Wednesday, February 4, 1970

World Fantasy Award Winners for Best Novel

This award is intended to honor works of fantasy fiction that are more than 40,000 words in length. The World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, like the other categories of the World Fantasy Awards, tends to run from standard fantasy to "dark" fantasy, and even to out and out horror in some cases. More than most other genre awards, the World Fantasy awards also seem to lend themselves to ties, and this category is no exception, with five deadlocked results over the life of the award.

The World Fantasy awards are subject to some mild controversy because the award itself is a bust of H.P. Lovecraft, who was definitely a noteworthy and influential fantasy author, but has also been criticized for holding some fairly nasty racist views. 2010 Best Novel winner China Miéville has said that he has placed his award to that it faces the wall as a sort of minor protest, a sentiment that has been mirrored by 2011 Best Novel winner Nnedi Okorafor. I think this sort of controversy is a bit silly and is bit like criticizing Bram Stoker or Benjamin Franklin for being racists, or criticizing H.G. Wells for being a sexist. Their attitudes would be unforgivable today, but these people didn't live today, they lived in their own eras. They were products of their respective times, and judging them by the standards of today just seems ridiculous.

1975: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
1976: Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson
1977: Doctor Rat by William Kotzwinkle
1978: Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber
1979: Gloriana by Michael Moorcock
1980: Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn
1981: The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
1982: Little, Big by John Crowley
1983: Nifft the Lean by Michael Shea
1984: The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
1985: (tie) Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
          (tie) Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
1986: Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
1987: Perfume by Patrick Süskind
1988: Replay by Ken Grimwood
1989: Koko by Peter Straub
1990: Lyonesse: Madouc by Jack Vance
1991: (tie) Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
          (tie) Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow
1992: Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon
1993: Last Call by Tim Powers
1994: Glimpses by Lewis Shiner
1995: Towing Jehovah by James Morrow
1996: The Prestige by Christopher Priest
1997: Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack
1998: The Physiognomy by Jeffrey Ford
1999: The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich
2000: Thraxas by Martin Scott
2001: (tie) Galveston by Sean Stewart
          (tie) Declare by Tim Powers
2002: The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin
2003: (tie) The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce
          (tie) Ombria in Shadow by Patricia A. McKillip
2004: Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
2005: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2006: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
2007: Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe
2008: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
2009: (tie) The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford
          (tie) Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
2010: The City & the City by China Miéville
2011: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
2012: Osama by Lavie Tidhar
2013: Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
2014: A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
2015: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
2016: The Chimes by Anna Smaill
2017: The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
2018: (tie) The Changeling by Victor LaValle
          (tie) Jade City by Fonda Lee
2019: Witchmark by C.L. Polk

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