The shortlist as just announced is exactly the same as the one I hypothesised below, earlier today.
Nobody's gonna believe I didn't know. But as one of the judges who bailed a couple of years ago under interesting circumstances, I'm one of the last people likely to have been in the loop.
The three big names were predictable enough. There's a huge buzz around Carrie Tiffany because of her recent nomination for the Orange Prize, and Brenda Walker's work has been consistently excellent (and consistently undervalued) since she first began publishing fiction.
But I'm still a bit startled.