Book cover: Shelter - Dave Hutchinson (a man walks towards a cottage against a lurid red-yellow sky)When the Sisters hit the Earth, they ended modern civilisation in minutes. Tidal waves wiped out coastal cities. The Long Autumn culled millions as oceans rose, crops failed and medicines ran out. 100 years later, opposing forces are trying to assert control over Britain’s scattered survivors. Welcome to the Aftermath.

One day, it was a remote stretch of American coastline, wild and beautiful. The next, it began to change. Now Area X is threatening more densely inhabited areas, and the secretive government organisation known as the Southern Reach wish to send in a twelfth expedition to try and understand it. But only one person from the first eleven expeditions ever returned…

I’ve been promising for a while I’d put together an update on how the Subjective Chaos Kind of Judges are getting on with our self-inflicted and oh-so-delightful task of reading our take on the best of 2017. With the shortlists announced in January, we’ve had nearly two months now – and I’m unsurprised to say we’re nowhere near anything that looks like a decision on any front.

Nell Crane is the girl with the clockwork heart, daughter of two revolutionary thinkers whose contributions have improved the lives of everyone in Black Water City. Great things are expected of her, but she’s running out of time to make a contribution that will keep her free of a life of manual labour. When inspiration finally strikes, her idea is so bold it may destroy her ties to everyone she loves…

Book cover: The Boy On The Bridge - M R Carey (a boy silhouetted against a red background)The Rosalind Franklin is Beacon’s best hope, on an epic journey around Britain seeking a natural inhibitor to the hungry plague. But it is as riven by politics as Beacon itself – can the crew put aside their differences or is humanity doomed to rip itself apart before the hungries even reach them?

Subjective: “based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions“.

Chaos: “the first created being” (Greek). No, that’s not what we’re after. “Complete disorder and confusion” …hopefully not. “Behaviour so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions“. YOU GOT IT.

(Kind of) Awards: “a prize or other mark of recognition” – well, you know, kind of.