On Sunday 13th July 2009, the winners of the Shirley Jackson Awards were announced at Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts. The awards are given each year for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic, in recognition of one of America’s greatest writers and the author of the classic short story ‘The Lottery’.
The New Uncanny, edited by independent publishers Ra Page and Sarah Eyre of Comma Press, explored and updated Freud’s famous theory of the uncanny – or the ‘unheimliche’ – which laid out a psychoanalytic framework for understanding horror writing. The anthology featured specially commissioned stories by the likes of AS Byatt, Hanif Kureishi, Christopher Priest, Matthew Holness, Jane Rogers, Alison MacLeod, and Frank Cottrell Boyce, among others. The anthology was nominated alongside authors such as Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and Etgar Keret (in other categories).
For Manchester-based Comma Press, this award comes hard on the heels of winning the World Fantasy Award 2008 for Best Collection for Tiny Deaths, by Robert Shearman. A not inconsiderable feat given that these are Comma’s first two publications in the realm of fantasy.