News Archive 2016

Stan Nicholls


The presentation of next year’s David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy will be part of Edge-Lit 6 in Derby, UK, on the evening of Saturday 15th July.
This press release has the details:


The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy are among the most prestigious awards in genre fiction, presenting prizes for the very best in fantasy novels and artwork each year. Presented in memory of one of epic fantasy’s biggest and most loved authors, the awards have been presented since 2009 and have a roll of honour including Brent Weeks, Patrick Rothfuss, Mark Lawrence, Brandon Sanderson and many more bestselling names in the field.

The awards will be presented for the 9th time in 2017 as part of Edge-Lit 6, Derby’s annual fantasy, horror and science-fiction day. The prize-giving ceremony will see the award presented for Best Fantasy Novel of 2016 (the Legend Award), Best Fantasy Debut of 2016 (the Morningstar Award) and Best Fantasy Cover Art of 2016 (the Ravenheart Award).

Edge-Lit 6 runs on the 15th July 2017 at QUAD, Derby’s independent cinema and art space, and each year brings together some of the finest UK talent in genre fiction. With a growing reputation for quality and an audience of 200+ each year, the event offers an array of panels, workshops and book launches as well as popular yearly features such as the live Edge-Lit raffle.

Alex Davis, Literature Officer for QUAD, said: ‘Over the last decade the Gemmell Awards have become a high point in the genre calendar, and have been presented at some of the biggest conventions and fantasy events in the UK. I’m delighted to be working with them to bring the ceremony to Edge-Lit, which makes the 2017 running even more exciting!’

Stan Nicholls, Chair of the David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy, said: ‘Edge-Lit has established itself as one of the highlight events of the genre year, and the Gemmell Awards are thrilled to be part of 2017’s line-up.  Devoted as they both are to championing the best of speculative fiction, the Gemmells and Edge-Lit are a perfect match.  Roll on next July!’

Edge-Lit 6 runs from 10am-11pm on the 15th July 2017 at QUAD, Derby. Early tickets are on sale at:

and cost £30, including access to all sessions on the day and an event goodie bag.

For more information, or for any queries, simply email Alex Davis, Literature Officer for QUAD, at

Edge-Lit also has a Facebook page 

The website for The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy is here

And its Facebook page is here


In last month’s update I reported on the discovery of a previously unknown David Gemmell novel, Rhyming Rings, which Gollancz are publishing next May.  (Gemmell’s long out of print White Knight, Black Swan, another crime novel, is finally going to be republished in September 2017.)  I’m now able to say that Rhyming Rings will carry an afterword by me, along with an introduction by Conn Iggulden.  Here’s the publisher’s preamble:

“David Gemmell was the UK's number one fantasy and historical novelist until his death in 2006.  A regular Sunday Times bestseller, and international sensation, his legacy lives on through his novels, his influence on the genre, and through the David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy.
Rhyming Rings is a never-before-seen Gemmell novel, discovered in his papers by his widow, Stella Gemmell.  Merging autobiographical details of Gemmell's life as a journalist in South London with a serial killer and a tinge of the supernatural, this is perfect for fans of David's work, as well as readers of gritty crime novels.  Set against the backdrop of a London simmering with poverty, change and racial tension, this taut thriller is a fitting legacy for the great writer.
“This book includes a brand new introduction from massive Gemmell fan Conn Iggulden, and an afterword by Gemmell's friend Stan Nicholls.
“An ambidextrous killer is murdering women, leaving virtually no evidence behind, and struggling journalist Jeremy Miller wishes he was covering the case.  Instead, he's stuck with heart-warming local stories about paraplegic teenagers and elderly psychic ladies.
“So when his stories and the murder case start to converge no one is more surprised than Jeremy.
“Or, it turns out, more at risk.”






1st October saw the launch of the anthology ‘Southcart Tales’, for which I wrote an introduction.  All proceeds from the book will help to support Southcart Books, Walsall’s last remaining independent bookshop.  It was a good day.

