The British Fantasy Awards

The British Fantasy Awards are currently decided by a combination of voting and juries. Four items are added to the shortlists by a vote of the BFS membership, attendees of the previous FantasyCon, and attendees of the next FantasyCon. Juries are then appointed for each category, and the juries are able to add up to two further “egregious omissions” to each shortlist. Copies of the shortlisted items are then requested and the juries consider them all before deciding upon a winner.

The British Fantasy Awards Constitution sets out the rules of the awards. Under the current constitution, changes to the awards rules can only be made at an AGM of the British Fantasy Society. Proposed changes must be sent in writing to the awards administrator, and they will then be discussed and, if seconded, voted upon at the next AGM. We have an awards discussion board on the British Fantasy Society’s forum, where ideas for changes, and other issues relating to the awards, can be discussed.

The British Fantasy Awards Administrator can be contacted at bfsawards@britishfantasysociety.org.

We have begun to compile a crowdsourced list of suggestions for the 2017 Awards. Make your own suggestions here.


Schedule

A typical schedule for the British Fantasy Awards is something like this, though it can change in response to the timing of FantasyCon:

  • January–February: voting
  • March: collation and checking of votes
  • April: appointment of juries
  • May: jury decisions on egregious omissions
  • June: announcement of the shortlist; requesting reading copies
  • July–August: jurors’ reading period
  • September: Awards presentation at FantasyCon

Winners

2016

  • Anthology: The Doll Collection, ed. Ellen Datlow (Tor Books)
  • Artist: Julie Dillon
  • Collection: Ghost Summer: Stories, Tananarive Due (Prime Books)
  • Comic/graphic novel: Bitch Planet, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV and Cris Peter (Image Comics) (#2–5)
  • Fantasy novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Macmillan)
  • Film/television production: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Peter Harness (BBC One)
  • Horror novel (the August Derleth Award): Rawblood, Catriona Ward (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Independent press: Angry Robot (Marc Gascoigne)
  • Magazine/periodical: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. Scott H. Andrews (Firkin Press)
  • Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Zen Cho, for Sorcerer to the Crown (Macmillan)
  • Non-fiction: Letters to Tiptree, ed. Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Novella: The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, Usman T. Malik (Tor.com)
  • Short fiction: Fabulous Beasts, Priya Sharma (Tor.com)
  • The Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): The FantasyCon redshirts, past and present

2015

  • Anthology: Lightspeed: Women Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue, ed. Christie Yant (Lightspeed Magazine)
  • Artist: Karla Ortiz
  • Collection: Nick Nightmare Investigates, Adrian Cole (The Alchemy Press and Airgedlámh Publications)
  • Comic/graphic novel: Through the Woods, Emily Carroll (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
  • Fantasy novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Film/television episode: Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn and Nicole Perlman (Marvel Studios)
  • Horror novel (the August Derleth Award): No One Gets Out Alive, Adam Nevill (Macmillan)
  • Independent press: Fox Spirit Books (Adele Wearing)
  • Magazine/periodical: Holdfast Magazine, ed. Laurel Sills and Lucy Smee (Laurel Sills and Lucy Smee)
  • Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Sarah Lotz, for The Three (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Non-fiction: Letters to Arkham: The Letters of Ramsey Campbell and August Derleth, 1961–1971, ed. S.T. Joshi (PS Publishing)
  • Novella: Newspaper Heart, Stephen Volk (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories)
  • Short story: A Woman’s Place, Emma Newman (Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets)
  • Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Juliet E. McKenna

