22 March 2011

Indie Lit Awards 2011

It's time to get the ball rolling once again on the Indie Lit Awards - or at least announce the future rolling of said ball. For those who don't know, the Independent Literary Awards are a set of awards given to that year's releases, nominated, voted on, and judged by book bloggers. Founded by Wallace of Unputdownables and co-chaired by Ti of Book Chatter, the Indie Lit Awards also includes 35 other book bloggers working on 7 panels:

Literary Fiction
Speculative Fiction

Last year, I served as a panelist on the GLBTQ panel, and I had so much fun reading, reviewing, discussing, and otherwise geeking out over the books published in 2010 which were GLBTQ focused. This year I'm doing something a bit different, serving as the Director of the Speculative Fiction panel and may I just say, I am thrilled with the group of bloggers I will be working with:

Judith from Leeswammes
Pam from Bookalicious
Sally from Bibrary Bookslut

I've had that Pointer Sister's song "I'm So Excited" in my head for quite some time now (it does get annoying after awhile). You may be asking yourself "what should I be doing right now for the Indie Lit Awards" because you are now excited as well. Nominations don't open up for quite some time; however, in order to nominate, you must first read, so getting your hands on speculative fiction published in 2011 is a must. I thought we could put together a list of 2011 spec fic as a reference for all of us, so please let me know what Spec Fic books you are looking forward to this year and I will add them to the list!

2011 Speculative Fiction (a list in progress)

Embassytown by China Mieville
Release Date: May 17
Setting: Distant Planet
Characters: Human Ambassadors and native alien population, Ariekei
Plot: A new ambassador upsets the already fragile human-alien equilibrium
Extras: A focus on language - Only altered humans can speak the Ariekei language, the protagonist's name is actually a figure of speech in the Ariekei language

Among Others by Jo Walton
Release Date: January 18
Setting: England, 1979
Characters: magical twins, witches,
Plot: Coming of age novel set in a magical boarding school, evil witchy stepmother goodness
Extras: A focus on books - much of the story revolves around the protagonists foray into the world of reading

Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson
Release Date: July 5
Setting: A string of planets 10,000 years in the future
Characters: Turk, a contemporary human transported in the future, entities called Hypotheticals
Plot: Turk versus fanatics who want to use him to fulfill a prophecy
Extras: The second in a series started by the novel Spin, which won a Hugo Award and more in 2006

Hell Ship by Philip Palmer
Release Date: July 1
Setting: A ship hurtling through space
Characters: Slaves who are the last of their race, Jak, and the crew of the Hell Ship (slavers)
Plot: The slaves and Jak try to destroy the Hell Ship and its crew
Extras: Um, it's called Hell Ship; that's just awesome

Heartless by Gail Carriger
Release Date: June 28
Setting: Paranormal, Steampunk Victorian London
Characters: Soulless, Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, and the such not
Plot: Lady Alexia must find out who is trying to kill Queen Victoria while battling things such as zombie porcupines and dysfunctional family members
Extras: The fourth in the Parasol Protectorate series, a kick ass heroine and a sexy hero,

  • Snuff by Terry Pratchett: The 39th book in the Discworld series, Snuff comes out October 13.
  • Deathless by Cat Valente: A retelling of a Slavic fairytale, the novel comes out in April.
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: A monster-based book for young adults, this one comes out May 5.
  • The Crippled God by Steven Erikson: The 10th book in a fantasy series, the novel comes out in March.
  • Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris: A steampunk re-imagining of England's Edwardian era, this one comes out April 26.
  • The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington: With the Spanish Inquisition, necromancy, witches, and an African slave, this Bullington novel comes out March 24.
  • After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn: An homage to classic superheroes, this comes out April 12.
  • Hybrids by Whitley Strieber: An alien-thriller, Hybrids comes out April 12.
  • The Five by Robert McCammon: This supernatural/horror novel comes out May 31.
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind: A new installment in the Sword of Truth series, this comes out August 16.
  • 11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King: A time travel book about the Kennedy Assassination, this King novel comes out November 8.
  • Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker: The third Abarat installment, Absolute Midnight comes out September 27.
  • Bumped by Megan McCafferty: A dystopian novel with fertility at its core, Bumped comes out April 26.
  • Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson: With a seriously awesome title and a Terminator-slash-Chucky-esque machine takeover, Robopocalypse comes out June 7.
  • The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss: The second in a fantasy trilogy revealing the biography of Kvothe, the book came out March 1. 
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami 
  • Kornél Esti by Dezső Kosztolányi
An awesome list of 10 Can't Miss Science Fiction Pam pointed out!

