Horror Novel by South African Lotz Up for Goodreads Award

The horror novel ‘Day Four’ by South African Sarah Lotz has reached the semifinals of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards, which brands itself as the only major book awards chosen by readers. A book about South African Elon Musk has also been nominated, in a non-fiction category.

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The non-animated cover for ‘Day Four’.

Goodreads, which started in 2007 and has apparently got 40 million members, calls itself the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. “Our mission is to help people find and share books they love,” it says.

The annual Goodreads Choice Awards have 20 categories, ranging from Fiction to Picture Books, and 20 books reach the semifinals one each category. Lotz’s horror novel and Ashlee Vance’s biography ‘Elon Musk: Inventing the Future’, which is up for the Best Science & Technology Award, are in the semifinals.

Lotz’s book is a follow-up to the bestselling, British Fantasy Award-winning ‘The Three’. Stephen King recommended ‘Day Four’ on Twitter, calling it “the cruise ship from hell”. Both of Lotz’s books were the first by a South African to get animated covers (where the numerals III and IIII drip down the outside).

According to Goodreads, ‘Day Four’ starts like this: “Hundreds of pleasure-seekers stream aboard The Beautiful Dreamer cruise ship for five days of cut-price fun in the Caribbean sun. On the fourth day, disaster strikes: smoke roils out of the engine room, and the ship is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Soon supplies run low, a virus plagues the ship, and there are whispered rumors that the cabins on the lower decks are haunted by shadowy figures. Irritation escalates to panic, the crew loses control, factions form, and violent chaos erupts among the survivors.

“When, at last, the ship is spotted drifting off the coast of Key West, the world’s press reports it empty. But the gloomy headlines may be covering up an even more disturbing reality.”

Anyone wishing to vote for Lotz or any other nominee has until 15 November. The finals voting for the awards takes place 17-23 November, and the winners are usually announced in early December.