The Kitschies

The Kitschies reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic.We are proudly sponsored by Blackwell’s.


The 2017 Kitschies winners

The Red Tentacle (Novel)

Winner: The Rift by Nina Allan (Titan)

Red and Gold tentacle Judge, Jon Courtney-Grimwood, said

“A Rift within a family, between sisters, between realities, memories and worlds. Nina Allan’s novel is beautifully written, emotionally messy, ambiguous and sly. It’s smart, subtle, technically inventive. Speculative fiction at its best. The shortlist was astonishingly strong but the vote for this was unanimous.”

The rest of the (excellent) shortlisted books

  • Black Wave by Michelle Tea (& Other Stories)
  • 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)

Winner: Hunger Makes the Wolf, by Alex “Acks” Wells (Angry Robot)

Red and Gold Tentacle Judge Alasdair Stuart said

“While the backdrop may be arid and dusty, Alex Ack’s debut is lush with ideas, characters and invention. A story of chosen families, the different battlefields we choose and that are chosen for us and what it means to be more or less than human, Hunger Makes The Wolf does the near impossible; takes a sub genre that was looking largely played out and uses it as the foundation stone for something new, rich and strange.”

The rest of the wonderful shortlisted books (Judge Alasdair Stuart noted that this list is an excellent view of the current state of genre – and that this shows a bright future)

  • How Saints Die by Carmen Marcus (Harville Secker)
  • Age of Assassins by RJ Barker (Orbit)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang (
  • Mandlebrot the Magnificent, by Liz Ziemska (

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art)

Winner: Jack Smyth and the S&S Art Department for The History of Bees by Maja Lunde (Scribner)

  • 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 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 Kitschies reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic. Now in our seventh year, we are proudly sponsored by Blackwell’s, who have made this page full of tentacles, judges, books, and love.

Who were our judges in 2017?