Asha Thanki Wins SLF’s 2020 A.C. Bose Grant

Asha Thanki

The Speculative Literature Foundation and DesiLit announced today that Asha Thanki is the winner of the 2020 A.C. Bose Grant.

The A.C. Bose Grant, established in 2019, is an annual grant of $1,000 given to a South Asian/South Asian diaspora writer developing speculative fiction. It supports adult fiction, but work that is also accessible to older children and teens will be given preference; the donors hope this will let young people imagine different worlds and possibilities. The grant is named in honor of Ashim Chandra Bose, a lover of books and especially of science fiction and fantasy, and was founded by his children, Rupa Bose and Gautam Bose.

Thanki’s winning piece is titled “Somewhere in Bombay, a Fog Descends.” Thanki is a fiction writer and essayist living in Minneapolis, where she is completing an MFA at the University of Minnesota. She is the winner of the 2019 Arkansas International’s Emerging Writers Prize and a finalist for Redivider’s 2020 Beacon Street Prize. Her work has appeared in Platypus Press’ wildness, The Common, Catapult, Cosmonauts Avenue, Hyphen, and more. Her website is here.

Founded in January 2004 to promote literary quality in speculative fiction, the all-volunteer Speculative Literature Foundation is led by Mary Anne Mohanraj and 30 other committed volunteers. The Foundation maintains a comprehensive website offering information for readers, writers, editors and publishers of speculative fiction, develops book lists and outreach materials for schools and libraries, and raises funds for redistribution to other organizations in the field, as well as five awards made annually to writers, including the A.C. Bose Grant.

The SLF is a 501(c)3 non-profit, entirely supported by community donations. To get involved with their efforts, such as by joining as a member for $2/month, visit speculativeliterature.org.

[Based on a press release.]

2020 Nommo Awards Delayed

The African Speculative Fiction Society has postponed announcing the winners of the 2020 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans due to the recent violence in Nigeria. The awards were scheduled to be presented October 22 at The Ake Arts & Book Festival held annually in that country, and even though the event has been taken online this year due to the pandemic, the organizers felt it would be inappropriate to proceed with the normal opening ceremonies where the awards are given.  

Geoff Ryman relayed the decision on the ASFS Facebook group page:

The world has stood back in horror (or at least it should have done) at recent events in Nigeria. Out of respect for the people who’ve died, and to revise the Festival so that it deals with pressing issues, there will be no opening ceremony this evening at the Ake Festival, and thus no announcement of the winners of the 2020 Nommo awards. Some events dealing with the pressing issues will go ahead. Please check the Ake Festival website. This must have been a huge decision for the organisers, especially given all the thought and work that went into making Ake a Covid-aware online event. Thoughts to Lola Shoneyin and her staff. More news about when and where the Ake winners will be announced to follow

Taking the place of the Festival’s opening ceremonies are panel discussions such as this one:

A New York Times op-ed says the Nigerian protests began earlier this month in response to a video of police brutality:

On Oct. 3, a video surfaced online that appeared to show the point-blank killing of a Nigerian citizen by officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, commonly known as SARS. In the days since the video’s emergence, people across the country, young and some old, have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and call for SARS’s disbandment.

Demonstrations have continued since then, with many deaths. Yesterday’s AP News’s story told about a pair of confrontations that added to the count: “Nigerian forces killed 12 peaceful protesters, Amnesty says”.

Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday that Nigeria’s security forces fired upon two large gatherings of peaceful protesters Tuesday night, killing 12 people calling for an end to police brutality.

At least 56 people have died during two weeks of widespread demonstrations against police violence, including 38 on Tuesday, the group said. The Nigerian government did not immediately comment about Amnesty International’s allegations.

The #EndSARS protests began amid calls for Nigeria’s government to close the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS, but has become a much wider demand for better governance in Nigeria.

Despite the growing violence, the Nigerian protesters defied a curfew and faced off with security forces Wednesday as gunfire rang out and fires burned in Lagos, a day after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators singing the country’s national anthem.

The security forces opened fire without warning on the protesters Tuesday night at the Lekki toll plaza, Amnesty said in its report, citing eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports.

… President Muhammadu Buhari — who has said little about the protests engulfing his country — did not mention the Lekki shootings in a statement Wednesday but issued a call for calm and vowed police reforms.

