Fiction Round-Up 2014

-Compiled by Richard T. Watson

It’s time once again to look back at the past twelve months and raise a warm drink to the ever-dark nights, mornings, evenings, and, increasingly, afternoons. I’ve gone with mulled wine. ‘Tis the season, you know, for holding back the night and lighting up the dark. [Apologies for those not in seasonal darkness, please re-interpret as appropriate to your climate]

At Sabotage, we’ve done our little bit of candle-holding this year, and we like to think we’ve shone a bit of light into your lives. Here are a few of the highlights from the Fiction stable.


As ever we’ve covered a range of publications this year, from the limited-run, hand-crafted like Uh! x7 and Strong Room to the international reach of Cuba in Splinters and the glossy combination of prose, poetry and plays that is Bare Fiction Magazine. We’ve featured new and upcoming writers in the likes of The Art of Nottingham and debut collections from established authors like David Rose’s Posthumous Stories.

Along with that, we’ve the regular contribution from Unthank Books in the form of Unthology #5, but also Words and Women One, the first in a series of writing by women in the East of England. The Pankhearst Collective also continued to be represented with their electronic collections Heathers and Mermaids, and their Kindle Single Niagara.

We’ve had some gritty takes on reality, as with Shit Happens and The Hospital, as well as the more magical and left-field, as in Kirsty Logan’s Saboteur-winning The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales or the collaborative Rainn. Geographically, we’ve been wide-ranging, thanks to, among others, Louis XXX, Feeding the Doves, Jenalyn, Unsettled and Peirene’s The Dead Lake, plus Gay Propaganda and Cuba in Splinters.

In May we had our birthday party in Oxford, this time with book fair and curated performances from a range of poets and writers. It was great to see so many people, and to be able to celebrate the indie literature scene with our Saboteur Awards. For Fiction, the field was led by the likes of May-Lan Tan and Arachne Press, who performed in the afternoon and triumphed in the evening: Tan as runner-up for Best Short Story Collection with Things to Make and Break, Arachne with Best Anthology for Weird Lies and Best Regular Spoken Word Event for their associated Liars’ League nights. Next year’s Saboteur Awards are coming along nicely, and we’ll announce more details of them in the coming months.

2014 saw the first interview commissioned by our shiny new Interviews Editor, Will, and there are more to come, which is an exciting expansion for us. This first is with French poet Lysiane Rakotoson, but there have been others earlier in the year. We’re also looking forward to expanding the geographic scope of Sabotage’s coverage of live events in 2015.

For the first time we also gave out an award for Best Reviewer (Fiona Moore), and that brings me to my annual big thank-you to the writers and publishers, and to our reviewers (not just for Fiction) who continue to feed this beast and come back for more. If you want to join the reviewing team, then please drop a line to me at fiction[at], or to the relevant editor, whose details are on the Staff Page.

Merry Christmas, and we’ll see you in 2015!