Readersforum's Blog

November 11, 2012

Why the 2012 World Fantasy awards are a triumph

Final fantasy … Lavie Tidhar has stretched the boundaries of the fantasy genre

When Osama beat Stephen King’s 11/22/63 at this year’s World Fantasy awards, it was not only a win for Lavie Tidhar, but a huge victory for his small book-publisher, PS Publishing, too.

By David Barnett

When the World Fantasy award for best novel went to Lavie Tidhar’s groundbreaking Osama at the weekend, it was a triumph on a number of levels.

First, of course, getting the gong at the World Fantasy convention in Toronto was a validation of Tidhar’s determination to stretch the boundaries of the genre. Osama is a stunning novel set in an alternate reality where Osama Bin Laden is the anti-hero of a series of thrillers penned by a reclusive writer. There are shades of Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, a resonance also spotted by Damien G Walter who waxes effusive about Osama here.

But the success of Osama – it finished ahead of stiff competition from Stephen King’s 11/22/63, George RR Martin’s A Dance With Dragons, Jo Walton’s Among Others and Christopher Buehlman’s Those Across the River – also gives us cause to celebrate the great British small-press outfit that published it.

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