The British Fantasy Awards

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The winners of the British Fantasy Awards 2014 were announced at FantasyCon 2014. We are now taking suggestions for the 2015 awards.

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A Short History

The British Fantasy Awards have been in existence for almost as many years as the Society itself. In 1971 Ramsey Campbell suggested the Society present an award in honour of the recently deceased August Derleth. The following year at the BSFA’s Chessmancon (the annual Easter convention), Michael Moorcock received the August Derleth Fantasy Award for his novel The Knight of Swords.

The first Awards were presented in the form of a scroll designed by Jim Cawthorn, but the 1974 AGM, held at the BSFA’s Tynecon, suggested that a more enduring symbol be used. The following year the BFS Awards came in the shape of a cowled figure designed by Jim Pitts.

For several years after this the Awards presented by the British Fantasy Society were collectively known as The August Derleth Fantasy Awards – including the addition of several other categories. As the Society grew, so the Awards widened their scope: besides the Best Novel and Short Story sections there were Small Press, Art, Comic and Film categories. The BFS decided it should promote itself on a wider scale, and in 1976 the August Derleth Fantasy Awards became the British Fantasy Awards, with a proviso that the original section of Best Novel retain the August Derleth title.

By now FantasyCon was established as an annual event, both to showcase the Awards and give a forum for the Society’s AGM. The BFS Awards now had form, style and a place in the yearly calendar.

In 1980 Jim Pitts’ cowled figure design gave way to a dark fantasy statuette designed by Dave Carson. The award was redesigned again in 2005.

The Awards categories have changed over the years, with sections being introduced and dropped, as the focus of the Society’s members changed. The Comic Award, for instance, was dropped because the nominations and votes for this section had fallen to a point where it was no longer viable. Film, on the other hand, originally fell off the edge of the lists mainly due to a lack of interest from its recipients. However, both were resurrected in 2009, and two new categories were introduced: television and magazine.

The Icarus Award was intended to mark a promising newcomer and was renamed the Newcomer Award when the Icarus Society “ceased to be”. The question of whether this should remain a BFS Award came up several times, mainly on the point of cost; it was eventually decided that as an Award for Best Newcomer was still valid it should be assimilated into the Special Award. The award was reintroduced in 2007, funded by the estate of Sydney J. Bounds.

The Special Award was originally a discretionary Award, not presented every year. The recipient may be an author of long standing; an editor; any other person, who has contributed much to the genre; a BFS member that has given great service to the Society in some fashion; or a newcomer who, it is felt, shows special promise. It is now known as The Karl Edward Wagner Award.

Over the years there have been certain names which crop up time and again in the history of the Awards – as you might expect. Ramsey Campbell had won seven Awards by the time of this article’s original publication in Silver Rhapsody (1996), each for different publications. The Sutton/Jones combo gained no less than eight for Fantasy Tales, plus one each separately (by that time, at least – Stephen Jones has gone on to win many more awards as editor of Best New Horror). Michael Moorcock had by then been bestowed with our Awards on five occasions. Others with several entries each include Karl Edward Wagner, Clive Barker and Stephen King.

In the following lists read Novel as The August Derleth Fantasy Award up until 2012. (And in all cases the term “Best” is assumed – these are the BFS Awards we’re talking about.) Awards are listed under the year in which they were presented.

Adapted from an article by Jan Edwards appearing in Silver Rhapsody, the BFS booklet celebrating the society’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Details of the awards from then till 2007 are taken from David Sutton’s invaluable booklet, The British Fantasy Awards 1972-2008: a Listing, which lists all nominees as well as winners.

1972

Novel: Michael Moorcock, The Knight of the Swords

1973

Novel: Michael Moorcock, The King of the Swords

Short Story: L Sprague de Camp, The Fallible Fiend

Film: Tales from the Crypt

Comic: Conan

Special Award: Robert E Howard Marches of Valhalla

1974

Novel: Poul Anderson, Hrolf Kraki’s Saga

Short Story: Michael Moorcock The Jade Man’s Eyes

Film: Legend of Hell House

Comic: Conan

1975

Novel: Michael Moorcock, The Sword and the Stallion

Short Story: Karl Edward Wagner Sticks

Film: The Exorcist

Comic: Savage Sword of Conan

1976

Novel: Michael Moorcock, The Hollow Lands

Short Story: Second Book of Fritz Lieber

Film: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Comic: Savage Sword of Conan

