Susanna Clarke, Deepa Anappara and Jordan Ifueko are among the authors shortlisted for this year’s Kitschies, honouring the best in speculative and fantastic fiction.
Now in its 11th year, the contest, sponsored by Blackwell’s, awards a series of “Tentacle” prizes for the best novel, début and cover artwork. This year’s shortlisted books have been narrowed down from 177 submissions, coming from 55 publishers.
For the Red Tentacle novel prize, A Tall History of Sugar by Curdella Forbes (Canongate) will compete with The City We Became by N K Jemisin (Orbit), The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury), Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury) and The Ministry For The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit).
Up for the Golden Tentacle debut prize is Sharks in the Time of Saviours by Kawai Strong Washburn (Canongate), The Animals In That Country by Laura Jean McKay (Scribe), The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (Hodder & Stoughton), Djinn Patrol on The Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Chatto & Windus) and Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Hot Key Books).
Both the novel and debut prize will be judged by a panel including M R Carey, Clare Rees, Mahvesh Murad, Kaiya Shang and Daphne Lao Tong.
The Inky Tentacle for cover art is judged by Paul Wiseall, Fleur Clarke, Claire Richardson and Jeffrey Alan Love. The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem, cover design by Allison Saltzman and illustration by Dexter Maurer (Atlantic Books), is up against Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin, cover design by Ben Summers (Oneworld), Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna, cover design by Andrew Davis (Harper Voyager), The Harpy by Megan Hunter, cover design by Lucy Scholes and illustration by Amy Judd (Picador) and The City We Became by N K Jemisin, cover design by Lauren Panepinto (Orbit).
Award directors Leila Abu el Hawa and Anne Perry said: “Each new year promises to deliver an exceptional crop of books to the Kitschies, and 2020 was no different — even given the extraordinary challenges the publishing industry has met over the past 16 months. We were thrilled to received 187 books across the three categories of the award for 2020, and the judges have done an absolutely immense job crafting a set of shortlists that highlight the very best that British publishing has to offer."
The winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony on 21st July, and receive a total of £2,000 in prize money, as well as a Tentacle trophy.