GregHorrorShow Game Awards 2009

2009 has, in my opinion, been one of the best years ever to be a gamer.

With so many great games arriving and with plenty of 2008’s hits (Bioshock/Fallout 3/GTA IV/Metal Gear Solid 4 etc) falling in price it’s a great time to own a PS3.

Throw the PSP resurgence into the mix and it adds up to one brilliant era for games.

Anyway, now onto the main event! The awards you’ve been waiting for…

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BEST DLC (Downloadable Content)

WINNER: Fallout 3 – Expansion Packs

 

Offering hours and hours more gameplay and an extended level cap to boot, the various DLC packs for Fallout 3 were well above anything else that arrived this year. Getting back into the Capital Wasteland never felt so good. 🙂

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 2 – Maps

LittleBigPlanet – Various Costumes

Batman – Play as Joker Challenge Maps

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

WINNER: Killzone 2 (Changing Game Modes Within A Consistent Online Match)

Killzone brought the noise in more ways than one but the changing game types within one online game was pretty sweet. Meaning that just as you’d be capturing the flag (speaker) the game could switch to deathmatch (Body Count) or whatever which in turn means that no two rounds are ever the same – genius.

RUNNERS UP:

InFamous (Karma System Working Within Empire City)

Prototype (Running Up Buildings)

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Deathstreaks)

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BEST TRAILER

WINNER: Assassin’s Creed II

There were lots of amazing trailers in 2009 but for me the most impressive both visually and with respect to what the gameplay promised, was Assassin’s Creed II. A fantastic game that saw you playing through the 1400’s in Italy, the trailer showed off exactly what the game had to offer.

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 2

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

God Of War 3

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2010:

WINNER: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Heavy Rain was nailed on for this and while it’s still one of my most anticipated games of next year, playing through the beta of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has swayed me in favour of DICE’s first person shooter. With vehicles as well as guns this one looks set to rock it come March 2010.

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

WINNER: Killzone 2 (Joris De Man)

There have been plenty of great scores in the games of 2009 but Killzone 2’s is awesome. ‘Helgan Forever’, the main theme, will live long in the memory – mainly due to the fact that it is a fantastic, stirring, piece of music. Brilliant throughout the game, Joris De Man’s score is a great companion to a stunning game. 

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 2

Infamous

Prototype

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

WINNER: Dirt 2

With a soundtrack featuring the might of Elbow, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Subways, Black Tide, Ladyhawke and Queens Of The Stone Age, Dirt 2 takes pole position in the soundtrack stakes. With a nice variety of styles it says a lot when you don’t get bored of the tracks after hearing them a few times and the inventive use of music through the menus and loading screens was a great touch.

RUNNERS UP:

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge (PSP)

Wet

Brutal Legend

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BEST VOICE ACTING

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Well, what can you say about the voice acting of Uncharted 2. It has to be one of the very best performances ever given in a game. I listened to an interview in which the cast compared the experience to theatre as they were all in the same room together for all of the voicing/motion capture and boy does it show. The chemistry between all the actors involved is apparent throughout and some of the ad libbed stuff is stunning.

RUNNERS UP:

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Wet

Batman: Arkham Ayslum

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BEST GRAPHICS

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Killzone 2 ran Uncharted 2 very, very close for this award but in the end Naughty Dog takes it on the variety of stunning locations they manage to fit into the game – especially the areas with some of the most realistic snow I’ve ever seen. The character models are superb and the animation is extremely well done. 

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 2

Dirt 2

Batman: Arkham Asylum

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BEST SPORTS GAME

WINNER: FIFA 10

If you’d told me 18 months ago FIFA would be winning an award on my blog I would’ve thought you were insane. In tandom with the decline of PES, FIFA has risen to former glories and is now the definitive football (soccer) game. This game actually makes you think about the build up play well in advance and, even more importantly, lets you have full control over the action on the pitch.