2014

  • Anthology: End of the Road, Jonathan Oliver (ed.) (Solaris)
  • Artist: Joey Hi-Fi
  • Collection: Monsters in the Heart, Stephen Volk (Gray Friar Press)
  • Comic/graphic novel: Demeter, Becky Cloonan
  • Fantasy novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer Press)
  • Film/television episode: Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO)
  • Horror novel (the August Derleth Award): The Shining Girls, Lauren Beukes (HarperCollins)
  • Magazine/periodical: Clarkesworld, Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace and Kate Baker (ed.) (Wyrm Publishing)
  • Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Ann Leckie, for Ancillary Justice (Orbit)
  • Non-fiction: Speculative Fiction 2012, Justin Landon and Jared Shurin (eds) (Jurassic London)
  • Novella: Beauty, Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)
  • Short story: Signs of the Times, Carole Johnstone (Black Static #33)
  • Small press: The Alchemy Press (Peter Coleborn)
  • Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award): Farah Mendlesohn

2013

  • Anthology: Magic: an Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane, Jonathan Oliver (ed.) (Solaris)
  • Artist: Sean Phillips
  • Collection: Remember Why You Fear Me, Robert Shearman (ChiZine)
  • Comic/Graphic Novel: Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  • 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)
  • Magazine/Periodical: Interzone, Andy Cox (ed.)
  • Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Helen Marshall, for Hair Side, Flesh Side (ChiZine Publications)
  • Non-Fiction: Pornokitsch, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin (eds)
  • Novella: The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine, John Llewellyn Probert (Spectral Press)
  • Screenplay: The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard
  • Short Story: Shark! Shark!, Ray Cluley (Black Static #29) (TTA Press)
  • Small Press (the PS Publishing Independent Press Award): ChiZine Publications (Brett Alexander Savory and Sandra Kasturi)
  • Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Iain Banks / Iain M. Banks

2012

  • Anthology: The Weird, Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer (eds) (Corvus Books)
  • Artist: Daniele Serra
  • Collection: Everyone’s Just So So Special, Robert Shearman (Big Finish)
  • Comic/Graphic Novel: Locke and Key, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW Publishing)
  • Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor Books)
  • Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award): The Ritual, Adam Nevill (Pan Books)
  • Magazine/Periodical: Black Static, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)
  • Newcomer (The Sydney J. Bounds Award): Kameron Hurley, for God’s War
  • Non-Fiction: Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Super Hero, Grant Morrison (Jonathan Cape)
  • Novella: Gorel and the Pot Bellied God, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
  • Screenplay: Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
  • Short Fiction: The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter, Angela Slatter (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)
  • Small Press (the PS Publishing Independent Press Award): Chômu Press (Quentin S. Crisp and Leon Crisp)
  • Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award): Peter and Nicky Crowther

2011

  • Anthology: Back from the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories, Johnny Mains (ed.) (Noose & Gibbet)
  • Artist: Vincent Chong
  • Collection: Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Comic/Graphic Novel: At the Mountains of Madness: a Graphic Novel, Ian Culbard (Selfmadehero)
  • Film: Inception, Christopher Nolan (dir.)
  • Magazine/Periodical: Black Static, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)
  • Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Robert Jackson Bennet, for Mr Shivers (Orbit)
  • Non-Fiction: Altered Visions: The Art of Vincent Chong (Telos Publishing)
  • Novella: Humpty’s Bones, Simon Clark (Telos Publishing)
  • Short Fiction: Fool’s Gold, Sam Stone (The Bitten Word, NewCon Press)
  • Small Press (The PS Publishing Best Small Press Award): Telos Publishing (David Howe and Stephen James Walker)
  • Television: Sherlock
  • Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Terry Pratchett

2010

  • Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 20, ed. Stephen Jones (Constable & Robinson)
  • 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)
  • Collection: Love Songs For The Shy And Cynical, Robert Shearman (Big Finish)
  • Comic/Graphic Novel: Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader?, Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert (DC Comics/Titan Books)
  • Film: Let The Right One In, directed by Tomas Alfredson (EFTI)
  • Magazine/Periodical: Murky Depths, edited and published by Terry Martin
  • Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Kari Sperring, for Living With Ghosts (DAW)
  • Non-Fiction: Ansible, David Langford
  • 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)
  • Small Press (the PS Publishing Best Small Press Award): Telos Publishing, David Howe and Stephen James Walker
  • Televison: Doctor Who, head writer: Russell T Davies (BBC Wales)
  • Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Robert Holdstock

