Congratulations to all the finalists for The Kitschies - the most tentacular of all literary prizes.
The award for novels containing "elements of the speculative and fantastic" has revealed their picks for the most "progressive, intelligent and entertaining" titles of 2015. As always, The Kitschies' broad remit has attracted a ton of books - with the judges reviewing 176 submissions from over 40 different publishers.
The prize, sponsored by Fallen London, is now in its seventh year, with previous winners including Andrew Smith, Hermione Eyre, Nick Harkaway, Lauren Beukes, China Miéville, and Patrick Ness.
The Red Tentacle (Novel):
- The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury)
- Europe at Midnight, by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
- The Reflection, by Hugo Wilcken (Melville House)
- The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)
- The Thing Itself, by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
The Golden Tentacle (Debut):
- The Shore, by Sara Taylor (William Heinemann)
- Blackass, by A. Igoni Barrett (Chatto and Windus)
- The Gracekeepers, by Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker)
- The Night Clock, by Paul Meloy (Solaris)
- Making Wolf, by Tade Thompson (Rosarium)
Both were judged by, judged by Sarah Lotz, James Smythe, Nikesh Shukla, Nazia Khatun and Glen Mehn. Lotz called this year's picks "a celebration of diverse, genre-bending, wildly entertaining writing". I have to confess, I've not read very many (cough - any), and suspect this will be an eye-opening 'genre' shortlist for most. I am looking forward to getting stuck in. It is particularly intriguing (and very Kitschies-y) to see core genre imprints like Solaris and independents like Rosarium sitting alongside literary giants like Harvill Secker.
The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art):
- The Vorrh, by Brian Catling, design by Pablo Declan (Coronet)
- Monsters, by Emerald Fennell, art direction by Jet Purdie, illustration by Patrick Leger (Hot Key Books)
- The Honours, by Tim Clare, design and illustration by Peter Adlington (Canongate)
- The Door that Led to Where, by Sally Gardner, art direction and design by Jet Purdie, illustration by Dover Publications Inc & Shutterstock (Hot Key Books)
- Get In Trouble, by Kelly Link, design by Alex Merto (Canongate)
The Inky was judged by Sarah McIntyre, Dapo Adeola, Regan Warner and Lauren O'Farrell. Sarah McIntyre noted that, this year, it came down to "more subtle elements - beautiful endpapers, interesting uses of wrap-around covers, illustrative details". That's intriguing, and I'm keen to pick up (literally) these books and check them out.
The Invisible Tentacle (Natively Digital Fiction):
- Arcadia by Iain Pears, http://arcadiatheapp.com/ (Faber/Touchpress)
- LIFE IS STRANGE, http://www.lifeisstrange.com/ (Square Enix)
- Daniel Barker's Birthday, by Frog Croakley https://storify.com/FrogCroakley/the-colelcted-daniel-barker-s-birth (@FrogCroakley)
- The Last Hours of Laura K, http://thelasthoursoflaurak.com/ (BBC Writer's Room)
- Bloodborne http://www.fromsoftware.jp/pc_en/product/detail_92.html (Hidetaka Miyazaki/FromSoftware)
This is the second year of the Invisible Tentacle, and it was judged by James Wallis, Rebecca Levene and Em Short. James Wallis said that being part of a new award "is terrific fun: weighing options, arguing about parameters and boundaries, discovering new works and creators, and diving into intense discussions with fellow judges".
The winners will be announced in a ceremony on 7th March, and receive a total of £2,500 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s iconic Tentacle trophies.