The validity of the David Gemmell Legend Award was called into serious question on Friday night when I didn’t win.
A ha ha.
Andrzej Sapkowski won for his Blood of Elves, so congratulations to him (forced spittily through gritted teeth, of course). In many ways not that surprising since he’s much the biggest selling author on the list – bigger than Stephen King in his native Poland and pretty massive in translation in Europe and elsewhere – it shows the huge difficulty authors who don’t write in English face getting translated into English that Sapkowski has only in the last couple of years had UK and US releases. So it may be that the award had a lot more votes from outside the inward-looking English-speaking world (apparently only 500 out of 10,000 votes were from the UK, for example, though my figures might be only hearsay) or it may be that people just thought Sapkowski’s book was better than the others on the list …
But I won a pewter battle-axe which, though small, probably has enough heft to cause serious injury, which was nice, and even better got the opportunity to hold a full size full-on steel one which most definitely could cause serious injury:
It makes you feel powerful, believe me, but is frakking heavy. And before you ask I wasn’t extremely drunk, just naturally heavy-lidded. (Thanks to Liz for the photo, which I have nicked without permission from her website – bit like I get the ideas for my books, now you mention it).
In any case, it was a great event, very well organised, much the most professional genre awards I’ve ever attended (not that I can say I’ve attended that many). I think it’s a good thing that there should be an award for epic/heroic/commercial fantasy, and that it should commemorate David Gemmell’s own contribution. I hope it continues to grow and flourish and get wide involvement in years to come.
In other news of almost-glory Best Served Cold made number 11 on the Nielsen hardcover bestseller list in its first week out in the UK. Brilliant news on one level, of course, but a tad frustrating on another to just miss the top ten and hence be unable to (honestly) call myself a Times Bestseller. “Nearly Bestselling Author Joe Abercrombie” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it. Still, it was a tough week and with heavy-hitters of mainstream publishing like James Patterson, Wilbur Smith, Sarah Waters and Lee Child ahead of me, I don’t suppose I can grumble. Well, I could. I kind of am. But I definitely shouldn’t be. I should be thanking all the hard-working folks at my publisher for their hardworkingness and congratulating them on getting the book to 11. And keeping it at 20 this week, for that matter. It’s a great showing for a book of its type (that is one unlikely to find its way onto supermarket shelves where a lot of bulk sales occur these days). So congratulations to the minions of Orion in all their guises, and we shall wreak a bloody vengeance upon the bestseller list next year, mark my words. You hear me, Patterson and the rest? I’m coming for you!
Oh. Might be the year after, though…