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British Fantasy Awards 2018 – Best Fantasy Novel Judge

Now that the shortlists have been announced I am happy to be able to tell you about my place on the judging panel for one of this year’s awards.

The Robert Holdstock Award for Best Fantasy Novel

Shortlist – As voted by the British Fantasy Society members

🤩Age of Assassins, by RJ Barker (Orbit)

🤩The Court of Broken Knives, by Anna Smith Spark (HarperVoyager)

🤩The Ninth Rain, by Jen Williams (Headline)

🤩Under the Pendulum Sun, by Jeannette Ng (Angry Robot)

My fellow judges and I will be reading the shortlisted books (it will be my first read of all of them) and then battling it out carefully negotiating and debating in order to crown our favourite.

What I’m looking for in a best fantasy novel:

  • Characters who are flawed and believable (and I have a penchant for characters with a bit of snark)
  • A plot that challenges me in some way to learn or question the world around me
  • A story that makes me feel intense emotion
  • Solid worldbuilding
  • Writing that is beautiful but that doesn’t get in the way of telling the story

Not much then.

Huge congratulations to all of the shortlisted authors and good luck for the Award Ceremony in October.

What would you be looking for?

Have you read any of the shortlisted books?

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