The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize Includes Two Genre-Bending Books

Last October, was proud to partner with New York City’s The Center for Fiction’s Big Read as they discussed Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction, and fantasy. Now, they’ve just announced the 2012 shortlist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. Among the eight novels are two genre crossover books: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, and Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson.

The Center for Fiction and the American Booksellers Association has announced a new partnership to promote the seven shortlisted novels in the Center’s annual Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. The ABA will select 450 bookstores around the U.S. focused on literary fiction to receive tabletop displays, posters and shelf talkers for the seven novels. In addition, sixty-five booksellers across the country will be asked to be first-tier readers for the Prize. 

Alif the Unseen is a speculative fiction novel dealing with hackers, state surveillance, and secret information technology. has featured it in its Genre in the Mainstream column, along with an excerpt from the book itself.

The Dog Stars is a semi-post apocalyptic novel which sees a lone pilot hoping to make contact with other living souls in a changed world. (Look for coverage of this one in Genre in the Mainstream next week.)

Here are the other novels:

  • Absolution by Patrick Flanery
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
  • Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • The Yellow Birds Kevin Powers.

Stay tuned to The Center for Fiction for more.


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