I'm delighted to announce that A Tale for the Time Being has won the 2013 Kitschies novel prize! The Kitschies are awarded to "the year's most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic." How cool is that?
The awards were announced last night in London and covered in the Guardian, today. The prize in the novel category is the coveted Red Tentacle, a hand-crafted trophy, which, sadly, I was not able to go to London to receive. However Caspian, my wonderful U.K. agent, went on my behalf, and read my acceptance speech for me.
RUTH'S KITSCHIES PRIZE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
This is truly a fantastical honor, and one that surpasses my wildest imaginings. I have always wanted a tentacle of my very own, and now I have one!
I am very sorry not to be there in person to accept this award. When I wrote myself into my novel, as the character Ruth, I failed to anticipate the consequences, and now, like Ruth, I find myself marooned on a remote island in Desolation Sound, trapped in a fictional world of my own creation, and unable to get away. It is a conundrum that you, at the Kitschies, will no doubt understand.
And it’s a conundrum, too, that speaks to the power of fiction. Fiction is an elemental force that has the power to shape reality in its own image—or images, I should say, because reality, like light, exists not only as a single point or particle, but also as an array of possibilities.
This power is why it’s so important to speculate progressively, intelligently, and entertainingly, and the Kitschies Prize celebrates this truth. The novels nominated for this award form a spectacular array, and I was as excited to see mine amongst them as I am humbled now by this improbable but happy outcome.
So please accept my apologies for my failure to materialize and my sincere thanks for this singular, tentacular honor. I’m deeply grateful to the sponsors and particularly to the judges. You have spent untold hours on this crazy and impossible task, and I thank you for your tireless advocacy of books and reading and the human imagination.
I'm looking forward to getting my trophy, which Caspian is sending to me, and which I will proudly display on my wall next to my wooden cow's head, Oliver's benthic anglerfish, and our inflatable rhinoceros beetles.
And in case you're wondering why a tentacle, it's because the prize is sponsored by The Kraken Rum (Kraken being a legendary squid-like sea monster, who dwells off the coast of Norway and Greenland), which means that in addition to hand-crafted tentacular trophy and a cash prize, the winner receives a bottle of The Kraken's finest black spiced rum!