The Kitschies are relevant european speculative fiction prizes presented annually for works of speculative fiction (such as science fiction and fantasy) that were published in the United Kingdom in the year of the award. The Kitschies were established in 2009 by the website pornokitsch.com, which organizes the awards.
The Kitschies Awards, presented by The Kraken Rum, reward the year’s “most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic”. The prize is now entering its fifth year.
The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Seven Dials Club in London on Wednesday 12th of February 2014. The winners will receive a total of £2,000 (2428.69 Euros) in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s iconic Tentacle trophies and bottles of The Kraken Rum.
The Kitschies Awards were established in 2009 by pornokitsch.com, a review website created by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin. Along with other judges they choose “those books which best elevate the tone of genre literature”. Perry and Shurin have said that they seek to bring attention to anglophone works with a fantastic or speculative element that are progressive in terms of content and composition.
Qualifying books must contain “an element of the fantastic or speculative” and have been published in the UK. Winners receive a sum of prize money and a textile tentacle trophy, while shortlisted entries receive a bottle of The Kraken Rum (which sponsors the awards).
The Kitschies are awarded in four categories:
Red Tentacle for the Best Novel (£1,000/1215.61€, since 2009)
Golden Tentacle for the Best Debut Novel (£500/607.82€, since 2010)
Inky Tentacle for the Best Cover Art (£500/607.82€, since 2011)
Black Tentacle : awarded at the judges’ discretion (since 2010)
The judging panels change every year. For 2013, the literary judges are authors Nick Harkaway, Kate Griffin and Will Hill, as well as Anab Jain and Annabelle Wright. The cover art judges are Hazel Thompson, Sarah Anne Langton, Emma Vieceli and Craig Kennedy.
Jared Shurin of the blog site Pornokitsch : “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.”
This year’s finalists are selected from a record 234 submissions, from over fifty publishers and imprints.
The Red Tentacle (Novel), selected by Kate Griffin, Nick Harkaway, Will Hill, Anab Jain and Annabel Wright:
“Red Doc>” – Anne Carson (Jonathan Cape)
“A Tale for the Time Being” – Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
“Bleeding Edge” – Thomas Pynchon (Jonathan Cape)
“More Than This” – Patrick Ness (Walker)
“The Machine” – James Smythe (HarperCollins /Blue Door)
The Golden Tentacle (Debut), selected by the above panel:
“Stray” – Monica Hesse (Hot Key)
“Calculated Life” – Anne Charnock (47 North)
“Ancillary Justice” – Ann Leckie (Orbit)
“Nexus” – Ramez Naam (Angry Robot)
“Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” – Robin Sloan
The Inky Tentacle (Cover), selected by Craig Kennedy, Sarah Anne Langton, Hazel Thompson and Emma Vieceli:
“Dreams and Shadows” – 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” – Cory Doctorow (Titan) / Design by Amazing15
“Stray” – Monica Hesse (Hot Key) / Art by Gianmarco Magnani
“Apocalypse Now Now” – Charlie Human (Century) / Art by Joey Hi-Fi
The Kitschies are a non-profit association with the mission of encouraging and elevating the tone of the discussion of genre literature in its many forms.
Pornokitsch is a British “geek culture” blog that publishes reviews and news concerning speculative fiction and other genre fiction. The website, established in 2008, is owned and edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin. Pornokitsch was shortlisted for the 2011 BSFA Award for Best Non-Fiction and won the 2013 British Fantasy Award for best non-fiction.