Vicki Jarrett, Jane Rawson and Yoko Ogawa are among the writers shortlisted for this year’s Kitschies, honouring the best in speculative and fantastic fiction.
The annual contest, sponsored by Blackwell’s, awards a series of “Tentacle” prizes for the best novel, début and cover art of 2019.
Shortlists for the prize, now in its 10th year, were whittled down from 196 titles, submitted by 59 different publishers.
For the Red Tentacle novel prize, Always North by Jarrett (Unsung Stories) will compete with Rawson’s From The Wreck (Picador), The Fire Starters by Jan Carson (Transworld), The Memory Police by Ogawa (Vintage) and This is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Jo Fletcher Books).
In the Golden Tentacle début category, Jelly by Clare Rees (Chicken House Books) features alongside My Name Is Monster by Katie Hale (Canongate), She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore (Pushkin Press), The Ten Thousand Doors Of January by Alix E Harrow (Orbit) and Wilder Girls by Rory Power (Pan Macmillan).
Kirsty Logan, a judge for both prizes, said: "I’m so proud of our shortlists—the books are all incredible and it's a thrill to help champion such talented and diverse writers. It’s been a total joy working with my fellow judges and reading all the submitted books. UK fiction is a truly exciting place to be right now."
The Inky Tentacle prize or cover art shortlist features Across The Void by S K Vaughan, designed by Ceara Elliot (Sphere), The Heavens by Sandra Newman, designed by Leo Nickolls (Granta), Zed by Joanna Kavenna, desgined by Faber (Faber) and another nod for This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone, designed by Greg Stadny (Jo Fletcher Books) and The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, designed by Tyler Comrie (Vintage).
Winners will be announced in a ceremony at The Star of Kings pub in north London on Monday 6th April, and receive a total of £2,000 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s iconic Tentacle trophies.
Award directors Leila Abu el Hawa and Anne Perry said: "It’s always wonderful to observe our fantastic judges put together really thoughtful and interesting shortlists. This year is no exception. Publishers submit an extraordinary array of books every year and we definitely don’t envy the judges having to choose a winner. We are delighted to begin the next decade with the Kitschies moving from strength to strength."