Publisher A.M. Heath and Lizza Aiken, Aiken’s daughter, launched
the competition in 2017 to find a standout new voice in middle grade children’s
fiction. Serving as judges for the 2019 prize were Julia Churchill, children’s
book agent at A.M. Heath, and Lizza Aiken. This is the second time the award has
Julia Churchill said, “Our shortlist gave us clever concepts,
adventure, brave children and wonderful other worlds. Lucy’s The Map of Lost Lands is whimsical, funny, warm and
surprising, about a girl finding her disappeared homeland. It’s got pace,
originality and confidence. I love it.”
Lizza Aiken added, “Once you have immersed yourself
in the world of a book it stays with you – as Joan Aiken said, ‘once a story is
written it goes on happening.’ All of our shortlisted writers created their own
powerful worlds, and having spent time in them, it was very difficult to choose
just one. So thank you to all
of you for sharing them, and to everyone else who took part – keep on writing!”
The goal of the award is to find “a standout junior novel. It
could be contemporary or fantastical, it could have the makings of a series, or
be one crystalline stand-alone. We know we’re setting the bar high. We hope to
find a book that will be in print in fifty years, as Joan achieved with
the Wolves series – and many more of her books.”
The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the
fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults
published during the previous year that best exemplifies “the spirit of the
Inklings”. Books are eligible for two years after publication if selected as a
finalist during the first year of eligibility. Books from a series are eligible
if they stand on their own; otherwise, the series becomes eligible the year its
final volume appears.”
The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature honors books for
beginning readers to age thirteen, in the tradition of The Hobbit or The
Chronicles of Narnia. Rules for eligibility are otherwise the same as for the
Adult literature award. The question of which award a borderline book is best
suited for will be decided by consensus of the committees. Books for mature
“Young Adults” may be moved to the Adult literature category.
The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies is given to books on
Tolkien, Lewis, and/or Williams that make significant contributions to Inklings
scholarship. For this award, books first published during the last three years
(2016–2018) are eligible, including finalists for previous years.
The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies is given to
scholarly books on other specific authors in the Inklings tradition, or to more
general works on the genres of myth and fantasy. The period of eligibility is
three years, as for the Inklings Studies award.
Alexei Kondratiev Award: Also
given at Mythcon, the 2019 Alexei Kondratiev Award went to
Sarah O’Dell for “An Unexpected Poet: The Creative Works of Dr.
Robert E. Havard.” The
award is given for the best paper presented at Mythcon by an undergraduate or graduate
student. The winner receives a certificate, a one-year subscription to Mythlore, and half-off registration for the next Mythcon they attend.
The Macavity Award
is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical
Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International
nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.
Lou Berney:November Road
Alison Gaylin:If I Die Tonight
Jane Harper:The Lost Man (Flat
Jennifer Hillier:Jar of Hearts
Naomi Hirahara:Hiroshima Boy (Prospect
Lisa Unger:Under My Skin
(Harlequin – Park Row Books)
Best First Novel:
Oyinkan Braithwaite:My Sister, the Serial Killer
John Copenhaver:Dodging and Burning
Delia Owens:Where the Crawdads Sing
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Catherine Steadman:Something in the Water
C.J. Tudor:The Chalk Man
Laird R. Blackwell:The Metaphysical Mysteries of
G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other
Detective Fiction (McFarland)
Margalit Fox:Conan Doyle for the Defense:
The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the
World’s Most Famous Detective Writer (Random House)
Leslie S. Klinger:Classic American Crime Fiction
of the 1920s (Pegasus Books)
Michelle McNamara:I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One
Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (HarperCollins)
Laura Thompson:Agatha Christie: A Mysterious
Life (Pegasus Books)
Sarah Weinman:The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping
of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World
The award, which honors the memory
of pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland with a
$2,000 grant to an emerging writer of color, was created in 2014 to support
SinC’s vision statement that the organization should serve as the voice for
excellence and diversity in crime writing.