Southcart Books’ website is here
Its Facebook page is here



There’s an interview with me, that went live on Halloween, by Ashe Armstrong as part of his Creator Spotlight series. You can find it here



Where we’ll be this month

I’m on a panel about contemporary fantasy fiction; my wife, Anne, is on one about book cover art.  We might be part of a couple of other items.  You can read the Novacon progress reports, including the third and last, here

And next Easter

Though it’s too early to say whether we’ll be part of any programme items. 

Innominate’s website is here

Their Facebook page is here



Great news for all who love Gemmell’s fiction.  The following press release, from Gollancz, needs no elaboration. We’re hoping that The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy, of which I’m Chair, might be involved in promoting the titles in some way.  I’ll post the covers here when we get to see them.

A brand new, never before seen, novel from the late great David Gemmell

Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, is thrilled to announce the acquisition of a never before seen novel from bestselling author David Gemmell recovered from his archives. RHYMING RINGS is a crime novel that long lay forgotten amongst the author’s personal effects until it was recently rediscovered by his widow, Stella Gemmell.

RHYMING RINGS tells the story of an ambidextrous killer who is murdering women in London, leaving virtually no evidence behind. Struggling local journalist Jeremy Miller wishes he was covering the case, but instead he’s stuck with heart-warming local stories about paraplegic teenagers and elderly, psychic ladies. When his news stories and the murder case start to converge no one is more surprised than Jeremy, or - it turns out - more at risk. Sure to delight Gemmell’s many ardent fans, RHYMING RINGS promises to be a thrilling new work in the crime genre, hitting shelves for the first time in May 2017.
Gollancz Commissioning Editor, Marcus Gipps, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights including audio from Howard Morhaim of the Morhaim Literary Agency through Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein.

Gollancz will also be supporting the publication of RHYMING RINGS by returning to print for the first time in 25 years the long-forgotten WHITE KNIGHT, BLACK SWAN, a crime novel originally published by David Gemmell under the pseudonym Ross Harding. WHITE KNIGHT, BLACK SWAN will be published September 2017.

Marcus Gipps said: “We’re delighted to be presenting David’s legions of fans with both a brand new, completely unpublished book and a reprint of a very hard to find one. We’ve worked closely with Stella Gemmell, and although these books may be set in a different genre to that which made his name, the core of what made David such a popular author shines clearly through. Both are crime novels with a supernatural tinge, and draw heavily on David’s life as a reporter in 80s London. They display his trademark deftness with character – especially damaged heroes -  with a sense of pace and flair for action, and will be snapped up by his devoted fanbase.”

About David Gemmell: David Gemmell was one of the UK's number one fantasy and historical novelists, penning more than 30 novels before his death in 2006. The author of the ground-breaking LEGEND as well as the Drenai novels, the Rigante series, the Troy sequence and the hit Jon Shannow sequence; he was one of the most influential novelists in the fantasy genre. The prestigious David Gemmell Awards are named in his honour.

About Gollancz: Gollancz is the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK. Founded in 1927 and with a continuous SF publishing programme dating back to 1961, the imprint of the Orion Publishing Group is home to a galaxy of award-winning and bestselling authors. Through our long-running SF and Fantasy Masterworks programme, and major digital initiative the SF Gateway, Gollancz have one of the largest ranges of SF and Fantasy of any publisher in the world.

Hardback £14.99 | eBook £7.99 | Audio £19.99

Hardback £14.99 | eBook £7.99 | Audio £19.99

The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy 2016

The presentation ceremony for this year’s Gemmell Awards, of which I’m Chair, took place on Saturday 24th September as part of Fantasycon in Scarborough, UK.

The results

Ravenheart Award (best cover art)
Jason Chan for the cover of The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence (Harper Collins)

Morningstar Award (best debut)
Peter Newman, The Vagrant (Harper Collins)

Legend Award (best novel)
Mark Lawrence, The Liar’s Key (Harper Collins)

For the first time, one publisher swept the board.
This was a second win for both Jason Chan and Mark Lawrence, who took the Ravenheart and Legend trophies respectively in 2014.

