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David Gemmell Legend Award: Shortlist


The Broken Eye has made it to the shortlist of the David Gemmell Legend Award! A huge thanks to all who voted–and I mean that. All of you, not just all of you who voted for me. (Ok, a small place in my heart is significantly warmer toward the latter.)

The DGLA is a new award, and it’s a different kind of award. Every kind of award comes with certain limitations, but those limitations can either be ameliorated or exaggerated. In certain Hugo categories, there have been people who win the award 12 or more times, or categories where it seems groups simply trade the award back and forth. That kind of result shows the weaknesses not of the field of SFF, but of an award’s rubric for selecting its ‘best of’.

The Gemmell Awards have their own weakness–and no one has ever denied this. It’s an award decided by several consecutive popular votes. If Brandon Sanderson campaigned hard, he could likely win this award every year not featuring a Martin book. Brandon has chosen to not campaign–which I think is both honorable and wise.

With a new award especially, if too few writers win it, the award itself is weakened. As Mark Lawrence points out in his post, this year’s short list includes Sanderson, Lawrence, and me–each of whom has won before. Joe Abercrombie hasn’t won the Legend Award but has been on the short list four times now. On one hand, this isn’t surprising, nor is it a weakness:  OF COURSE writers who have moved readers previously will continue to do work that inspires readers to make a few clicks on a webpage.

But the goal of the David Gemmell Awards is “to recognise and promote writers and artists in the fantasy field. … Gemmell supported and encouraged new authors and artists as well as being part of the pantheon of great fantasy writers worldwide.” Certainly, the Gemmells honor the kinds of works that readers have long loved but that awards committees have either looked down on or decided didn’t need honoring because they thought selling a lot of books was reward enough.

But if readers only vote every year for their favorite author–rather than their favorite book–and they never even read the others, then the Gemmell Awards will have failed. The long list and short list should be a place to discover books that other fantasy fans are passionate about. The winner should represent the best of those as decided by fans. “Should.” But how close what the award is trying to achieve and what it will actually achieve is up to you.

All that to say, I absolutely believe you should vote for what you believe to be the best book on the ballot, regardless of whether its author has won before. BUT, if you think two books are equally good and one of them hasn’t won the award yet, I would urge you vote for that one.

That is, unless you’re stuck between my book and Abercrombie’s. I think ultimately, it’s in the interests not just of SFF fandom, but also in the best interests of Joe “Little Axe” Abercrombie himself to remain the Losingest Gemmell Nominee of All Time.

Click HERE to vote.  Voting ends Friday, July 17th at midnight.

Legend Award Interview


As you know, Brent is up for The David Gemmell Legend Award. The organizers have been running a series of interviews with the finalists, and they’ve just posted Brent’s interview. You can go HERE to see why Brent really wants to take home Snaga, how he feels about fantasy becoming a more international genre, and why he chose to write Lightbringer in the first place.

P.S. If you haven’t voted yet, go HERE to cast your ballot for The Blinding Knife!

David Gemmell Legend Award Finalist!

First, thank you! Because of your votes, I am a finalist for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Novel. This means, no matter what, I will have a baby Snaga to add to my weapons belt. MOST helpful. You see, I have two baby Snagas (Babies Snaga? Baby Snagae?) right now, but there are situations in which one can draw and throw a baby Snaga as a free action. (1d4+STR) But if you throw one, and you only have two, you’re no longer dual-wielding. So having a third solves a terrible problem.

But it is ever the desire of an adventurer to get better loot. Thus, Snaga. (Greataxe 2d6+6 19-20 x3, Valiant, Mighty Cleaving, Keen, Legendary).

Between me and the object of my barbarian longings? A slew of talented rivals. And Joe Abercrombie. (Congrats to Helen Lowe, Mark Lawrence, and Jay Kristoff. Abercrombie is now writing children’s books, so I’ve heard he’s withdrawing. Don’t waste your vote.)

Voting only takes three clicks (HERE). Let your conscience be your guide.

Brent Weeks!


Baby Snaga. Baaaaaabyyyyyyy Snaga. I got you in my sights. I see you. Over there. Looking sharp. And beautiful. And shiny. And…. Miniature.

Baby Snaga is the award for the also-rans. It’s a reward for the writers who are good enough to get into the finalist circle, but not brawny enough to take Papa Snaga from the hands of an unwitting world audience. This is what happens when a man destined for a Baby Snaga tries to touch Papa Snaga:

Do you see the crazed gleam in his eye? That’s the look of a man who knows that Snaga will never be his. He can pet Papa Snaga’s curves, but if he ever tries to wield the big man himself, he’ll probably chop off a toe in a tragic woodcutting accident.

