The Kitschies’ 2015 Shortlists Revealed

The year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining science fiction, sponsored by Fallen London.

London — The Kitschies, the prize for “novels containing elements of the speculative and fantastic” have revealed their shortlists for the most “progressive, intelligent and entertaining” books of 2014.

This year’s shortlisted books are narrowed down from 176 submissions, coming from over 40 publishers. The shortlists come from the largest literary and genre names in publishing to the smallest of independents.

The Red Tentacle (Novel), judged by Sarah Lotz, James Smythe, Nikesh Shukla, Nazia Khatun, and Glen Mehn:

  • The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury)
  • Europe at Midnight, by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • The Reflection, by Hugo Wilcken (Melville House)
  • The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • The Thing Itself, by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut), also judged by Sarah Lotz, James Smythe, Nikesh Shukla, Nazia Khatun, and Glen Mehn

  • The Shore, by Sara Taylor (William Heinemann)
  • Blackass, by A. Igoni Barrett (Chatto and Windus)
  • The Gracekeepers, by Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker)
  • The Night Clock, by Paul Meloy (Solaris)
  • Making Wolf, by Tade Thompson (Rosarium)

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art), judged by Sarah McIntyre, Dapo Adeola, Regan Warner, and Lauren O’Farrell:

  • The Vorrh, by Brian Catling, design by Pablo Declan (Coronet)
  • Monsters, by Emerald Fennell, art direction by Jet Purdie, illustration by Patrick Leger (Hot Key Books)
  • The Honours, by Tim Clare, design and illustration by Peter Adlington (Canongate)
  • The Door that Led to Where, by Sally Gardner, art direction and design by Jet Purdie, illustration by Dover Publications Inc & Shutterstock (Hot Key Books)
  • Get In Trouble, by Kelly Link, design by Alex Merto (Canongate)

The Invisible Tentacle (Natively Digital Fiction), judged by James Wallis, Rebecca Levene and Em Short:

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at The Star of Kings on 7th March, and receive a total of £2,500 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s iconic Tentacle trophies.

The prize, sponsored by Fallen London, is now in its seventh year, with previous winners including Andrew Smith, Hermione Eyre, Nick Harkaway, Lauren Beukes, China Miéville, and Patrick Ness.


“I’d be lying if I said it was easy to pare this year’s excellent crop of books down to just five in each category, but the novels on the shortlist showcase what the Kitschies are all about: a celebration of diverse, genre-bending, wildly entertaining writing. Every novel on the list made me think or challenged my world-view; they all made me want to be a better writer. “

– Sarah Lotz (Red/Gold judge)

“Being part of a new award is terrific fun: weighing options, arguing about parameters and boundaries, discovering new works and creators, and diving into intense discussions with fellow judges. Doing it under the aegis of the Kitschies is double fun, and making it about a field as explosive and original as digital storytelling pushes it into highly refined awesome, the kind of awesome you can only get from one or two suppliers in a few very select parts of south London. An awesome to be savoured.”

James Wallis (Invisible judge)

“Cover designers have a tough job, making books jump off the shelves and into readers’ hands – and these books you have to pick up. As judges, we appreciated the elements that shouted out loudly to us from across the room. But on closer inspection, more subtle elements – beautiful endpapers, interesting uses of wrap-around covers, illustrative details – made us warm even more to the books we chose for the shortlist. Those more delicate touches were our key factors that led to use choosing these five books.”

Sarah McIntyre (Inky Judge)

“The great thing about judging the Kitschies is every single box we get. We get books from a big range of publishers, and almost all of them have managed to send in one gem. There are books not on the shortlist that I’ve been pushing into friends’ hands because they’re so absolutely amazing – the ones on the shortlist are beautiful, heartbreaking, funny, dark, and do things with stories that defy the imagination.”

– Award Director and Red/Gold judge Glen Mehn

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