BFLA Authors in best of 2015 lists

It’s that time of year again when everyone's sharing their ‘Best of’ lists, and we’re extremely proud that our authors have been included in many of them. Below is a summary of the great places they were included and the great quotes that accompanied their pick.



Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015:
"A delightful debut, tender and funny. The mystery takes on the worldwide problem of abused women while revealing both the beauties and problems of South Africa. And the recipes will make you want to drop everything and start cooking."

Wall Street Journal Best Mystery Book of 2015:
“The exotic locale, the lovely patois and the heroine’s unique sensibility make Ms. Andrew’s “Recipes” a blue-ribbon winner.”

Samantha Gibb, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
“The quintessential feel-good SA whodunit, complete with recipes and advice. A must read.”

LUNGDON by Edward Carey




NPR Guide to 2015’s Great Reads:
“A magnificently engrossing indictment of our late capitalist modernity.”





THE FETCH by Finuala Dowling

Margaret von Klemperer, Fiona Snyckers & Helené Prinsloo, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘A sparkling comedy of manners, but under the froth there are serious issues, and it is Dowling’s sensitive handling of them that makes this such a lovely book’ – Margaret von Klemperer

‘Comparisons with Jane Austen are not misplaced.’ – Fiona Snyckers

‘The characters from THE FETCH by Finuala Dowling haunted my dreams. The story led me to a garden cottage in the deep south where I kept waiting to happen upon someone like William.’ – Helené Prinsloo


THE DARKEST HOUR by Barbara Erskine



Books Covered, Favourite Book Covers of 2015:
‘Tender, romantic, and earnest, just like the brilliant story within. The gold foil adds a luxuriousness without being flashy and the whole designs speaks of the era so perfectly. This is a standout cover in this area of the market.’




JELLYFISH by Janice Galloway

Zoe Strachan, The Herald:
‘Janice Galloway prefaces her new collection of stories, JELLYFISH (Freight, £12.99), with a quote from David Lodge: “Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life’s the other way round.” In fact she gives us plenty of both, but it’s the stories about mothers and children that really cut to the quick.’

Sara Crowley and Kaite Welsh, Bristol Prize Best Short Story Reads of 2015:
‘My most eagerly awaited publication of 2015 was Janice Galloway’s JELLYFISH (Freight) which I am reading very slowly so as to savour each brilliant word.’ – Sara Crowley

‘Galloway has hit a rich seam of imagination as she returns to the short story as a form. It’s perfect for her style – wry, slightly off-kilter and always returning to the theme of parent and child, the kind of subject matter that offers Galloway the chance to delve once more into the murky depths of human relationships.’ – Kaite Welsh

Scots Whay Hae! Best Books of 2015:
‘Janice Galloway has always been an innovative and playful writer, but never to the detriment of her prose… JELLYFISH is a timely reminder that she is one of the finest writers around. Each story, each sentence, is beautifully crafted by someone who cares enough to take such care… If you read a better book than Jellyfish this year you are a very lucky person indeed.’




Alice Thompson, The Herald:
‘In these stories, the powerful juxtaposition of scientific intellect and emotional frailty is played out engagingly. The stories also imply no matter how objective scientific genius is, the scientists themselves, like the rest of us, are subject to moral failings.’




YOU ARE DEAD by Peter James



Guardian Best Crime and Thriller books of 2015:
‘Peter James showed that a diversion this year into ghost stories with THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL had not diverted energy from his consistently impressive sequence of DS Roy Grace policiers, the 11th of which, YOU ARE DEAD (Macmillan), confidently combines a cold case with a very hot one.’




THE LAST PILOT by Benjamin Johncock

Isabella Costello Literary Sofa ‘My Year in Books’:
‘Ben Johncock’s debut has all the things I love about American fiction and he’s not even American. Gorgeous spare prose, authentic sense of time and place, a poignant story told with sensitivity and restraint – I have raved about this book so much it’s embarrassing.’

Reading Groups’ Staff Picks for 2015:
‘With echoes of Tom Wolfe’s THE RIGHT STUFF and Richard Yates’ REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, THE LAST PILOT re-ignites the thrill and excitement of the space race through the story of one man’s courage in the face of unthinkable loss.’

Ian Rankin’s End of Year Roundup

Utter Biblio, Top 10 of 2015

ICARUS by Deon Meyer



Financial Times’ Crime Books of the Year

Boston Globe's Best Mystery Books of 2015:
‘An website-related murder and a parallel plot that delves into the dregs of South Africa’s wine industry keep Benny Griessel and his cadre of Cape Town coppers on their toes.’




GREEN LION by Henrietta Rose-Innes


Ben Williams, Fiona Snyckers & Jennifer Malec, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘And if readers missed Henrietta Rose-Innes’s GREEN LION (Umuzi) … they’d best not let 2015 expire without acquainting themselves’ – Ben Williams

‘Rose-Innes goes from strength to strength, refining her craft with each new book.’ – Fiona Snyckers

‘Masterful’ – Jennifer Malec



THE FOLLY by Ivan Vladislavic



Flavorwire’s 15 Worthwhile Books You Might Have Missed in 2015:
‘Praised by the likes of Coetzee and others — it’s not hard to see why…’




101 DETECTIVES by Ivan Vladislavic

Michelle Magwood, Jennifer Malec & Sophie Kohler Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘Mordantly funny, acutely perceptive and exquisitely styled, this collection of short stories is a definitive showcase of Vladislavic’s talents.’ – Michelle Magwood

‘Witty, enthralling and pleasurably disorientating.’ – Jennifer Malec

‘The stories are bewildering in their refusal to provide a clear resolution, but this is to their credit, in that each leaves a mystery to be solved.’ – Sophie Kohler




 Rose Prince, Spectator Best New Cookery Books 2015:
‘There is food in A Wong: The Cookbook (Mitchell Beazley, £25) for home cooks, but it is also a chef’s book. May every aspiring one buy it. If they did, Chinese food in Britain would go through a true revolution.’