Warning to readers: that crazed, sad, pathetic little man above, there, THAT could be me. This is why I need your help. Desperately. Desperately. Need. Your. Help.

The David Gemmell Legend Award is given to the best heroic fantasy of the year as voted on by people like you. That’s right, every award has its foibles, and the David Gemmell Legend Award’s foible is this: THEY’RE TRUSTING YOU.

This year, the finals of the DGLA include a very talented pool: first, the Frenchman, Pierre Pevel, author of The Cardinal’s Blades. Pierre may or may not have been involved in ruthlessly mocking my pronunciation of “Cardinal Richeliu.” Oh, you think you can do better? Just try: Cardinal RI. SHEH. LYOOO. Doubtless Pierre will have the Francophile vote locked down. Anglophiles, consider this a direct challenge to your manhood. Or. Womanhood…

Besides, what have the French ever given us except extremely good clothes…  and great wine… and great cheese… and great architecture…  and charming waiters… and Lilu Dallas clothed in a bandage?

Secondly comes Peter V. Brett. Who, to my eternal envy, has upon at least one occasion, hugged the aforementioned Milla Jovovich (although it is believed at this time that she was not wearing the bandage at the time of said hug).  Peter Brett is the talented author of The Painted Man and The Desert Spear. He is also a noted hugger.

Thirdly, Markus Heitz has burst upon my consciousness like dawn after a night of too much fun. Markus, despite having infiltrated my own exquisite publisher in the US and UK, is carrying the honor (and zillions of votes) of yet another great Old World country: Germany. Dah Dah Dah. And besides, what have the Germans given us? Except music. Philosophy. Poetry. Clocks that run on time. Cars that actually look good.  18-hour Opera. And kick-ass fantasy stories. Oh wait, forget that last part. Don’t vote for him! Look over here! Me! Over Here! The American. Ah, crap.

My fourth and fourth-and-a-halfth opponent is the ubiquitous (and also American) Brandon Sanderson. Brandon is the author of approximately 417 novels. Who is also known as the man who has lost the David Gemmell Legend award more times than anyone else has even been nominated.  However:  DO NOT PITY THIS MAN.  He is also the only man in the world known to proficiently dual-wield Baby Snagas (having had more practice than anyone alive). And of course, the other halfth of his team is the utterly inimitable Robert Jordan who is, indeed, a legend. And if you vote for Robert Jordan (a personal hero of mine), I might someday– after a long and bitter time of personal sorrow–forgive you.

Ok, fine. So the field’s crowded. And the other guys… They’re not half bad. Not even those guys who are splitting a Snaga in half. So, here’s the reason you should vote for me…

Ok, well gosh darn it, I’m just pretty psyched that I get a Baby Snaga! So thanks all you guys for getting me this far in the David Gemmell Legend Award. And, if you’re a glutton for punishment, you can throw in a vote on the losing side. It’s only a couple clicks of your mouse, and maybe you’ll help me sacrifice some dignity by coming in a distant fourth rather than a distant fifth-and-a-half (I hate it when the write-in votes for Mickey Mouse beat me)! Go here to vote.

Thank you so much for the honor, and I hope I entertained you with this brief fight preview! (raw-KEY, raw-KEY, raw-KEY, ROCKY!) C’mon, even the Russians voted for the underdog, and that was during the Cold War!


I’m Back! I’m Back! I’m…. Back?

Last time around, I was nominated and shortlisted for the David Gemmell Legend Award for The Night Angel Trilogy. I’ve now been nominated again for the David Gemmell Legend Award for The Black Prism, and I’d like to say that I’m glad to be back:

All joking aside, it’s an honor to be nominated again. To be listed alongside old heroes and new greats is still mind-blowing when I think that just a few years ago I was looking up their agents’ names in the acknowledgements section of their books! Brandon, Nora, Peter… I really look forward to losing to you!

If, of course, you want to fight for the underdog, the poll is open until March 2011. You can go here to see a complete list of nominees and here to vote for yours truly… I mean, the most deserving!

