Lavie Tidhar’s UNHOLY LAND is shortlisted for The Kitschies and more


Lavie Tidhar and cover artist Sarah Anne Langton at Forbidden Planet (photo: Jon Harrison via Twitter)

The Kitschies announced the shortlist for their annual award.

The Kitschies reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic. We are proudly sponsored by Blackwell’s.

  • Circe by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury)
  • Record Of A Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Rosewater by Tade Thompson (Orbit)
  • The Smoke by Simon Ings 
  • UNHOLY LAND by Lavie Tidhar

Congrats to all the nominees.

The BSFA also announced their annual awards.

Best Artwork

  • Ben Baldwin – wraparound cover for ‘Strange Tales’ slipcase set (NewCon Press)
  • Joey Hi-Fi – cover for ‘Paris Adrift’ by EJ Swift (Solaris)
  • Sarah Anne Langton – cover for UNHOLY LAND by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)
  • Sing Yun Lee and Morris Wild – artwork for ‘Sublime Cognition’ conference (London Science Fiction Research Community)
  • Likhain – In the Vanishers’ Palace: Dragon I and II (Inprnt)
  • Bede Rogerson – cover for ‘Concrete Faery’ by Elizabeth Priest (Luna Press)
  • Del Samatar – artwork for ‘Monster Portraits’ by Sofia and Del Samatar (Rose Metal Press)
  • Charlotte Stroomer – cover for ‘Rosewater’ by Tade Thompson (Orbit)

Congrats to all the nominees.


Eyal Kless at TOR.COM included UNHOLY LAND among Five Fascinating Works of Israeli Speculative Fiction.

My first recommendation is an expat, Lavie Tidhar, who was born and raised in Israel but lived all over the world (a very Israeli thing to do…). He has won numerous prestigious awards for his books, including the 2010 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (Osama). CENTRAL STATION is perhaps the most sci-fi of his books, but all of his stories deal with speculative fiction and he is unafraid of touchy subjects. In A Man Lies Dreaming, Tidhar creates an alternative reality in which Hitler is a private eye; The Guardian called it “a Holocaust novel like no other.”

Tidhar’s latest work, UNHOLY LAND, touches on another delicate subject by delving into Israel’s history. The story is set in a reality where Theodor Herzl, the head of the Zionist movement, accepted the offer made by Joseph Chamberlain, the British Colonial Secretary at the time, to establish the state of Israel in Africa instead of the Middle East.

For WORLD, John Ottinger III praises the novel.

Tidhar, an Israeli by birth, avoids sermonizing: He merely alludes to the Israel-Palestine conflict and shuns simplistic solutions. The blend of politics, allegory, and alternate-history detective novel is unconventional yet weirdly wonderful.

PILE BY THE BED enjoys the book.

In UNHOLY LAND, Tidhar tries to have his cake and eat it – he wants to examine an alternate history but also play with the very popular science-fiction standby multi-world theory (books such as The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick or Brasyl by Ian McDonald and even the most recent Star Trek series, Discovery are good examples of this). And he pretty much succeeds. Along the way he manages to revel in some pulp fiction tropes as his author/protagonist finds himself living in the plot of one of his novels. That plot revolves as much around the threat to the multiverse as it does around Tirosh’s personal quest.

That mix makes UNHOLY LAND provocative, mind bending and gives it some emotional heft.

For more info on UNHOLY LAND, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Sarah Anne Langton