RUNNERS UP:

Fight Night Round 4

Dirt 2

Madden 10

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BEST PSP GAME

WINNER: GTA Chinatown Wars

There have been some great titles for the PSP this year but GTA Chinatown Wars pips them all at the post for sheer volume. There is so much to do in Liberty City and while the missions are bite sized there are plenty of them to get stuck into. A cast of colourful characters (as usual) helps matters and this is a fitting entry into the GTA universe. 

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines

Resistance: Retribution

LittleBigPlanet

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BEST STORYLINE

WINNER: InFamous

 

Infamous was a surprise hit for me as I was looking forward to Prototype a lot more. However Cole McGrath’s story of dealing with superpowers and finding out how the explosion happened was so great I played the game twice. With a few twists I didn’t see coming this game boasts a really great story. Uncharted 2 ran this close as it had a brilliant story but Infamous just pips it at the post.

RUNNERS UP:

Wet

Assassin’s Creed II

Uncharted 2

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Undoubtedly the best single player game for some time, Uncharted 2 makes you feel like the star of the best action movie ever. This is one of those games where all the pieces come together so well it’s a completely seamless experience. Brilliant.

RUNNERS UP:

Infamous

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Assassin’s Creed II

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Killzone 2

Is there a more satisfying sound that the ping of a kill on Killzone 2? 🙂 Giving the players more weight made the game feel heavier but seemingly fairer than a ‘twitch’ shooter like Modern Warfare 2. Killzone 2 is certainly the game I spent most time online with this year – clocking up in excess of 100 hours, which is a first for me. Great online fun.

RUNNERS UP:

Dirt 2

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Uncharted 2

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GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Naughty Dog’s excellent Uncharted 2 is no surprise as game of the year. Having already seen it take the gong at Spike’s VGA Awards I am following suit and giving Uncharted 2 the Game Of The Year Award for 2009. A fantastic, deep gaming experience with a great multiplayer added to boot. Seriously I’d like to speak to someone who played this and didn’t like it. As a whole Uncharted 2 is the best game in years and a very worthy winner.

RUNNERS UP:

InFamous

Assassin’s Creed II

Killzone 2

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Wow, still struggling to believe we’re nearly done with 2009!

It says a lot about this year that a title as great as Batman: Arkham Asylum can be nominated for 4 awards and not win one. Quality titles abound.

It’s been an amazing year for gaming and the quality looks set to continue into 2010 with a host of great releases.

Let me know what your highlights were for 2009!

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GregHorrorShow Film Awards 2009

It’s been a good year for film, with lots of great releases. I don’t get to the flicks as much as I used to so these awards might have a touch of the DVD’s about them 😆

Here we go…

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BEST TRAILER

WINNER: Zombieland

This trailer perfectly captures the feel of this film and I ended up watching it several times as it was just funny as hell. A good advert for a brilliant film.

RUNNERS UP:

Sherlock Holmes

The Hangover

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BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

WINNER: Watchmen

You can say what you like about the film itself but I don’t think anyone could argue with the fact that the special effects in Watchmen were absolutely superb. From Dr Manhattan to the other heroes and even the city itself, this was a truly stunning experience.

RUNNERS UP:

Zombieland

The Damned Utd

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BEST SOUNDTRACK

WINNER: The Boat That Rocked

I’m sure people will question the quality of this film for a long while to come but one thing that can’t be questioned is the quality of the soundtrack: The Who, Dusty Springfield, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and The Kinks are just a few of the bands to feature in what was the highlight of the film… it’s soundtrack. 

RUNNERS UP:

Watchmen

Zombieland

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BEST COMEDY

WINNER: The Hangover

A close call this one as all three of these films were absolutely superb but I’m still chuckling over Zach Galifianakis’ performance. The story of the Stag Night from hell, with no-one remembering a thing, the groom missing and the time until the wedding ticking away – The Hangover is essential viewing.

RUNNERS UP:

I Love You, Man

Role Models

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MOST ANTICIPATED FILM OF 2010

WINNER: Kick Ass

I’ve already seen a rough cut of this and can confirm it was fantastic, even in it’s unfinished state. Stand out performances throughout and big props to Nic Cage for his role as well. Check it out when it hits next year.

