The BSFA shortlist for best novel is as follows:
- Nina Allan, for The Race, published by Newcon Press
- Frances Hardinge, for Cuckoo Song, published by Macmillan
- Dave Hutchinson, for Europe in Autumn, published by Solaris
- Simon Ings, for Wolves, published by Gollancz
- Anne Leckie, for Ancilliary Sword, published by Orbit
- Claire North, for The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, published by Orbit
- Nnedi Okorafor, for Lagoon, published by Hodder
- Neil Williamson, for The Moon King, published by Newcon Press
Because of a tie for fourth place, there’s more books nominated then normally would be. I’ve read the Ings which, unlike most everyone else, I wasn’t that keen on and, as part of my Herbert reading, I’ve just finished the lovely Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge. So I’m glad to see that on the shortlist. Of the rest, I’m excited to see the Allan, Hutchinson, Okorafor and North. These are novels I’ve been wanting to read but, due to my insanity of only reading shortlists, was relying on the kindness and good taste of judges and fans. Finally, a little surprised not to see Adam Roberts’ Bete which recently appeared on the Locus Recommended Reading List and I thought was a monty for the BSFA. Overall though a diverse and interesting list of novels.
And now the best novel and best first novel categories for The Kitschies:
The Red Tentacle (Novel)
- Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor (Hodder & Stoughton)
- Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith (Egmont)
- The Peripheral, by William Gibson (Viking)
- The Way Inn, by Will Wiles (4th Estate)
- The Race, by Nina Allen (NewCon Press)
The Golden Tentacle (Debut)
- Viper Wine, by Hermione Eyre (Jonathan Cape)
- The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne (Blackfriars)
- Memory of Water, by Emmi Itäranta (HarperCollins)
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers (Self-Published)
- The People in the Trees, by Hanya Yanagihara (Atlantic Books)
I’ve read and loved Memory of Water (nominated for the PKD) so I’m happy to see Emmi feature on the The Golden Tentacle shortlist.
It also looks like Nnedi Okorafor is going to have a big year as I expect Lagoon to feature on the Nebula, Locus and Clarke Award shortlists. (I’d say Hugos, but I have a feeling that the sad puppies might knock it down a few pegs). Nina Allan (mis-spelling of her surname aside) is also having a big year. Both Allan and Okorafor are magnificent writers – based on past work – and so I’m pleased to see them feature on both shortlists (and the Locus Recommended Reading List). The Kitschies is becoming known as an award that recognises “genre” novels from left field, and this year seems no different. There’s also plenty of diversity on display with all five of The Golden Tentacle nominees written by woman. I know, I know. what about the blokes?!
I’m excited to read all these books. Expect reviews… well… sometime in March?