Author, poet, singer, and playwright Julian Gough has been nominated for the BBC International Short Story Award for his story The iHole.
Mr Gough, who has strong connections to Galway, is the author of the Jude series of novels and the play The Great Goat Bubble which premiered at this year’s Galway Arts Festival. He has been shortlisted for the prize, along with Booker Prize nominees Deborah Levy and MJ Hyland. First prize is £15,000 sterling and second prize is £2,500.
The iHole is a dark comedy, set a year or two in the future, when a company bearing a slight resemblance to Apple bring out the latest must-have consumer device - a portable black hole. Everyone wants one. And soon, everyone has one. Hey, what could possibly go wrong?
The iHole will be broadcast on Radio 4, at 3.30pm tomorrow. It will be read by Irish actor Andrew Scott. Mr Scott plays Moriarty in the BBC series, Sherlock Holmes. He has also appeared in Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers.
The awards ceremony will be held in London on October 2. Speaking to the Galway Advertiser, Mr Gough said he was “ridiculously happy” at being shortlisted.
“If the Booker Prize is the literary equivalent of an Olympic gold in the marathon, then this is like qualifying for the 100m final,” he said.
“Short stories are over so fast, every step has to be perfect; an incredible amount of unseen preparation goes into their single, explosive, burst of energy. And some of the best writers in the world specialise at this length. So, to find myself up against the Usain Bolts of the form is an incredible feeling. May the best writer win.”