Literary Awards are curious things, but the ones we’ve always had the most respect for are the World Fantasy Awards, which are administered in conjunction with the World Fantasy Convention. Each year a different panel of five international judges (all professionals in the field of fantasy literature) consider work submitted in all the various fantasy genres. This time there are two American, two British and one Dutch judge, and all of them have actually seen the work they are considering.
We are very lucky to have received shortlist nominations on a number of occasions, most recently in 2011 for SOURDOUGH by Angela Slatter, and in 2008 and 2010 for the "Special Award: Non-Professional". We were pleased to have won this award in 2002 and 2004, and STRANGE TALES won the 2004 World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology.
We do not always submit all of our books for the World Fantasy Awards, but this year we did, because we felt that we had published a wide range of good books in 2011:
In January we published TIME, A FALCONER: A STUDY OF SARBAN, by Mark Valentine. Mark’s biography revealed a great deal of information about this previously enigmatic author, and is, as one would expect, elegantly written and fascinating.
Alongside it we published DISCOVERY OF HERETICS, a cache of previously unpublished work by Sarban.
We were also able to reprint, in April, Sarban’s fine collection of short stories, RINGSTONES.
Tartarus also continued with its series of reprints of the original, individual collections of stories by Robert Aickman, arguably one of the most significant authors in fantasy fiction of the second half of the twentieth century.
We issued DARK ENTRIES, POWERS OF DARKNESS and COLD HAND IN MINE by Robert Aickman, along with WE ARE FOR THE DARK by Aickman and Elizabeth Jane Howard. Each reprint contained new Introductions, and had original cover artwork by Stephen J. Clark.
We also published some very good contemporary fiction. The novel, FRANKENSTEIN'S PRESCRIPTION by Tim Lees was described by Peter Tennant in Black Static as “quite frankly, a brilliant novel, one which takes the old stereotype and fills it with vibrant new life. The story is gripping, with each and every element of the plot fitting into place perfectly . . . It’s only February, and I may already have read the best horror novel of 2011."
We were very pleased to publish a fine book of five novellas, FIVE DEGREES OF LATITUDE, by Michael Reynier in July. It was very positively received. Publishers Weekly wrote "Readers who like weird tales with a vintage feel will find this volume an auspicious debut" while Robert Morrish at Twilight Ridge mentioned "the five intricate and highly-polished tales” and Rick Kleffel at The Agony Column called it "...an extraordinary book, featuring stories with very original subjects and such a mature, superior writing style that it's hard to believe that this is the debut work of a brand new author and not the product of a skilful veteran storyteller.”
Tartarus also published, in September, a new short story collection by Reggie Oliver, MRS MIDNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES. Again, the reviews have been very positive, it quickly sold out, and a paperback reprint has followed.
We have always had an interest in European, decadent writers, and published, in October, CLARIMONDE, by Theophile Gautier. We selected classic translations by Lafcadio Hearn (whom we have previously published), and augmented these by some new translations. The Pan Review reported: "Read this for the prose style alone, which, for anyone who has read his one anthologised story ‘Loving Lady Death’ (‘La Morte Amoureuse’) - re-translated as the title tale here - will already have experienced his stunning, sensual evocation of place and time. This continues in the other eleven tales."
Also in 2011 we published two issues of WORMWOOD, 16 and 17, edited by Mark Valentine, featuring, as always, a wide variety of essays about fantasy, supernatural and decadent literature.
Our 2011 publication schedule also included a paperback reprint of the rare, early Tartarus Press title, WORMING THE HARPY by Rhys Hughes.
All in all, we were pleased enough with the results of a very busy year to send copies to the World fantasy Award judges…
… and it was with a great deal of pleasure that we read the nominations for 2012…
TARTARUS PRESS has received a nomination in the "Special Award: Non-Professional" category.
Mark Valentine's WORMWOOD has also received a nomination in the "Special Award: Non-Professional" category..
Reggie Oliver's MRS MIDNIGHT is nominated in the Best Collection category.
We keep our fingers crossed for the three nominations, but just receiving nominations has cheered us considerably.