Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2017 Winner

Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J. Hayes is the winner of Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2017. The scoring matrix is at the link.

SPFBO began with a 300-book longlist. There were ten finalists, each the top pick among 30 books reviewed by one of the participating bloggers (named in parentheses.)

Here’s how the finalists ranked after being scored by all the bloggers:

  • Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J. Hayes (Fantasy Book Review)
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe (Bookworm Blues)
  • Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson (Fantasy Book Critic)
  • Devil’s Night Dawning by Damien Black (Kitty G)
  • Jack Bloodfist:Fixer by James Jakins (Lynn’s Books)
  • The Way into Chaos by Harry Connolly (Ventureadlaxre)
  • The War of Undoing by Alex Perry (Pornokitsch)
  • Chaos Trims My Beard by Brett Herman (Fantasy-Faction)
  • Tiger Lily by K. Bird Lincoln (Qwillery)
  • Pilgrimage to Skara by Jonathan Pembroke (Booknest)

Mark Lawrence started the SPFBO self-published fantasy book contest three years ago.

6 thoughts on “Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2017 Winner

  1. It’s … I don’t mean to be “monstruous,” but I’m a bit “sceptical” of this award…
    The author really likes odd, archaic or rare spellings of words. Besides those two, there’s “artefact” on the first page. (From looking at the “Inside of the book” of Where Loyalties Lie from

  2. ‘Besides those two, there’s “artefact” on the first page.’

    ?? “Artfefact” is a valid variant spelling of “artifact”. Am I missing something?

  3. @Leah F: two of those are British English. “Monstruous” might be an intentional callback to Middle English though. He’d hardly be the first fantasy author to do something like that.

  4. Ha! I’ve managed to cure myself of “colour” and “zed” but I couldn’t figure out the issue with “sceptical” and “artefact”. Two nations divided by a common language indeed.

  5. I can’t speak to the winner. And quite frankly the pitch for the book landed poorly on me, so I’m unlikely to read it.

    I read Devil’s Night Dawning and liked it enough to immediately read the sequel and nominate the author for a Campbell award. It isn’t for everyone as there is a fair amount of violence and the sequel has some specific violence that some might find disconcerting.

    The Crimson Queen had a good enough pitch to get me to buy the book. I just haven’t read it….yet.

    The process for this award acts as a pretty good filter for self-published works. Author’s submit their works. Reviewers nominate books from that pool to be in the final round of ten books. Those same reviewers read and review the finalists. The resulting reviews include a rating on a 10 point scale. Those points are then used to rank the ten finalists.

    The reviewers include a pretty broad spectrum of readers. So the winning books have to have some appeal to a broad spectrum of people.

    While it isn’t a Grimdark focused contest, the finalists tend to lean into that sub-genre. If there is a criticism of the contest, I think that is the largest one.

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

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