Please let me know in the comments what books you are excited about this year! Here are a few types of speculative fiction:

Science Fiction
Alternate History

Also, you should definitely subscribe to the blog and to our twitter account, @indielitawards, in order to stay up-to-date on all the latest happenings. And check out the awesome informative post over at Wallace's Unputdownables.


  1. Oooh, the list is an excellent idea! Though you already have included what would be my first suggestion, Among Others. I'm also looking for to the new Terry Pratchett, Snuff (as always); to Deathless by Cat Valente; to A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (though I need to read it first to check if it's spec fic; it might not be); and hmm, I think that's all for now :P

    This is going to be such fun :D

  2. This is so exciting! Never mind that damn song. I have never considered myself to be a spec fic type of girl but I would read anything by Mieville.

  3. I was so excited to see that you would be serving as our fearless leader, Trish, especially knowing you headed up the GLBTQ panel last year. :)

    The spec fic I'm either already reading this year includes The Crippled God (epic fantasy by Steven Erikson), Phoenix Rising (Victorian steampunk by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris), and The Enterprise of Death (Renaissance fantasy by Jesse Bullington).

    As for what I'm looking forward to, that list so far includes After the Golden Age (superhero fiction by Carrie Vaughn), Hybrids (a return to aliens for Whitley Strieber), The Five (a return to contemporary horror for Robert McCammon), The Omen Machine (a new Sword of Truth novel by Terry Goodkind), 11/22/63: A Novel (Stephen King takes on the JFK assassination), and Absolute Midnight (the third Abarat book by Clive Barker).

  4. Does speculative fiction include dystopia? Because if so, I highly recommend Bumped by Megan McCafferty which comes out April 26th!

  5. I love Mieville and am interested in seeing how his book does. I also have the book by Carriger and need to read it soon. Good luck with all the judging!

  6. Wow. The cover of Vortex looks so so much like Middlesex, down to the text. Weird.

  7. I'm very happy with you as our Director, Trisha!

    I am not quite up to speed with new books coming out (scandal!) but Among Others is a book I already own, I won it in a giveaway. I really want to finally read a Mieville book and I love the Soulless series.

    There are definitely some great books coming out soon!

  8. How exciting...and what a great excuse to read lots of new releases.

  9. GREAT idea to post the list. I think it can be daunting for people to figure out what is being published ahead of time, and you've just made it super easy to start the new-in-2011 reading process! Glad you to have you on board (again)!

  10. Congrats on the move Trisha, though I'm sad to see you leave :)

  11. Have you seen Robopocalypse! It sounds fab and already sold movie rights. There is an ad in today's Shelf Awareness to ask for an ARC from Doubleday.

  12. I am excited to taking part in the IndieLit awards this year. I am in excellent company!

  13. What a great idea to solicit suggestions. I'm going to have to copy your idea for the poetry awards...:)

  14. Wow, I didn't realize speculative fiction could be such a broad category! I've always considered spec fic, sci fi, fantasy, and horror as individual categories. That is going to make it very difficult to choose a book to nominate.

    Two suggestions I have for the list are:

    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami


    Kornél Esti by Dezső Kosztolányi

    I'll have to think if there's anything in sci fi, fantasy, or horror to suggest.

  15. I just started Akata Witch by Nnede Okorafor. The same author also wrote Who Fears Death. Both books were published this year (I think).


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