I attended the second David Gemmell Awards on Friday night. As last year, the event was held at the Magic Circle in London and there was a good attendance, if slightly down on last year for some reason (possibly related to the England-Algeria World Cup match). As with last year (when Andrzej Sapkowski won for Blood of Elves), the winner was highly unexpected.
This year there were three awards. The big one was the Legend Award for Best Novel, which went to Graham McNeill's Empire, a Warhammer fantasy novel. Graham is one of the franchise's most-respected and popular authors (arguably it's biggest author after Dan Abnett), and was taken aback by his victory. He beat out Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold, Brandon Sanderson for Warbreaker and (with the late Robert Jordan) The Gathering Storm and Pierre Pevel for The Cardinal's Blades.
However, there were consolation prizes. Pierre Pevel took home the Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer for The Cardinal's Blades, whilst Joe and the Gollancz art team accepted the Ravenheart Award for Best Cover Art for Best Served Cold.
There were 15,000 votes in total, up 50% on last year, with most votes coming from the USA and UK. People from over 90 countries voted.