Observer 25 best food books 2015:
‘At his Pimlico restaurant, Wong is keen to prove that Chinese food can be just as considered as other, more revered cuisines.’

Pippa Goldschmidt’s THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE published today

Pippa Goldschmidt’s THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE is published today by Freight books. The collection is longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize 2015. The official launch event for the book will be at Looking Glass Books in Edinburgh on the 11th June – you can click here for more information, or to reserve your ticket.

In THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE, Pippa Goldschmidt brings together an outstanding collection of short stories on the theme of science and its impact on all our lives. By turns witty, accessible, fascinating and deeply moving, Goldschmidt demonstrates her mastery of the short form as well as her ability to draw out scientific themes with humane and compelling insight. Goldschmidt allows us to spy on Bertolt Brecht, as he rewrites his play Life of Galileo with Charles Laughton after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She introduces us to Albert Einstein as he deals with the loss of his first child, Liesel. We meet Robert Oppenheimer scheming against his tutor, Professor Patrick Blackett, at Cambridge University, having fallen in love with Blackett’s wife. She tells the story of a female university student starting a love affair with her lecturer paralleled alongside the ‘relationship’ between Alice and Bob, two imaginary figures that symbolise the theory of relativity. Goldschmidt’s scope can be epic, at other times intimate, providing a forensic examination of relationships and the forces that influence them.

Pippa was recently featured on BBC Open Book talking about Solar Eclipses in literature, the week of the solar eclipse. Her story from the collection, ‘No Numbers’, was broadcast as part of the BBC Radio 4 Scottish Shorts series. She also spoke with Elaine Chiew on BBC Radio Scotland about the COOKED UP anthology that her work is featured in.

You can catch Pippa reading some of her poems about astronomy and Chile at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London on the 6th of June. She’ll also be appearing at the Glasgow Science Festival on 10th June, and German readers can catch her in Bremen and Berlin on 18th and 19th June respectively.

Pippa Goldschmidt lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She used to be an astrophysicist and her first novel THE FALLING SKY, about an astronomer who discovers evidence contradicting the Big Bang theory, was a runner-up in the Dundee International book Prize for 2012, and longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2014 and is published by Freight Books (2013) and in Germany by Weidle. She is currently a writer in residence at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg institute near Bremen, Germany. She was writer in residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, at the University of Edinburgh. She has a Masters in creative writing from the University of Glasgow and was a winner of a Scottish Book Trust/Creative Scotland New Writers Award for 2011/12. Her short stories, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the New York Times, and one of her essays has appeared in an anthology of the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014, published by Houghton Mifflin.


'Definitions: 'scientist' – human being who wonders, tries, gets things wrong; 'science' – curiosity, wrapped in strange language and with odd-looking equipment; 'story' – what if, and then, and then. Pippa Goldschmidt mixes all of the above and the resulting compounds are sweet, funny, spicy, provocative, moving. Your universe will be expanded. It doesn't get any better than that.' – Tania Hershman, author of MY MOTHER WAS AN UPRIGHT PIANO 

'These stories, written with deep empathy and a bittersweet humour, open up a world where literature often fears to tread. Science is a tool for understanding the universe, but in Pippa Goldschmidt’s hands it is also a metaphor through which we can better understand ourselves. She is a writer of great heart and talent.' – Iain Maloney, author of FIRST TIME SOLO and SILMA HILL 

'Sharply imagined stories that glitter like a constellation: funny, sexy and moving by turns. There is a haunting, planetary loneliness at the heart of many of these tales, but they're told with energy, wit and unflagging inventiveness.' – Wayne Price, author of FURNACE and MERCY SEAT

'Pippa Goldschmidt is busy defining an entirely new kind of "science" fiction. These stories – all of which are superb exercises in tone and concision – are urgent dispatches from a territory almost completely ignored by contemporary authors – elegant fables that inhabit the intersection of science, culture, humanity, and which are thoroughly informed by a sharp understanding of both the secret histories and hidden processes of actual science.' – Alastair Reynolds, author or REVELATION SPACE and POSEIDON’S CHILDREN


'A delicate and fascinating study of a life in which intellect and external microscopic and cosmic fields interact.’ – Stephen Fry, Judge of the Dundee International Book Prize 2012

‘This novel is brilliant on several levels. Beautifully written, with many flashes of dark humour, it is fascinating... and is also a terrific portrayal of one woman’s struggle with past tragedy and present difficulties.’ – Daily Mail


Three Blake Friedmann authors have been longlisted for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize Longlist. The international short story award in the memory of Frank O’Connor is the single biggest prize in the world for a collection of short stories. The shortlist will be decided towards the end of May and made public in early June.

Janice Galloway is longlisted for JELLYFISH, published by Freight Books in June, Pippa Goldschmidt for THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE, published by Freight Books this summer and Ivan Vladislavić for 101 DETECTIVES, published by Umuzi in South Africa and And Other Stories in the UK.

The 2015 Jury members  for the award are Ladette Randolp, American novelist and editor-in-chief of Ploughshares, Clive Sinclair, British novelist, and Eibhear Walshe, Irish novelist and director of Creative Writing at the School of English, University College Cork.