1977

Novel: Gordon Dickson, The Dragon and The George

Short Story: Karl Edward Wagner, Two Suns Setting

Small Press: John Martin Anduril

Artist: Michael Kaluta The Sacrifice

Film: The Omen

Comic: Howard the Duck 3

1978

Novel: Piers Antony, A Spell for Chameleon

Short Story: Ramsey Campbell In the Bag

Small Press: Stephen Jones/David Sutton Fantasy Tales 1

Artist: Steve Fabian

Film: Carrie

Comic: Marvel Premiere 38: Weirdworld

1979

Novel: Stephen Donaldson, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

Short Story: Harlan Ellison Jeffty is Five

Small Press: S Jones/D Sutton Fantasy Tales 2

Artist: Boris Vallejo, Amazon Princess and her Pet

Film: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Comic: R Thomas/F Brunner The Scarlet Citadel

1980

Novel: Tanith Lee, Death’s Master

Short Story: Fritz Leiber, The Button Molder

Small Press: S Jones/D Sutton, Fantasy Tales 3

Artist: Stephen Fabian

Film: Alien

Comic: Heavy Metal

1981

Novel: Ramsey Campbell, To Wake The Dead

Short Story: Robert Aickman, The Stains

Small Press: Dave McFerran/Stephen Jones/David Sutton Airgedlamh

Artist: Dave Carson

Film: The Empire Strikes Back

Special Award: Stephen King

1982

Novel: Stephen King, Cujo

Short Story: Dennis Etchison, The Dark Country

Small Press: S Jones/D Sutton, Fantasy Tales

Artist: Dave Carson

Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark

1983

Novel: Gene Wolfe, Sword of the Lictor

Short Story: Stephen King, The Breathing Method

Small Press: S Jones/D Sutton, Fantasy Tales

Artist: Dave Carson

Film: Blade Runner

Special Award: Karl Edward Wagner

1984

Novel: Peter Straub, Floating Dragon

Short Story: Karl Edward Wagner, Neither Brute Nor Human

Small Press: Ro Pardoe Ghosts & Scholars

Artist: Rowena Morrill

Film: Videodrome

1985

Novel: Ramsey Campbell, Incarnate

Short Story: Clive Barker In the Hills, the Cities

Small Press: Stuart David Schiff Whispers

Artist: Stephen Fabian

Film: Ghostbusters

Special Award: Manly Wade Wellman

1986

Novel: TED Kline, The Ceremonies

Short Story: Clive Barker, The Forbidden

Small Press: S Jones/D Sutton, Fantasy Tales

Artist: JK Potter

Film: Nightmare on Elm Street

Special Award: Les Flood

1987

Novel: Stephen King, It

Short Story: Dennis Etchison, The Olympic Runner

Small Press: S Jones/D Sutton, Fantasy Tales

Artist: JK Potter

Film: Aliens

Special Award: Charles L Grant

1988

Novel: Ramsey Campbell, The Hungry Moon

Short Story: Steve Rasnic Tem, Leaks

Small Press: Carl Ford Dagon

Artist: J K Potter

Film: Hellraiser

Icarus Award: Carl Ford

1989

Novel: Ramsey Campbell, The Influence

Short Story: Brian Lumley, Fruiting Bodies

Small Press: Carl Ford Dagon

Artist: Dave Carson

Film: Beetlejuice

Icarus Award: John Gilbert

Special Award: R Chetwynd‑Hayes

1990

Novel: Dan Simmons, Carrion Comfort

Short Story: Joe Lansdale, On The Far Side Of The Desert With Dead Folk

Small Press: Carl Ford Dagon

Artist: Dave Carson

Film: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Newcomer: Nancy Collins

