The dog ate my BFA-winning book!

Alright, so he merely snacked on my copy of Helen Marshall’s Hair Side, Flesh Side.

My dog has great taste in books!

My dog has great taste in books!

Last night, I came down to my office to find that Harvey the Wonderhound had, for the first time in his life, decided to chew on a book. I wondered at his choice, given that the author was in the running for a British Fantasy Award (the very next day) for Best Newcomer for Hair Side, Flesh Side.

And she won!

Coincidence? Probably, although I’m sure that Harvey had the same motivation for eating the book that I did for reading it — the stories are damned delicious. Harvey has a discerning palate: he found the creepy Blessed and breathtaking Sanditon particularly tasty (as did I … seriously … Sanditon: go read it!).

Robert Shearman, who wrote the introduction for Hair Side, Flesh Side, also came up the winner of his own BFA, capturing Best Collection for Remember Why You Fear Me. I like to recommend Damned if You Don’t, the improbable (yet oddly sensible) tale of a man who ends up with Hitler’s dog as his roommate when he goes to Hell.

While I could point to these awards (given to books I have read) as evidence of my own excellent judgement and perceptiveness, the truth is that I read both of these books because they are published by ChiZine Publications, who scored an additional BFA victory for Best Small Press. I will read pretty much anything they have ever put out.

I was introduced to Sandra and Brett earlier this year at a book launch and have been flummoxed by the fact that there is a press publishing dark and interesting fiction with amazing writing and high production values. And they are local, so I can see them (and their authors) at events around the city. Smart, nice and kind people — all of them.

So, from Casa Cheffo, Harvey and I offer a hearty congratulations to ChiZine Publications, Helen Marshall and Robert Shearman on their well-earned recognition!

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