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British Fantasy Awards
British Fantasy Award The British Weird Fantasy Society began in 1971 as an off-shoot of the British Science Fiction Association. The "Weird" was soon dropped and the BFS was born. Dedicated to the promotion of all that is best in the Fantasy and Horror genres, the BFS won the Special Award: Non-Professional at the World Fantasy Awards in 2000. The membership of the BFS votes for the annual British Fantasy Awards.

Below you'll find an overview of the winners, with cover/title links to the SF Site reviews (where applicable) along with synopses of those titles yet to be reviewed (cover images are linked to larger images, when available).

British Fantasy Award for Best Novel (August Derleth Award)

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Demon Dance by Sam Stone [award declined]

One by Conrad Williams

Memoirs of a Master Forger Memoirs of a Master Forger by William Heaney (Graham Joyce)
reviewed by Tammy Moore
This is an elegant, brilliantly written novel that spins the plates of three, possibly four, different threads with the élan of a seasoned circus performer. A compelling narrative and unique voice makes the book almost impossible to put down -- despite Tammy's somewhat ambiguous feelings towards the main character.

The Grin of the Dark The Grin of the Dark by Ramsey Campbell
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Horror fiction is still a relative rarity in the British mass market, so it's great to hear that Virgin Books are starting a monthly series of horror titles. It's also good to hear that the first few will be reissues of small press publications. Of course, we still want the books to be good -- but, with the first two at least, there's nothing to worry about in that regard.

Dusk Dusk by Tim Lebbon
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
A man wearing a red robe enters the village of Trengborne and proceeds to slaughter everyone there -- all except two people, that is: Rafe Baburn, the young boy he's looking for; and Kosar, a former thief who hid when he saw the man approaching the village. Leaving Trengborne, Rafe falls in with the witch Hope and Kosar with his ex-lover, a warrior named A'Meer from the mysterious Shantasi people. The truth about the red-robed man becomes clear...

Anansi Boys Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
By this stage in his career, Neil Gaiman is in the enviable position of being a Household Name and legions of fans out there not only buy his books as soon as they hit the shelves but pre-order them in droves in the months prior to that. Contraband pre-publication copies even manage to turn up on Ebay. He is certainly one of those writers whose work people will buy without so much as having set eyes on it, simply because they know he'll tell a rollicking good tale.

The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower by Stephen King
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
The seventh book in a cycle of seven called The Dark Tower opens with Jake and Father Callahan in a showdown at the Dixie Pig in New York circa 1999, as Roland and Eddie in Maine circa 1977 attempting to ensure the safety of a vacant lot that contains a single rose -- our world's manifestation of the Dark Tower. Eventually the broken ka-tet is reunited, and its members resume their journey along the path of the beam to the place the breakers are kept. There, they must permanently end the plot to break the beams before the final stage of the journey.

Full Dark House Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
"When a bomb devastates the office of London's most unusual police unit and claims the life of its oldest detective, Arthur Bryant, his surviving partner John May searches for clues to the bomber's identity. His search takes him back to the day the detectives first met as young men in 1940. In Blitz-ravaged London, a beautiful dancer rehearsing for a sexy, sinister production of 'Orpheus In The Underworld' is found without her feet. Bryant & May's investigation plunges them into a bizarre gothic mystery, where a faceless man stalks terrified actors and death strikes in darkness."

The Scar The Scar by China Miéville
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Bellis Coldwine is taking passage on a ship, fleeing persecution in her home city of New Crobuzon for an uncertain future in distant Nova Esperium. An urban intellectual, Bellis loathes the prospect of years of exile in the colonies, but when her ship is captured by pirates, she realizes she may never see her home again. The pirates live on Armada, a secret floating city haphazardly lashed together from ships and debris.

The Scar The Scar by China Miéville
reviewed by William Thompson
In many ways, this novel bids to carry on the existential delving into the hidden and wounded nature of human experience, reinforced by a return to the wonders and horrors of Perdido Street Station's New Crobuzon. Here, however, the author chooses to build his city anew, in the form of a floating Armada, a pelagic architecture constructed of decaying and rusted ships roped together by rigging, catwalks and suspended bridges of cordage and plank that drifts upon the currents of the sea. Unknown to the authorities of the city-state of New Crobuzon, Armada is a loose confederation harboring many of their former misfits and criminals, a refuge for escaped Remades, divided into semi-autonomous ridings that support themselves by their own industry, thaumaturgy and piracy. Strange and exotic gardens grow and overhang decks and crowded, tottering tenements built upon the raised and gutted hulks of ironclad steamers and rotted wooden frigates that continuously bob and shift upon the water, weathering calms and storms far from any shore, dwarfed in the vast expanse of the Swollen Ocean.

The Night of the Triffids The Night of the Triffids by Simon Clark
"At the end of The Day of the Triffids, the hero, Bill Masen, his wife and four-year-old son leave the British mainland to join a new colony on the Isle of Wight to begin its work not only to eradicate the triffid menace but also to lay the foundations for a new civilization. The Night of the Triffids takes up the story twenty-five years later. David Masen, the now grown-up son of Bill, is a pilot, still searching for a method of destroying the implacable triffid plant as it continues its worldwide march, seemingly intent on wiping out humankind. David eventually manages to reach New York, where a very different sort of colony has been set up, a colony whose members seem to be immune and where David comes face to face with an old enemy from his father's past. "

Perdido Street Station Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
reviewed by David Soyka
If you're one of those people who avoid fantasy novels for fear of even the slightest whiff of wizards or elves, here's a well worthy quest: make haste to where your bookstore stuffs the countless Tolkien spawn and rescue a copy of of this book from the mediocre horde. This is a novel that has more in common with the work of that similarly named fellow, Melville, than any mere commercial conjuring of fairyland.