2019 Ned Kelly Award Longlists
Crime Writers Association
announced the longlists for the 2019
Ned Kelly Awards. The complete lists are at the link.
Star Crossed, a role-playing game by Alex
Roberts, published by Bully Pulpit Games
The Diana Jones Award is given to the person, product, company,
event or any other thing that has, in the opinion of the Diana Jones committee,
best demonstrated the quality of ‘excellence’ in the world of hobby-gaming in
the previous year.
The 2019 finalists for the Joan
Aiken Future Classics Prize, named for the late
sff author, were revealed July 29. Publisher A.M. Heath and Lizza Aiken,
Aiken’s daughter, launched the competition in 2017 to find a standout new voice
in middle grade children’s fiction. This is the second time the award will be
Fiona Longmuir – The Museum of Emily
Pippa Lewis – The Glass Butterfly
Andrea Fautley – Frost Spell
Lucy Steeds – The Map of Lost Lands
Louisa Cowell – The Second Snowfall
The judges for the
prize are Julia Churchill, children’s book agent at A.M. Heath, and Lizza
Aiken, daughter of Joan Aiken and curator of her Estate. They considered over 400
Julia Churchill said, “The response was brilliant. As ever, it
was such a fun process, there’s so much talent out there. This year’s shortlist
is packed with great concepts and heart, voice and freshness. Lizza and I will
spend the next week or so working out our winner. It will not be easy.”
Lizza Aiken commented “It is fascinating to see how new writers
have been influenced by Joan Aiken’s books – either in their use of locations,
or imaginary worlds, or in descriptions of the special relationships formed by
friends in difficult situations. Our shortlist shows some real talent – it’s
just tantalising not to have seen how all the stories end!”
Apart from Aiken’s general comment, whether any of these are genre
books is unknown, as no description of the stories was included in the
The goal of the
award is to find “a standout junior novel. It could
be contemporary or fantastical, it could have the makings of a series, or be
one crystalline stand-alone. We know we’re setting the bar high. We hope to
find a book that will be in print in fifty years, as Joan achieved with the Wolves series
– and many more of her books.”
Finalists have been announced for the 2019 Silver Falchion award given by the Killer
Nashville Writers Conference in Franklin, Tennessee. The Silver Falchion award
categories cover the spectrum of popular literature. The conference’s Reader’s
Choice nominees also have
The conference is being held this year August 22-25. The Silver
Falchion and the convention’s Readers’ Choice Awards will be presented on
Here are the finalists in Silver Falchion categories that
include works of genre interest.
Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror
Dana Chamblee Carpenter, Book of the Just
Elizabeth Isaacs, The Scythian Trials
Julianne Lynch, Beneath the Lighthouse
Morgan Smith, The Shades of Winter
Maggie Toussaint, Confound It
Short Story Collections/Anthologies
Carmen Amato, The Artist
Marianne Donley, Untethered: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of the Paranormal
Rhonda Gilliland, Cooked to Death III: Hell for the Holidays
The 2019 shortlists for the Sunburst Award for Excellence
in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic were posted July 29.
Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
is an annual award celebrating the best in Canadian fantastika
published during the previous calendar year. Winners receive a medallion that
incorporates the Sunburst logo. Winners of both the Adult and Young Adult
Sunburst Award also receive a cash prize of $1,000, while winners of the Short
Story Sunburst Award receive a cash prize of $500.
Sunburst Award winners will be announced in Fall 2019.
Eden Robinson,Trickster Drift [Penguin Random House Canada]
The down-to-earth prose of Trickster Drift, by Eden Robinson, plunges readers into the fully realized story of a young boy mired in a milieu of addictions, magic, and family, battling to make something of himself. Humorous and filled with memorable characters with entangled relationships to each other and to their world, this novel considers to what extent a person can remake himself, and how much he is influenced by his universe and the people in it.