2009

  • Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 19, ed. Stephen Jones (Constable & Robinson)
  • Artist: Vincent Chong
  • Collection: Bull Running for Girls, Allyson Bird (Screaming Dreams)
  • Comic/Graphic Novel: Locke and Key, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW Publishing)
  • Film: The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner Brothers)
  • Magazine/Periodical: Postscripts, ed. Peter Crowther and Nick Gevers (PS Publishing)
  • Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Joseph D’Lacey, for Meat (Bloody Books)
  • Non-Fiction: Basil Copper: A Life in Books, by Basil Copper, ed. Stephen Jones (PS Publishing)
  • Novel (the August Derleth Award): Memoirs of a Master Forger, William Heaney, aka Graham Joyce (Gollancz)
  • Novella: The Reach of Children, Tim Lebbon (Humdrumming)
  • Short Fiction: Do You See, Sarah Pinborough (Myth-Understandings)
  • Small Press (the PS Publishing Award): Elastic Press (Andrew Hook)
  • Televison: Doctor Who, head writer Russell T. Davies (BBC Wales)
  • Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Hayao Miyazaki

2008

  • Anthology: Stephen Jones, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 18 (Robinson)
  • Artist: Vincent Chong
  • Collection: Christopher Fowler, Old Devil Moon (Serpents Tail)
  • Newcomer: Scott Lynch
  • Non-Fiction: Peter Tennant (ed.), Whispers of Wickedness Reviews (website)
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): 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)
  • Small Press: Peter Crowther, PS Publishing
  • Special Award: Ray Harryhausen

2007

  • Anthology: Extended Play: The Elastic Book of Music, ed. Gary Couzens
  • Artist: Vincent Chong
  • Collection: Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman
  • Newcomer: Joe Hill
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Dusk, Tim Lebbon
  • Novella: Kid, Paul Finch
  • Short Story: Whisper Lane, Mark Chadbourn
  • Small Press: PS Publishing, Peter Crowther
  • Special Award: Ellen Datlow

2006

  • Anthology: The Elastic Book of Numbers, ed. Allen Ashley
  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Collection: 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman
  • Novella: The Mask Behind the Face, Stuart Young
  • Short Story: Best New Horror, Joe Hill
  • Small Press: PS Publishing, Peter Crowther
  • Special Award: Stephen Jones

2005

  • Anthology: The Alsiso Project, ed. Andrew Hook
  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Collection: Out of His Mind, Stephen Gallagher
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, Stephen King
  • Novella: Breathe, Christopher Fowler
  • Short Story: Black Static, Paul Meloy
  • Small Press: Elastic Press, Andrew Hook
  • Special Award: Nigel Kneale

2004

  • Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 14, ed. Stephen Jones
  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Collection: Told By the Dead, Ramsey Campbell
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler
  • Short Story: American Waitress, Christopher Fowler
  • Small Press: PS Publishing, Peter Crowther
  • Special Award: Peter Jackson, for The Lord of the Rings

2003

  • Anthology: Keep Out the Night, ed. Stephen Jones
  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Collection: Ramsey Campbell, Probably: On Horror and Sundry Fantasies, Ramsey Campbell
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Scar, China Mieville
  • Short Story: The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke, Mark Chadbourn
  • Small Press: PS Publishing, Peter Crowther
  • Special Award: Alan Garner

2002

  • Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 12, ed. Stephen Jones
  • Collection: Aftershocks, Paul Finch
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Night of the Triffids, Simon Clark
  • Short Story: Simon Clark, Goblin City Lights
  • Small Press: PS Publishing, Peter Crowther
  • Artist: Jim Burns

2001

  • Anthology: Hideous Progeny: a Frankenstein Anthology, ed. Brian Willis
  • Artist: Jim Burns
  • Collection: Where the Bodies Are Buried, Kim Newman
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
  • Short Story: Naming of Parts, Tim Lebbon
  • Small Press: PS Publishing, Peter Crowther
  • Special Award: Peter Haining

