Thursday 26 March 2020

On e-books and Galley Beggar Press

And we don't have a winner! At least, not yet.

The outcome of the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize, due to be announced this week, has for  some reason been postponed. But the organisers have decided that the prize pot should be divided equally between all five shortlisted authors and their publishers. That strikes me as a Very Good Thing.

The prize, as I'm sure all readers of this blog will know, rewards the best fiction published by small independents (defined as those with fewer than 5 full-time employees) and the focus is on "hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose".

The prize founder, the novelist Neil Griffiths, borrowed that resounding phrase from the Norwich publishers Galley Beggar Press, home to some of  today's very best writers. Earlier this week as a response to the times Galley Beggar launched a dozen of their novels as e-books at the bargain price of £2.50 a pop. It's a dazzling list,  featuring some of the very best fiction published in English this century. How about this:

Patience and Wrestliana by Toby Litt

Playthings and Lucia by Alex Pheby (I reviewed the latter for the TLS here)

We That Are Young by Preti Taneja

How to be a Public Author and Writer in Residence by Francis Plug

Feeding Time by Adam Biles

Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge

Randall by Jonathan Gibbs

We Are the End by Gonzalo C. Garcia

The Weightless World by Anthony Trevelyan

The White Goddess: an encounter by Simon Gough

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman (I wrote about this magnum opus for the Literary Review. It costs a quid more because it's over a thousand pages long and if there's more essential reading in a lock-down I can't think what it might be)

You can order all these e-books here. Or dig around on the GBP website - there are treasures galore. I'll be revisiting a Galley Beggar Press novel in tomorrow's blog.

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