2021 Compton Crook Award

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) has announced that the 2021 Compton Crook Award winner is The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. The award is given for best first novel in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Johnson will receive $1,000, and an invitation to be the Compton Crook Guest of Honor at Balticon (the BSFS annual convention held over the Memorial Day weekend) for the next two years (in 2021 and 2022). Due to COVID-19, this year’s Balticon will be online only. For more information visit Balticon.org.

Members of BSFS rated The Space Between Worlds higher than the five other finalists:

•    Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne
•    Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis
•    Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
•    Docile by K.M Szpara
•    Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

Micaiah Johnson grew up in California’s Mojave Desert and is working on a Ph.D. in American Literature at Vanderbilt University.

Members of BSFS selected the finalists by reading and rating debut novels published between Nov 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020. They then rated the finalists to determine the winner.

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) has administered the Compton Crook Award for best first novel since 1983. Last year’s winner was Arkady Martine for A Memory Called Empire.

The Award was named in memory of Towson State College Professor of Natural Sciences Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981. Professor Crook was active for many years in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and was a staunch champion of new works in the fields eligible for the award.

BSFS is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable, literary and educational organization, dedicated to the promotion of, and an appreciation for, science fiction in all of its many forms. The Baltimore Science Fiction Society was launched on January 5, 1963 and has been holding Balticon since 1967.

[Based on a press release.]

5 thoughts on “2021 Compton Crook Award

  1. Oh, this is great! I just finished this book, and I agree that it is a fantastic debut novel. I’m so glad to see it get this recognition.

  2. Thanks for this link. I think this is one of the best things BSFS does. I think people should be aware first novels are published all the time.

    Eligible first novels can be submitted following the instructions at bsfs.org, and self-published novels are eligible for consideration.

    BSFS also sponsors several writing competitions that also encourage new writers, such as the Jack L. Chalker Young Writers contest for high school students in Maryland.

  3. Pingback: 2021 Compton Crook Award » Donald Maass Literary Agency

  4. Congratulations to Johnson on the Compton Crook win! I got The Space Between Worlds in audiobook not long ago. I need to move it up my list, since the author’s a finalist for the Not-a-Hugo. 🙂

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