US author Andrew Smith has won the Red Tentacle award at the Kitschies for his YA novel Grasshopper Jungle (Electric Monkey).
Smith’s prize of £1,000 and a hand-crafted tentacle trophy was given by judges Adam Roberts and Frances Hardinge at a ceremony held at the Seven Dials Club. Fellow judge Kim Curran said: "We loved all the shortlist, and Grasshopper Jungle was, in the end, the novel with the biggest chance to actually blow a young person's mind."
The Kitschies prizes, which are now in their sixth year, are awarded to the most “progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic”.
Another big winner of the night was children’s illustrator and writer Sarah McIntyre, who received the Black Tentacle, a discretionary award given to an outstanding achievement in encouraging and elevating the conversation around genre literature. McIntyre was honoured for her work to promote the rights of artists and to encourage others to value their work, resulting in the Carnegie Award to rethink its policy on recognising illustrators for nominated works.
She has recently started the #NonIdentikit challenge, urging illustrators to use a more diverse range of faces in their work.
Hermione Eyre won the Golden Tentacle for Debut prize for Viper Wine (Jonathan Cape), a meta-historical novel blending Joy Division and Jonathan Ross into the court of Charles I. Glenn O'Neill's cover for Nick Harkaway's Tigerman (Cornerstone) received the Inky Tentacle for cover art, while the first Invisible Tentacle for "natively digital fiction" went to Cardboard Computer, an independent game studio, for their product "Kentucky Route Zero: Act III". They each received £500 and a hand-crafted trophy.
This year’s winners were selected from 198 submissions, received from over 50 imprints.