Special Award: Peter Coleborn

1991

Novel: Ramsey Campbell, Midnight Sun

Short Story: Michael Marshal Smith The Man Who Drew Cats

Collection: Stephen Jones/Ramsey Campbell, Best New Horror

Small Press: Carl Ford Dagon

Artist: Les Edwards

Special Award: Dorothy Lumley

1992

Novel: Jonathan Carroll, Outside the Dog Museum

Short Story: Michael Marshall Smith, The Dark Land

Collection: Nicholas Royle, Darklands

Small Press: David Bell/Stuart Hughes Peeping Tom Artist: Jim Pitts

Newcomer: Melanie Tem

Special Award: Andrew Porter

1993

Novel: Graham Joyce, Dark Sister

Short Story: Nicholas Royle, Night Shift Sister

Collection: Nicholas Royle, Darklands 2

Small Press: D Bell/S Hughes Peeping Tom

Artist: Jim Pitts

Newcomer: Conrad Williams

Special Award: Michael Moorcock

1994

Novel: Ramsey Campbell, The Long Lost

Short Story: Dennis Etchison, The Dog Park

Collection: David Sutton/Stephen Jones, Dark Voices 5

Small Press: Pam Creais Dementia 13

Artist: Les Edwards

Newcomer: Poppy Z Brite

Special Award: Dave Sutton

1995

Novel: Michael Marshall Smith, Only Forward

Short Story: Paul McAuley, The Temptation of Dr.Stein

Collection: Joel Lane, The Earthwire

Small Press: Stefan Dziemianowicz/ST Joshi/ Michael Morrison Necrofile

Artist: Martin McKenna

Newcomer: Maggie Furey

Special Award: John Jarrold

The Best Newcomer Award (known as the Icarus Award) was subsequently dropped. It was revived in 2007 as the Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award.

1996

Novel: Graham Joyce, Requiem

Short Story: Michael Marshall Smith, More Tomorrow

Collection: Andy Cox (ed.), Last Rites and Resurrections: Stories from The Third Alternative

Small Press: Andy Cox, The Third Alternative

Artist: Josh Kirby

Special Award: Mike O’Driscoll and Steve Lockley, for Welcome to My Nightmare

1997

Novel: Graham Joyce, The Tooth Fairy

Short Story: Martin Simpson, Dancing About Architecture

Collection: Thomas Ligotti, The Nightmare Factory

Small Press: S.T. Joshi, H.P. Lovecraft: a Life

Artist: Jim Burns

Special Award: Jo Fletcher

1998

Novel: Chaz Brenchley, Tower of the King’s Daughter

Short Story: Christopher Fowler, Wageslaves

Collection: Stephen Jones and David Sutton, Dark Terrors 3: the Gollancz Book of Horror

Small Press: David Pringle, Interzone

Artist: Jim Burns

Special Award: D.F. Lewis

Subsequently, the Best Collection award was divided into Best Collection and Best Anthology.

1999

Novel: Stephen King, Bag of Bones

Short Story: Stephen Laws, The Song My Sister Sang

Collection:  Ramsey Campbell, Ghosts and Grisly Things

Anthology: Stephen Jones and David Sutton, Dark Terrors 4: the Gollancz Book of Horror

Small Press: Andy Cox, The Third Alternative

Artist: Bob Covington

Special Award: Diana Wynne Jones

2000

Novel: Graham Joyce, Indigo

Short Story: Tim Lebbon, White

Collection: Peter Crowther, Lonesome Roads

Anthology: Stephen Jones, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 10

Small Press: Darren Floyd, Razorblade Press

Artist: Les Edwards

Special Award: Anne McCaffrey

2001

Novel: China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

Short Story: Naming of Parts, Tim Lebbon

Collection: Kim Newman, Where the Bodies Are Buried

Anthology: Brian Willis, Hideous Progeny: a Frankenstein Anthology

Small Press: Peter Crowther, PS Publishing

Artist: Jim Burns

Special Award: Peter Haining

2002

Novel: Simon Clark, The Night of the Triffids

Short Story: Goblin City Lights, Simon Clark

Collection: Paul Finch, Aftershocks

Anthology: Stephen Jones, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 12

Small Press:  Peter Crowther, PS Publishing

Artist: Jim Burns

2003

Novel: China Mieville, The Scar

Short Story: Mark Chadbourn, The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke

Collection: Ramsey Campbell, Ramsey Campbell, Probably: On Horror and Sundry Fantasies

Anthology: Stephen Jones, Keep Out the Night

Small Press:  Peter Crowther, PS Publishing

Artist: Les Edwards

Special Award: Alan Garner

2004

Novel: Christopher Fowler, Full Dark House

Short Story: Christopher Fowler, American Waitress

Collection: Ramsey Campbell, Told By the Dead

Anthology: Stephen Jones, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 14

