Amazon Names Breakthrough Novel Award Finalists

Amazon announced on Friday that book editors at Penguin selected three finalists from a pool of one hundred semifinalists for the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. They are "Stuff of Legends" by Ian Gibson, "Bill Warrington's Last Chance" by James King, and "In Malice, Quite Close" by Brandi Lynn Ryder.

Amazon customers can download excerpts of the three manuscripts and vote for the winner through Thursday. The winner, who will receive a publishing contract from Penguin, will be announced next Wednesday.

Last year's winner was Bill Loehfelm for his novel Fresh Kills. As we reported earlier this year, the contest has elicited its share of criticism—but then perhaps that's the whole point.