Cover of programme book


Event schedule and introduction from the programme book

Anne & Stan Nicholls (Photo by Helen Sansum)

Phil Lunt (Photo by Helen Sansum)

We couldn’t have hoped for a better set of guest presenters at this year’s Gemmell Awards ceremony. Phil Lunt opened with a flawless, pitch-perfect reading from ‘Legend’. Ian Whates of Newcon Press, which has been so significant in helping to financially support the awards, tantalised the audience with the possibility of a third ‘Legends’ anthology.

Andy Remic, presenting the Ravenheart Award, had everyone in stitches recounting how he corresponded with and subsequently met David Gemmell. Scott Lynch, the Morningstar presenter, spoke eloquently about the importance of supporting new writers; and Frances Hardinge, revealing the Legend Award winner, rounded-off the presenters’ speeches powerfully and succinctly. It was so nice to have participants who speak as articulately and evocatively as they write.

Peter Newman was on hand to accept his Morningstar Award, as was Harper Collins editor Natasha Bardon, who accepted on behalf of Jason Chan and Mark Lawrence. Both were received warmly.

Ian Whates (Photo by Helen Sansum)

Andy Remic (Photo by Peter Coleborn)

Left to Right: Natasha Bardon, Peter Newman & Scott Lynch, Ian Drury, Mark Lawrence’s agent (Photos by Peter Coleborn)

It’s only because of the efforts of a number of people who willingly give their time that the Gemmell Awards are possible. We particularly want to thank Rachel Oakes for tech support, Jannie Vd Boogaard De Schrijverin for stewardship, and Sky Campbell, who fulfils the vital role of webmaster.

Our thanks are also due to Alex Davis, Del Lakin-Smith and the entire Fantasycon committee, not forgetting the tireless red coat volunteers; Luke Gemmell, Dominic Harman, our media partner SFX magazine, all the publishers, and the event’s official photographer Peter Coleborn.

Natasha Bardon & Frances Hardinge (Photo by Peter Coleborn)

The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy’s website



Last month, I was interviewed by Agnes Meszaros for website That Thorn Guy. 

The introduction reads:
“Stan Nicholls is a British author, journalist and Chair of the Gemmell Awards.  He has written over thirty books, most of them in the fantasy and science fiction genres, for both adult and young readers, and has been published in more than twenty countries.  His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, Film Monthly, Films & Filming, Movie, Rock Power, SFX, Sight & Sound and some seventy other publications.  He very kindly agreed to answer some questions for me about his books, bookshops he worked in and the David Gemmell Awards.”

The interview is here



In September I was one of the writers featured in the online strands of Gollancz’s Gollanczfest :

Advice For Writers From Writers, Part 3, in which Elizabeth Bear, Joanne Harris, Alex Lamb and myself offer some tips.  Here.

AuthorLife!  In which various authors show the places where they work (among other things). This includes a photo of my workroom (though you have to scroll down quite a long way). 



This year’s Fantasycon is being held at The Grand Hotel and The Royal, Scarborough, between 23rd and 25th September.  The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy presentation ceremony will take place at the convention at 7-9pm on Saturday 24th.  (Please note that the start time had previously been announced as 8pm.)

The Fantasycon committee has kindly agreed that anyone who wants to attend the Gemmell Awards ceremony only will be allowed free admission.  Please note that this offer applies solely to the Gemmell Awards ceremony and does not permit entry to any other part of Fantasycon.  Those attending just the Gemmells event will be issued with a wristband like this:

Anyone wishing to join us for the Gemmell Awards must wear a Fantasycon badge or the above wristband.  Of course, the best way to enjoy and support both the awards ceremony and the convention is to register as a Fantasycon attendee.  The official website is here.

Ravenheart & Morningstar trophies by Lee Blair

Legend trophy by Raven Armoury


In addition to the awards ceremony I’ll be on two panels -

Saturday 24th September, 11am-12pm:  
How Much Planning Does It Take To Make a Great Book?
I’m moderating this one, and the panelists will be Jason Arnopp, Edward Cox, Jaine Fenn and Alison Littlewood.

Sunday 25th September, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm:
The Value of Genre Awards
Marc Gascoigne will moderate.  The panelists are Margret Helgadottir and Donna Scott, with one more to be confirmed.



