The Sorcerer’s Guild has announced that John C. Hocking’s “The Face in the Sea” (Black Gate 13) has won The Harper’s Pen Award for the best all-around Sword & Sorcery short story of 2009.
Award administator Jeff Crook puts it this way:
John’s story is a superb example of the genre, harkening back to the master himself – REH. It hit all the points I mentioned in my previous post: two strong hooks (story and adventure); well-crafted, believable historical fantasy setting; solid characters; monsters, mayhem and magic aplenty; a satisfying ending, and an entertaining storyteller’s voice.
The Award winner receives $200, a certificate, and an engraved handmade pen by Syzygy Pens.
Congratulations to John Hocking on the Award! Congratulations in fact, to all the finalists, including stories from Asimov’s Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Dark Worlds, Electric Spec, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Rage of the Behemoth, and Silver Blade.
Jeff Crook is posting his notes on each of the finalists at The Sorcerer’s Guild over the next few days.
On behalf of John C. Hocking and Black Gate, we’re extremely honored to receive this award. We also hope that, if you enjoy his story, you’ll take some time to explore Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Electric Spec, Rage of the Behemoth, or one of the other fine publications on the ballot. And if you like what you see, we hope you’ll support some of our worthy competition.
Me, I’m going to start off with a subscription to Dark Worlds. It looks great.