Ever since I started this blog I’ve wanted to make an effort to read not just the major SFF award winners, but also those books and stories nominated for an award. This year I’m hoping to finally do that by starting a new challenge on my blog…The Award Nominee Challenge. What is this you ask? Well, I’m selecting a few major awards (Nebula and Hugo to start) and will attempt to read the nominees in the Best Novel, Best Novella, and Best Short Story categories. I’m also going to read the finalists for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (#SPFBO).
What you’ll find below are the SPFBO5 finalists. As I review each story I’ll link to the review here as well and note my rating. Stories I’ve read but not yet reviewed will be noted with a * at the end of the entry. There’s no way I’ll read and review each story before the winner is announced, but that’s fine. I’m giving myself till the end of the year to do it. We’ll see in the end if I agree with which book won. But even if I don’t it should make for some good reading.
For those who don’t know SPFBO is hosted by author Mark Lawrence with the goal of shining light on self-published fantasy. Each year 300 books are split between 10 judges (or judging teams). Ten finalists are chosen from those judges and then one final winner is selected.
Note: I AM NOT one of the SPFBO judges.
Beggars Rebellion, by Levi Jacobs
Kalanon’s Rising, by Darian Smith
A Sea of Broken Glass, by Sonya M. Black
The Sword of Kaigan, by M.L. Wang 5 Stars
Fortune’s Fool, by Angela Boord, 5 Stars
Never Die, by Rob J. Hayes
Blades Edge, by Virginia McClain
A Tale of Stars And Shadow, by Lisa Cassidy
Blood of Heirs, by Alicia Wanstall-Burke, 5 Stars
Spark City, by Robert J. Power
Update: The official SPFBO5 winner has been announced…The Sword of Kaigan, by M.L. Wang.