Our big, big news of the last two weeks was the announcement of the 2011 Kitschies - now presented by The Kraken Rum.
The Kitschies are our annual award for those books that 'elevate the tone of geek culture'. For 2011, we're really pleased to have an extended judging panel (Lauren Beukes, Rebecca Levene and three amazing & soon-to-be-disclosed experts from the visual arts), a new category (cover art) and, of course, £1,250 of cash prizes to go with the bottles of delicious black rum and our Tentacle trophies.
We're really pleased by the feedback we've gotten both online and in person since the announcement. The idea of an award that brings attention to 'intelligent, progressive and entertaining' genre fiction - and rewards those that create it - has been warmly received. Of course, we'd like more - more coverage, more feedback, more everything. If you're a journalist or blogger and would like to chat more about the Kitschies, please let us know and we'd be delighted to help. And if you're an author, publisher, designer or agent, please make sure your books are submitted for consideration.
As with previous years, most of the discussion and debate will all take place on Pornokitsch, including our tradition of reviewing all the shortlisted books. The Kitschies website contains all the relevant facts and information about submissions. The Kitschies are also on Facebook, which is another great way of keeping abreast of the awards and other, related events.
Anyway, here's what else went down recently...
- Robert W. Chambers' The Man They Hanged (1926) (and the judicious application of historical fact)
- Lester Dent's Honey in His Mouth (2009 / 1956) (and waiting for the grisly end)
- John Farris' Baby Moll (2008 / 1958) (and the mediocrity of sustained nonchalance)
- Georgette Heyer's The Reluctant Widow (1946) (and the worst sin of all)
- E.W. Hornung's Witching Hill (1913) (and the ghosts of Edwardian suburbia)
- Adam Roberts' By Light Alone (2011) (and the grand tradition of science fiction)
- Deadly Knitshade's Knit the City (2011) and James Taylor & Fougasse's Careless Talk Saves Lives (2011) (and the role of humour in public art)
Anne also took a break from Monsters & Mullets, time-travelling to 1996 with the (awful) Doctor Who: The Movie.
As far as features went, our Friday Fives had back-to-back special guests. Den Patrick joined us to talk about sexy beasts and Mark Charan Newton chatted about his favorite vegetables. From the ridiculous to the sublime. Or maybe the other way around? We also invited everyone to confess their book collecting obsessions
Finally, lots of exciting things happening around - online and offline:
Strange Horizons, one of the most well-respected online genre magazines (with talented reviewers that make us go purple with envy), are having their annual fund drive.
Hard Case Crime, easily one of our favorite imprints, are back. After a year-long hiatus, they're relaunching with a new distributor and a handful of glorious new titles. We've reviewed about a third of the Hard Case Crime books, but if you really need more convincing to be excited, we suggest having a browse through their cover gallery.
Red Tentacle & Multiple Arthur C. Clarke Award Winning Author (RTMACCAWA) China Miéville is speaking this very afternoon at the Royal Society - tickets, the web site assures, are available at the door. If that's too short notice, he's also talking about his favorite comic books at the BD & Comics Passion Festival next Friday.
Finally, for those at FantasyCon, we salute you - especially the Pandemonium authors in attendance. Hope you're all having fun!
Looking further ahead, Friday Five guests Mark Charan Newton and Adam Nevill (and Adrian Tchaikovsky) are at Forbidden Planet on 15 October. John Landis is also at Forbidden Planet on 11 October, talking about Monsters in Movies (hopefully someone will provide the complementary mullets).