The Kitschies novel awards shortlist announced

Organisers of the annual prize for books containing elements of the “speculative and fantastic” have revealed the shortlist for the most “progressive, intelligent and entertaining” fiction of 2013

The Kitschies , sponsored by The Kraken Rum , are now in their fifth year, with previous winners including Patrick Ness, Lauren Beukes, China Miéville and Nick Harkaway. This year’s shortlists were selected from a record 234 submissions, coming from over 50 different publishers and imprints.

Jared Shurin of blog site Pornokitsch says, who are behind the awards, tells SFX : "There are a lot of prizes - both literary and SF - about celebrating the 'best of the year'. We've taken a different tack. The Kitschies are about furthering and elevate the discussion around genre literature. The prize seeks out books that are progressive, intelligent and entertaining; books that challenge how we perceive science fiction and how we talk about it. The judges aren't looking for 'good' books - they're looking for great ones. And I think think this year's panels have done a fantastic job of it."

The Red Tentacle (Novel) , selected by Kate Griffin, Nick Harkaway, Will Hill, Anab Jain and Annabel Wright:

Red Doc by Anne Carson (Jonathan Cape)
A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon (Jonathan Cape)
More Than This by Patrick Ness (Walker)
The Machine by James Smythe (HarperCollins/Blue Door)

"This was an awe-inspiring year,” says judge Nick Harkaway. “For the Red Tentacle, we could have built a shortlist composed purely of iconic names, and we had to reject at least one book which may be a work of genius because it did not entirely mesh with the Kitschies' cardinal virtues: 'intelligent, entertaining, and progressive'. The debuts are pretty breathtaking, too: broad in scope, deft and compelling. It's been an education as well as a privilege to judge the prize, and a vast relief not to be in competition with these writers."

The Golden Tentacle (Debut) , also selected by the above panel:

Stray by Monica Hesse (Hot Key)
A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock (47 North)
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Nexus by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot)
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Atlantic)

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art) , selected by Craig Kennedy, Sarah Anne Langton, Hazel Thompson and Emma Vieceli.

Dreams And Shadows by C Robert Cargill (Gollancz) / Design and illustration by Sinem Erkas
The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher (Angry Robot) / Art by Will Staehle
Homeland And Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (Titan) / Design by Amazing15
Stray by Monica Hesse (Hot Key) / Art by Gianmarco Magnani
Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human (Century) / Art by Joey Hi-Fi

"What an honour to be confronted with so many beautiful books,” says judge Emma Vieceli. “It can make any creator feel...quite inadequate. Their overall quality made judging a tricky business, and many post-it notes were lost to the greater good, but our entire judging panel was professional, balanced and placated with The Kraken Rum. We didn't even draw blood."

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Seven Dials Club on Wednesday 12 February. The winners will receive a total of £2,000 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s iconic Tentacle trophies and bottles of The Kraken Rum. SFX will be there to report (and drink rum).

For more information about the prize, its criteria or the judges, please see: