Two Things

October 10th, 2008

Some fantasy-minded folks are setting up an award to commemorate the late, much-loved, David Gemmell. The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy will be given for the first time in June 2009 for the best fantasy novel of 2008, which means … oh … Last Argument of Kings will be eligible, fancy that, I hadn’t even realised until just now …


Anyway, check out the website, and the long list so far. The idea is, as I understand it, to focus on the more heroic/epic (dare one even say commercial) end of the fantasy spectrum (the type of work for which Gemmel was famous). Sounds like a good idea to me, since that stuff doesn’t always get a lot of representation in the shortlists of existing awards. Nothing to do with me writing that sort of work. No, sir. You lot know me, and I never think of myself. Never. Anyway again, the process sounds like an interesting idea – publishers nominate any works they think fit the criteria, then there is an open public vote to establish a shortlist of five. A panel of genre experts then debate and select a winner. Current confirmed panelists include Aragorn, Cugel the Clever, the Grey Mouser, Conan, and Druss the Legend. I’m joking of course. Conan was unavailable, he’s getting his back waxed that week.

But seriously, I think that process has the potential to combine the better elements of public and panelled awards. Unless I don’t win, in which case I’ll declare the entire thing an ill-conceived failure, and, more then likely, some kind of fix-up like that Campbell Award what I didn’t win just because other nominees got a lot more votes than me. But seriously again, perhaps this is an opportunity for any among you who might complain that existing awards are too elitist and that epic fantasy never gets a fair crack of the whip to involve yourselves with something more proletarian? Hmmmmm?

But before you rush off to vote for Paul Kearney! 2008 isn’t over, stoopid. The best fantasy book of this year might not yet have been published. Voting does not open until Christmas…

So to keep you entertainted until then … there’s a humblingly in-depth piece by Steve Tompkins – review? examination? essay? all three? on The First Law at The Cimmerian, a journal focusing on the work of the grandfather of Sword and Sorcery, Robert E. Howard. He talks about the covers, about long form fantasy versus short form, about the main characters, and much, much more. Well worth a look, if you’re so inclined…

Posted in news, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on October 10th, 2008. Tags: ,

13 comments so far

  • Swainson says:

    The David Gemmell Legend Award web site is well worth a look just to see the authors who are members. And it’s a great nod to DG.

    Steve Tompkins has made me want to read the whole thing again. Very in depth analysis.

    That is if I can stop watching The Wire. I finally bought it on your recomendation and it’s great. I hope it keeps the pace, intrigue up.

    You tell me, should I read The First Law again or watch The Wire??

    Not to nit pick or anything like that, GEMMELL. Two L’s

  • Swainson,
    Holy crap, I can’t type anything right these days. Fixed.

    As for the Wire, let me ask you a question? Were you thinking of BUYING the First Law again? If so, definitely re-read. If not, definitely the Wire.

  • Swainson says:

    Advice taken, episode 4 season one just watched.

    “Shall we watch another” is just too tempting.


  • I feel the pain. Season 2, Episode 8 for me.

  • Steve Aryan says:

    That is a fantastic award and I am very happy to see it named after one of my favourite authors of all time who I was lucky enough to meet in person and speak to him about his work before he passed away. This is one award I can see myself watching closely and getting involved with.

  • m.q.zed says:

    Just to let you know that Patrick Rothfuss recommended your trilogy on his blog today. Said some nice things about it as well, although he did say he should have been the winner of the Compton Crook award with you as runner up. The nerve!

    link here

  • Swainson, Adam
    Stopping is wrong. The amazing thing about the Wire for me is that it just doesn’t ever really drop in quality. It’s just the best thing ever, all the time.

    Hopefully it will catch on…

    mq zed,
    I saw that, yes, and have expressed my gratitude. We’ve exchanged emails on occasion, and Pat seems like a very nice man. Onviously, that will not save him from my righteous fury if we should ever meet on the field of authorial battle. But a nice man, and deservedly doing very well…

  • Erik says:

    I just finished season 4 and now I have to wait for Amazon to send me the new season! Aaaarrgh!

    As for re-buying TFL Joe, I’ll have to get LAoK in the same verion as the first two ofc, you evil person 😛 Or is there any chance of a gorgeous hardcover boxset? Then I’ll wait for that

  • Afront says:

    Now that The Wire’s finished, I’ve been playing “spot what the guys out of The Wire did next” – so far I’ve seen Marlo in ‘Heroes’, Omar in the not-too-bad ‘The Kill Point’ mini-series and Cedric in the awful ‘Fringe’.

    btw that article on contains a big fat spoiler: “When this super-weapon is finally used…”

  • daft sod says:

    I recently got my hands on the first season of The Wire, because it received lavish praise from this English bloke whose blog I read. Only watched the first episode so far. Liked it too. Will probably get the other seasons as well some time.

    I recently tried some Gemmel for a change (he was my favourite writer when I was younger). I got rid of the audio book about halfway through. I’m used to better stuff now I guess.

    PS Before starting The Wire I indulged in watching The Shield, which I can very much recommend.

  • Bubs also has a guest spot in HEROES in the latest episode to air in the US.

  • erik,
    Well I guess there’s always a chance, but no plans as of now…

    I find it a bit weird seeing actors from the wire in anything else. Like seeing some bloke from next door suddenly appear on telly…

    Big fan of the Shield too, don’t get me wrong, no one beats a confession out of a prisoner like Vic Mackie. But the Wire is a different level in terms of realism and depth. No shame in that, it’s a different level from everything.

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