Via File 770, I see we have these nominees for best fantasy novel:
Breed, KT Davies (Fox Spirit Books)
City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett (Jo Fletcher Books)
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)
A Man Lies Dreaming, Lavie Tidhar (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Moon King, Neil Williamson (NewCon Press)
The Relic Guild, Edward Cox (Gollancz)
The one I’m pleased about is Cuckoo Song, of course, but in fact I liked City of Stairs quite a bit, too. I haven’t read the others, but those two form quite a contrast: intimate personal story with a great emphasis on family relationships vs epic fantasy with a large cast and high stakes.
Interestingly, I see that the BFA gives an award for Best Horror Novel. That’s probably a good idea, though the overlap between dark fantasy and horror must make it difficult to assign various works to particular categories. Anyway, here are those nominees:
The End, Gary McMahon (NewCon Press)
The Girl With All the Gifts, M.R. Carey (Orbit)
The Last Plague, Rich Hawkins (Crowded Quarantine Publications)
No One Gets Out Alive, Adam Nevill (Macmillan)
Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel (Knopf)
The Unquiet House, Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)
I’ve read The Girl With All the Gifts, and I thought the writing was very good, but the plot was exceptionally predictable. So it’s a hard one to rate. I did think Station Eleven was SF, not horror. Goodreads says:
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
I don’t know, that sounds like postapocalyptic SF to me. But fine, fine, I suppose if they have a Horror category and not an SF category, nominators will tend to shoehorn various darkish SF into the horror category if they want to nominate them.
You can click through if you want to see all the other categories.