Small Press: Peter Crowther, PS Publishing

Artist: Les Edwards

Special Award: Peter Jackson, for The Lord of the Rings

2005

Novel: Stephen King, The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

Novella: Christopher Fowler, Breathe

Short Story: Paul Meloy, Black Static

Collection: Out of His Mind, Stephen Gallagher

Anthology:  Andrew Hook, The Alsiso Project

Small Press: Andrew Hook, Elastic Press

Artist:  Les Edwards

Special Award: Nigel Kneale

2006

Novel: Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

Novella: Stuart Young, The Mask Behind the Face

Short Story: Joe Hill, Best New Horror

Collection: Joe Hill, 20th Century Ghosts

Anthology: Allen Ashley, The Elastic Book of Numbers

Small Press:  Peter Crowther, PS Publishing

Artist: Les Edwards

Special Award: Stephen Jones

2007

Novel: Tim Lebbon, Dusk

Novella: Paul Finch,  Kid

Short Story: Mark Chadbourn, Whisper Lane

Collection: Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

Anthology: Gary Couzens, Extended Play: The Elastic Book of Music

Small Press:  Peter Crowther, PS Publishing

Artist: Vincent Chong

Newcomer: Joe Hill

Special Award: Ellen Datlow

2008

Novel: Ramsey Campbell,  The Grin of the Dark (PS Publishing)

Novella:  Conrad Williams, The Scalding Rooms (PS Publishing)

Short Fiction: Joel Lane, My Stone Desire (Black Static #1, TTA Press)

Anthology: Stephen Jones, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 18  (Robinson)

Collection: Christopher Fowler,  Old Devil Moon (Serpents Tail)

Newcomer:  Scott Lynch

Special Award: Ray Harryhausen

Non-Fiction:  Peter Tennant (ed.), Whispers of Wickedness Reviews (website)

Artist:  Vincent Chong

Small Press:  Peter Crowther, PS Publishing

Subsequently, the comics and film awards were reintroduced, and magazine and television prizes were awarded for the first time. PS Publishing withdrew from competition in the small press award, choosing instead to sponsor the award. Also, the winners of each category were decided entirely by a vote on the shortlisted nominees, whereas in most previous years a vote on the longlist had decided them.

2009

Novel (The August Derleth Fantasy Award): Memoirs of a Master Forger, by William Heaney, aka Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

Novella: The Reach of Children, by Tim Lebbon (Humdrumming)

Short Fiction: Do You See, by Sarah Pinborough, from Myth-Understandings, ed. by Ian Whates (Newcon Press)

Collection: Bull Running for Girls, by Allyson Bird (Screaming Dreams)

Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 19, ed. Stephen Jones (Constable & Robinson)

The PS Publishing Best Small Press Award: Elastic Press (Andrew Hook)

Non-Fiction: Basil Copper: A Life in Books, by Basil Copper, ed. Stephen Jones (PS Publishing)

Magazine/Periodical: Postscripts, ed. Peter Crowther and Nick Gevers (PS Publishing)

Artist: Vincent Chong

Comic/Graphic Novel: Locke and Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW Publishing)

Televison: Doctor Who, head writer Russell T. Davies (BBC Wales)

Film: The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner Brothers)

The Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer: Joseph D’Lacey, for Meat (Bloody Books)

The Karl Edward Wagner Award (the Special Award): Hayao Miyazaki

2010

Novel (The August Derleth Fantasy Award): One, Conrad Williams (Virgin Horror)

Novella: The Language of Dying, Sarah Pinborough (PS Publishing)

Short Fiction: What Happens When You Wake Up In The Night, Michael Marshall Smith (Nightjar)

Collection: Love Songs For The Shy And Cynical, Robert Shearman (Big Finish)

Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 20, ed. Stephen Jones (Constable & Robinson)

The PS Publishing Best Small Press Award: Telos Publishing, David Howe and Stephen James Walker

Non-Fiction: Ansible, David Langford

Magazine/Periodical: Murky Depths, edited and published by Terry Martin

Artist: Vincent Chong, for work including covers for The Witnesses Are Gone (PS Publishing) and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 20 (Constable & Robinson)

Comic/Graphic Novel: Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader?, Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert (DC Comics/Titan Books)

Televison: Doctor Who, head writer: Russell T Davies (BBC Wales)

Film: Let The Right One In, directed by Tomas Alfredson (EFTI)

The Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer: Kari Sperring for Living With Ghosts (DAW)

The Karl Edward Wagner Award (the Special Award): Robert Holdstock

2011

Novel: No award

Novella: Humpty’s Bones, Simon Clark (Telos Publishing)

Short Fiction: Fool’s Gold, Sam Stone (The Bitten Word, NewCon Press)

Collection: Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton)

Anthology: Back from the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories, Johnny Mains (ed.) (Noose & Gibbet)

Small Press (The PS Publishing Best Small Press Award): Telos Publishing (David Howe and Stephen James Walker)

Non-Fiction: Altered Visions: The Art of Vincent Chong (Telos Publishing)

Magazine/Periodical: Black Static, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)

Artist: Vincent Chong

Comic/Graphic Novel: At the Mountains of Madness: a Graphic Novel, Ian Culbard (Selfmadehero)

Television: Sherlock

Film: Inception, Christopher Nolan (dir.)

Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Robert Jackson Bennet, for Mr Shivers (Orbit)

Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Terry Pratchett

The best novel award for 2011 originally went to Demon Dance by Sam Stone, who returned the award. The other nominees declined to accept the award, and so a result of No Award was announced. A reorganisation of the awards followed, and from then on the winners were chosen from the shortlists by juries, rather than by a vote of the BFS and FantasyCon memberships. The best novel award was divided into a best horror novel award (the August Derleth Award) and a best fantasy novel award (the Robert Holdstock Award). The television and film awards were replaced by a screenplay award.

2012

Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor Books)

Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award): The Ritual, Adam Nevill (Pan Books)

Novella: Gorel and the Pot Bellied God, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

Short Fiction: The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter, Angela Slatter (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)

Collection: Everyone’s Just So So Special, Robert Shearman (Big Finish)

Anthology: The Weird, Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer (eds) (Corvus Books)

Small Press (the PS Publishing Independent Press Award): Chômu Press (Quentin S. Crisp and Leon Crisp)

Non-Fiction: Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Super Hero, Grant Morrison (Jonathan Cape)

Magazine/Periodical: Black Static, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)

Artist: Daniele Serra

Comic/Graphic Novel: Locke and Key, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW Publishing)

Screenplay: Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen

Newcomer (The Sydney J. Bounds Award): Kameron Hurley, for God’s War

Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award): Peter and Nicky Crowther

2013

Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award): Last Days, Adam Nevill (Macmillan)

Novella: The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine, John Llewellyn Probert (Spectral Press)

Short Story: Shark! Shark!, Ray Cluley (Black Static #29) (TTA Press)

Collection: Remember Why You Fear Me, Robert Shearman (ChiZine)

Anthology: Magic: an Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane, Jonathan Oliver (ed.) (Solaris)

Comic/Graphic Novel: Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Magazine/Periodical: Interzone, Andy Cox (ed.)

Small Press (the PS Publishing Independent Press Award): ChiZine Publications (Brett Alexander Savory and Sandra Kasturi)

Non-Fiction: Pornokitsch, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin (eds)

Screenplay: The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

Artist: Sean Phillips

Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Helen Marshall, for Hair Side, Flesh Side (ChiZine Publications)

Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Iain Banks / Iain M. Banks

2014

Fantasy novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer Press)

Horror novel (the August Derleth Award): The Shining Girls, Lauren Beukes (HarperCollins)

Novella: Beauty, Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)

Short story: Signs of the Times, Carole Johnstone (Black Static #33)

Anthology: End of the Road, Jonathan Oliver (ed.) (Solaris)

Collection: Monsters in the Heart, Stephen Volk (Gray Friar Press)

Small press: The Alchemy Press (Peter Coleborn)

Comic/graphic novel: Demeter, Becky Cloonan

Artist: Joey Hi-Fi

Non-fiction: Speculative Fiction 2012, Justin Landon and Jared Shurin (eds) (Jurassic London)

Magazine/periodical: Clarkesworld, Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace and Kate Baker (ed.) (Wyrm Publishing)

Film/television episode: Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO)

Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Ann Leckie, for Ancillary Justice (Orbit)

Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award): Farah Mendlesohn

About Stephen Theaker (280 Articles)
Stephen Theaker is the administrator of the British Fantasy Awards. He is also a reviewer for Interzone and Black Static, and the co-editor of Theaker's Quarterly Fiction.