Buhari’s statement said the dissolution of the SARS unit “is the first step in a set of reform policies that will deliver a police system accountable to the Nigerian people.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that the right of Nigerians “to protest peacefully needs to be guaranteed.”

He said “police brutality needs to stop, and those responsible for acts of such dramatic violence are made accountable.”

The Ake Arts & Book Festival is tweeting comments from writers and musicians about the crisis — several dozen messages can be read at the link.  

2020 Dagger Awards

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of the United Kingdom announced the winners of the 2020 Dagger Awards at an awards ceremony on October 22.

GOLD DAGGER

This award is for the best crime novel by an author of any nationality.

  • Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)

IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER

Eligible books in this category are thrillers set in any period and include, but are not limited to, spy fiction, psychological thrillers and action/adventure stories.

  • Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER

This award is for the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality.

  • Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction)

SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER

This award is for the best historical crime novel, set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.

  • Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION DAGGER

This award is for a crime novel not originally written in English and which has been translated into English for UK publication.

  • Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)

SHORT STORY DAGGER

This award is for any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment.

  • Lauren Henderson: #Me Too in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

This award is for any non-fiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality.

  • Casey Cep: Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee (William Heinemann)

DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY

The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by an established crime writer who has long been popular with borrowers from libraries, and who has supported libraries and their users.

  • Christopher Brookmyre

DEBUT DAGGER

A competition for the opening of a crime novel and synopsis, chosen by judges: bestselling author Leigh Russell, editor Stephanie Glencross (of Gregory and Company), Editorial Director at Bonnier Zaffre Katherine Armstrong and director of literary agency A.M. Heath and Co. Oli Munson.

  • Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies

Highly Commended

  • Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife

PUBLISHERS’ DAGGER

This prestigious Dagger is awarded annually to the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year.

  • Orenda

DIAMOND DAGGER

The most prestigious Dagger of all, the Diamond Dagger for a lifetime contribution to crime writing, is nominated by CWA members and selected by an industry committee.

  • Martin Edwards

Alongside his career as a prolific novelist, Martin Edwards is a renowned editor, reviewer, columnist and versatile writer of non-fiction, and is a leading authority on crime fiction. He has also enjoyed a separate career as a solicitor, and is recognised for his expertise in employment and equal opportunities law.

SFPA’s 2020 Grand Master Nominees

Voting continues as Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) members decide who will be honored as Grand Master this year. Four candidates are under consideration: Linda Addison, F.J. Bergmann, Geoffrey A. Landis, and John Grey.  SFPA members have until December 1 to cast their ballots.

  • Linda Addison
Linda Addison

Linda D. Addison is the award-winning author of five collections, including The Place of Broken Things, written with Alessandro Manzetti, & How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, and a recipient of the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award®, co-editor of Sycorax’s Daughters, an anthology of horror fiction & poetry by African- American women, poetry editor of Space & Time Magazine since 2000, and editor of the 2018 Rhysling Anthology and the HWA StokerCon Anthology 2019. Her work has made frequent appearances over the years on the honorable mention list for Year’s Best anthology. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University and currently lives in Arizona. Addison is a founding member of the writer’s group Circles in the Hair (CITH), and a member of HWA, SFWA and SFPA. For further information please see Linda’s website.

  • F. J. Bergmann
F. J. Bergmann

F. J. Bergmann has a distinguished body of speculative poetry from the last 20 years, winning the Rhysling (Short and Long), the Elgin Chapbook (twice), the SFPA Poetry Contest (several), and other contests. Her service to SFPA includes editing Star*Line, designing publications, and serving as webmaster and VP. Nor is her service to poetry limited to the SFPA.

  • Geoffrey A. Landis

Geoffrey A. Landis has had a strong body of work published over the last thirty-plus years, noted by his winning the Rhysling Long twice, the Asimov’s Reader’s Award for best poem four times, and the Dwarf Stars Award. In addition to his excellence in writing poetry, he has contributed to the SFPA by editing Eye to the Telescope and co-editing the 2012 Dwarf Stars anthology. He is active in the Cleveland poetry community, and for many years has run the Clevelandpoetics blog, which distributes news and information about poetry in the Cleveland area; he has also been active in the Ohio Poetry Day celebrations. He has published two collections of poetry, Iron Angels (Van Zeno, 2009) and The Book of Whimsy (Night Ballet, 2015). For more for more about Geoffrey visit his website.

