Announcing The Kitschies’ 2017 Shortlists

The Kitschies, the annual tentacle-themed prize for works containing elements of the “speculative and fantastic,” have released their shortlists for the most “progressive, intelligent, and entertaining” fiction of 2017.

This year’s shortlists have been narrowed down from 142 submissions, coming from over 48 different publishers and imprints. Award Directors Glen Mehn and Leila Abu El Hawa praised the pool of books from which the judges chose the shortlist:

Every year brings challenges, excitement, and something new: this year was no different. We’re thrilled to see the return of some old favourites as well as voices that mightn’t be considered speculative fiction. The breadth of all three lists is stunning.

We are pleased to have two Publishing titles nominated for Golden Tentacle: JY Yang’s The Black Tides of Heaven and Liz Ziemska’s Mandelbrot the Magnificent. Congratulations to all of the finalists—we can’t wait to see who will take home the coveted, hand-crafted squid statue!

The Red Tentacle (Novel), judged by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Leila Abu El Hawa, Joshua Idehen, Ewa Scibor-Rylska, and Alasdair Stuart:

  • Black Wave by Michelle Tea (& Other Stories)
  • The Rift by Nina Allan (Titan)
  • We See Everything by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)
  • Fever by Deon Meyer, translated by L. Seegers (Hodder)
  • City of Circles, by Jess Richards (Hodder)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut), also judged by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Leila Abu El Hawa, Joshua Idehen, Ewa Scibor-Rylska, and Alasdair Stuart:

  • How Saints Die by Carmen Marcus (Harville Secker)
  • Hunger Makes the Wolf, by Alex “Acks” Wells (Angry Robot)
  • Age of Assassins by RJ Barker (Orbit)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang ( Publishing)
  • Mandelbrot the Magnificent, by Liz Ziemska ( Publishing)

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art), judged by Dapo Adeola, Sharan Dhaliwal, Jet Purdie, and Stuart Taylor:

  • The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders, illustrated by David Dean (Faber and Faber)
  • Black Wave by Michelle Tea, illustrated by Rose Stafford at Print Club, design by Hannah Naughton (& Other Stories)
  • The History of Bees by Maja Lunde, design by Jack Smyth and the S&S Art Department (Scribner)
  • The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts, jacket design and illustration by Black Sheep (Gollancz)
  • Our Memory Like Dust by Gavin Chait, design by Richard Shailer (Transworld)

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Star of Kings on April 9 in London. The Kitschies, sponsored by Blackwell’s, is in its eighth year.


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