Mark David Gerson’s win, for The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy, was announced on November 21 at an Albuquerque awards banquet designed to honor authors in more than 30 categories from New Mexico and beyond.
His award, in the statewide contest, was in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category.
The MoonQuest, Gerson’s first novel, is part of a fantasy pantheon that includes The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.
It’s the compelling tale of a young bard’s quest to restore vision and imagination to a mythical land where stories have been banned and storytellers put to death.
This is The MoonQuest’s fifth award and its second this year. In March, it won a Gold Medal for Visionary Fiction in the Independent Book Publisher Awards.
The fantasy, popular with adults and young adults alike, has also been recognized in the USA Best Book Awards (visionary fiction), the Reader Views Awards (young adult fiction) and the New Mexico Discovery Awards (unpublished fiction). This is its first fantasy/science fiction prize.
As well, The MoonQuest has been lauded by U.S. critics as “an evocative and emotionally moving tale of adventure” (Midwest Book Review) and “an exceptional, timeless novel” (The Mindquest Review of Books). Library Journal praised it as an “emotionally solid tale” whose “songlike prose [offers] a match for its ethereal characters and allegorical message of inner truth.”
For Gerson, who moved to New Mexico in 2005, this award carries particular significance. “This is where I finally finished The MoonQuest,” he says. “It’s also where I finished my second book, and hope to complete my third!”
Gerson is also author of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write (LightLines Media 2008), based on his 15-plus years of teaching creative writing in the U.S. and Canada. He is now seeking a producer for his screenplay adaptation of The MoonQuest and is working on a sequel to the novel.
This is the second year for the New Mexico Book Awards, established to acknowledge the best in New Mexico books. Over the next year, The MoonQuest will be featured, along with other winners, in special displays in bookstores and libraries across the state, including in all New Mexico Borders outlets.
Both Gerson’s books are available from Amazon.com and other online retailers, from the publisher at www.lightlinesmedia.com and at selected U.S. retailers coast-to-coast.