Science Fiction Awards Watch

The directors of The Kitschies, the UK’s most tentacular annual literary award, are pleased to announce that award-winning author Patrick Ness will be joining the roster of literary judges for 2012.

The Kitschies ( reward “intelligent, progressive and entertaining” novels that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic. Last year, over 150 books were submitted from almost forty publishers, spanning both literary and genre imprints. The shortlists in all categories (Novel, Debut and Cover Art) are selected every January and, uniquely among juried awards, the finalists are reviewed publicly by members of the judging panel before the winner is decided.

Patrick Ness, whose A Monster Calls won the coveted 2011 Red Tentacle, will be replacing previous judge – and winner – Lauren Beukes. Ms. Beukes advised her replacement:

Patrick, this is a different award. It’s not just the best book, but the perfect storytelling trifecta of progressive and smart and entertaining, but never wanky. The irreverence means you have to take it more seriously.

Move in to a bigger house. There is such a thing as too many books. Bring kevlar made of wit and gab to fight for your favourites. Judge books by covers. Steel yourself, not for the unreadable crap (there will be some), but for the genuinely astonishing ones that you will wish you’d written.

Mr. Ness was quick to respond:

‘Never Wanky’ could practically be the motto of The Kitschies, which possibly can’t be said of every other big award. I can’t wait to set out on a journey into almost certainly the most interesting and – as Lauren says – genuinely astonishing fiction of the year.  I will not, however, be buying a bigger house.

Mr. Ness is joined as a literary judge by author and editor Rebecca Levene and the award’s co-founders, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin. The four judges will select the Red Tentacle and Golden Tentacle, for the novel and debut categories. The judging panel for the Inky Tentacle, for cover art, will be announced in May.

The Kitschies open for submissions on 1 June, 2012. Submissions close on 1 December 2012, and the 2012 finalists will be announced in January 2013. Details on eligibility and criteria can be found at

Further information is attached, but please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Thanks for all your support, and here’s to a tentacular 2012.