Last month I mentioned this anthology of all new stories, for which I wrote an introduction.  Here’s the blurb: 

Southcart bookshop is one of the few thriving independent bookshops in the West Midlands, if not the UK as a whole. In this modern era of computers, video games, social media and reality TV, books are becoming an ever more precious commodity. At Southcart bookshop, owners Scott and Amy aren’t content to simply sell books. They are building a community of book lovers, regularly holding events with readings from authors, themed days and always a warm welcome. The nine authors featured in this collection are all Southcart regulars, and royalties from the sales of this book are going direct to Southcart Bookshop, to help Scott and Amy continue their fantastic work of spreading the love of reading.”

Southcart Tales is going to be launched on Saturday 1st October - all welcome. 
The address is Southcart Books, 20 Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, WS1 2RL. 
Website:   Tel: +44 7528 144837

I hope to see some of you there.



The shortlists for 2016’s Gemmell Awards were revealed and opened for voting on 8th July. 


The shortlists are:

Legend Award (best novel)

The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron (Gollancz)
Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia (Baen)
Gotrek & Felix: Slayer by David Guymer (Black Library)
Ruin by John Gwynne (Pan Macmillan)
The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence (Harper/Voyager) 

Morningstar Award (best debut)

Battlemage by Stephen Aryan (Orbit)
The Traitor by Seth Dickinson (Pan Macmillan)
The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig (Harper/Voyager)
Starborn by Lucy Hounsom (Pan Macmillan)
The Vagrant by Peter Newman (Harper/Voyager)
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Harper/Voyager)

(We normally have five finalists in each category, except in the case of a draw, which has happened only once in the awards’ history.  However, as we had just six nominees for the Morningstar this year, and the number of votes separating fifth and sixth place weren’t that great, we thought it was fairest to let all six nominees go through to the final.)

Ravenheart Award (best cover art)

Kerem Beyit for The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron (Gollancz)
Jason Chan for The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence (Harper/Voyager)
Larry Elmore & Carol Russo Design for Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia (Baen)
Raymond Swanland for Archaon: Lord of Chaos by Rob Sanders (Black Library)
Paul Young for Ruin by John Gwynne (Pan Macmillan)

Voting on the shortlists will close at midnight (GMT) on Friday 19th August.

The results will be announced at a presentation ceremony taking place at 7pm on Saturday 24th September at Fantasycon in Scarborough, UK.

Fantasycon Website

The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy website

Official Facebook page

The awards have particular relevance, and poignancy, this year as July 2016 marked the tenth anniversary of David Gemmell’s passing.



I’m pleased to have played a small part in this anthology, all proceeds from which go towards supporting Southcart Books, one of the West Midlands’ few independent bookshops.

The paperback edition (£4.95)

The Kindle edition (99p for the time being)


A reminder that my wife, Anne Nicholls, and myself will be among the attendees at this year’s Novacon, where the guest of honour is fantasy author Juliet McKenna. 

Venue: Park Inn Hotel, Nottingham; 11th-13th November

Novacon is a “pure” science fiction literature convention and well worth your attention. 

Details here



The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy has a new logo, as above, specially created for us by leading UK fantasy/sf/horror artist Dominic Harman.  We’re very pleased with it, and initial reactions have been extremely positive.

Meanwhile ...


This year’s longlists closed for voting on 24th June.  Readers voted in their thousands for our three categories - the Legend Award (best novel), Morningstar Award (best debut) and Ravenheart Award (best cover art). Here’s the remainder of the itinerary:

Midday, Friday 8th July:  The shortlists announced and voting opens.
Midnight, Friday 19th August:  Voting on the shortlists closes.
(Note that these times are GMT.)

The presentation ceremony takes place on the evening of Saturday 24th September at Fantasycon in UK’s Scarborough.

The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy’s official website is here, and its Facebook page here.



I’m frequently asked about the ebook availability of the Orcs series.  All titles in the series are available for download - click on the covers below for details.

