Carson's Fire Starters wins at The Kitschies

Carson's Fire Starters wins at The Kitschies

The Fire Starters by Jan Carson (Doubleday) — which brings fantasy into a tale of loyalist Belfast — has won the £1,000 Red Tentacle (novel) category at The Kitschies, which rewards speculative fiction.

The winning novel was announced by judge Kirsty Logan in a ceremony held live on Google Meet.

Jelly by Clare Rees (Chicken House Books) won the Golden Tentacle for best debut, receiving £500.

Logan said: "We felt The Fire Starters right in our bones: it cast a shivering, glittering spell over me and we were changed by having read it. Jelly is a surreal, darkly humorous adventure that leans right into its delightfully weird premise."

Meanwhile Tyler Comrie received the Inky Tentacle for cover design for The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Vintage), receiving £500.

The Inky Tentacle winner was revealed by author Kim Curran, who commented: "While it wasn't an easy decision, the cover for Memory Police finally clinched it because we felt it perfectly encapsulated what the Kitschies is about. It drew us in with the blend of photographic and sketched illustration and incorporating the title and author into the stamp creates intrigue and hinted at the story, without taking away from the striking simplicity of the cover. Design at its finest." 

Award directors Leila Abu el Hawa and Anne Perry added: "Ten years of handing out Tentacles to the most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction has shown us there are authors and publishers, big and small who are not afraid to take risks in bringing everyone the best speculative and fantastic fiction has to offer."

Carson, Rees and Comrie won from a shortlist which can be viewed here