Monday, July 06, 2009

Chris Beckett in 'surprise' sci fi win at Edge Hill
06.07.09 Katie Allen in The Bookseller

A science fiction collection from defunct indie publisher Elastic Press has won the 2009 Edge Hill Short Story Prize, beating collections from Faber, Vintage, Cape and Hamish Hamilton.Elastic Press author Chris Beckett won for his collection The Turing Test. He was presented with £5,000 plus a specially commissioned painting by Liverpool artist Pete Clarke at a ceremony held by Edge Hill University at the Bluecoat Centre in Liverpool on Saturday (4th July). He also picked up the £1,000 Readers' prize. Anne Enright won the second prize, also worth £1,000, for her collection Yesterday's Weather (Vintage).
Judge James Walton, journalist and chair of BBC Radio 4's "The Write Stuff" said: "I suspect Chris Beckett winning the Edge Hill Prize will be seen as a surprise in the world of books. In fact, though, it was also a bit of surprise to the judges, none of whom knew they were science fiction fans beforehand.
"Yet, once the judging process started, it soon became clear that The Turing Test was the book that we'd all been impressed by, and enjoyed, the most—and one by one we admitted it."The Edge Hill Short Story Prize was launched by the university three years ago and is co-sponsored by Blackwell; it is the UK's only award for a short story collection by a single author.

This year's shortlist also comprised: Country of the Grand by Gerard Donovan (Faber), The Atmospheric Railway by Shena Mackay (Cape) and The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton).
Elastic Press closed in November 2008; although it is still selling backlist, it is no longer accepting submissions.

No comments: