It's an exciting time here at the Inpress office as we have not one, not two, but FOUR BOOKS nominated for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize. The Wave by Lochlan Bloom (Dead Ink), The Bastard Wonderland by Lee Harrison (Wrecking Ball Press), The Dowry Blade by Cherry Potts (Arachne Press) and The Shapes of Dogs' Eyes by Harry Gallon (Dead Ink) have all made it onto the longlist and we couldn't be prouder!
And what a mixed bag it is! From canine conspiracies to fantasy epics, steampunk flying machines to quantum physics - it's safe to say there's something here for everyone!
The Wave by Lochlan Boom
Three intertwined narratives play out as the stories of μ, an isolated loner, DOWN, a depressed publisher, and David Bohm, a real-life quantum theoretician in post-war São Paulo, become entangled.The closer each of these trails leads to the dark centre of the world, the more reality disintegrates. Dualities of certainty and doubt, hope and fear, and reason and nonsense drag each of the characters struggling into an absurd, labyrinthine world of seemingly infinite regress.
The Bastard Wonderland by Lee Harrison
In a land not too far away and a time yet to be decided, one man and his Dad embark on an epic journey of war, peace, love, religion, magnificent flying machines and mushy peas. The Bastard Wonderland is the astonishing debut fantasy novel from Hull writer Lee Harrison.
“Alternately familiar and fantastical, homely and harrowing, The Bastard Wonderland‘s mix of industrial imperialism and magic makes it a truly unique, compelling debut.” - Mike Brooks
The Dowry Blade by Cherry Potts
Nine years after the loss of her sister, and near obliteration of her clan in an ill conceived raid, Brede, a plains' nomad, is living unwillingly in the marshes. The sudden ending of a decade long drought brings with it many changes; rumour has it that the rain was bought at the price of a King's head, and the sword needed for such a sacrifice is missing. Change comes for Brede in the arrival of Tegan, a wounded mercenary. Brede's discovery, first of the Dowry Blade and a stolen horse, and then of Tegan's history, sets in train a journey to the capital in search of her missing sister and leads to an unexpected role in the Queen's household, and a powerful lover.
The Shapes of Dogs' Eyes by Harry Gallon
Convinced that London's young professionals are being controlled by their dogs, a homeless bartender embarks on a drunken campaign to rescue his peers from domesticity. Sofa-hopping across a Hackney overrun with hungover musicians, craft brewers and their canine masters, he slips further into fantasy the more obsessed he becomes with setting himself, and everyone else, free. But after falling in love with a young actress, the thing he's fighting against may have become what he wants most of all.
The Shapes of Dogs Eyes explores the philosophies of love, homelessness, and a restless sense of uncertainty in a modern London as brittle and unmoored, as familiar and as chimerical, as the characters that move through it.
So now it's down to you to make sure one of these brilliant books is crowned the winner! To vote, choose two books from The Guardian's longlist (found here) and write a short review of 100 words or more. And remember to include the word 'VOTE' in your review to make sure it is counted.
Thanks for your help, and best of look to all our fantastic authors!