Debut The Chimes wins World Fantasy Award for Best Novel

Debut The Chimes wins World Fantasy Award for Best Novel

Anna Smaill’s debut novel The Chimes has won the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, beating off competition from authors including Kazuo Ishiguro.

The award was given at this year’s World Fantasy Convention, which took place from 27th-30th October in Columbus, Ohio.

Set in a London of the near-future in which writing has been outlawed and people think and communicate through music, The Chimes follows teenage orphan Simon, as he seeks to understand the truth about his parents and a mysterious and sinister illness that renders the population around him amnesiac.  Music has, as a consequence, replaced the written word and memories are carried as physical objects.

Anna Smaill lives in New Zealand and is a poet and former violinist, as well as a novelist.

Drummond Moir, associate publisher of Sceptre, said: “The Chimes is one of the most original and captivating debuts I have come across. Anna's background as a musician and poet imbues her language with a rich, tense power. It sparkles, leaps and soars, captivates and moves, disturbs and inspires, and ultimately transports you to a whole other place from which you emerge feeling vastly more alive - just like a truly great piece of music.”

In her acceptance speech, Smaill said: “It was an immense honour to be nominated for a World Fantasy Award for The Chimes, and to occupy a place on a list with writers of such calibre and commitment. To have won is utterly unexpected, utterly invigorating, and truly humbling. I'd like to express my thanks to the entire community at this convention, to the attendees as well as the judges.”

The World Fantasy Awards for fiction have been running since 1975. Last year David Mitchell won the title for The Bone Clocks, also published by Sceptre. Other previous winners of the award include Haruki Murakami.