2012 Awards

ANGELMAKER
Nick Harkaway
William Heinemann

“All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don’t always get paid and he’s single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he’s not trying to compete with the reputation of his infamous criminal dad. When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. The client? Unknown. And the device? It’s a 1950s doomsday machine.” (Review by David Barnett | Purchase | Speech)


FINALISTS

THE FOLLY OF THE WORLD
Jesse Bullington
Orbit

“The Saint Elizabeth Flood of 1421 destroyed towns and villages overnight, the land between the warring cities of Geertruidenberg and Dordrecht becoming a desolate inland sea. Yet even disaster can be profitable for the right sort of individual, and into this flooded realm sail three conspirators: a deranged thug at the edge of madness, a ruthless con man on the cusp of fortune and a half-feral girl who can swim like a fish.” (Review by Elloise Hopkins | Purchase)


A FACE LIKE GLASS
Frances Hardinge
Macmillan Children’s Books

“In the underground city of Caverna the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare – wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear – at a price.” (Purchase)


JACK GLASS
Adam Roberts
Gollancz

“Jack Glass is the murderer. We know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged.” (Review by Penny Schenk | Purchase)


THE METHOD
Juli Zeh (Translated by Sally-Ann Spencer)
Harvill Secker

“Mia Holl lives in a state governed by The Method, where good health is the highest duty of the citizen. Everyone must submit medical data and sleep records to the authorities on a monthly basis, and regular exercise is mandatory. Mia is a successful scientist who is outwardly obedient but with an intellect that marks her as subversive. Convinced that her brother has been wrongfully convicted of a terrible crime, Mia comes up against the full force of a regime determined to control every aspect of its citizens’ lives.” (Review | Purchase)


2012 GOLDEN TENTACLE (DEBUT)

REDEMPTION IN INDIGO
Karen Lord
Jo Fletcher Books

“Paama, who is a great cook, has returned to her family after 10 years of marriage to the gluttonous Ansige, but two years later he hires the master tracker Kwame to find her. Kwame needs the money to finance his own wanderlust and reluctantly takes the job. These events draw the attention of Chance, the Indigo Lord, one of the powerful spirits called Djombi.” (Review by Charlie Human for World SF | Purchase)


FINALISTS

vN
Madeline Ashby
Angry Robot

“Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot. For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive. Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her history.” (Review by Andy Sawyer for Vector | Purchase)


THE PANOPTICON
Jenni Fagan
William Heinemann

“Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders.She can’t remember the events that led her here, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and there is blood on Anais’s school uniform.” (Purchase)


SERAPHINA
Rachel Hartman
Doubleday Childrens

“When a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon the peace between both worlds is seriously threatened… Into this comes Seraphina, a gifted musician who joins the royal court as the assistant to the court composer. She is soon drawn into the murder investigation and, as she uncovers hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace in Goredd for good, finds herself caught desperately in the middle of the tension.”(Review by Nic Clarke for SFX | Purchase)


THE CITY’S SON
Tom Pollock
Jo Fletcher Books

“Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen.” (Review by The Booksmugglers | Purchase)


2012 INKY TENTACLE (COVER ART)

A BOY AND A BEAR IN A BOAT
Dave Shelton / Illustration by Dave Shelton
David Fickling Books

“A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book and a ukulele. They are only travelling a short distance and it really shouldn’t take long. But then their boat encounters ‘unforeseeable anomalies’… Faced with turbulent stormy seas, a terrifying sea monster and the rank remains of The Very Last Sandwich, the odds soon become pitted against our unlikely heroes. Will the Harriet, their trusted vessel, withstand the violent lashings of the salty waves? And will anyone ever answer their message in a bottle?” (Purchase)


FINALISTS

THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT
Ned Beauman / Design by La Boca
Sceptre

“When you haven’t had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone. If you’re living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn’t. But that’s no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: whether it was really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, the great Renaissance stage designer Adriano Lavicini; and why a handsome, clever, charming, modest guy like him can’t, just once in a while, get himself laid.” (Purchase)


THE TERRIBLE THING THAT HAPPENED TO BARNABY BROCKET
John Boyne / Illustration by Oliver Jeffers
Doubleday

“There’s nothing unusual about the Brockets. Boring, respectable and fiercely proud of it, Alistair and Eleanor Brocket turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it’s clear he’s anything but normal. To the horror and shame of his parents, Barnaby appears to defy the laws of gravity – and floats.” (Purchase)


COSTUME NOT INCLUDED
Matthew Hughes / Illustration by Tom Gauld
Angry Robot

“Chesney’s efforts to ‘Save the Day’ and ‘Win the Girl’ make slow progress. This superhero lark is a bit more complicated than he thought. But even as Chesney is trying to learn the ropes, Boss Greeley has made a deal with the Devil. A deal that is making Greeley stronger by the minute. Soon he will be untouchable. Now Chesney, the one-time actuary-turned superhero must continue the fight.” (Purchase)


FLAME ALPHABET
Ben Marcus / Design by Peter Mendelsund
Granta

“The speech of children has mutated into a virus which is killing their parents. Sam and Claire’s lives are threatened when their daughter, Esther, is infected with the disease. Each word she speaks is toxic to Sam and Claire. Radio transmissions from strange sources indicate that people across the country are growing increasingly alarmed. But all Sam needs to do is look around the neighborhood: in the park, parents wither beneath the powerful screams of their children.” (Purchase)


2012 BLACK TENTACLE (JUDGES’ DISCRETION)

The 2012 Black Tentacle winner was The World SF Blog – a website dedicated to sharing links, news and original content from international contributors. The site also features a weekly series of short stories and essays which showcase new writers. The Apex Book of World SF 2 was also published in 2012, as well as an expansion of the“World SF Travel Fund”, which helps bring fans to major genre events. The editorial team includes Lavie Tidhar, Charles Tan and Sarah Newton.