First and second trilogies 

Short story collection

Graphic novel



The longlists for 2016’s David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy opened for voting on 13th May. 

Here they are:

LEGEND AWARD (Best novel)

Snaga trophy by Simon Fearnhamm/Raven Armoury

Joe Abercrombie, Half A War  (Harper/Voyager) 
Bradley Beaulieu, Twelve Kings  (Gollancz) 
Peter V Brett, The Skull Throne  (Harper/Voyager)   
Terry Brooks, The Darkling Child  (Orbit) 
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut’s Windlass  (Orbit)   
Miles Cameron, The Dread Wyrm  (Gollancz) 
Trudi Canavan, Angel of Storms (Orbit) 
Larry Correia, Son of the Black Sword  (Baen) 
Edward Cox, The Cathedral of Known Things  (Gollancz) 
David Dalglish, Skyborn  (Orbit) 
Stephen Deas, The Silver Kings  (Gollancz) 
Aliette de Bodard, The House of Shattered Wings  (Gollancz) 
Sebastien de CastellKnight's Shadow  (Jo Fletcher Books)   
Kate Elliott, Black Wolves  (Orbit) 
David Guymer, Gotrek & Felix: Slayer  (Black Library) 
John Gwynne, Ruin  (Pan Macmillan) 
David Hair, Ascendant's Rite  (Jo Fletcher Books) 
Joanne Hall, Spark and Carousel  Kristell Ink) 
Markus Heitz, Devastating Hate  (Jo Fletcher Books)  
Robin Hobb, Fool’s Quest  (Harper/Voyager) 
John Hornor Jacobs, Foreign Devils  (Gollancz)   
NK Jemisin, The Fifth Season  (Orbit) 
Drew Karpyshyn, Chaos Unleashed  (Del Rey) 
Julia Knight, Swords and Scoundrels  (Orbit) 
Snorri Kristjansson, Path of Gods  (Jo Fletcher Books) 
MD Lachlan, Valkyrie’s Song  (Gollancz) 
Glenda Larke, The Dagger’s Path  (Orbit) 
Mark Lawrence, The Liar’s Key  (Harper/Voyager) 
Rebecca Levene, The Hunter’s Kind  (Hodder & Stoughton) 
Tom Lloyd, Old Man’s Ghosts  (Gollancz) 
Alex Marshall, A Crown For Cold Silver  (Orbit) 
Gail Z Martin, War of Shadows  (Orbit) 
Brian McClellan, The Autumn Republic  (Orbit) 
Naomi Novik, Uprooted  (Pan Macmillan) 
Den Patrick, The Boy Who Wept Blood  (Gollancz) 
Daniel Polansky, Those Above  (Hodder & Stoughton) 
Steven Poore, The Heir to the North  (Kristell Ink) 
Anthony Ryan, Queen of Fire  (Orbit) 
Brandon Sanderson, Shadows of Self  (Gollancz) 
Anna Sheehan, Spinning Thorns  (Gollancz) 
Brian Staveley, The Providence of Fire  (Pan Macmillan) 
Adrian Tchaikovsky, Guns of the Dawn  (Pan Macmillan) 
Ian Tregillis, The Mechanical  (Orbit) 
Angus Watson, Reign of Iron (Orbit) 
David Weber, The Sword of the South  (Baen) 
Django Wexler, The Price of Valour  (Del Rey)   
Jen Williams, The Iron Ghost  (Headline)                                       

Legend total: 47



Ravenheart trophy by Lee Blair

Stephen Aryan, Battlemage  (Orbit) 
Seth Dickinson, The Traitor  (Pan Macmillan) 
Francesca Haig, The Fire Sermon  (Harper/Voyager)  
Lucy Hounsom, Starborn  (Pan Macmillan) 
Peter Newman, The Vagrant  (Harper/Voyager)  
Sabaa Tahir, An Ember in the Ashes  (Harper/Voyager) 

Morningstar total: 6

RAVENHEART AWARD (Best cover art)

