2019 Ursa Major Awards

Image by EosFoxx

The 2019 Ursa Major Awards winners were announced May 23 (in a video that confusingly labels them the 2020 awards.)

More than 1100 fans nominated and voted this year.

Best Motion Picture
Live-action or animated feature-length movies.

  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu (Directed by Rob Letterman; May 3)

Best Dramatic Series or Short Work
TV series or one-shots, advertisements or short videos.

  • Beastars (Directed by Shinichi Matsumi) Episode 1, October 8, 2019 (Japan)

Best Novel
Written works of 40,000 words or more. Serialized novels qualify only for the year that the final chapter is published.

  • Fair Trade, by Gre7g Luterman

Best Short Fiction
Stories less than 40,000 words, poetry, and other short Written works.

  • This Dog For Hire, by Mary E. Lowd, in Jove Deadly’s Lunar Detective Agency

Best Other Literary Work
Story collections, comic collections, graphic novels, non-fiction works, and serialized online stories.

  • Fang 10, edited by Kyell Gold and Sparf

Best Graphic Story
Includes comic books, and serialized online stories.

  • Beastars: Volume 12-16, by Itagaki Paru

Best Comic Strip
Newspaper-style strips, including those with ongoing arcs.

  • Housepets!, by Rick Griffin

Best Magazine
Edited collections of creative and/or informational works by various people, professional or amateur, published in print or online in written, pictorial or audio-visual form.

  • Dogpatch Press, edited by Patch Packrat

Best Published Illustration
Illustrations for books, magazines, convention program books, cover art for such, coffee-table portfolios.

  • Moth Monarch, Furnal Equinox 2019 T-shirt design

Best Game
Computer or console games, role-playing games, board games.

  • Untitled Goose Game

Best Website
Online collections of art, stories, and other creative and/or informational works. Includes galleries, story archives, directories, blogs, and personal sites.

  • Fur Affinity

Because there were insufficient qualifying nominations, there was no Non-Fiction Work or Fursuit category this year.

2020 Neffy Nominees

The National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) distributed the Neffy Award ballot in the May issue of TNFF.

N3F President George Phillies told members voting will take place in June. And when it’s over, “Recalling strange events of days gone by with other awards, neither the point totals nor the order of finish beyond first place will be revealed.”

Best Novel

  • What the Wind Brings by Matthew Hughes
  • The Family Pride by Chris Nuttall
  • Monster Hunter Guardian by Larry Correia and Sarah A. Hoyt
  • Endgames by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Best Shorter Work

  • “Waterlines” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s SF)
  • “By the Warmth of their Calculus” by T. S. Buckell (Mission Critical)
  • “A Place to Stand On” by Marie Vibbert (Analog)
  • “The Menace from Farside” by Ian McDonald (Tor)

Best Book Editor

  • Toni Weisskopf

Best TV Show

  • Supergirl
  • Batwoman

Best Cover Artist

  • David Hardy
  • Brad Fraunfelter

Best Anime

  • The Promised Neverland
  • Sarazanmai
  • Astra: Lost in Space

Best Manga, Comic, or Graphic Novel

  • Monstress
  • Lady Mechanika
  • Hit-Girl in Hollywood
  • Books of Magic

Best Non-N3F Fanzine

  • Opuntia
  • My Back Pages
  • Fadeaway
  • Event Horizon
  • Chunga

Best N3F Fanzine

  • Ionisphere
  • The N3F Review of Books
  • Tightbeam

Best Fan Artist

  • Jose Sanchez
  • Angela K. Walker

Best Fan Writer

  • Will Mayo
  • Lloyd Penney

Australian Shadows Awards
2019 Finalists

The Australasian Horror Writers Association announced the shortlists for the Australian Shadows Awards 2019 today. The juried award is given in seven categories for work by an Australasian author that has horror/dark fiction content either as a focal point or an integral element of the work, and the intent of the work must be to disturb or inspire fear in the reader. Eligible genres/sub-genres include horror, dark fiction, dark fantasy, and paranormal fiction.