  • John Grey

John Grey is Australian-born, U.S. resident, poet, short story writer, musician and playwright. He has had over 16,000 poems published throughout the world in magazines as diverse as Christian Science Monitor, Relix, Poetry East, Agni, Rhino, Rattle, Poet Lore and JAMA as well as numerous anthologies and books, including his latest, Leaves On Pages. A good percentage of those poems have been in genre magazines, (both sci-fi and horror, with the occasional fantasy) having grown up devouring the classic horror writers such as Blackwood, James, Bierce, Poe, etc. Publications in this field include work in Weird Tales, Space & Time, Dreams and Nightmares, The Pedestal, The Magazine Of Speculative Poetry, The Fifth Di, Leading Edge, Andromeda Spaceways, Not One Of Us, Strange Horizons, Chrome Baby and many many many more. Winner of the Rhysling Award (Short) in 1998. Was theater critic and poetry columnist for a local Providence, RI, weekly arts magazine and has had plays produced off-off Broadway and in Los Angeles.

Suzanne Palmer Wins 2020 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

The winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction of 2019 is Suzanne Palmer for “Waterlines,” published by Asimov’s Science Fiction.

The second-place story for the Sturgeon was Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s “This is How You Lose the Time War.” The third-place story was Karin Tidbeck’s “The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir.”

The winner was selected by a jury composed of Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon, Trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person presentation of the award will be postponed until next year’s Gunn Center Conference, date and location to be announced.

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

2020 Anthony Awards

Virtual Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, announced the 2020 Anthony Award winners in an online ceremony on October 17.

2020 ANTHONY AWARDS

BEST NOVEL

  • The Murder List, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)

BEST FIRST NOVEL

  • One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

  • The Alchemist’s Illusion, by Gigi Pandian (Midnight Ink)

BEST CRITICAL NON-FICTION WORK

  • The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women, by Mo Moulton (Basic Books)

BEST SHORT STORY

  • “The Red Zone,” by Alex Segura (appearing in ¡Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico)

BEST ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION

  • Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons (Wildside Press)

BEST YOUNG ADULT

  • Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry, by Jen Conley (Down & Out Books)

[Thanks to Todd Mason for the story.]

2020 Barry Awards

Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine announced the 2020 Barry Award winners during this year’s Virtual Bouchercon.

The magazine’s readers voted on the recipients.

Best Mystery/Crime Novel

  • The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Flatiron)

Best First Mystery/Crime Novel

  • The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup (Harper)

Best Paperback Original Mystery/Crime Novel

  • Missing Daughter by Rick Mofina (Mira)

Best Thriller

  • The Chain by Adrian Mckinty (Mulholland)

Best Mystery/Crime Novel of the Decade

  • Suspect by Robert Crais (Putnam)

[Thanks to Todd Mason for the story.]

Honigman Wins 2020 WSFA Small Press Award

Charlotte Honigman has won the 2020 WSFA Small Press Award for best short fiction published by a small press in 2019. The Washington Science Fiction Association made the announcement October 17 during their annual convention, Capclave, held online this year.

The winning story appeared in a collection edited by Kate Wolford.

  • “The Partisan and the Witch” by Charlotte Honigman, Skull and Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga, ed. by Kate Wolford, World Weaver Press (January 2019)

The other finalists for the 2020 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction were:

  • “The Blighted Godling of Company Town H” by Beth Cato, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 268 (January 3, 2019) ed. by Scott H. Andrews
  • “Fairest of All” by Ada Hoffmann, The Future Fire, ed. by Djibril al-Ayad (August 2019)
  • “Give the Family My Love” by A. T. Greenblatt, Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 149 (February 2019) ed. by Neil Clarke
  • Painter of Trees by Suzanne Palmer, Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 153 (June 2019) ed. by Neil Clarke
  • “Somewhere Else, Nowhere Else” by Juliet Kemp, Portals ed. by Patricia Bray and S.C. Butler, Zombies Need Brains, LLC (June 2019)
  • “The Sound of Distant Stars” by Judi Fleming, Footprints in the Stars, ed. by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, eSpec Books (July 2019)
  • “The Weight of Mountains” by L. Deni Colter, DreamForge, Issue 2 (June 2019) ed. by Scot Noel

The WSFA Small Press Award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction.  The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small  presses in the previous year (2018). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.