James Annal for Uprooted by Naomi Novik(Pan Macmillan) 
Tommy Arnold for Skyborn by David Dalglish  (Orbit) 
Kerem Beyit for The Dread Wyrm  by Miles Cameron  (Gollancz) 
Jason Chan for The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence  (Harper/Voyager)   
Wendy Chan for Swords and Scoundrels  by Julia Knight  (Orbit) 
Alejandro Colucci for The Boy Who Wept Blood  by Den Patrick  (Gollancz) 
Bastien Lecouffe Deharme for The Darkling Child  by Terry Brooks  (Orbit) 
Krzysztof Domaradzki for Old Man’s Ghosts  by Tom Lloyd  (Gollancz) 
Larry Elmore & Carol Russo Design for Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia  (Baen)    
Mark Ferrari for The Flotsam Trilogy Omnibus by Peter M Ball  (Apocalypse Ink Productions) 
Christopher Gibbs for The Cathedral of Known Things  by Edward Cox  (Gollancz)
Sam Green for Shadows of Self  by Brandon Sanderson  (Gollancz) 
Manuela Hackl for Knight's Shadow by Sebastien de Castell  (Jo Fletcher Books) 
Mohamad Hani/Archangel Images for An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir  (Harper/Voyager) 
Teddy Eduardo Iglesias for The House of Shattered Wings  by Aliette de Bodard  (Gollancz) 
Patrick Insole for The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams  (Headline) 
Jaime Jones for The Vagrant by Peter Newman  (Harper/Voyager)  
Nik Keevil & Nick Castle for Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan(Orbit) 
Patrick Knowles for Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs  (Gollancz) 
Laura B for Spinning Thorns  by Anna Sheehan  (Gollancz) 
Tim McDonagh for The Hunter’s Kind by Rebecca Levene  (Hodder & Stoughton) 
Chris McGrath for The Aeronaut’s Windlass  by Jim Butcher  (Orbit) 
Jackie Morris for Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb  (Harper/Voyager) 
Lauren Panepinto for The Fifth Season  by NK Jemisin  (Orbit)   
Lauren Panepinto, Gene Mollica & Michael Frost for The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan  (Orbit) 
Rhett Podersoo for Those Above by Daniel Polansky  (Hodder & Stoughton) 
Larry Rostant for The Skull Throne by Peter V Brett  (Harper/Voyager) 
Larry Rostant for Black Wolves  by Kate Elliott  (Orbit) 
Larry Rostant for War of Shadows  by Gail Z Martin  (Orbit)   
Larry Rostant for Reign of Iron by Angus Watson  (Orbit) 
Duncan Spilling for Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan  (Orbit) 
Steve Stone for Battlemage  by Stephen Aryan(Orbit) 
Steve Stone for The Dagger’s Path by Glenda Larke  (Orbit) 
Raymond Swanland, Archaon: Lord of Chaos by Rob Sanders (Black Library) 
Andrew Unangst for Twelve Kings  by Bradley Beaulieu  (Gollancz) 
Stephen Youll for The Silver Kings  by Stephen Deas  (Gollancz) 
Paul Young for Ruin by John Gwynne(Pan Macmillan) 
Paul Young for Acendant's Rite by David Hair   (Jo Fletcher Books) 
Paul Young for Valkyrie’s Song  by MD Lachlan  (Gollancz) 

Ravenheart total: 39

You can vote on the longlists (one vote per category) at the awards’ official website.  Voting is free and no registration is required. 

Voting closes at midnight (UK time) on Friday 24th June.

The shortlists will open for voting at midday (GMT) on Friday 8th July, and close at midnight (GMT) on Friday 19th August.

The winners will be revealed at the presentation ceremony, which this year takes place at 8pm on Saturday 24th September at Fantasycon in Scarborough, UK.



Legend Award trophy (Raven Armoury)

The deadline for nominations for this year’s David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy has now passed.  48 nominations have been accepted for the Legend Award (best novel), 6 for the Morningstar Award (best debut) and 39 for the Ravenheart Award (best cover art). 

The three longlists open for voting at midday (GMT) on Friday 13th May on the awards website.

Voting on the longlists closes at midnight (GMT) on Friday 24th June.

