The British Fantasy Awards: Who Will Win
Off somewhere in darkest Brighton, they are currently holding the annual shindig known as FantasyCon, and an essential part of that are the British Fantasy Awards.
There's a link below to a full list of the categories and nominees.
I thought I'd cast an eye over the various courses and horses, then attempt to pick out the winners, though any of you planning to stick a tenner on down the bookies probably shouldn't pay too much attention to my nonsense.
And right from the off, I'm completely at sea, having read none of the nominees, though Adam Nevill's The Ritual is in my TBR pile and will be got round to at some point. To further complicate matters, in a mixed field there are two awards, The August Derleth Award for best horror novel and The Robert Holdstock Award for best fantasy novel. I'm guessing only the King and Nevill qualify for the former, and the rest are in contention for the latter honour.
Having no knowledge at all I feel I am in a position to give an opinion that isn't biased or skewed by the facts, and so I'll plump for Nevill and Walton to win.
This time I can make an informed choice, having read all of the contenders, which wasn't that much of an achievement as four of the six appeared in A Book of Horrors.
It's an especially strong field, and any of the contenders would be a worthy winner. I'd love to see it go to either James Cooper or Lavie Tidhar, as they've both been published in Black Static, but for sheer class and emotional impact I think it has to be either the Hand or the Lindqvist.
Another strong field, and again a category where A Book of Horrors has had a significant impact. My gut feeling is that Michael Marshall Smith will take the crown, just ahead of Simon Bestwick's excellent 'Dermot' and Angela Slatter's 'The Coffin-Maker's Daughter'.
I've read three of the contenders, and of those three my preference is for A Book of Horrors edited by Stephen Jones. The Weird is my dark horse and might just clinch it. By virtue of size and scope, it's a more significant volume than any of the others, even if my gut feeling is that I'd prefer the Award to go to an anthology that caused new fiction to be written, rather than an assemblage of past efforts, however substantial.
I've only read Rumours of the Marvellous, which is a fine collection, but I don't have a clue as to how it compares to the others on the shortlist. My instincts are that the Award will go to either Oliver or Shearman, though that's a call based on past rather than current form.
I haven't seen any of the contenders and so have no idea, but ignorance has never stopped me from expressing an opinion before and in the absence of any sounder criteria nepotism will have to suffice.
And so my choice for winner is The Awakening, simply because it's co-written by Black Static columnist Stephen Volk.
Black Static, obviously. Or, if not Black Static, then Interzone. I won't even pretend to be unbiased or making a fair assessment of the merits of the various publications.
I'm afraid I don't have the foggiest idea who should win in this category, as I haven't seen any of them. So I'll say Locke and Key as I know who Joe Hill is.
The PS Publishing Independent Press Award
I was one of the jurors who decided this Award, so can't comment, but I'd be very interested in knowing who other people feel should win and why.
The Artist Award
Four very worthy contenders, and I don't envy the judges who had to decide this one. I'll go with my heart. Ben Baldwin has produced some stonking covers for TTA magazines over the past year and I'd love to see him get some recognition.
The Non-Fiction Award
Again I can't comment, this time because I was one of the contenders. For what it's worth, I'm happy to lose to any of these guys, and reasonably sure that I did.
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