Terry Pratchett salutes fresh talent with his new award

The Discworld word wizard celebrates new writers

Longrunning comedic fantasy author Terry Pratchett has chosen two new authors as the recipients of his £20,000 Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now prize for unpublished novels.

Michael Logan and David Logan (no relation) were picked from a shortlist of six, out of over 500 submissions, to be joint winners – splitting the prize and both getting a book deal with Discworld publisher Transworld.

“It was a long deliberation and although to some it might seem a cop-out to split a prize, we decided that since the existence of the prize was to find new talent then this was the happiest decision to make”, said Pratchett, who judged the prize with Tony Robinson and experts from Transworld and Waterstone’s. “[David Logan’s] Half Sick Of Shadows and [Michael Logan’s] Apocalypse Cow both stood out in their different ways and I wish their creators the best of luck in their writing careers.”

Half Sick Of Shadows is “a darkly atmospheric, richly written coming-of-age novel in the spirit of Iain Banks’s The Wasp Factory“, said Transworld, while Apocalypse Cow is the story of a group of social misfits thrown together after the government accidentally unleashes an experimental bioweapon, “with peculiar repercussions for Britain’s farm animals”.

“Ever since I wrote my first short story at the age of eight, it has been my dream to become an author – although the idea for a novel about sex-crazed zombie cows did come a little later”, said Michael Logan, who lives in Kenya but was born in Scotland. “The full impact of attaining a lifelong goal has yet to fully sink in. I’m sure it will hit me on the way home, when I will bemuse all around me by performing a victorious knee-slide across the concourse at Gatwick.”

David Logan said he felt “very lucky” to win the prize, adding, “I am disappointed for the runners-up. The difference between winning and losing is a hair’s breadth.”