For those who missed it first time, here’s Neil Gaiman’s introduction to my novella The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke, which picked up the British Fantasy Award. Posted here because I’ll be getting the story back into print shortly, after multiple requests (it was a limited edition collectors’ book) and once again to thank Neil for taking the time to write it.
Yesterday I gave a very successful lecture at the world-famous Tate Britain art gallery in London, entitled â€˜Myth, Memory and the Art of Richard Daddâ€™. The event was a sell-out, and also pretty ground-breaking on several fronts. I was one of the first â€“ if not the first â€“ genre writer to be invited to the Tate to give a lecture for one of their rightly-acclaimed study days. And personally, it was one of the most high-profile appearances Iâ€™ve made.
I only have praise for the staff and academics at the Tate who treated both myself, and the genre, with a great deal of respect. Before the lecture, the audience toured the gallery to see Daddâ€™s work and many took the opportunity to ask me about my opinions on the artist and his work. After that I gave the lecture, touching on not only my interest in Dadd and my novella about his most famous painting, â€˜The Fairy Fellerâ€™s Master Strokeâ€™, but also about other authors influenced by Dadd â€“ Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Robert Rankin and more. We followed this with an at times intense debate with an art historian about the meaning of Daddâ€™s work, and a couple of readings from The Fairy Feller novella.
The novella has gone from strength-to-strength since it won the British Fantasy Award four years ago. The limited edition by PS Publishing has nearly sold out, and the added attention from this Tate event has created interest from across the world. Now I need to find a mainstream publisher interested in reprinting it as part of a collection so it can reach a wider audience.
My novel The Hounds of Avalon has been shortlisted in the Best Novel category for this year’s British Fantasy Awards. That makes five out of the last six books that have been shortlisted for Best Novel, which must be some kind of record. (Also, no wins, which must also be a record on the nominations/failure to win ratio…)
The award will be presented at Fantasycon in Nottingham next month, which is shaping up to be one of the best British conventions in recent years. Well worth a visit.
And there are some great books also on the Best Novel shortlist: Ramsey Campbell, Secret Stories; Hal Duncan, Vellum: The Book of All Hours; Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys; George R R Martin, A Feast For Crows; Mark Morris, Nowhere Near An Angel.