2000

  • Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 10, ed. Stephen Jones
  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Collection: Lonesome Roads, Peter Crowther
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Indigo, Graham Joyce
  • Short Story: White, Tim Lebbon
  • Small Press: Razorblade Press, Darren Floyd
  • Special Award: Anne McCaffrey

1999

  • Anthology: Dark Terrors 4: the Gollancz Book of Horror, eds Stephen Jones and David Sutton
  • Artist: Bob Covington
  • Collection: Ghosts and Grisly Things, Ramsey Campbell
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Bag of Bones, Stephen King
  • Short Story: The Song My Sister Sang, Stephen Laws
  • Small Press: The Third Alternative, ed. Andy Cox
  • Special Award: Diana Wynne Jones

1998

  • Artist: Jim Burns
  • Collection: Stephen Jones and David Sutton, Dark Terrors 3: the Gollancz Book of Horror
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Tower of the King’s Daughter, Chaz Brenchley
  • Short Story: Wageslaves, Christopher Fowler
  • Small Press: Interzone, David Pringle
  • Special Award: D.F. Lewis

1997

  • Artist: Jim Burns
  • Collection: The Nightmare Factory, Thomas Ligotti
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Tooth Fairy, Graham Joyce
  • Short Story: Dancing About Architecture, Martin Simpson
  • Small Press: H.P. Lovecraft: a Life, S.T. Joshi
  • Special Award: Jo Fletcher

1996

  • Artist: Josh Kirby
  • Collection: Last Rites and Resurrections: Stories from The Third Alternative, Andy Cox (ed.)
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Requiem, Graham Joyce
  • Short Story: More Tomorrow, Michael Marshall Smith
  • Small Press: The Third Alternative, Andy Cox
  • Special Award: Mike O’Driscoll and Steve Lockley, for Welcome to My Nightmare

1995

  • Artist: Martin McKenna
  • Collection: The Earthwire, Joel Lane
  • Newcomer: Maggie Furey
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Only Forward, Michael Marshall Smith
  • Short Story: The Temptation of Dr. Stein, Paul McAuley
  • Small Press: Necrofile, Stefan Dziemianowicz, S.T. Joshi and Michael Morrison
  • Special Award: John Jarrold

1994

  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Collection: Dark Voices 5, eds David Sutton and Stephen Jones
  • Newcomer: Poppy Z Brite
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Long Lost, Ramsey Campbell
  • Short Story: The Dog Park, Dennis Etchison
  • Small Press: Dementia 13, Pam Creais
  • Special Award: Dave Sutton

1993

  • Artist: Jim Pitts
  • Collection: Darklands 2, Nicholas Royle
  • Newcomer: Conrad Williams
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Dark Sister, Graham Joyce
  • Short Story: Night Shift Sister, Nicholas Royle
  • Small Press: Peeping Tom, D Bell and S Hughes
  • Special Award: Michael Moorcock

1992

  • Artist: Jim Pitts
  • Collection: Darklands, Nicholas Royle
  • Newcomer: Melanie Tem
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Outside the Dog Museum, Jonathan Carroll
  • Short Story: The Dark Land, Michael Marshall Smith
  • Small Press: Peeping Tom, David Bell and Stuart Hughes
  • Special Award: Andrew Porter

1991

  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Collection: Best New Horror, Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Midnight Sun, Ramsey Campbell
  • Short Story: The Man Who Drew Cats, Michael Marshall Smith
  • Small Press: Dagon, Carl Ford
  • Special Award: Dorothy Lumley

1990

  • Artist: Dave Carson
  • Film: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Newcomer: Nancy Collins
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Carrion Comfort, Dan Simmons
  • Short Story: On The Far Side Of The Desert With Dead Folk, Joe Lansdale
  • Small Press: Dagon, Carl Ford
  • Special Award: Peter Coleborn

