Tentacles Are Us!

I have awakened today as the proud (if temporary) possessor of a Golden Tentacle.

for last night I had the absolute pleasure of accepting on Karen Lord’s behalf the Kitschie Golden Tentacle Award for best debut novel for REDEMPTION IN INDIGO, her wonderful, lyrical (and award-winning!) retelling of a Senegalese folk tale. Karen sadly couldn’t join us at the Free Word Centre in Islington for the intelligent, progressive and entertaining Kitschie Awards presented by Anne Perry and Jared Shurin as she was halfway across the Pacific Ocean en route to the Adelaide Writers’ Week, where she is one of the guests. Sadly, nor could she partake of the excellent The Kraken Rum provided by the farsighted sponsors – a bigger shame than you might at first realise, for Karen, being a Caribbean writer, knows a thing or two about rum as well as writing!

But she was alerted instantly, thanks to the magic of smartphones, and when she wakes up in Australia later today, I know she’s going to be thrilled. Her agent, the lovely Sally Harding, said it for us all: ‘That is bloody brilliant!’

And while I’m at it, can I also say a big ‘Congrats!’ to Nick Harkaway, not just for his sartorial elegance but for winning the Red Tentacle for Angelmaker (William Heinemann), to Dave Shelton, who walked off with the Inky Tentacle for his cover art for his own A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (David Fickling Books), and to the World SF Blog who won the Black tentacle for ‘a work or body of work that does not otherwise fit The Kitschies’ criteria’, eloquently accepted on behalf of the team by Lavie Tidhar. All were, of course, intelligent, progressive and entertaining, as you would expect of any Tentacle-winner.

And I would also like to say an enormous ‘congratulations!’ to the shortlisted writers and artists, including, of course, our own Tom Pollock, whose THE CITY’S SON was up against REDEMPTION IN INDIGO in the Golden Tentacle category. Of course I wished with all my heart Tom was also taking home a tentacle – but his time will come, of that I am certain!

So now I’m going to take the Golden Tentacle for a walk – got to keep him fit and healthy for the handover to Karen at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, after all. And judging by the look @LitAgentDrury and I got when we carted him home on the Victoria Line last night, he will win friends and influence people wherever he goes.


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