Wed
Nov 30 2011 4:12pm

Queering SFF Tidbit: Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy Wins 2011 Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel

The results for the 2011 Gaylactic Spectrum Award have been announced for the winner and shortlist in the Best Novel category. The Best Short Fiction and Best Other Work categories are given every other year, whereas Best Novel is yearly; meaning 2012 will see the other two categories awarded.

This year’s winner, declared by the awards’ panel as the best LGBTQ speculative novel published in 2010, is Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy from Small Beer Press. The press release says of the novel: “Under the Poppy breaks a lot of rules: point-of-view shifts, convoluted mysterious plots full of violence and decadence, relationships that run the gamut from accepted to beyond forbidden, and witty graphic language. In Koja’s skillful hands, the novel engages the reader from the start, provides a way to taste and smell the world through brilliantly-crafted prose, and presents a heart-wrenching romance. A mature love story that doesn’t flinch from revealing the truth about life in the demimonde, Under the Poppy is well worth the read.”

The shortlist:

  • *Black Blade Blues - J.A. Pitts (Tor) (reviewed here)
  • *Bob the Book - David Pratt (Chelsea Street Editions)
  • *A Book of Tongues - Gemma Files (ChiZine Publications) (reviewed here)
  • *Red Hood’s Revenge - Jim C. Hines (DAW)
  • *Stealing Fire - Jo Graham (Orbit)
  • *The White Road - Lynn Flewelling (Spectra)
  • *The Wolf at the Door - Jameson Currier (Chelsea Street Editions)

Congratulations to Kathe Koja and Small Beer Press!


Brit Mandelo is a multi-fandom geek with a special love for comics and queer literature. She can be found on Twitter and Livejournal.

4 comments
Pamela Adams
1. Pam Adams
Under the Poppy was one of those books where I admired the artistry, and couldn't stand the story. I'll have to try the rest of the shortlist.
Brit Mandelo
2. BritMandelo
@Pam Adams

I haven't had the chance to read it yet; I've heard quite a lot about it, but haven't managed to snag a copy. (I was quite fond of the two shortlist titles that I reviewed when they came out.)
Kate O'Hanlon
3. KateOH
Added to the tbr pile. Bob the Book sounds absolutley delightful too.

I was a little surprised and perturbed to see that the award panels synopsis of Book of Tongues seems to be somewhat inaccurate.
Theresa DeLucci
4. theresa_delucci
I love, love, love Kathe Koja. I highly reccomend Skin and The Cipher. She has such a lovely voice when she writes about the darkest of topics.

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