Email from Debbie Miller (who amongst other things created the Wonderlands community for fantasy readers) alerts us to the creation of the David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy. According to the press release, the award is for “Fantasy [novels] in the spirit of David Gemmell’s own work.” That doubtless means big and heroic, which should make a bunch of people out there very happy indeed.
The award mechanism is also quite interesting. Nominations are solicited only from editors working in the fantasy novel field. It isn’t clear how many books each editor can nominate, or exactly which publishers qualify. However, the first ballot is open to everyone, with voting online. The award web site does have a membership system and forums in which people can debate, but that’s free, and anyway it says very clearly that anyone will be allowed to vote. It does not, as yet, say what measures will be taken to prevent multiple-voting, ballot stuffing, etc.
But wait, that’s not all of it. The top five reader-recommended books then get passed to a “panel of Fantasy experts” who will decide the final winner. So it is like a juried award, except that the general public does the hard work of whittling the long list down to a short list, which is the bit that award juries really hate. Clever.
Anyway, eligibility is by year (English language only), and voting for the first award is due to begin on December 26th. It will stay open until March 2009 to give you plenty of time to read all of those heroic fantasy blockbusters. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in June. There is no money involved, but the winner will receive, “the Award trophy - a replica of ‘Druss the Legend’s’ famous battleaxe, Snaga.”
The press release ends: “It is expected that the DGLA will soon become the most prestigious Award for authors working within the genre Fantasy field.” World Fantasy Awards people please note.