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BEST ACTOR

WINNER: Mickey Rourke (Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson – The Wrestler)

The Wrestler was such an emotional film it had to have some strong performances and Mickey Rourke really nailed it in his role as aging wrestling star Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. The scenes with his daughter were among the most touching I’ve seen in a long time and it looks like he invested a lot in the performance.

RUNNERS UP:

Jackie Earle Haley (Walter Kovacs / Rorschach – Watchmen)

Michael Sheen (David Frost – Frost/Nixon)

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BEST ACTRESS

WINNER: Rachel McAdam (Della Frye – State Of Play)

I almost gave this to Abigail Breslin for her stirling showing in Zombieland but in the end, looking back over the year, it was Rachel McAdams performance in political thriller State Of Play as journalist Della Frye that really impressed me. Firstly because it was a great bit of acting and secondly because I’d only ever seen McAdam in rom coms and it’s always nice to see an actor/actress leave their comfort zone and put on a good show.

RUNNERS UP:

Abigail Breslin (Little Rock – Zombieland)

Marisa Tomei (Cassidy – The Wrestler)

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FILM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Zombieland

Head and shoulders above everything else I saw this year was the superb Zombieland. The tale of four survivors of a zombie outbreak just trying to stay alive long enough to learn to trust each other. Great performances from all four leads, and a wonderful cameo I had no prior knowledge of, made this a joy to watch.

Close behind were The Wrestler, a truly touching tale of an aging ring warrior and Watchmen, which I really enjoyed even if most of the World didn’t 🙂

RUNNERS UP:

The Wrestler

Watchmen

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So that wraps up the film awards for 2009 – only games to go now!

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GregHorrorShow TV Awards 2009

Continuing the awards season, we arrive at the TV section.

While I think TV has tailed off over the last few years, and been replaced in a lot of quarters by gaming, there are still great shows out there.

So here’s what I thought was worthy of a look in 2009…

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BEST COMEDY SHOW

WINNER: Flight Of The Conchords (BBC2)

Flight Of The Conchords is such a great show, jam packed with quality songs that it just can’t overlooked. The story of Brett and Jermaine, along with manager Murray, as they try to make it big as a band in New York. Brilliant.

RUNNERS UP:

Gavin And Stacey (BBC1)

Mock The Week (BBC2)

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BEST FACTUAL SHOW

WINNER: Hairy Bikers Tour Of Britain (Cookery – BBC2)

As I’ve said before, I love the Hairy Bikers and this show was a wonderfully informative look at the various counties around the UK. Showing a traditional dish from each region and having a ‘cook off’ against a local chef really gave you a flavour of each part of the country.

RUNNERS UP:

Queens Of British Pop (Music – BBC4)

Match Of The Day 2 (Sport – BBC2)

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BEST SOUNDTRACK

WINNER: Flight Of The Conchords (BBC2)

As I said above this show had such great songs that I couldn’t not give it the gong here. “Hurt Feelings” was a particular highlight for me 😆

RUNNERS UP:

Ashes To Ashes (BBC1)

Hairy Bikers Tour Of Britain (BBC2)

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WORST TV SHOW

WINNER: Demons (ITV)

I was pysched for Demons, as I thought it could be a UK version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – instead we got a half assed show which started badly and faded from there. Avoid. 😦

RUNNERS UP:

Merlin (BBC)

The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Perrin (BBC)

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BEST NEW SHOW

WINNER: Dollhouse (SciFi)

Already being a fan of Joss Whedon I was predisposed to like Dollhouse from the start and while the first few epiosdes were a bit shaky the show soon hit it’s stride and never looked back. Telling the story of an undercover operation that takes volunteers, wipes their memories and then implants new memories to cater for whatever engagement they are assigned to. Fantastic. 😎

RUNNERS UP:

True Blood (Fox)

Warehouse 13 (SciFi)

Flash Forward (Five)

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ACTOR OF THE YEAR (TV)

WINNER: Philip Glenister (DCI Gene Hunt – Ashes To Ashes)

Ashes To Ashes was really enjoyable and the highlight was the tension between Hunt and leading lady Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes). Glenister is probably always gonna be known as Hunt and for good reason. His performances are brilliant and some of the one liners/terminology the writers give him are awesome.

