The Kitschies, the annual tentacle-themed prize for works containing elements of the “speculative and fantastic,” have announced the winners for the most “progressive, intelligent, and entertaining” fiction of 2015.
The prizes were awarded at a ceremony held at London’s Star of Kings. The winners included a political thriller that proved just as exciting as mermaids and fallen cities; an episodic game praised for its rewind-time mechanic and for tackling taboo subjects; and a book with an actual door on its cover.
Margaret Atwood was awarded the Red Tentacle for The Heart Goes Last. Judge James Smythe said, “Even as part of an incredibly strong shortlist, The Heart Goes Last felt like an astonishing achievement. It’s an unsettling view of a future that—like so many of Atwood’s novels—feels all too prescient. Funny and devastating and wonderful, we all loved it.” Find out who else took home the handcrafted tentacle statues.
The Red Tentacle (Novel), judged by Sarah Lotz, James Smythe, Nikesh Shukla, Nazia Khatun, and Glen Mehn:
- Winner: 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), also judged by Sarah Lotz, James Smythe, Nikesh Shukla, Nazia Khatun, and Glen Mehn:
- Winner: Making Wolf by Tade Thompson (Rosarium)
- 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)
The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art), judged by Sarah McIntyre, Dapo Adeola, Regan Warner, and Lauren O’Farrell:
- Winner: 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)
- 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)
- Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, design by Alex Merto (Canongate)
The Invisible Tentacle (Natively Digital Fiction), judged by James Wallis, Rebecca Levene, and Em Short:
- Winner: Life Is Strange (Square Enix)
- Arcadia by Iain Pears (Faber/Touchpress)
- Daniel Barker’s Birthday by @FrogCroakley
- The Last Hours of Laura K (BBC Writers Room)
- Bloodborne (Hidetaka Miyazaki/FromSoftware)
The Kitschies also awarded The Black Tentacle (for “encouraging and elevating the conversation around genre literature”) to the genre community, personified by Patrick Ness, for its response to the humanitarian refugee crisis. The fund that Ness began raised £689,793.56 for Save the Children from over 6,000 donors, including over 20 authors who gave over £10,000 in matching prizes.
Congratulations to all of the winners!
Art: Steven Noble/Kraken Rum