The Kitschies are literary 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.
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 the americans Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin.
Other contributors include authors Rebecca Levene, David Bryher, Mahvesh Murad, Molly Tanzer, Jon Morgan and various other SF and speculative fiction writers. Pornokitsch started a small non-profit publisher in 2011 named Jurassic London, commissioning anthologies of original work based around “contemporary, relevant topics”. Pornokitsch was shortlisted for the 2011 BSFA Award for Best Non-Fiction and the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, and won the 2013 British Fantasy Award for best non-fiction.
In 2014, the site became a paying venue for short fiction, publishing stories online on a weekly basis, a combination of reprints and original fiction. The name of the website, a portmanteau of pornography and kitsch, is due to the “disposable and forgettable” nature of pornography mirroring the general reception of genre fiction, which is often seen as “the kitsch of the literary world”
The Kitschies Awards were established in 2009 by pornokitsch.com, a review website created by Anne C.Perry (US) and Jared Shurin (US). 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 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 Kraken Rum (which sponsors the awards).
As of 2015, the Kitschies are awarded in four categories:
Red Tentacle for the best novel (£1,000, since 2009)
Golden Tentacle for the best debut novel (£500, since 2010)
Inky Tentacle for the best cover art (£500, since 2011)
Invisible Tentacle for the best natively digital fiction (since 2014)
Black Tentacle; awarded at the judges’ discretion (since 2010)
As anglo-centric as BSFA Awards, the Kitschies Award consider itself “the year’s most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic.”
Yes, indeed, it is the “most progressive & intelligent” anglo-american award, it has a finnish anglophone writer (Emmi Itäranta) as finalist, a Dutch born Australian writer (Michel Faber) and an Israeli anglophone writer (Lavie Tidhar) as finalists, too. The last two are competing for The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art) category ! Isn’t that wonderful ? All the rest of the nominees are british and american. That’s genuine multiculturalism, true cosmopolitism, that’s the farthest that an anglo genre award can go !
UK’s The Kitschies Awards 2014 Shortlists Announced :
The Red Tentacle (Novel)
The Race, Nina Allen, UK (NewCon)
The Way Inn, Will Wiles, UK (4th Estate)
The Peripheral, William Gibson, US (Viking)
Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor, US (Hodder & Stoughton)
Grasshopper Jungle, Andrew Smith, US (Egmont)
The Golden Tentacle (Debut)
Memory of Water, Emmi Itäranta, Finland (HarperCollins)
Viper Wine, Hermione Eyre, UK (Jonathan Cape)
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers, US (self-published)
The People in the Trees, Hanya Yanagihara, US (Atlantic)
The Girl in the Road, Monica Byrne, US (Blackfriars)
The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art)
Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things, Rafaela Romaya & Yehring Tong (Canongate)
Lavie Tidhar’s A Man Lies Dreaming, Ben Summers (Hodder and Stoughton)
Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods, Emily Carroll & Sonja Chaghatzbanian (Faber and Faber)
Valerie Martin’s The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, design by Steve Marking, lettering by Kimberly Glyder (Weidenfeld and Nicolson)
Nick Harkaway’s Tigerman, Glenn O’Neill (William Heinamann)
The Invisible Tentacle (Natively Digital Fiction)
echovirus12, Jeff Noon, Ed, James Knight, violet sprite, Richard Biddle, Mina Polen, Uel Aramchek, Graham Walsh, Vapour Vox
80 Days, Meg Jayanth (Inkle Studios)
The Sailor’s Dream, Simogo
Winners will receive trophies and cash prizes. Finalists were chosen from 198 submissions, from over 40 publishers and imprints. Novel and debut winners will be selected by judges Kate Griffin, Adam Roberts, Frances Hardinge, Kim Curran, and Glen Mehn. Judges for art are Jim Kay, Siân Prime, Dapo Adeoloa, and Ed Warren.
Awards will be presented in a ceremony March 4th, 2015.