2020 Ignyte Awards

FIYAH Literary Magazine’s inaugural Ignyte Awards were presented in an online ceremony on October 17 brilliantly hosted by Jesse of Bowties & Books.

The Ignyte Awards seek to celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the current and future landscapes of science fiction, fantasy, and horror by recognizing incredible feats in storytelling and outstanding efforts toward inclusivity of the genre. There were 1,431 valid votes cast to decide the winners. 

Best Novel – Adult – for novel-length (40k+ words) works intended for the adult audience: 

  • Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Best Novel – YA – for novel-length (40k+ words) works intended for the young adult audience:

  • We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

Best in MG – for works intended for the middle-grade audience:

  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky – Kwame Mbalia

Best Novella – for speculative works ranging from 17,500-39,999 words:

  • This is How You Lose the Time War – Max Gladstone & Amal El-Mohtar

Best Novelette – for speculative works ranging from 7,500-17,499 words:

  • Emergency Skin – N K Jemisin for the Amazon Forward Collection

Best Short Story – for speculative works ranging from 2,000-7,499 words:

  • A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy – Rebecca Roanhorse for Mythic Dream

Speculative Poetry – 

  • A Conversation Between the Embalmed Heads of Lampião and Maria Bonita on Public Display at the Baiano State Forensic Institute, Circa Mid-20th Century – Woody Dismukes for Strange Horizons

Critics Award – for reviews and analysis of the field of speculative literature:

  • Alex Brown – Tor.com

Best Fiction Podcast – for excellence in audio performance and production for speculative fiction:

  • LeVar Burton Reads – LeVar Burton

Best Artist – for contributions in visual speculative storytelling:

  • Grace P. Fong

Best Comics Team – for comics, graphic novels, and sequential storytelling:

  • These Savage Shores – Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vitorio Astone, Aditya Bidikar, & Tim Daniel

Best Anthology/Collected Works – 

  • New Suns – Nisi Shawl

Best in Creative Nonfiction – for works related to the field of speculative fiction:

  • Black Horror Rising – Tananarive Due

The Ember Award – for unsung contributions to the genre:

  • LeVar Burton

Community Award – for Outstanding Efforts in Service of Inclusion and Equitable Practice in Genre:

  • Strange Horizons – Gautam Bhatia, Vajra Chandrasekera, Joyce Chng, Kate Cowan, Tahlia Day, William Ellwood, Rebecca Evans, Ciro Faienza, Lila Garrott, Dan Hartland, Amanda Jean, Lulu Kadhim, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Catherine Krahe, Anaea Lay, Dante Luiz, Heather McDougal, AJ Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin, Clark Seanor, Romie Stott, Aishwarya Subramanian, Fred G. Yost, and the SH copyediting team and first readers

Rebecca Roanhorse

Woody Dismukes

LeVar Burton

Tananarive Due

Ram V

Alex Brown

Jesse of Bowties & Books

L.D. Lewis, Art Director of FIYAH

2019 Quantum Shorts Flash Fiction Winners

Three winning entries in the Quantum Shorts 2019 flash fiction competition were announced June 10, chosen from 647 submissions — quantum short stories that are no longer than 1000 words and contained the phrase “things used to be so simple.”

Quantum Shorts is an annual competition for creative works inspired by quantum physics. It is run by the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) in Singapore with media partners Scientific American and Nature, and leading quantum research centres around the world as scientific partners. First prize comes with a $1500 cash award.

The winners are available to read at the links.

FIRST PRIZE

RUNNER-UP

PEOPLE’S CHOICE PRIZE

The top three stories “explore the many worlds idea from quantum physics, in which every event is understood to have all possible outcomes, each happening in its own branch of the universe.” For example, “Shinichi’s Tricycle” hinges on the development of the atomic bomb.

The top two prize-winners were decided by a jury of eight expert scientists and writers reviewed ten stories earlier shortlisted from 647 submissions to the competition. A public vote decided the third prize. Each winning author gets a cash award and an engraved trophy, on top of their shortlist award and one-year digital subscription to Scientific American.