Monday 13 April 2009

Shortlist announced for Gemmell award

Must admit I'm slightly surprised by the final shortlist, which is:

ABERCROMBIE, Joe – Last Argument of Kings (Gollancz)
MARILLIER, Juliet – Heir to Sevenwaters (Tor UK)
SANDERSON, Brandon - The Hero of Ages (Tor US)
SAPOWSKI, Andrzej - Blood of Elves (Gollancz)
WEEKS, Brent - The Way of Shadows (Orbit)

Firstly, I'm obviously disappointed Paul Kearney's The Ten Thousand hasn't made it to the shortlist. I know I'm not alone in thinking that would have been a very suitable winner for the award's first year, so it's a real shame that it's not made an appearance here. 

I'm not surprised by the appearance of Abercrombie, Weeks and Sanderson - all of these are big authors with big internet presences. I very much enjoyed Last Argument of Kings, haven't read The Hero of Ages and thought The Way of Shadows was distinctly mediocre. 

The appearance on the list of Sapowski and Marillier is more surprising. Given the Legend Award is a purely online award, it would make sense that the novels on the shortlist would have generated a fair amount of buzz online (this is certainly true of the Abercrombie, Weeks and Sanderson novels). But I've seen very little online reaction to Sapowski's Blood of Elves and none at all to Heir to Sevenwaters

The one major notable omission for me (except for The Ten Thousand) is Peter V. Brett's The Painted Man. This book has done terrifically well and generated a very positive online buzz. Plus Brett has a strong online presence, so for me its non-appearance is a strange one. I find it very hard to believe that more people voted for Sapowski than Brett. 

Anyway, I hope either Sanderson or Abercrombie win the award. Expect a rant of epic proportions if Weeks wins, as in my opinion that would be a bit of a joke (and would also blow the organisers' claim that fans are 'well-informed about the genre' out of the water).

Full details of the next voting process are due to follow shortly...


Anonymous said...

Sapowski is HUGE in Poland. I expect he got a ton of votes from his Polish fans, even if his buzz is muted in English speaking markets. Brett is a relatively new author compared to the others, so it's not surprising he didn't make the short list.

Anonymous said...


This award was supposed to be given to boks who's theme was verysimilar to the ones written by David Gemmell.

Of these 5 books none come even close to that feel. Joe Abercrombie seems to be the obvious winner right now. However his book while a good book[I really liked it] is not in the least like a DG book.

Brandon Sanderson's book has some sembalance of heroic fantasy. However it is kind of long-winded & has a nice sentimental ending.

I haven't read the Witcher book However the Juliet Mariller & Brent Weeks aren't that great to be nominated over books like The Painted man by Peter V Brett or The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearney or Ravensoul by James Barclay or Naomi Novik's book or even Empire in Black & Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

In the end whoever gets the award will not deserve the award truly.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the book which should have won this award should have been The Painted man by Peter V Brett.

Gabriele Campbell said...

Too bad Kearney didn't make it. I agree that he's the closest you can get to Gemmell these days.

Of the five on the shortlist, I think Abercrombie deserves it most.

ediFanoB said...

I was suprised to find Juliet Marillier and Andrzej Sapkowski - by the way this is the right spelling of his name - on the shortlist. I know Sapkowski has a huge fan base in Poland.
Maybe a lot of people know Sapkowski from the pc-game THE WITCHER.

I read and appreciated THE TEN THOUSAND and THE PAINTED MAN and I miss them too on the short list.

I would like to know if every voter read minimum one David Gemmell book before voting.....

James said...

Apologies for getting Sapkowski's name wrong; I copied it directly from the award website, so it's their fault!

Anon 1:Yeah, Sapkowski is huge in Poland so that could well have worked in his favour. Certainly haven't seen much buzz surrounding Blood of Elves on UK/US websites. I read The Witcher (or whatever it was called) and I thought it was pretty average - although I have a feeling a lot got lost in translation.

Yes, Brett is a new author...but he's sold his book in something like 27 countries, majority of online reviews are favourable, etc, so I thought he'd do better.

Anon 2: I agree with you on all points. Shame Tchaikovsky didn't get the nod.

Anon 3: Well, I'm surprised he didn't make the final cut.

Gabriele: Agree on both points.

Edi: Most voters probably haven't got a clue who Gemmell is, let's be honest. To be fair though, his fan base was very UK-centric, so it's not surprising really.

Longasc said...

Yeah, it is pretty bad that Kearney did not get nominated.

Abercrombie is good, no doubt. But his style is definitely not similar to Gemmell's.

I do not know Brent Weeks. And Juliet Marillier's nomination must be a joke, Gemmell would laugh.

Alexander Field said...

I'm gonna have to put my money on Sanderson. He's got a growing name right now due to AMoL, though I think Abercrombie could be right there with him. It will be interesting to see how an award like this, voted on by the public, will come down. Could totally defy expectations, which in my book, would be just fine.