I’ve compiled for you a list of science fiction, fantasy, and horror book awards with descriptions and links to their websites.
Most prestigious awards in alphabetical order:
Arthur C. Clarke Award
The Arthur C. Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain. It is awarded every year to the best science fiction novel which received its first British publication during the previous calendar year. The Award is chosen by jury.
2014 winner announced at Sci-Fi London Film Festival, London, May 1, 2014
2014 winner: Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Bram Stoker Awards
The Bram Stoker Awards are the horror equivalent of the Nebulas, voted by members of the professional Horror Writer’s Association. They are notable for being awarded “for superior achievement” — not for “best” of the year.
2013 winners announced at World Horror Convention 2014, Portland, USA, May 10, 2014
British Fantasy Society (August Derleth) Award
Administered annually by the British Fantasy Society (BFS). The shortlists for the awards are compiled from nominations submitted by members of the BFS. They are then voted on by BFS members only.
2014 winners announced at FantasyCon, York, England, September 7, 2014
British Science Fiction Association Award
Presented annually by the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), based on a vote of BSFA members and – in recent years – members of the British national science fiction convention.
2013 winners announced at Satellite 4 Eastercon, Glasgow, April 20, 2014
The Hugo Award, also known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award, is given annually by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). All Awards are given for work in a given year. Individual works are eligible only in their first year of publication. Members of past and current years’ World SF Convention nominate up to five items per category.
2014 winners announced at LonCon 3, London, UK, August 17, 2014
John W. Campbell Memorial Award
The Award was created to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, which is now named Analog. Campbell, who edited the magazine from 1937 until his death in 1971, is called, by many writers and scholars, the father of modern science fiction. Nominations come from the science-fiction publishers as well as individual jurors. Nominations are usually requested in December, and the jurors read and debate the merits of these books through April. This process produces a list of finalists based on jurors’ rankings, and the final decision is made after vigorous debate on the merits of the finalists during May.
2014 winners announced in June 2014
The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is the short fiction counterpart of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year.
Presented to winners of Locus Magazine’s annual readers’ poll. There are many categories, including Science Fiction Novel, Fantasy Novel, Young Adult Book, First Novel, etc.
2014 winners announced in Seattle, USA, June 28, 2014
The Nebula Awards are the Oscars of the SF/F field, awards presented by professionals to professionals. The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Since 1965, the Nebula Awards have been given each year for eligible novels published in the United States during the two previous years.
There are several associated awards: Ray Bradbury Award, Andre Norton Award, SFWA Grand Master Award, and SFWA Awards.
2013 winners announced in San Jose, USA, May 17, 2014
Philip K. Dick Award
The Philip K. Dick Award is given to the best original paperback published each year in the US. Each year the five judges read as much of the paperback original SF as they can get, or can stand, and then deliberate and choose nominees, that are announced in January each year, and the winners, who are announced in late March or early April at a ceremony at Norwescon. The judges then nominate their own successors. Only writers or academics are eligible to be judges.
2014 winners announced at Norwescon 37, SeaTac, USA, April 18, 2014
Shirley Jackson Awards
In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year. The Shirley Jackson Award are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors.
2013 winners announced at Readercon, Burlington, USA, July 13, 2014
World Fantasy Awards
The World Fantasy Awards, associated with the annual World Fantasy Conventions, were established as a fantasy counterpart to the SF-oriented Hugo and Nebula Awards. They differ from those awards in significant ways, primarily in that winners are determined by judges — though two places in each category on the final ballot are determined by votes from convention members.
2014 winners announced at World Fantasy Convention, Washington, USA, November 9, 2014
In addition to the awards listed above we can also mention the following, less known awards:
- David Gemmell Award (heroic fantasy)
- The Kitschies: The Red Tentacle, The Golden Tentacle, etc.
- Mythopoeic Award (fantasy)
To this already impressive array of awards we need to add the Goodreads Choice Awards that has separate categories for science fiction, fantasy, and horror books.
Literary awards come in all shapes and sizes – some are prestigious, others are less known; some involve a panel of judges, others are decided by readers. However, each of those awards has a role in the publishing ecosystem. In my view, they are useful not because of their effect on sales, but because they give exposure to books and talented authors who might have remained unnoticed. Now brace yourselves for the book awards season – it starts in April!
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