The award for the year’s best speculative and fantastic fiction, sponsored by Blackwell’s.
The Kitschies, the prize awarding the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction containing elements of the speculative and fantastic, are delighted to announce 2019’s titles. Previous winners include: Margaret Atwood, Madeline Miller, Nina Allen, Alex Wells, Ahmed Saadawi, Karen Lord, Patrick Ness, Lauren Beukes, Ruth Ozeki and China Miéville.
The Fire Starters, by Jan Carson (Doubleday) won the Red Tentacle (Novel) category, receiving £1,000 and a hand-crafted tentacle trophy. The prize was introduced by judge Kirsty Logan.
Jelly by Clare Rees (Chicken House Books) won the Golden Tentacle for Debut, receiving £500 and a hand-crafted tentacle trophy. The prize was introduced by judge Alasdair Stuart.
Red and Gold Tentacle judge, Kirsty Logan said:
“Choosing winners from such strong shortlists was a huge task, and we’d happily have awarded all the books prizes! Ultimately, we chose our winners for their ambition, immersive storytelling and refusal to shy away from difficult topics. We felt The Fire Starters right in our bones: it cast a shivering, glittering spell over me and we were changed by having read it. Jelly is a surreal, darkly humorous adventure that leans right into its delightfully weird premise. Congratulations to our winners, our shortlisted writers, and to everyone in the publishing world who was involved in putting out a book last year: your work benefits every reader.”
Tyler Comrie received the Inky Tentacle for cover design for The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Vintage), receiving £500 and hand-crafted tentacle trophy. The prize was introduced by Kim Curran.
Inky Tentacle judge, Kim Curran said:
“While it wasn’t an easy decision, the cover for Memory Police finally clinched it because we felt it perfectly encapsulated what the Kitschies is about. It drew us in with the blend of photographic and sketched illustration and incorporating the title and author into the stamp creates intrigue and hinted at the story, without taking away from the striking simplicity of the cover. Design at its finest”
Award directors Leila Abu el Hawa and Anne Perry said:
“Ten years of handing out Tentacles to the most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction has shown us there are authors and publishers, big and small who are not afraid to take risks in bringing everyone the best speculative and fantastic fiction has to offer. Our judges did a fantastic job in putting together an amazing shortlist and the difficult job of choosing the winners. Many congratulations to you all.”
Trading since 1879, Blackwell’s is the largest independent bookseller in the UK. In addition to flagship shops in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London, it has a presence on campus at 30 universities around the UK, from Aberdeen to Exeter, complemented by a complete online offering serving customers across the UK and the world at Blackwells.co.uk
About The Kitschies
The Kitschies is a not-for-profit association dedicated to promote the discussion of genre literature in all its many forms. To that end it hosts a range of events and runs an eponymous award each year, celebrating progressive, intelligent, and entertaining literature with an element of the speculative or fantastic. Previous winners include Margaret Atwood, Madeline Miller, Nina Allen, Alex Wells, Ahmed Saadawi, Karen Lord, Patrick Ness, Lauren Beukes, Ruth Ozeki and China Miéville.