Last night at N
umber 16 in South Kensington the winner of the 2013 Terry Pratchett Anywhere but Here, Anywhen but Now First Novel Prize was announced. After the successful launch of the prize in 2011 found not one, but two outstanding joint winners, Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan and Half Sick Of Shadows by David Logan, both published by Doubleday in 2012. The 2013 prize opened for submissions from aspiring debut novelists from 1st January 2012 and had over 500 entries.
The shortlist entries were from all over the world, with two entrants flying in from Australia to attend the announcement. Sir Terry Pratchett and a team of judges including Rob Wilkins, Alex Veasey from The Forbidden Planet and an Editor and Publicist from Transworld spent the day locked in a heated debate as all six books were of a remarkably high quality.
The Unspoken Death of the Amazing Flying Boy by Jean Burdett
Bloodline by Sophie Constable
The Hive by Alexander Maskill
The Way Through the Woods by Robin Pearson
A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin
The Shadows of Annwn by Catherine Whittle
The winner was announced as 21 year old Alexander Maskill with his entry:
Alexander Maskill is currently studying a Politics degree at the University of Leicester. He began his novel in August and completed it in just five months. The prize is a £20,000 publishing contract. He had this to say:
“I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity the folks at Transworld have given me. I was up against some amazing writers on the shortlist and I’m still reeling from the fact that my story was chosen for the award. I’m really looking forward to working with such a great team to get The Hive published and out into the world.”
Sir Terry commented:
‘2013’s shortlisted novels were of an exceptionally high standard. It was remarkably difficult to choose just one winner but we felt that Alexander Maskill’s The Hive was a unique and original take on Man vs. Technology in an altered future. Alex has a promising future for one whose first attempt at writing a novel has won him the prize!’
The Hive takes us to New Cairo, a city built on technology, from the huge solar panels that keep civilisation going in a changed world, to the artificial implants that have become the answer to all and any medical problem. When a powerful new computer virus begins to spread through the poorest districts shutting down the life-giving implants, it threatens to tip the city into a violent class struggle. Hiding out amongst the riots and underground resistance, Zala Ulora, one of the most wanted criminals in the city and a gifted hacker, must trace the virus to its source before it destroys the city, or the city destroys itself.
Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry to the prize.