The Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize goes to young politics student
The winner of the 2013 Terry Pratchett prize for first novel was announced last Thursday at Number Sixteen in South Kensington, London. The winner is 21 year old Alexander Maskill with his entry The Hive . The prize is a £20,000 publishing contract (wow!) and the lad, who's in the middle of his exams at the university of Leicester, had this to say: "I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity the folks at Transworld have given me. I was up against some amazing writers on the shortlist and I'm still reeling from the fact that my story was chosen for the award. I'm really looking forward to working with such a great team to get The Hive published and out into the world." Sir Terry added: "2013's shortlisted novels were of an exceptionally high standard. It was remarkably difficult to choose just one winner but we felt that The Hive was a unique and original take on Man vs Technology in an altered future."
The prize was launched by Sir Terry in 2011 and found not one, but two winners that year ( Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan and Half Sick Of Shadows by David Logan).This second event opened for submissions from aspiring debut novelists with over 500 entries. This year's shortlist, who were all present on Thursday to discover the winner, was:
The Unspoken Death of the Amazing Flying Boy
by Jean Burdett
Bloodline by Sophie Constable
The Hive by Alexander Maskill
The Way Through the Woods by Robin Pearson
A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin
The Shadows of Annwn by Catherine Whittle
The shortlist entries were from all over the world, with two entrants flying in from Australia to attend the announcement. Sir Terry Pratchett was joined by a team of judges including Rob Wilkins, Alex Veasey from Forbidden Planet and an editor and publicist from Transworld. Alexander Maskill's book takes us to New Cairo, a city built on technology, as it deals with a computer virus spreading through the poorest districts shutting down the life-giving implants.