And if I win, I promise to have a slap fight with this guy:

David Gemmell Legend Award Results

So… I lost. In a hard-fought, publicly-voted contest which logged 11,000 votes, I lost. No battle axe, no body cavity search with Homeland Security, no barbaric yawps from the rooftops of the world–or even London. Congratulations to Andrzej Sapkowski and his Blood of Elves for making a grown man cry. (The grown man in question being Joe Abercrombie. I, for the record, am more like an over-grown child, and I barely sniffled.) For more details about my crushing defeat, read the Guardian article or check out the Legend Award site which has pictures and eventually will have an audio recording of the ceremony. Orbit has more info, and here’s one attendee’s take on the awards night.

I am getting a small pewter battle axe, which I will use if ever attacked by a pack of feral toy poodles and miniature schnauzers. (Do you have that dream, too?)

Many thanks to the David Gemmell Legend Award Committee and to all the folks who worked so hard to put this award together and make it such a topnotch event, and thank you to all the fans who voted. Especially if you voted for me!

I Can Has Battle Axe?

It’s not often you get a chance to try to take one of these past Homeland Security.


Allegedly, a half-sized one of these guys is the prize for the first inaugural David Gemmell Legend Award for fantasy, for which I have made the short list. Made by the Raven Armoury, this is a replica of Druss the Legend’s axe from a number of Gemmell novels.

So, if you can spare me 8 seconds, I might have quite an adventure. (TSA agent: “Sir, do you have anything to declare?” Brent: “GAAARRRR!!!”)

1) Start my adventure by CLICKING HERE.

2) Find the most deserving book. Find my book.

3) Click the button next to my book.

4) Click “Vote.”

5) Check your watch. If it took you more than 8 seconds, that kindergarten diploma you’re so proud of is a forgery. Err, I meant to say, thank you for thinking so deeply about who truly deserves this award. Ahem.

Regardless of whom you vote for, if you like deep, conflicted characters and fast-paced stories with a side of redemption, read my books. Err, I meant to say, check out David Gemmell. I think you’ll like his work. (Please vote only once and please vote before May 31.)

Oh, and if I win, I will pose a cat with my battle axe. Some of you doubtless understand. Though I don’t know how my friends might take it:  “Can I borrow your cat?” Why? “Um, I have this big, sharp battle axe…” You sick, nasty piece of work! “No, it’s not like that!”

David Gemmell Legend Award Finals

A while ago, I told you that I had been nominated to the longlist for the David Gemmell Legend Award for fantasy. That list of 78 authors was nominated by publishers and put to a popular vote to decide on a shortlist of five authors.

Along with incredible, established talents like Juliet Marillier, Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Polish best seller Andrzej Sapkowski, one debut author made the list. (Go on, guess.) Orbit publishing director Tim Holman issued THIS very nice press release. So, thank you very much, because it was people like you–who visited this web page and voted for me–who got me in. It’s an honor just to be listed with these great authors.

BUT! Although I fully expect to get creamed in the finals, I feel pretty optimistic, like THIS.

The winner of the David Gemmell Legend Award is chosen by the public. That means you don’t have to go to a convention, you don’t have to be part of a secret cabal, you don’t have to dress up as a Wookiee, it just takes 3 clicks. Start HERE. Seriously, it’s simple enough that I figured it out. (Though my wife explained the big words.) Voting is open now and ends May 31.

A note: because you aren’t required to login, in order to make sure you only vote once, they monitor votes per ip address. So even if both you and your brother or wife or whatever liked the book, be aware that double votes per household will get both tossed out. (And yes, I imagine some of you are techno-savvy enough to circumvent the system, but please don’t. Cheating to help me would devalue the award, and I don’t want that.)

Thank you again for voting for me, for telling your friends about my books, and just being awesome fans.

Gemmell Award Voting is Open

The David Gemmell Legend Award is now open for voting. I have been nominated to the long list. “The award will be given to a work written in the ‘spirit’ of the late, great David Gemmell, a true Master of Heroic Fantasy.” From the website (and Gemmell’s obituary): “Characterisation is acknowledged as one of Gemmell’s major skills, and… themes that remained pivotal to his work [included] the lone hero, often tortured by loss or doubt; the battle against advancing dotage; the pursuit of seemingly lost causes; complex villains, and the inclusion of elite, usually mystical, groups. A consistent thread in Gemmell’s fiction, and one which reflected his Christian beliefs, was the conviction that redemption was possible for even the most corrupt.”

If you think that sounds like my work, please VOTE HERE. It only takes two or three clicks, and you don’t have to register. Although if you’re already part of my Ning forum, you’ll find they’re using the same platform, so it should be a snap. Then you can take part in the Gemmell discussions, or tell people why they should check me out. 🙂 It’s also a good place to find other great work published this year. I’m up against some huge talents, and making the short list would make my year.