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Pratchett first novel prize: 2 winners announced

02/06/2011. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers launched a new award for aspiring debut novelists in June last year, the Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize. There are now not one, but two winners for the prize.

After the deadline for submissions of 31 December 2010, 500-plus entries were received for the £20,000 prize.

The six judges (including Sir Terry Pratchett and Tony Robinson) met yesterday at Waterstone’s flagship store in London’s Piccadilly to thrash out a winner. After hours of debate the conclusion was reached that it was impossible to select a single victor. The entries were so diverse that it was unanimously decided to split the prize and award it to David Logan for his book Half Sick Of Shadows, and to Michael Logan (no relation!) for apocalypse cow. Both writers will receive a publishing contract from Transworld.

Sir Terry Pratchett told SFcrowsnest, ‘It was a long deliberation and although to some it might seem a cop out to split a prize, we decided that since the existence of the prize was to find new talent then this was the happiest decision to make. Half Sick of Shadows and Apocalypse Cow both stood out in their different ways and I wish their creators the best of luck in their writing careers.’

Half Sick of Shadows is a darkly atmospheric, richly written coming-of-age novel in the spirit of Ian Banks’ The Wasp Factory.

David Logan, who lives in Carrickfergus, N. Ireland, commented, “I am disappointed for the runners up. The difference between winning and losing is a hair’s breadth. I just feel very lucky.”

Apocalypse Cow follows the story of a group of social misfits thrown together after an experimental bio-weapon is accidentally unleashed by the government, with peculiar repercussions for Britain’s farm animals.

The Scots-born but Kenya-based Michael Logan commented, “Ever since I wrote my first short story at the age of eight, it has been my dream to become an author - although the idea for a novel about sex-crazed zombie cows did come a little later. The full impact of attaining a lifelong goal has yet to fully sink in. I'm sure it will hit me on the way home, when I will bemuse all around me by performing a victorious knee-slide across the concourse at Gatwick.”

The winners, chosen from a shortlist of six, were announced at the 5th View champagne bar last night at 7pm.

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