Dark Scribe Magazine, a nonfiction magazine highlighting dark fiction started doing the Black Quill awards three years ago. As I talked about earlier this week in “What is Horror?” small presses especially are doing very well with the dark speculative fiction market. The Black Quills look at all presses, whether large or small. This resurrection of dark fiction, after the large publishing houses pooh-poohed “horror” had as much to do with dedicated small presses as it did with the growing trend of print-on-demand publishing, allowing presses without millions of dollars to put out quality fiction in a professional capacity.
And the Black Quills are an award looked at with respect and probably opens the gate to a few more choices, besides the Stoker awards, given by the Horror Writers Association at the World Horror Convention every year, and named suitably after Bram Stoker.
This year, the fourth annual Black Quill Awards, to be given out in February, have the following categories: Dark Genre Novel, Small Press Chill, Dark Genre Fiction Collection, Dark Genre Anthology, Dark Genre Book of Non-Fiction, Dark Scribble (stories in a magazine–paper or virtual), and Dark Genre Book Trailer. Why they limit the short fiction to magazines only and do not allow short stories in an anthology is beyond me. It seems an odd arbitrary choice. A collection is a selection of stories by one author and an anthology is a collection of stories by different authors. The collection award is given to the author and the anthology one to the editor. So the writers in an anthology are effectively barred from being nominated. Very odd. As well, there is no cover art award. Perhaps the trailer is seen as more effective because there is a script and that art really isn’t writing and belongs to someone else.
Several Chizine books authors have been nominated, specifically Gemma Files’ A Book of Tongues for Best Small Press Chill and Paul Tremblay’s In the Mean Time for Best Dark Genre Collection. That’s pretty good for a press that’s been going for about two years. The Horror Library Vol. IV anthology where my story “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” resides, is also nominated in the Dark Genre Anthology category. Without further ado, here is the full list.
DARK GENRE NOVEL OF THE YEAR:
(Novel-length work of horror, suspense, or thriller from a mainstream publisher; awarded to the author)
A Dark Matter by Peter Straub (Doubleday)
- Kraken by China Miéville (Del Rey)
- Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon (Leisure / Bad Moon Books)
- The Caretaker of Lorne Field by David Zeltserman (Overlook Hardcover)
- The Passage by Justin Cronin (Ballantine)
- Under the Dome by Stephen King (Scribner)
BEST SMALL PRESS CHILL:
(Novel or novella published by small press publisher; awarded to the author)
- A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (ChiZine Publications)
- Dreams in Black and White by John R. Little (Morning Star)
- Invisible Fences by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)
- The Castle of Los Angeles by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
- The Wolf at the Door by Jameson Currier (Chelsea Street Editions)
BEST DARK GENRE FICTION COLLECTION:
(Single author collection, any publisher; awarded to the author)
Blood and Gristle by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
- In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay (ChiZine Publications)
- Little Things by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
- Occultation by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
- Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by Otsuichi (VIZ Media LLC)
BEST DARK GENRE ANTHOLOGY:
(Multi-author collection, any publisher; awarded to the editor)
- Dark Faith Edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications)
- Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology Edited by Michelle McCrary and Joe McKinney (23 House)
- Haunted Legends Edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
- Horror Library IV Edited by RJ Cavender and Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
- When The Night Comes Down Edited by Bill Breedlove (Dark Arts Books)
BEST DARK GENRE BOOK OF NON-FICTION:
(Any dark genre non-fiction subject, any publisher; awarded to the author[s] or editor[s])
- Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators by Rocky Wood (McFarland)
- I Am Providence: The Life and Times of HP Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi (Hippocampus Press)
- Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever by Joe Kane (Citadel)
- The Conspiracy Against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
- Thrillers: 100 Must Reads Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing)
BEST DARK SCRIBBLE:
(Single work, non-anthology short fiction appearing in a print or virtual magazine; awarded to the author)
- “Bully” by Jack Ketchum (Postscripts 22/23)
- “Goblin Boy” by Rick Hautula (Cemetery Dance #63)
- “Secretario” by Catherynne M. Valente (Weird Tales, Summer 2010)
- “The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)
- “We” by Bentley Little (Cemetery Dance #64)
BEST DARK GENRE BOOK TRAILER:
(Book video promoting any work of fiction or non-fiction; awarded to the video producer or publisher)
You can go to Dark Scribe’s site to view these trailers: http://www.darkscribemagazine.com/4th-annual-bqa-nominees/
- Neverland / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Douglas Clegg)
- Radiant Shadows / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Melissa Marr)
- Specters in Coal Dust / Produced by Michael Knost & Black Water Films (for the anthology edited by Michael Knost)
- Under the Dome / Produced by Scribner Marketing (for the book by Stephen King)
- Unhappy Endings / Produced by Delirium Books (for the book by Brian Keene)
Nominations for the Black Quills are editorial-based, with both the editors and active contributing writers submitting nominations in each of the (7) categories. Once nominations are announced, the readers of DSM have an opportunity to cast their votes for their picks in each category. In a unique spin intended to celebrate both critical and popular success, two winners are announced in each category – Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Choice.
All dark genre works published between November 1st, 2009 and October 31st, 2010 are eligible. DSM does not solicit nominations, nor are there any fees associated with the Black Quills.
Please note that only one ballot per email/IP address will be accepted. Multiple ballots received from the same email/IP address will be discarded.
Reader voting closes at midnight EST on Friday, January 21st, 2011.
Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011.