2019 Stabby Awards

Reddit’s r/Fantasy group has chosen the winners of the 2019 Stabby Awards.

There were 903 valid votes cast.

The initial short fiction winner, “And They Were Never Heard From Again” by Benedict Patrick, was declared ineligible after the author clarified that it was a reprint from a previous year. Its place was taken by the two stories which had tied for second.

Stabby Award daggers will be sent to the winners.

Best Novel

Best Self Published / Independent Novel

Best Debut Novel

Best Novella

Best Short Fiction (Tie)

Best Serialized Fiction

Best Anthology/Collection/Periodical

Best Artwork

Best Site

Best Game

Best TV/Movie

Best Related Work

Best Audio Original

Best Narrator

Best Professional Contributor

Best Community Member

Best Essay

Best Review

Best /r/Fantasy Original

13 thoughts on “2019 Stabby Awards

  1. It’s worth noting that the winning anthology, Heroes Wanted, is currently FREE (not just KU-“free”, but actually free) on Amazon US. And it’s 7600 Kindle locations long, which is a good-sized book.

    Also, I’m very happy to see the El-Mohtar/Gladstone vella win. But a bit surprised, since I think of the Stabbies as being more stabby than that.

    Also interesting to see the Winters win. I’ve been wanting to read that, and now I want to even more!

    And of course, no surprise at all about Joe. 🙂

  2. I’m happy to see “This Is how You Lose the Time War” win, even though it didn’t really strike me as a Stabby novella.

    Also happy for Krista D. Ball.

  3. Will add that Heroes Wanted is also free on Amazon UK.

    I watched The Witcher over the last week or so. It’s… okay, I guess?

    A Little Hatred is very good.

    Sekiro is a good game and definitely a good fit for the Stabbys. For my money, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is absolutely the best game of last year, though, even just on the basis of the Crimson Flower route.

  4. Thanks for the pointer on the Heroes Wanted anthology.

    I read the first book in Will Wight’s Cradle series. It was very good. Good enough that I’d like to get back to that series. It’s good enough that it ought to be on the radar rather than flying below the radar.

    I’m curious….what makes a work “Stabby” enough to be of interest to r/fantasy participants?

    No way, I took call waiting of!@#$!(!@ ) #$! NO CARRIER

  5. @Dann665 —

    I’m curious….what makes a work “Stabby” enough to be of interest to r/fantasy participants?

    I’m certainly not an expert. I don’t frequent that reddit, because I’ve found it way too busy the few times I’ve visited — too hard to keep up with! But my impression is that their awards favor more of the epic/swordplay type of fantasy (A Little Hatred, The Witcher), thus the “Stabby” name.

  6. I’m of the opinion that it tends to lean toward a grimdark-ish or sword/weapon-heavy, fairly violent style of fantasy (nothing wrong with that, we can have A Little Hatred, as a treat) but obviously they’re a big group of people and tastes differ so it’s difficult to pin down anything that would solidly identify a Stabby work definitively.

    I’m sure if I went back over the award’s history later I’d probably find as many exceptions as things that fit the “rule”, though.

  7. Haha, the award name doesn’t really have anything to do with the stabbiness of the books. It used to be called “the best of r/Fantasy” until the mods decided it needed a better name. Someone suggested “the Stabbies” after seeing the dagger trophy, and people approved.

  8. I see LitRPG are getting awards now. Haven’t read The Wandering Inn yet, but think I will try.

  9. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts/responses.

    I agree that r/fantasy does lean into the grimdark end of the world. And being fantasy focused, there are more pointing things flying about instead of laser pistols pew-pewing.

    By the same token, participants seem to have read a broad range of books within the general fantasy sub-genre. Sticking people with the pointy end is not the primary basis for judging works. It’s not even on the checklist for deciding if something is worth reading.

    As long as a work is fantasy inclusive, it will be considered fair game in that sub-reddit.

    I bought The Wandering Inn – Volume 1. I didn’t make it very far. It seemed ponderous and the LitRPG thing may not be my thing. The first few chapters are (or at least were in 2018) available as blog entries. It might be good to read those before buying.

    Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. – Isaac Asimov

  10. @Dann —

    Sticking people with the pointy end is not the primary basis for judging works. It’s not even on the checklist for deciding if something is worth reading.

    Now I’m rolling my eyes at you. Nobody here has said anything to the contrary, so there is no need at all to “correct” us on what we have said.

  11. @Contrarius

    chuckle….I wasn’t correcting anyone. With or without scare quotes.

    The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. – Isaac Asimov

  12. Dann, agree with your review. It was slow and sluggish and the LitRPG elements were more or less missing. Only there as a shtick, not for any real use (at least from what I read, I gave up after 15%).

    There’s usually lot more action in LitRPG. Try Life in the North instead for a better example.

  13. Thanks for the recommendation, Hampus. I’ve added to Mount TBR!

    Give the American people a good cause, and there’s nothing they can’t lick. – John Wayne

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