by Elaine Jenkins
For all fans of sci-fi/fantasy who subscribe to the Zealot Script you will be pleased to hear that the shortlist for the annual Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction was announced on 3 April. The list announced this year was a strikingly diverse choice and on that list was, ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman. Only six novels are chosen for this list and a sci-fi thriller is a rarely seen genre on any literary fiction list.
This is a great scoop for the sci-fi genre and all fans should celebrate. It may open sci-fi/fantasy to a whole new group of fans and in the future open the door to a clutch of wonderful novels for our delight.
Theresa Ross, the film and TV producer, who is chairing this year’s judging panel feels ‘it is a very exciting, bold, accessible, beautifully written sci-fi book.’
Naomi’s book The Power imagines a world where women develop the power to hurt or kill men with a single touch. The novel opens with teenage girls all over the world developing this ability, they then pass the power to all women. In The Power the world is a recognisable place that revolves around: a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; and a tough London girl from a difficult family. Something vital changes causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. With females given this immense physical power, with this small twist of nature, the world utterly changes.
Just think of the repercussions, let your mind wander and where does it take you? My mind is exploding with the very thought. How has this not been written before?
This shortlist was chosen from a very long list of 16 novels and some big hitters fell by the wayside. To reach the shortlist is amazing, Naomi must be delighted and we are delighted for her. The overall winner will be announced on Wednesday, 7 June.
More details about the prize can be found at: http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/
Or alternatively you can follow the proceedings on Twitter @BaileysPrize
So on behalf of all the staff at Zealot Script we would like to wish her good luck and we are eagerly awaiting the results. We will keep you posted.