The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2002

The Sirius Crossing

The first winner of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger is John Creed for The Sirius Crossing (Faber and Faber). He wins the Dagger, plus £2000. The Judges commented: "A literate and highly accessible thriller. You are hooked from the introduction."

The CWA is delighted to add to the range of Daggers this exciting new annual prize for the year's best thriller, adventure novel or spy fiction novel. The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger has been suggested and sponsored by Ian Fleming (Glidrose) Publications Ltd., to celebrate the best of contemporary thriller writing.

Judges' Comments

There were nearly 100 entries and nearly all of them were a great pleasure to read. The overall standard was very high and it's good to see that the thriller is in such good health and comes from many different voices. The judges' discussion was long and occasionally heated. Each book on the shortlist has a very passionate champion on the panel...

The other shortlisted books were:

The Master of Rain   Tom Bradby   (Bantam)
This is a rattling good yarn with well-realised historical detail, bringing to life high and low society in 1926's Shanghai.

Without Fail   Lee Child   (Bantam)
Throughout this book and its icy climax, Lee Child's pace keeps the story bright and irresistible.

Hostage   Robert Crais   (Orion)
An adrenaline-charged, informed and unrelenting page turner. Absolutely unputdownable.

Lime's Photograph   Leif Davidsen   (Harvill)
This is an enigmatic and disturbing novel which questions the reader's assumptions. Provocative and memorable to the last page, and faultessly translated.

The French Executioner   CC Humphreys   (Orion)
Like an ancient saga, this stirring tale blends history, reality and magic to create a constantly exciting - and comic - myth.

Tango One   Stephen Leather   (Hodder and Stoughton)
Although morally ambiguous, this thriller succeeds by giving expert surveillance details and constant excitment.

CASINO ROYALE, Ian Fleming's first novel, was completed in 1952, and so this year marks fifty years of James Bond. Penguin Books have reissued all fourteen of Ian Fleming's James Bond titles and the twentieth Bond movie, Die Another Day will be released in the UK on 20 November 2002.

Eligible books can come from authors of any nationality but must have been first published in the UK in English between 1st September and 31st August in each judging year.

The first prize of £2,000 and a Steel Dagger was awarded in 2002. Judging is administered by the Crime Writers' Association (who already run the Gold & Silver Dagger, the Short Story Dagger, the Non-fiction Dagger, the Creasey Dagger and the Ellis Peters Prize for Historical Crime Fiction).

The first panel of judges were Ian Fleming's former literary agent, Peter Janson-Smith, crime critic and author Peter Guttridge, Cambridge bookseller Richard Reynolds, and the immediate past chairman of the CWA, Russell James. The judging panel was chaired by Kate Jones, formerly an editorial director of Penguin Books, and now literary consultant to Ian Fleming (Glidrose) Publications Ltd.

Russell James commented, "We've deliberately framed the rules to attract writers from all over the English speaking world. It's a very inclusive competition and we'll welcome entries of all kinds of adventure fiction, whether aimed at adult or younger age groups. I think the prestige of being the first winner of this major new prize, closely associated with the Ian Fleming name, will draw a host of entries."

Kate Jones said, "Ian Fleming (Glidrose) Publications Ltd are delighted to inaugurate this award. Fifty years ago, Ian Fleming redefined thriller writing and his character James Bond is a twentieth century icon without peer. We wanted to mark Ian Fleming's achievements by celebrating the best of contemporary thriller writing."