The shortlists go up for voting at midday (GMT) on Friday 8th July, and close at midnight (GMT) on Friday 19th August.

The presentation ceremony takes place at 8pm on Saturday 24th September at Fantasycon in Scarborough.

(L) Ravenheart trophy (Lee Blair)   (R) Morningstar trophy (Lee Blair)



Two events at which my wife, Anne Nicholls, and myself will be guest speakers:



This charming French language art book from the collaborative partners Charline & Evelyne has forewords by Anne Nicholls and myself.  Details and examples of the artwork here.



Last month I announced that the ceremony for this year’s David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy will be held at Fantasycon in Scarborough.  Here’s the schedule for 2016’s voting cycle.  (All times GMT, ie UK times.)

The longlists will be published - on our website at - at midday on Friday 13th May.

(Note that for the first two weeks following publication of the longlists - ie until Friday 27th May - we will consider additional nominations submitted by members of the public.)

Voting on the longlists closes at midnight, Friday 24th June

The shortlists go up and voting begins at midday, Friday 8th July

Voting on the shortlists closes at midnight, Friday 19th August

Our presentation ceremony is at Fantasycon, 8pm, Saturday 24th September



I also mentioned last time that my wife Anne Nicholls and I are among the guests at sf/fantasy/horror convention Andromeda 2, held 9-10 September, and that the official website was pending.  It’s now up and can be found here.



We’re also going to be at this year’s Pow-Wow Festival of Writing in Moseley, Birmingham, between 12 and 7pm on Sunday 24th April.  Details here.



Anne and I were part of the authors’ zone at the Sci-Fi Weekender, held 17th-20th March in Pwllheli, North Wales.  It was a very enjoyable, well run and well attended event.  Here are a few photos.




I’m proud to announce that this year’s Gemmell Awards ceremony will be staged at Fantasycon.  Here’s the press release announcement.


The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy enter their eighth year in 2016, once again recognising and rewarding the very best in fantasy fiction and artwork.  2016 also marks the tenth anniversary of the untimely death of bestselling author David Gemmell, in whose memory the awards were created.

We’re pleased to announce that 2016’s Gemmell Awards presentation will take place at Fantasycon, the UK’s longest-running fantasy convention.  This year, Fantasycon
( ) will be held in Scarborough between  23rd and 25th September, with the Gemmell Awards ceremony staged at 8pm on Saturday
24th September. 

The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy embrace three categories.  The Legend Award honours the best fantasy novel, the Morningstar Award the best debut and the Ravenheart Award the best fantasy cover art.  The awards are determined by an open vote and 2015 saw a record total of 36,759 votes cast. 

Fantasycon is the British Fantasy Society’s annual conference and has been part of the UK scene since its inception in 1972.  Past guests include Joan Aiken, Clive Barker, Terry Brooks, Ramsey Campbell, Raymond E Feist, Jasper Fforde, Joanne Fletcher, James Herbert, Robert Holdstock, Tom Holt, Graham Joyce, Tanith Lee, Anne McCaffrey, George RR Martin, Sarah Pinborough, Michael Marshall Smith and Tad Williams.  

This year’s Guests of Honour are Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge and leading British horror author Adam Nevill, with more to be announced in due course.

Stan Nicholls, Chair for the Gemmell Awards, said: 'Fantasycon is a popular and much loved highlight in the speculative fiction community’s calendar, and a perfect fit for the Gemmell Awards.  We look forward to contributing to the UK’s premier fantasy event.’

James Barclay, President of the British Fantasy Society says: ‘The BFS is delighted to be hosting the Gemmell Awards at FantasyCon 2016.  It's always a special occasion, and one that's very close to my heart.’

Alex Davis, the Chair for FantasyCon By The Sea (2016), said: ‘Over the last eight years the Gemmell Awards have become one of the most popular and respected prizes in the field, and it is a hugely exciting addition to our programme and a genuine honour to be hosting this prestigious event at FantasyCon.'

