The British Fantasy Awards 2014, as announced on September 7th at the awards banquet at FantasyCon 2014 in York, held by the British Fantasy Society, demonstrated again that the Society, and the Awards, are anything but narrowly parochial and right-little-islanderish. American and South African as well as British, writers, publishers, and even TV networks, appeared on the list of winners.
In the key categories for writers and readers, the Robert Holdstock Award for Best fantasy novel went to A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar, from Easthampton, MA’s very wonderful and already much feted Small Beer Press. The August Derleth Award for Best horror novel went to The Shining Girls from South Africa’s Lauren Beukes, rewarding a work that in fact spans several genres as well as time periods. Best novella Award went to Beauty by Sarah Pinborough, while Best short story was “Signs of the Times” by Carole Johnstone. There is absolutely no sign that the judges gave an all-female slate the most significant of these year’s Awards on any grounds other than sheer quality.
The Best anthology Award went to End of the Road by Jonathan Oliver, from Solaris. Best collection by an author was Monsters in the Heart by Stephen Volk, from Gary Fry’s Gray Friar Press. And the Best small press Award went to West Midlands house The Alchemy Press.
After the furore over another series of awards also conferred on UK soil, this year’s Hugo Awards, it’s good to see the British Fantasy Awards being so effortlessly broad-minded and inclusive. Happy to see such generous recognition of great contributions to fantasy literature in its widest sense.
“There is absolutely no sign that the judges gave an all-female slate the most significant of these year’s Awards on any grounds other than sheer quality.”
What would a sign look like then? Really?
You shouldn’t pretend that people don’t go crazy over all male short lists but hail all female shortlists as progressive.