The Kitschies, 2012

Belatedly, a note about the 2012 Kitschies, which were awarded last Tuesday, at a very lively ceremony at the Free Word Centre in Islington.

The Kitschies are given annually for the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic. Deliberately, they eschew the use of ‘best’; the emphasis on ‘progressive, intelligent and entertaining’ has thrown up some interesting shortlists since the award got started, something I’m going to have to explore in more detail when I have time.

Anyway, this year’s winners are:

Red Tentacle (Novel): Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker (William Heinemann)

Golden Tentacle (Debut): Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo (Jo Fletcher Books)

Inky Tentacle (Cover Art) : Dave Shelton’s A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, illustrated by the author (David Fickling Books)

The Black Tentacle: the discretionary prize for an outstanding contribution to the conversation surrounding genre literature, was awarded to The World SF Blog

So far, I’ve only read Juli Zeh’s The Method (which I reviewed here) but I have the rest of the Red Tentacle and Golden Tentacle shortlists piled up around my study, so will be reviewing my way through them in the next few weeks.

I was particularly struck by the presentation of the Inky Tentacle, for cover art; the presenter-judges made the point that they were looking at book design, cover as part of book, etc. Which made me think of that piece I wrote way back when discussing the 2011 BSFA Artwork shortlist and my problem with judging the nominations. The Inky Tentacle seems to directly address my dilemma then. And what a relief to see cover designs that did not feature hyperrealist depictions of impossibly posed young women and men pretending to be elves, thieves, assassins, whatever. I’ve always disliked the hyperrealist covers and could wish that the latest trend for them could be stifled asap).

So, a very enjoyable evening – how could it not be with rum, tentacles, Nick Harkaway’s suit, and a lively crowd of people who like good fiction?

On Wednesday, Nick Harkaway published his more detailed thoughts on winning the Red Tentacle, and Lavie Tidhar discussed his feelings about the World SF Blog winning the Black Tentacle. Both articles are thought-provoking and well worth reading.

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