Margaret Atwood Dons an Octopus Hat to Accept Red Tentacle Award

Posted on March 9, 2016

Author Margaret Atwood has won the Kitschies Red Tentacle award for The Heart Goes Last. The British literary prize is given "to reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic." This is the seventh year of the awards. Novelist and judge James Smythe said that of the win, "even as part of an incredibly strong shortlist, The Heart Goes Last felt like an astonishing achievement. It's an unsettling view of a future that – like so many of Atwood’s novels – feels all too prescient. Funny and devastating and wonderful, we all loved it."

Ms. Atwood triumphed over the other shortlisted novels: Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris), The Reflection by Hugo Wilcken (Melville House), The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, (Orbit) and The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts (Gollancz).

The Golden Tentacle Award which is given to a debut novelist went to Tade Thompson for Making Wolf. It carries a £500 prize. Judge Nikesh Shukla said, "With such a strong shortlist that gave us mermaids, fallen cities, people waking up a different race and more, Making Wolf manages to excite and entertain in equal measure. A strong strange political thriller that oozes with one-liners and thrills galore."

The Inky Tentacle award for best cover art went to The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner, art direction and design by Jet Purdie, illustration by Dover Publications Inc & Shutterstock (Hot Key Books).

The Invisible Tentacle for Natively Digital Fiction went to Life Is Strange (Square Enix). The Black Tentacle was awarded to the genre community as personified by Patrick Ness, for "encouraging and elevating the conversation around genre literature." The award was given for 6,000 people who donated a total of £689,793.56 for Save the Children. Twenty of those donors were author who gave more than £10,000 in matching donations.

Ms. Atwood attended the festivities in London wearing a red tentacled fascinator cocktail hat. Attendees also received chocolate tentacles as an edible party favor. Judges James Smythe and Nazia Khatun presented the hand-crafted tentacle trophy to Ms. Atwood. She also received a £1,000 cash prize. Previous winners of a Kitchie Award include Andrew Smith, Ruth Ozeki, Lauren Beukes, Kameron Hurley, China Miéville, Ann Leckie, Nick Harkaway and Patrick Ness. The awards were sponsored by Fallen London.

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