The Gemmell Awards

April 10th, 2015

The David Gemmell Legend Awards are entering their seventh year and have a new and improved website.  I’ve talked about the Gemmells in the past – in essence I’m a strong believer in them.  In the notion of something that celebrates Gemmell’s very considerable contribution to British fantasy.  In the notion of something that aims to involve as wide a range of voters as possible.  In the notion of having an award for full-on, commercial, epic and heroic fantasy which, despite its very great popularity, does tend to get somewhat ignored by a lot of the other SF&F prizes.  I’ve no particular problem with that, incidentally, it’s totally right and proper they should all have their own emphasis, but I see no harm in having one award that aims to celebrate the core, commercial epic fantasy which is, after all, bought, read and beloved by many.

So, please, go forth and vote. Anyone can do it. There are three categories – Legend for Best Fantasy Novel, Morningstar for Best Debut, Ravenheart for Best Cover Art and there are plenty of great books and writers on there.  There’s a first round of voting to narrow down from a lengthy long list (which includes much of the epic/heroic style fantasy published this year) to a shortlist of 5, then a second round of voting to select a winner.  I’ve often said I liked the original plan of a public vote to establish a shortlist and a jury to pick a winner, but they decided to go fully open public voting all the way and, though the Gemmells have come in for a fair bit of stick for being pointless and populist, in the light of what’s gone on with the Hugo award nominations this year, it’s suddenly looking like there’s a fair bit to be said for the Gemmell approach…

I join Adam Roberts in feeling a bit uncomfortable about the old self-pimpage, but I also think the Gemmell is in its infancy and relies to a degree on authors encouraging people through the doors so, yes, I will observe that Half a King is on the long list for the Legend this year, but I’ll keep it to a mention now and a reminder when the shortlist comes out, so I can shake my head wearily when I lose and blame it on the log-rolling rabble-rousing dirty tactics of the winner…

Posted in news, opinion by Joe Abercrombie on April 10th, 2015.

4 comments so far

  • Dug Ansley says:


  • AntMac says:

    I am not the least bit fond of the Tiptree awards, I have a problem with all bigotry, even the “good” kinds. They always seem to amount to people just playing “Catchup”.

    Hey, the new big thing is colouring books. We could really use such a thing set in the First Law world. You could sell them with their very own “extra” scarlet crayons for the obvious post combat shots, and lots of Iron, “You can never have too many knife coloured crayons”
    And Ferro Maljinns drawings could be black and white, with the subtlety of shades of grey.

  • Ranma says:

    I found Interesting to read the essay of Eric Flint about Hugos and other awards (you posted the link on twitter recently). I haven’t much followed the debate, but I’d like to know your opinion (I guess not flattering) on this year nominations. Is there really a divide between today popular SF/F books and the literary merit of the writing itself? I’d agree with Eric in saying the, in the past at least, this was definitely not the case.

  • Phil.I.P. says:

    Hey Joe, Congrats on making the shortlist for the Legend Award with Half a King.

    Voting opened today, BTW.

    Good luck!

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