1989

  • Artist: Dave Carson
  • Film: Beetlejuice
  • Icarus Award: John Gilbert
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Influence, Ramsey Campbell
  • Short Story: Fruiting Bodies, Brian Lumley
  • Small Press: Dagon, Carl Ford
  • Special Award: Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes

1988

  • Artist: JK Potter
  • Film: Hellraiser
  • Icarus Award: Carl Ford
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Hungry Moon, Ramsey Campbell
  • Short Story: Leaks, Steve Rasnic Tem
  • Small Press: Dagon, Carl Ford

1987

  • Artist: JK Potter
  • Film: Aliens
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): It, Stephen King
  • Short Story: The Olympic Runner, Dennis Etchison
  • Small Press: Fantasy Tales, Stephen Jones and David Sutton
  • Special Award: Charles L Grant

1986

  • Artist: JK Potter
  • Film: Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Ceremonies, TED Kline
  • Short Story: The Forbidden, Clive Barker
  • Small Press: Fantasy Tales, Stephen Jones and David Sutton
  • Special Award: Les Flood

1985

  • Artist: Stephen Fabian
  • Film: Ghostbusters
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Incarnate, Ramsey Campbell
  • Short Story: In the Hills, the Cities, Clive Barker
  • Small Press: Whispers, Stuart David Schiff
  • Special Award: Manly Wade Wellman

1984

  • Artist: Rowena Morrill
  • Film: Videodrome
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Floating Dragon, Peter Straub
  • Short Story: Neither Brute Nor Human, Karl Edward Wagner
  • Small Press: Ghosts & Scholars, Ro Pardoe

1983

  • Artist: Dave Carson
  • Film: Blade Runner
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Sword of the Lictor, Gene Wolfe
  • Short Story: The Breathing Method, Stephen King
  • Small Press: Fantasy Tales, Stephen Jones and David Sutton
  • Special Award: Karl Edward Wagner

1982

  • Artist: Dave Carson
  • Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Cujo, Stephen King
  • Short Story: The Dark Country, Dennis Etchison
  • Small Press: Fantasy Tales, Stephen Jones and David Sutton

1981

  • Artist: Dave Carson
  • Film: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): To Wake The Dead, Ramsey Campbell
  • Short Story: The Stains, Robert Aickman
  • Small Press: Airgedlamh, Dave McFerran, Stephen Jones and David Sutton
  • Special Award: Stephen King

1980

  • Artist: Stephen Fabian
  • Comic: Heavy Metal
  • Film: Alien
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Death’s Master, Tanith Lee
  • Short Story: The Button Molder, Fritz Leiber
  • Small Press: Fantasy Tales 3, Stephen Jones and David Sutton

1979

  • Artist: Boris Vallejo, Amazon Princess and her Pet
  • Comic: The Scarlet Citadel, Roy Thomas and Frank Brunner
  • Film: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
  • Short Story: Jeffty is Five, Harlan Ellison
  • Small Press: Fantasy Tales 2, Stephen Jones and David Sutton

1978

  • Artist: Steve Fabian
  • Comic: Marvel Premiere 38: Weirdworld
  • Film: Carrie
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): A Spell for Chameleon, Piers Anthony
  • Short Story: In the Bag, Ramsey Campbell
  • Small Press: Fantasy Tales 1, Stephen Jones and David Sutton

1977

  • Artist: Michael Kaluta, The Sacrifice
  • Comic: Howard the Duck #3
  • Film: The Omen
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The Dragon and The George, Gordon Dickson
  • Short Story: Two Suns Setting, Karl Edward Wagner
  • Small Press: Anduril, John Martin

1976

  • Comic: Savage Sword of Conan
  • Film: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Michael Moorcock, The Hollow Lands
  • Short Story: Second Book of Fritz Lieber

1975

  • Comic: Savage Sword of Conan
  • Film: The Exorcist
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Michael Moorcock, The Sword and the Stallion
  • Short Story: Karl Edward Wagner Sticks