RUNNERS UP:

Fran Kranz (Topher Brink – Dollhouse)

Jack Coleman (Noah Bennett – Heroes)

Eddie McClintock (Pete Latimer – Warehouse 13)

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ACTRESS OF THE YEAR (TV)

WINNER: Summer Glau (Cameron – Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles)

I was so disappointed that this show got cancelled as it seemed to be really finding it’s feet. Summer Glau’s performance as Cameron, the female Terminator was especially convincing and I thought she caught the innocence of the role extremely well. Her banter with John Connor seemed fairly natural as well.

RUNNERS UP:

Dichen Lachman (Sierra – Dollhouse)

Jennifer Love Hewitt (Melinda Gordon – Ghost Whisperer)

Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering – Warehouse 13)

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TV SHOW OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Dollhouse (SciFi)

The premise of Dollhouse (see above) sounds as crazy as it is but the show really came together for the latter part of the first series and the second series has also started strongly (despite poor ratings and a cancellation). I literally could not wait for this show every week. And that is the sign of a brilliant TV show.

RUNNERS UP:

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (SciFi)

Heroes (BBC2)

Warehouse 13 (SciFi)

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And there we have it. Any stuff I missed that I should check out? (Except The Wire, which I’m working on) Give me a shout.

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GregHorrorShow Music Awards 2009

It’s been a busy year for music, what with the 80’s revival marching on and the re-ermergence of pop here in the UK (though I’m sure some would say it’s never been away 🙂 )

Without further ado, here are the awards for 2009:

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BEST NEWCOMER

WINNER: La Roux

This was a pretty closely fought one actually, as Florence & The Machine also made a big splash in 2009. But in the end Elly Jackson and co. take the gong.

RUNNERS UP:

Florence & The Machine

Amazing Baby

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BEST VIDEO

WINNER: ‘Warriors Dance’ – The Prodigy

This Corin Hardy directed gem tell the story of three cigarette packets who start a rave in a shop with other packets – cause a fire and then escape leaving the rest of packets to dance in the flames. Brilliant.

RUNNERS UP:

‘Fire’ – Kasabian

‘Bulletproof’ – La Roux

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BEST LIVE PERFORMANCE

WINNER: La Roux (Koko – May 2009)

This was another tight one because Florence and Madeleine Peyroux were such fantastic performers but I had to give it to La Roux for the atmosphere as well as the performance. See my original write up HERE.

RUNNERS UP:

Florence & The Machine (Bloomsbury Ballroom – May 2009)

Madeliene Peyroux (Barbican – April 2009)

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BEST COMPILATION ALBUM

WINNER: ‘Motown 50’ (Motown)

Motown. What a label. It’s not until you sit down and listen to these stunning tracks that you realise just how good these bands were: Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Commodores and many many more. Most definitely worth checking out.

RUNNERS UP:

‘The Boat That Rocked’ OST (Mercury)

‘Common People – Brit Pop: The Story’ (Universal)

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BEST REMIX

WINNER: ‘In For The Kill’ (Let’s Get Skreamy Remix) – La Roux

Another award for La Roux although the credit here goes solely to Skreamy, who creates a dark electro tinged version of the band’s Top 10 hit ‘In For The Kill’. The entire thing leads to a breakbeat in the last minute which is superb.

RUNNERS UP:

‘Rabbit Heart’ (Jamie T Remix) – Florence & The Machine

‘Starry Eyed’ (Jakwob Remix) – Ellie Goulding

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GREGHORRORSHOW’S ONE TO WATCH FOR 2010

WINNER: Jonathan Jeremiah

Another tough one to choose as the runners up are so good as well. But Jonathan Jeremiah takes it for having a voice the like of which I haven’t heard in a long time. It reminds me of people like Neil Diamond and Jonathan Edwards. Check out his myspace for more.

