Costa Shortlist Announced

The Costa Book Awards shortlist for 2011 has been announced, and although no big-hitting names from science fiction have made the grade for the grown-ups, it would appear the kids are still all right.

The shortlists were chosen by three judges in each of the categories of Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and the Children’s Book Award, after being given the remit of trying to find “well-written, enjoyable books that they would strongly recommend anyone to read”. A nine-strong panel will now read all the shortlisted titles and announce the winners from each of the categories on 4th January 2012. The overall winner will then be announced at a ceremony on 24th January and the recipient will also receive prize money of £30,000.

For fans of speculative fiction, debut novelist Kevin Barry’s City of Bohane is our most likely contender. His dystopian novel, set forty years in the future in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown on the west coast of Ireland has been described by critics as a mix of “Mad Max” meets “Gangs of New York”.

And with three of the four shortlisted books on the list for the Children’s Book Award containing some element of the fantastic or futuristic (Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans, Flip by Martyn Bedford and debut novelist Moira Young’s Blood Red Road) it would seem  speculative fiction has a toehold on this prize.

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About Donna Scott

Chair of the BSFA since June 2013. Prior to this I was Awards Administrator, taking over that role from Claire Briarley in 2008. I am officially Donna Bond since getting married in May 2013, but continue to write and perform under my previous name, Donna Scott. My short fiction stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines, and I was winner of the inaugural Short Cuts at the MAC in 2005. As a comedian, I have performed all over the UK. Comedy has also given me the opportunity to perform alongside big names like Sarah Millican and Jasper Carrott! As a poet, I've also performed all over the place, including lots of science fiction conventions, and sometimes my poetry and comedy get kind of mixed up. I was the first official Bard of Northampton, it's true. I've got a tankard that says so... I love being a part of the BSFA - I've always been a devourer of books and being part of this association has enabled me to explore some great science fiction classics - and classics of the future, that I might otherwise have not heard about. I've met some lovely people with an enthusiasm for the genre, made firm friends, and got to meet some of my favourite writers, too! As a writer, I also have to say that FOCUS is the best magazine for writers I've ever come across - and as a member I get that for free. Who wouldn't want to be a part of this?

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