The Kitschies 2020 Shortlists Revealed.

The year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction, sponsored by Blackwell’s.

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 2020.

This year’s shortlisted books have been narrowed down from 177 submissions, coming from 55 publishers. The shortlists come from the largest literary and genre names in publishing to the smallest of independents.

The Red Tentacle (Novel), judged by M.R. Carey, Clare Rees, Mahvesh Murad, Kaiya Shang and Daphne Lao Tong:

–             A Tall History Of Sugar by Curdella Forbes (Canongate)

–             The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)

–             The Lost Future Of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury)

–             Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)

–             The Ministry For The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut), also judged by M.R. Carey, Clare Rees, Mahvesh Murad, Kaiya Shang and Daphne Lao Tong:

–             Sharks In The Time Of Saviours by Kawai Strong Washburn (Canongate)

–             The Animals In That Country by Laura Jean McKay (Scribe)

–             The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (Hodder & Stoughton)

–             Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Chatto & Windus)

–             Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Hot Key Books)

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art), judged by Paul Wiseall, Fleur Clarke, Claire Richardson and Jeffrey Alan Love:

–             The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem, Cover Design by Allison Saltzman and Illustration by Dexter Maurer (Atlantic Books)

–             Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin, Cover Design by Ben Summers (Oneworld)

–             Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna, Cover Design by Andrew Davis (Harper Voyager)

–             The Harpy by Megan Hunter, Cover Design by Lucy Scholes and Illustration by Amy Judd (Picador)

–             The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin, Cover Design by Lauren Panepinto (Orbit)

The winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony on Wedneday 21st July 2021, and receive a total of £2,000 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s iconic Tentacle trophies.

The Kitschies, sponsored by Blackwell’s, is now in its eleventh year. Previous winners include Margaret Atwood, Madeline Miller, Clare Rees, Jan Carson, Nina Allen, Alex Wells, Ahmed Saadawi, Karen Lord, Patrick Ness, Lauren Beukes, Ruth Ozeki, and China Miéville.

Our judges say:

“In this most trying and unsettling of years, reading and judging for the Kitschies has been a source of joy and inspiration for me. I was amazed at the range, ambition and originality of the novels in contention, both by seasoned authors and by newcomers making their debuts. As always, speculative fiction provides perspectives on the world that are surprising, insightful and – in the best sense – revolutionary. Our stories tell us who we are, and these storytellers do it with grace and conviction. It was a privilege to meet them all through their words.”

  • M.R. Carey, Red & Gold Tentacle judge

“The quality of book covers this year was astonishing which made picking a shortlist for the Kitchies 2021 an incredibly tough one. Whittling away from the hundreds of entries, we had to discard some truly beautiful book covers but what we’ve been left with is a stunning shortlist. The book covers that make up the Kitschies 2021 shortlist truly showcase some of the most exciting, entertaining and progressive artwork that should adorn every modern bookshelf. I know I speak for all the judges when I say, we can’t wait to reveal the winner of the Inky Tentacle.”

  • Paul Wiseall, Inky Tentacle Judge

“Each new year promises to deliver an exceptional crop of books to the Kitschies, and 2020 was no different – even given the extraordinary challenges the publishing industry has met over the last 16 months. We were thrilled to received 187 books across the three categories of the award for 2020, and the judges have done an absolutely immense job crafting a set of shortlists that highlight the very best that British publishing has to offer. “

  • Award Directors Leila Abu el Hawa & Anne Perry

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