RUNNERS UP:

Pete Lawrie

Ellie Goulding

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BEST SINGLE

WINNER: ‘Bulletproof’ – La Roux

‘Bulletproof’ is one of those great songs that you just can’t get out of your head. Whether it’s the verse or the chorus, I found it stuck in my cranium more times than I care to remember and the fact that I didn’t mind says a lot about it.

RUNNERS UP:

‘Warriors Dance’ – The Prodigy

‘Daniel’ – Bat For Lashes

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BEST ALBUM

WINNER: ‘La Roux’ – La Roux

Chock full of great tunes and that includes the stuff that hasn’t been released as singles, La Roux’s debut album was one that didn’t leave my car stereo for the majority of the summer. Whether or not La Roux end up being one hit wonders (which I hope doesn’t happen) this is an album that is a fantastic listen.

RUNNERS UP:

‘Invaders Must Die’ – The Prodigy

‘Two Suns’ – Bat For Lashes

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BEST ARTIST

WINNER: La Roux

Couldn’t really be anyone else after taking best single and best album… so La Roux make it a clean sweep, taking the award for best artist of 2009. It takes a lot to win me over so much but a great album, strong singles and a brilliant gig certainly did the trick!

RUNNERS UP:

Florence & The Machine

The Prodigy

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So there we go, music is done and dusted – only the big hitters left: TV, Film and Games!

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GregHorrorShow Book Awards 2009

Being completely honest I don’t read as many books as I should, I would guess about 10 this year, so it’s been tough to put together as lengthy an award list as for the other media.

However, I’ve come up with a few categories and despite only having read one book in a couple of them, those books chosen are ones I would recommend.

As per usual this list is from what I’ve READ this year, not from what’s been released in the calendar year.

Links to reviews in the book titles where possible.

So here we go…

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BEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY

WINNER: My Word Is My Bond – Roger Moore

I’m not a James Bond fan but even I enjoyed this roguish journey through Roger Moore’s career. Moore’s easy listening style means it feels like an intimate evening with the great man, sitting round the fireplace as he tells tale after tale.

RUNNERS UP:

Wonderful Tonight – Patti Boyd

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BEST FACTUAL

WINNER: World In Six Songs – Daniel Levitin

No runner up here as I’ve been lax on my factual reading this year but World In Six Songs is worthy of high praise nonetheless.

This book explores the link between music and civilisation – how music helped create the world we live in, dating right back to our earliest ancestors. If you’re interested in music then this is one to check out.

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BEST FICTIONAL UNIVERSE:

WINNER: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Graeme-Smith

A really inventive novel that mixes Austen with Zombie mayhem, the universe created by Graeme-Smith (with help from Austen’s original) was fantastic to read through and thoroughly enjoyable.

RUNNERS UP:

World War Z – Max Brooks

The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler

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BEST FICTIONAL CHARACTER:

WINNER: Lizzy Bennet (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Graeme-Smith)

It’s another award for Seth Graeme-Smith as his version of ‘Lizzy’ Bennet was a brilliant character to read through. With her underlying Austen personality in place, it was Graeme-Smith’s added ninja skills that brought her further to life.

RUNNERS UP:

Death (The Book Thief – Markus Zakai)

Alice Maxwell (Cell – Stephen King)

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BEST FICTION

WINNER: World War Z – Max Brooks

 

2009 appears to have been the year of the Zombie as far as my reading habits have gone. Nipping a Seth Graeme-Smith clean sweep in the bud is Max Brooks, with his disturbingly realistic portrayal of how events may go down if there really was a Zombie outbreak. Should be read by everyone.

RUNNERS UP:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Graeme-Smith

The Book Thief – Markus Zukai

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THE GREGHORRORSHOW ‘COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN’ AWARD FOR GREAT WRITING 2009

WINNER: ‘Cell’ by Stephen King

I read this in three days while on holiday, it completely hooked me. The beginning is one of the most finely crafted openings I’ve ever read. Sadly the latter parts of the book couldn’t maintain the standard, which is why it didn’t get any other nominations.

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So there we go, that’s the first batch of awards handed out. More media (TV/Film and the big one… Games) to follow.

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