1974

  • Comic: Conan
  • Film: Legend of Hell House
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): Hrolf Kraki’s Saga, Poul Anderson
  • Short Story: The Jade Man’s Eyes, Michael Moorcock

1973

  • Comic: Conan
  • Film: Tales from the Crypt
  • Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award): The King of the Swords, Michael Moorcock
  • Short Story: The Fallible Fiend, L Sprague de Camp
  • Special Award: Marches of Valhalla, Robert E Howard

1972

  • Novel: The Knight of the Swords, Michael Moorcock

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 physical award has gone through many changes over the years. 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. 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. For 2009 the award was a winged demon, which was tricky to produce and too fragile to send by courier. The replacement design for 2010 was a genre-inclusive demon/alien with a dragon’s egg, from the same sculptor. Another new design was commissioned from the same sculptor for 2011. In late 2011, the membership voted in a rule that the award “should be abstract or genre-neutral in design, avoiding any preference for horror, fantasy etc”, meaning the previous design was no longer suitable, nor was anything in that vein. So an abstract etched crystalline award fitting the bill was used for 2012, and a slightly different version of the same was used for 2013. From 2014 the award was a handcrafted wooden bookend.

For several years 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. In the list below, the word “Best” is omitted from all categories for clarity.

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.

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 once 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. Ramsey Campbell had won seven by the time of this article’s original publication in Silver Rhapsody (1996). The Sutton/Jones combo gained no less than eight for Fantasy Tales, plus one each separately (by that time, at least – Stephen Jones went 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.

Other changes to note. After 1998, the Best Collection award was divided into Best Collection and Best Anthology. After 1995, the Best Newcomer Award (known as the Icarus Award) was merged into the Special Award. A new award for best newcomer was introduced in 2007, the Sydney J. Bounds Award, which includes a small amount of prize money provided by the family of Sydney J. Bounds. In 2003 a proposal by Ramsey Campbell (and seconded by Graham Joyce) that would have limited eligibility for the awards shortlist to living authors passed successfully at the AGM, but was never added to the constitution. (A rewritten constitution that did not contain this rule was approved entire by the AGM some years later, so the rule does not now apply.)

The 2009 awards reintroduced the comics and film awards, 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 in 2009, the winners of each category were decided entirely by a vote on the shortlisted nominees, whereas in most previous years the initial vote on the longlist had already decided them before the shortlist was announced.

The best novel award for 2011 originally went to Demon Dance by Sam Stone, who announced a few days after the ceremony that she would return the award. The other nominees declined to accept it, and so a result of no award was announced. A reorganisation of the awards followed, and from the 2012 awards the winners were chosen from the shortlists by juries, rather than by a vote of the BFS and FantasyCon memberships. The longlist stage was also dropped (the gap later being filled by a crowdsourced list of suggestions), and the juries were given the power to add up to two items of their choosing to each shortlist.

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 FantasyCon committee was no longer involved in deciding the special award. The dividing line between short story and novella was raised from 10,000 words to 15,000 words. The television and film awards, though popular with voters, were briefly replaced by a screenplay award, which for the 2014 awards was itself replaced by a best film/television episode award, due to the difficulty of acquiring screenplays for the juries to read.

The 2013 awards were presented at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton alongside the World Fantasy Awards. That was the final year of PS Publishing’s sponsorship of the best small press award, and for the 2015 awards it became the best independent press award. (A successful 2011 proposal to similar effect had passed under the radar.) For the 2016 awards the category of best film/television episode was changed again, this time to best film/television production, with multi-part stories, mini-series and entire seasons becoming eligible if credited to the same writer(s).

Text relating to the years up to 1996 is 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.

About Stephen Theaker (306 Articles)
Stephen Theaker's reviews, interviews and articles have appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Prism and the BFS Journal. Among other work for the BFS, he has been awards administrator, short story competition administrator, Dark Horizons editor, FantasyCon secretary and treasurer, and (briefly) chair.