Perdido Street Station Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
The first few pages are from the viewpoint of a bitter and alien character, and written in a dark and obscure style. This voice seems appropriate and accurate, even accessible, after you get to know the character. Next up, the protagonist Isaac and his insect-girl friend are introduced. He is big and blustery, an eccentric, obsessive, maverick scientist. She is a bohemian artist, outcast from her exotic race of hominid bugs. Their relationship is incredibly romantic and also forbidden and dangerous.

Indigo Indigo by Graham Joyce
"As he tries to faithfully execute his father's will, Jack Chambers is drawn into a bizarre and frightening world, moving among the ruins of ancient Rome in a journey of the flesh and spirit. "

Bag of Bones Bag of Bones by Stephen King
reviewed by Pat Caven
It reads like Rebecca meets Bill Gates meets Kramer vs Kramer. For Pat, this novel served as an introduction into the famed Stephen King mystique. And after a year of reading Canadian literary writers, it was like being slapped in the face with a big wet fish.

Light Errant Light Errant by Chaz Brenchley
"Returning home from Spain, Benedict Macallan discovers that greed has run rampant through his family, and Uncle James has taken over the town. In desperation, the townspeople have banded together and kidnapped the Macallan women. Something has got to give, and it is unlikely to be Uncle James."

The Tooth Fairy The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
reviewed by David Soyka
The author furnishes a marvellous reminder of the inexplicable terrors that lurk within the turbulent physical and emotional transformations of adolescence. Those who remember it as some sort of Golden Age are conveniently forgetting the acne, rejection, and peer cruelty that characterizes this transitory awfulness of neither childhood nor adulthood.

The Tooth Fairy The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
Margo was ambivalent about this novel. On the one hand, she found it very well written. It moves along at a tumbling pace and Joyce is able to evoke strong and disturbing images. On the other hand, she's not sure she enjoyed spending time in the world of these young boys.

Requiem Requiem by Graham Joyce
When Tom Webster journeys to Jerusalem following the tragic death of his wife, he discovers a haunted city full of ghosts, demons, djinns, and doppelgängers -- and a hidden fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls that promises to reveal the secret history of the Resurrection, and perhaps a fragment of truth that will protect him from the madness pursuing him.

Only Forward Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith
"Stark is a troubleshooter. He lives in The City -- a massive conglomeration of self-governing Neighbourhoods, each with their own peculiarity. Stark lives in Colour, where computers co-ordinate the tone of the street lights to match the clothes that people wear. Close by is Sound where noise is strictly forbidden, and Ffnaph where people spend their whole lives leaping on trampolines and trying to touch the sky. At the heart of them all is the Centre -- a back-stabbing community of 'Actioneers' intent only on achieving. Fell Alkland, Actioneer extraordinaire has been kidnapped. It is up to Stark to find him. But in doing so he is forced to confront the terrible secrets of his past."

The Long Lost The Long Lost by Ramsey Campbell
"David and Joelle Owain befriend a confused old woman named Gwen, while on holiday in Wales. It appears that she may be a distant relative of David's. As she is virtually homeless, they take her home to Chester with them and place her in a nearby old people's home. Following a party at the Owain's home, at which Gwen insists on bringing a cake and making sure everyone eats, the lives of their friends begin to fall apart. Even David and Joelle find their cosy security threatened by the jealousy and suspicion that has infected their party guests."

Dark Sister Dark Sister by Graham Joyce
"Alex and Maggie think they live in an ordinary townhouse, until they discover the diary of a previous occupant -- a diary containing secret Wiccan herb-lore. Maggie is drawn to investigate the diary and discovers powers hidden within herself. With the help of her friends Ash, an herbalist, and Old Liz, an old woman with a deep knowledge of the ancient ways passed down through the generations, Maggie tries to find her way in a world of power and magic. But Maggie's searching has awakened her Dark Sister, a malevolent force that threatens her hold on her family and her sanity."

Outside the Dog Museum Outside the Dog Museum by Jonathan Carroll
reviewed by David Soyka
Harry Radcliffe is a celebrated architect, divorced but still on good terms personally and professionally with his former spouse, currently seemingly equally in love with two different women. The Sultan of Saru is pestering Harry to build an edifice, the titular dog museum, that doesn't much interest Harry. Unfolding events persuade Harry to accept the job, that in turn not only becomes a life transformational event for Harry, but also portends drastic cosmic implications as humans understand, or rather misunderstand, them.

Midnight Sun Midnight Sun by Ramsey Campbell
"Found naked and snowblind in the icy wastes of the far north, where shamans were said to practise ancient rituals, Edward Sterling died soon afterwards. Three generations later, Ben Sterling unwittingly invokes an awesome power."

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Copyright © 2005 by Rodger Turner

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