Andromeda Romano-Lax, Plum Rains [Penguin Random House Canada]
In a future dystopian Japan populated by the aging, Angelica, a Filipina nurse, cares for Sayoko, a moody, one-hundred-year-old Japanese woman. But the arrival of a robot “friend” for Sayoko triggers a complex exploration of the historical and cultural underpinnings of this challenging future. Gorgeous and unusual, Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax deals in an interconnected way with technology, biology, memory, environmentalism, law, and criminality, ultimately examining the question of where to draw the line between being AI and being human.
Kate Heartfield, Armed in Her Fashion [Chizine Publications]
In Armed in Her Fashion, Kate Heartfield paints a darkly fantastic, humourously grotesque portrait of the European Middle Ages. Heartfield’s deep knowledge of art and literature from and about the medieval period allows her to approach her setting in a way that is simultaneously affectionate and subversive. Her engaging characters wander through a landscape in which horror and absurdity combine, seemingly rigid truths are deconstructed, and it very much matters who is telling the story.
Amber Dawn, Sodom Road Exit [Arsenal Pulp Press]
When Starla drops out of university and returns home to Crystal Beach, she knows what traumas will haunt her: her mom, her childhood, being queer in a small town. But the ghost she frees from a haunted carnival stunt will peel back the skin of the town’s hidden histories of queer desire, seducing and consuming her in the process. Simultaneously poetic and page-turning, this visceral ghost story of 1990s Ontario plumbs the deep links between trauma and desire, history and liberation, self-destruction and healing.
Rich Larson, Annex [Orbit/Hachette Book Group]
In Rich Larson’s Annex, an alien scouting operation has targeted Earth as their new home—but young humans are key to making that happen. Though their parents have been lobotomised and mined for psychic access, the children resist being warehoused, and a group of escapees are doing all they can to sabotage the aliens’ plans. If Under the Dome met Lord of the Flies and interbred with Arrival, this heart-stopping thriller might be the lovechild. Told through different points of view, this book explores identity, family, loyalty, courage, and sacrifice.
Young Adult Fiction
Rebecca Schaeffer, Not Even Bones [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt]
What is a monster? Not Even Bones, a fast-paced horror by Rebecca Schaeffer, explores the divisions between “us” and “them” through biology, behavior, law, and social expectation. Rather than make excuses for the extreme violence it depicts, this novel shows that good does not negate evil, even as evil does not negate good. Complex characters draw the reader in to a fully believable world of shifting morality.
Patrick Weekes, Feeder [Simon & Schuster Canada]
Feeder is several things at once: an environmentalist critique, a futuristic fantasy, and a fresh take on the superhero origin story, all wrapped up in a tale of family and friendship. Diverse, complex characters, brought to life via writing that is at once humorous and emotional, find their way together to face a threat whose implications are world changing but still deeply personal.
Rachel Hartman, Tess of the Road [Penguin Random House Canada]
Rachel Hartman’s superb fantasy, Tess of the Road, takes the comfortable old idea of the protagonist on a journey of self-discovery and gives it a twist to the left. Rather than undertaking a journey to find her place in the world, Hartman’s Tess undertakes a journey to convince herself she deserves such a place. The trajectory of the story echoes the complexity of its heroine: prickly, surprising, and not quite fitting into any one category.
Regan McDonell, Black Chuck [Orca Book Publishers]
When his best friend dies, Réal knows that the Windigo isn’t “just” a story, that his dreams aren’t “just” dreams, and that something happened that night—something he can’t remember. Evie knows her dead boyfriend was both more and less than he seemed, but Réal remains a mystery to her. In taut, vivid prose, Black Chuck pulls no punches in its genre-bending portrayal of the friendship, secrets, lust, and love that bind together the teens at its living, beating heart.
Sebastien de Castell, Spellslinger [Orbit, Hachette Book Group]
In Sebastien de Castell’s riveting fantasy, Spellslinger, the young protagonist Kellen is desperate to pass his mage trials. Kellen’s magic fails, dooming him to a life beyond a spellcaster’s privilege in a society whose hierarchy is based on magical ability—and a secret history of genocide. Kellen must find a place for himself where he can be enough, just as he is. This novel challenges notions of privilege, politics, and transactional relationships in a brilliantly told story.