I love the Kitschie awards and I’ve waited with bated breath for this year’s Red and Golden Tentacle shortlists to be announced. (This year’s announcement was two weeks later than last year’s sending me into a tizz). Anywho, after pressing the refresh button on the website for about the five hundredth time, finally – FINALLY! the shortlist was announced (The full list of nominees can be found here):

Red Tentacle (Best Novel)

  • The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury)
  • Europe at Midnight, by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • The Reflection, by Hugo Wilcken (Melville House)
  • The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • The Thing Itself, by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)

Golden Tentacle (Best Debut Novel)

  • The Shore, by Sara Taylor (William Heinemann)
  • Blackass, by A. Igoni Barrett (Chatto and Windus)
  • The Gracekeepers, by Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker)
  • The Night Clock, by Paul Meloy (Solaris)
  • Making Wolf, by Tade Thompson (Rosarium)

So, some observations:

  1. This is second nomination in as many days for N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, there was plenty of buzz about the book before the Nebula and Kitschie nominations – that buzz has just gone up a notch. Rabid and Sad Puppy fiddling aside, you’d expect to see it on the Hugo ballot.
  2. It’s also the second nomination for Dave Hutchinson’s Europe at. Midnight (previously nominated for the BSFA). I am so looking forward to reading this book.
  3. I’m over the proverbial moon to see Adam Roberts’ The Thing Itself garner a nomination. Jonathan, James and I had only positive things to say about the book when we discussed it on the newly minted Coode Street Roundtable in January.
  4. Of the 10 nominees across the two awards, three of them – from what I can tell – are from people of colour. This is fantastic to see. What’s better is that when you combine these nominees with the other genre shortlists that have been announced, we’ve eclipsed the number of POCs that were nominated last year. Not exactly a high bar to jump over, but it’s a start.
  5. But what really excited me about the Kitschies, aside from introducing me to authors I wouldn’t normally be aware of, is that of the 10 books nominated only 3 of them – THREE OF THEM! – form part of a series. (The Atwood is apparently Book 1 of the Positron O series). In other words, fresh ideas (I hope) that are self-contained and not burdened by plot threads from a previous novel or the need to leave threads dangling.
  6. Books I’m looking forward to – the Wilcken, which has been on my TBR pile since John Self mentioned it on his blog, and the Atwood, which hasn’t exactly received great dollops of praise, but still it’s Margaret Atwood. Oh, and the Tade Thompson. I really enjoyed his story for the AfroSf anthology.
  7. Finally, as the winners are announced on March 7 there’s no way I’ll have read the books by then, so, errrr, just thought I’d put that out there.