Somehow, in all the baby-related excitement I managed to forget to mention the fact that Blood of Aenarion is on the Long List for the David Gemmell Legend Award this year. At any other time in my life this would have been huge news but with the arrival of young Will, it just kind of flickered across my awareness and got lost at the back of my sleep-deprived brain. I had an email from the good people at Black Library reminding me about the Award yesterday so I thought I would mention it today.
For the two of you who don’t know, the late, great David Gemmell was one of the most successful British Fantasy writers of his generation, and probably the most successful author of heroic fantasy of recent years. I’ve been reading his books about troubled doubting heroes and grizzled veterans coming to terms with their own mortality since the 80s, and some of them, Legend and Waylander in particular, are books I come back to again and again. This is no reflection on the quality of the rest of Gemmell’s work either. It’s simply that I am a creature of habit. Legend and Waylander were the books I read first back in the day and they are the ones that imprinted themselves on my mind.
The David Gemmell Legend Award was set up to commemorate David Gemmell’s legacy and to raise public awareness of the fantasy genre as well as celebrate the genre and reward excellence in the field. Past winners have included Andrzej Sapkowski, Brandon Sanderson and Black Library’s own Graham McNeil. (As an aside, this is the only major award where I can say that I have met a majority of the winners. Perhaps someday I will run into Mr Sanderson. I hope so because I have enjoyed his work, just as I have the work of Mr Sapkowski and Mr McNeil.)
This years long list holds among others such well known names as Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, Terry Goodkind, Brandon Sanderson and Steven Erikson as well as a host of other excellent writers such as Juliet McKenna, Kate Elliot, David Drake and Joe Abercrombie, to name just the ones I have read. It is indeed an honour to appear in such exalted company. I am particularly pleased that this has happened with Blood of Aenarion. It is a book I am very proud of.
I should also mention that the astonishing cover by the mighty Raymond Swanland is up for the related Ravenheart Award and I urge you to vote for it.
You can vote for the Legend Award here.