I’m really proud and excited that The Shining Girls has scooped three major awards across three genre categories. Mash-up for the win!
Earlier this year, The Shining Girls won the prestigious South African literary award, The University of Johannesburg prize.
Here’s what the judges had to say “The magic in the story lies in its against-the-grain depictions, and in Beukes’s blending of old genres to create something new. Though Harper picks his victims because he is attracted to their shine, it is Kirby who becomes luminous by using what he does to her to see what others cannot…. Perhaps it is Kirby’s uncanny intellect, coupled with an inexplicable experience of the impossible, that makes her shine. The same can be said of her creator. Beukes’s foray into fresh themes and settings in her third novel sparkles with light and interest.”
Then it won the acclaimed mystery writers’ Strand Critic’s Choice Award for best novel, beating out two of my favourite novelists, George Pelecanos and William Boyd, among others on the killer shortlist. The Strand is one of the mystery genre’s most revered publications having featured the works of folks like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and Agatha Christie. So it’s high praise indeed – judged this year by Julia Keller, Lev Grossman, Chuck Leddy, David Ulin, Jack Batten and Christian DuChateau.
My US publicist phoned me for a comment, right when I was heading off to Johannesburg to launch Broken Monsters, and I couldn’t come up with much more than garbled shock, although I eventually managed to say it was like being hit “with the Taser of happiness”.
And then, last week, The Shining Girls scooped up the August Derleth prize for Best Horror in the British Fantasy Society Awards. I had to film a video in HarperCollins’ offices in Australia because I was on tour in Sydney, which I’ll try to post here – but I gushed a lot about what an honour it was and said something about how it’s horror’s job to confront the darkness and everything we’re capable of. Laura Lam was gracious enough to accept the award on my behalf.
It’s a strange, cool thing to have your work acknowledged by serious judge-y people. When people say “it’s an honour” and “I’m humbled” what they mean (or what I mean) is that you’re reeling around stupid-happy and shocked and delighted and vaguely considering hiding the awards under the bed in case someone wises up and comes to take them away.
Thanks to everyone who’s ever read my books or supported my writing – my editors and publishers and agents and especially the readers.