So, last night Gollancz got itself all dressed up (we didn’t really, we’re publishers and don’t believe in such things) and sauntered off to the ridiculously cool award ceremony for the Kitschies. In case you don’t know them, the Kitschies are in their fifth year, and are organised by the wonderful people behind www.pornokitsch.com. The aim of the awards is to “reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic” and they do a wonderful job of highlighting books that take the genre further. This year the ceremony was held in the Seven Dials Club and was sponsored, as always, by the wonderful people at Kraken Rum. This meant that the winners got a bottle of rum alongside the prize money, and we publishers got given free rum and ginger drinks, which were very nice indeed. The reception was packed with the great and good of UK genre publishing, and it was great to see so many previous winners and nominees come along.
The first award of the evening, the Black Tentacle went to the lovely Malorie Blackman, who gave a very funny and gracious speech. (Yes, that’s right – the Children’s Laureate came along!). If you haven’t read Malorie’s work then you really should.
After that came the three book awards – the Inky Tentacle, for cover art; the Golden Tentacle, for best debut novel; and the Red tentacle for best novel. If you can see a sort of tentacular theme, you’re not crazy. There was a giant knitted/plushie squid/octopus thing (I was too far away too tell) watching over the ceremony as well.
The Cover award sadly didn’t go to Dreams and Shadows, the sole Gollancz title shortlisted, but it was great to see Sinem Erkas recognised for her lovely, complicated work. Congratulations also to the other nominees, Joey Hi-Fi, Jet Purdie and Amazing-15, but Will Staehl was a very worthy winner for his glorious cover to The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher.
Best debut went to a book which has been very much talked about in the genre community, Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Sadly Ann wasn’t able to collect the award in person, but we’re assured there’ll be a thank-you video on pornokitsch soon. The other deserving nominees were Monica Hesse, Anne Charnock, Ramez Naam and Robin Sloam. Congratulations to them all.
The Best novel went to A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki, which was also shortlisted for last year’s ManBooker prize. It’s a fine piece of writing, and deserved its place on the list. The other nominees were Thomas Pynchon, Anne Carson, Patrick Ness and James Smythe. It must have been a very tough one to judge.
All in all it was a great evening, and there’s no doubt that the awards are living up to their stated goals. Many thanks from all at Gollancz to the tireless organisers, Anne and Jared; the judges; Kraken Rum; and the staff at the Seven Dials Club. And congratulations again to all of the nominees and winners!