The Awards Season Is Upon Us – Reprise

Well, I called some of the novel shortlist for the BSFA Awards right, anyway. It is:

Nina Allan, for The Race, published by Newcon Press

Frances Hardinge, for Cuckoo Song, published by Macmillan

Dave Hutchinson, for Europe in Autumn, published by Solaris

Simon Ings, for Wolves, published by Gollancz

Anne Leckie, for Ancilliary Sword, published by Orbit

Claire North, for The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, published by Orbit

Nnedi Okorafor,  for Lagoon, published by Hodder

Neil Williamson, for The Moon King, published byNewcon Press

I was really surprised not to see Bête, Southern Reach and A Man Lies Dreaming on the list. Maybe not so surprised at the omission of Tigerman – not ‘genre’ enough?

Anyway, the full shortlist is here. It’s a good year for NewCon Press, a publisher which consistently punches above its weight (and is my spiritual home) and also terrific for Nina Allan, who was also nominated for the Kitschies.

Many thanks to everyone who nominated Europe In Autumn. I’m not going to try and predict which book will win, but it’s very good company to find myself in. Onward to Heathrow!


One thought on “The Awards Season Is Upon Us – Reprise

  1. Dear Mr Hutchinson,

    I am sorry to reach you through such an uncommon channel, I could not find any other way to contact you.

    My name is Mathieu Donner and I am a final year PhD student at the University of Nottingham.

    For the past few months, I have been organizing a series of open-to-all lectures on the topic of popular culture in all its forms at the University of Nottingham. You can find information about the series on its official webpage at

    Though I should be done with my PhD by this coming September, I have been in touch with both Janna Graham from the Nottingham Contemporary Museum and Pr Farah Mendlesohn to organise an event at the end of the year (October-November), during which Pr Mendelsohn would come and host a conversation with one or two popular authors before potentially screening a movie of the authors’ choosing (granted we can get authorisation and a copy).

    As such, she suggested I get in touch with both you and David Hutchinson. To be completely honest, I did not know of your work before she mentioned it. However, I only came back to science fiction recently, after realizing that the authorial elitism which years in art school had tried to force upon me (unfortunately mildly successfully) and my previous love of pop culture and sci-fi were not mutually exclusive, so such a lack on my part should not come as such a surprise.

    However, having since then caught up on this deficiency, I wanted to know if you might be interested in taking part in such a conversation. I think your particular position, as a “rising star” (if you allow me such a terminology) in the field as well as an avid reader and critic of the genre, would make you a perfect guest for such an event, as you would be able to provide our audience with an interesting and very relevant approach to the current state of science fiction in Britain and abroad.

    Though I am, once again, not entirely sure the lecture series mentioned above will be pursued next year, the original thought behind the event was to really open the lecture series to a general audience. The series has been, until now, and will continue to be open to the public but people have seemed to have some apprehensions about crossing the academic bubble which seems to surround our university campus. As such, a public event, organised in the centre of town, in collaboration with both institutions (Nottingham Contemporary and the University of Nottingham) would allow the series to be given a properly public form of visibility, and hopefully, open it up to a broader, and less-directly academic audience.

    The conversation would be led and organized by Pr Mendelsohn herself, but I imagine would focus around your own work, its evolution and primary concerns, its place within a broader national and international production, but also expand to questioning the place and role of popular culture and more specifically science fiction within contemporary society, its function in a our day and age, etc.

    It would be a great pleasure and an honour to have a such a critically-acclaimed author as yourself grace our series with its presence and it would, I am sure, allow it to reach the wider audience it aims to reach, an audience whose interest in popular culture may only be hindered by the apprehensions traditionally surrounding the academic milieu.

    In any case, I thank you for your time and consideration, and I am obviously available were you to require more information or clarification.

    Kind regards,


    Mathieu Donner
    PhD Research Student / PG Teaching Fellow
    School of English
    University of Nottingham
    NG7 2RD

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