The shortlist for the first David Gemmell Legend Award has been released:

The David Gemmell Legend Award

After a long fought out epic campaign the David Gemmell Legend Award has come down to the final five. They’re slaughtered, butchered and above all fought heroically for their place in the final five despite some dodgy backroom tactics from alleged fans.

Shortly we’ll get to work on a new area for each author and allot them their own “Guild” which you the reading public can sign up for along with having the chance to show your support for your favourite author as well as letting people know why they should vote for your guy/girl. In short, the “Guild Members” are voting on who should become the Hero/ine of the Awards for its first year.

Now without further ado, the final five in alphabetical order:

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

Thank you to everyone who voted and we hope you’ll continue to support your “champion” for this next stage. So get those foam fingers at the ready, wave those pennon’s and above all support your favourite. After all your vote could make all the difference between your author winning or just getting pipped at the post.

Though the road to this point has been a little rocky, it seems like voters have come up with a pretty decent list of novels. I would have liked to have seen The Painted Man (REVIEW) by Peter V. Brett get a nod, though.

What are your thoughts?

  • David April 13, 2009 at 11:10 am

    There’s a lot of fuss for what is basically an online poll. This isn’t in the spirit of Gemmell, and it’s going to be won by the author with the biggest online presence. This award is a sham.

  • aidan April 13, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Indeed. I won’t argue that there aren’t problems with the execution (probably major ones, really). But the inclusion of an author like Andrzej Sapkowski, who’s a Polish author with little-to-no web presence in North America, shows some potential for the award.

  • David April 13, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Well don’t rule out those who have maybe other ways, subscribers to author newsletters,etc. There’s many ways to skew this.

  • edifanob April 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I read several comments on several blogs in the meantime. Like you a lot of people – including myself – miss THE PAINTED MAN on the shortlist. I know there is a lot of criticism but please give the award a chance to establish which means let’s see what will happen in the next years.

  • James (Speculative Horizons) April 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    What David said.

    And Sapkowski is huge in Poland and Eastern Europe, so perhaps this helped him. Didn’t think much of his first book that Gollancz put out.

  • Janet April 13, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I have to admit, this makes me skeptical too. On the other hand, plenty of complaints can be made about adjudicated contests too. Having said that, I would still accept an award if one were shoved in my direction. Inconsistent? Yes. Sorry.

    Congratulations to the finalists.

  • Liviu April 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Any award is a poll – of the members, of the judges…

    I do not see why the judgment of a 4-5 people panel is more relevant than of a multitude of fans.

    Think of a panel force fed on novels until they blurry one into another. Adam Roberts had a great post on that, showing why juried awards are a “sham” too, if you want to put it that way

    The shortlist does not contain quite a few bestsellers and “popular” authors, so I kind of disagree strongly that it’s a sham and I hope it prospers.

    Regarding Blood of Elves – I was underwhelmed by Last Wish, but I will give this one a chance since in (traditional, “honest”, not weird/fantastic) fantasy, short stories are very hard to do, so Last Wish had that excuse; let’s see how the novel is

    I miss The Ten Thousand and Painted Man too, but I will vote happily for Way of Shadows since I thought the Night Angel series one of the best new debuts, with the “good” outweighing by far the occasional cheesiness

  • Alexander Field April 13, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I think it will be very interesting to see how a fully public vote will go. This is the first time to my knowledge that an award such as this has been open to the public – and that’s huge. Yeah, it’s gonna skew toward readers online, but perhaps next year they could market it or publicize it more and broader participation.

    As far as I can tell, another award for a fantasy or science fiction author is another way for great work to get noticed – and this can only be a good thing!

  • Jayden April 13, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    There is one big flaw with The Painted Man (The Warded Man) that might have had a big hand in the lack of votes for it.

    I’m from Germany. And while all the other books I read for this award were out in paperback in time for the voting, The Painted Man wasn’t until last Monday. I pre-ordered it. I read it up to now and am sad, too, that it’s not on the shortlist. But still, if I had read it in time, I’d still have given my vote for Brent Week’s The Way of Shadows. Personally, he’s my favourite for the next round too.

    The hardcover, nice to look at as it is, is 1) pretty unwieldy to carry around and 2) very expensive (at least it was here). I, for one, didn’t have the budget to get all the books I got in hardcover. Which sucks, I know, but I prefer my paperbacks.

    Just an idea on the side.
    Also, I’ve been following the award since November, and I love it. Honestly. I guess there are problems there, but it’s a nice try to get the fan base to comment. Also, it is a great way to stock up my to-read pile (which is, admitted, way too big already, but can it ever be too big?).
    I’m just sad to see Jim C. Hines’ Goblin War gone *chuckles*

  • David April 13, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Why reward strong selling authors with more publicity? That’s just stupid. At least with some awards it puts a spotlight on those who could do with more – think World Fantasy.

    And it’s not a multitude of fans – it’s whichever author has the most organised internet fanbase. Think this through – it’s an internet poll. The genre will not benefit from this. It isn’t going to be the ‘best’ book.

    I bet Gemmell would have hated this.

  • Dark Wolf April 14, 2009 at 12:10 am

    I am pleased to see Andrzej Sapkowski on the shortlist. I personally liked “The Last Wish” and I believe that he has great potential. Although I haven’t read yet “Blood of Elves” it is closer to the top of my TBR list.

  • Peter V Brett :: Peephole In My Skull April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    […] Legend Award was released, and I’m not on it. Some SF blogs, like Speculative Horizons and A Dribble of Ink feel I was robbed, but I’m really not surprised I didn’t make it. The award is a […]