The Kitschies announce their shortlists

The Way InnThe Kitschies are awarded to novels containing elements of the speculative and fantastic. Now in its sixth year, there are four categories and the winners receive a total of £2,500 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s Tentacle trophies. The Kitschies’ 2014 finalists were selected from 198 submissions, from over 40 publishers and imprints. The winners will be announced on the 4th March.

The Golden Tentacle category for best debut-

This year a self-published novel – Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small – has made the shortlist too.

The Red Tentacle award for best novel Lagoon

The Inky Tentacle award for cover art –

The final award is the Invisible Tentacle for natively digital fiction. The shortlist is made up of  Twitter fiction @echovirus12, curated by Jeff Noon (@jeffnoon), Ed (@3dgriffiths), James Knight (@badbadpoet), violet sprite (@gadgetgreen), Richard Biddle (@littledeaths68), Mina Polen (@polen), Uel Aramchek (@ThePatanoiac), Graham Walsh (@t_i_s_u), and Vapour Vox (@Wrong_Triangle); Kentucky Route Zero, Act III, by Cardboard Computer; 80 Days, by Inkle Studios; and Sailor’s Dream by Simogo.

The Kitschies Red Tentacle science fiction award

image-medium (68)US author Thomas Pynchon has been nominated for Bleeding Edge in the science fiction prize the Kitschies.

The Kitschies’ Red Tentacle award is given for the year’s “most progressive, intelligent and entertaining” novel containing elements of the “speculative or fantastic”.

Pynchon is quite reclusive but the organisers are hoping a stuffed tentacle and a prize of £2000 plus a bottle of Kraken rum will lure him out for the award ceremony. Rivals for the award include poet Anne Carson and crossover novelist Patrick Ness – it is a very varied shortlist!

 A Tale for the Time Being, by Booker-shortlisted Ruth Ozeki makes the shortlist with an exploration on the nature of time. Carnegie medal-winning Patrick Ness is nominated for More Than This, which takes place in the afterlife of a teenager trapped in a deserted world. Then there is James Smythe’s The Machine, a dystopian novel where memories can be recorded by a machine.

 Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan for the Golden Tentacle for a debut novel.

Nick Harkaway won the Red Tentacle last year for Angelmaker.