The Gemmell Awards official website can be found at and its Facebook page is

For more information, please contact

The British Fantasy Society can be found at and its Facebook page is &

For more information about the BFS, contact Helen Armfield -

The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy began in 2009, with the aim of celebrating the best in fantasy fiction and commemorating one of its legendary authors. Since its inaugural year, the awards have been won by authors including  Andrezj Sapowski, Graham McNeill, Brandon Sanderson, Pierre Pevel, Patrick Rothfuss, Helen Lowe, Brent Weeks, John Gwynne, Brian McLellan and Mark Lawrence. The Awards continue to pursue their three aims - to raise public awareness of the fantasy genre, to celebrate the history and cultural importance of fantasy literature and to appreciate and reward excellence in the field.

Stan Nicholls is an author of fantasy fiction with more than thirty books to his credit.  He has also been a journalist and specialist bookshop proprietor.  His Orcs: First Blood trilogy is a world-wide bestseller, with over a million copies sold, and he was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award presented at Belgium’s Trolls & Legendes festival in 2007. 

The British Fantasy Society is one of the oldest genre literary societies in the world. It exists to promote genre fiction, and the voice of the reader, academic, and author. To this end it holds regular socials & launches nationwide; & publishes anthology & academic press. FantasyCon is its annual conference.



Here are some other events that I’ll be participating in this year, most along with my wife, Anne Nicholls.

SCI-FI WEEKENDER.  Anne and I are among the guests. 
17th-20th March; Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales LL53 6HJ.  Website here.


BIRMINGHAM HORROR.  I’m the special guest at this group’s
2nd April meeting.  Website here.


ANDROMEDA 2.  Anne and I are among the guests. 
9th-11th September; Moseley, Birmingham.  Details here.


NOVACON 46.  11th-13th November; The Park Inn Hotel, 296 Mansfield Road, Nottingham. NG5 2BT.  Website here



Newcon Press, which has published two of my short story collections and the ‘Legends’ anthologies supporting the Gemmell Awards, is having a promotion throughout March in with a selection of their titles by leading sf/fantasy authors discounted by up to 80%.  This is well worth checking out.  Details here




A reminder about a couple of events I’ll be participating in this year.

My wife Anne and myself will be among the guests in the “Author Zone” of 2016’s Sci-Fi Weekender (17th-20th March; Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales LL53 6HJ).  Details on the website, and here’s a poster.


Last August I mentioned here that after a hiatus of two years, the West Midlands convention Andromeda returns in 2016.  Guests of honour are author Sam Stone and artist David A Hardy, with Jasper Bark as MC.  Other speakers so far confirmed include Raven Dane, David J Howe, Steve Lockley, Ben Jeapes, Anne Nicholls and myself.  A new website is promised soon, and Andromeda 2 has a Facebook page here.




Last month I promised details of this year’s David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy.  At time of writing we’re in negotiations with the venue, and expect to make an announcement about the voting cycle and ceremony date very shortly.  We’ll be posting news on the awards’ official website and our Facebook page, as well as here next month.



Two of my publishers celebrate tenth anniversaries this year.

New York’s First Second Books published my graphic novel Orcs: Forged For War, illustrated by Joe Flood.


The UK’s NewCon Press published my collections Shake Me To Wake Me and Orcs: Tales of Maras-Dantia.


Cover art by Ben Baldwin and Chris Baker respectively.

First Second and NewCon Press have published some amazing titles over the past decade.  Here’s to them both continuing to thrive for many years to come.




Snaga trophy by Simon Fearnhamm/Raven Armoury, Morningstar and Ravenheart trophies by Lee Blair.

We’ll be publishing news about the awards in the next few weeks. 

Keep an eye on the awards’ website, our Facebook page and, of course, the February update of this website.



Cover art by David A. Hardy

My wife, Anne Nicholls, has started a blog talking about the craft of writing and any other topic that takes her fancy.  The first entry, entitled Who Are You?, looks at characterisation in fiction, and can be read here

Her short story collection Music From The Fifth Planet is published by Alchemy Press.

Anne doubles as an artist.  As we’re still in the holiday season (just!) here’s her Christmas greetings painting.

Anne has a Facebook page for her artwork (entitled AN Art) here


News Archive 2015


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