Meg Cowley - The Tainted Crown + Barbara Snow - The Crystalline Vision C. Gold - The Summoner and the Seer K.L Young - Cardboard Castles Stephan Morse - Continue Online Sean Cunningham - Ghost Electricity L.F. Oake - The Lost Voice Jamie Thornton - Doormaker Matthew Thompson - Twin Spirit Roberto Calas - The Beast of Maug Murai RhythmInTheMind - Touch Mike Shelton - The Dragon Orb J.D. Byrne - The Water Road James Alderdice - Brutal A.M. Rycroft - Corruption of Honour K.M. Alexander - The Stars Were Right + J. Zachary Pike - Orconomics + Justin Depaoli - Runeforged +
Casey Eanes & Seth Ervin - The Red Deaths
10. Kitty G youtube channel D.K. Holmberg - Wasting Jesse Teller - Song Lee Conley - A Ritual of Bone P.G. Fogarty - A Father's Fire J.E. Mueller - Fire's Song David Sharrock - Malice from the Middle Vale S.C. Flynn - The Hidden Face Lucia Ashta - Magical Arts Academy Jenn Gott - The Private Life of Jane Maxwell Rhiannon Held - Hound and Key Reece Dinn - The Exile's Redemption E.D.E Bell - The Banished Craft Janelle Garrett - Rift in the Deep Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos - Forged in Flames Frank Gross - Wolfgang Matthew Olney - The First Fear T. Cook - Spinning Silk Michael Baker - The Thousand Scars Marianne Ratcliffe - Realm of Mindweavers Thaddeus White - Sir Edric's Kingdom Keith Ward - The Annointed Richard Lucas - The Crushed Peak Eric Kent Edstrom - Thief of Sparks Cristelle Comby - Hostile Takeover Aaron Hodges - Oathbreaker Tim Doyle - Faces in the Mist Lee French - The Fallen L.S Johnson - Harkworth Hall J. Elizabeth Vincent - Raven Thrall T.L Branson - Soul Render