  • Collision: Stories by J.S. Breukelaar
  • Figments and Fragments by Deborah Sheldon
  • Served Cold by Alan Baxter


  • Beside the Seaside: Tales from the Day-Tripper edited by Steve Dillon
  • Trickster’s Treats #3 – the Seven Deadly Sins Edition edited by Marie O’Regan and Lee Murray
  • Midnight Echo #14 edited by Deborah Sheldon


  • The Eldritch Kid: The Bone War written by Christian D. Read
  • Matinee written by Emmett O’Cuana
  • Geebung Polo Club written by Shauna O’Meara (adapted from a Banjo Patterson poem)
  • DCeased written by Tom Taylor


  • Suffer the Little Children by Kris Ashton
  • Horror and the paranormal, chapter 8 of Writing Speculative Fiction by Eugen Bacon
  • The Danse Macabre by Kyla Lee Ward
  • Horror Movies That Mean Something and Childhood Trauma Manifested by Maria Lewis


  • Supermassive Black Mass by Matthew R. Davis
  • The Neverwhere Line by Matthew J. Morrison
  • Out of Darkness by Chris Mason
  • Enemy of My Enemy by Rick Kennett
  • 1862 by C.J. Halbard


  • Brine and Vanishings by Hester J. Rook
  • Taxonomy of Captured Roses by Hester J. Rook
  • Please Do Not Feed the Animals by Anne Casey
  • Separation by Jay Caselberg
  • Ode to a Black Hole by Charles Lovecraft
  • Boat of a Million Years by Kyla Lee Ward


  • Steadfast Shadowsong by Matthew R. Davis
  • Vivienne & Agnes by Chris Mason
  • The Ocean Hushed the Stones by Alan Baxter
  • Ava Rune by J.S. Breukelaar


  • Fusion by Kate Richards
  • Shepherd by Catherine Jinks
  • The Flower and the Serpent by Madeleine D’Este


RWA Retires RITA Award, Announces Replacement,
“The Vivian”

The new board of Romance Writers of America, still trying to recover from the backlash of mass resignations of officers and loss of members following their predecessors’ attempt to censure Courtney Milan, hopes to signal their changing vision for the problem-ridden organization by remaking RWA’s annual awards and naming them after founder Vivian Stephens, an African-American woman.

Their statement “Introducing The Vivian, a New Award for a New Era” begins —

The RWA Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the introduction of a brand-new award, The Vivian, named after RWA founder Vivian Stephens, whose trailblazing efforts created a more inclusive publishing landscape and helped bring romance novels to the masses.

…In support of The Vivian, and guided by the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, the contest task force has been hard at work developing a contest that aligns with the Board’s vision for RWA 2.0 and that is designed to fulfill the following mission:

The Vivian recognizes excellence in romance writing and showcases author talent and creativity. We celebrate the power of the romance genre with its central message of hope–because happily ever afters are for everyone.

They also acknowledged the former award’s namesake: “We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Rita Clay Estrada, RWA’s first president, for honoring us the past 30 years as the award’s namesake, and for her service to RWA and romance authors everywhere.”

Precisely how winners of The Vivian will be chosen under the new award’s judging scheme has yet to be revealed. RWA director Avery Flynn responded to concerns: “I don’t think I can go into any detail yet because it will be officially presented to the board and members at the May meeting. I’m sorry. I don’t want to break task force/board confidentiality at this point. I know that’s frustrating. Believe me, I’d love to spill everything now.”

The RWA’s says highlights of the proposed format include:

  • A clear rubric to enhance and streamline scoring guidelines in addition to judge training that will allow for more standardized judging,
  • A sophisticated matching process so that entrants can be sure their books go to judges versed in their subgenre, and
  • A category devoted to recognizing unpublished authors.

Their proposals will be shared with members at the May 30-31 Board meeting. The Board’s goal is for the rules and format to be finalized and voted on in time for a fall launch, with the first year of the contest to recognize books published in both 2019 and 2020. (The 2019 eligibility year is included to cover the gap left by the cancellation of this year’s RITAs).

RWA Executive Director Leslie Scantlebury and RWA President Alyssa Day spoke with Vivian Stephens to request the honor of naming this award after her.

In their conversations, she was gracious, kind, and hopeful for the future of RWA. They asked if she would share her thoughts with our members, and we’re pleased to relay them to you here:

“I once heard an astrophysicist explain how heavy elements of the Periodic Table forged into the center of stars, later explode, showering the universe and everything in it with its spoils, Stardust. Since we all live in the universe it is well worth remembering that underneath the outer dressing of ethnicity, color, and gender, we are all the same. Showered with the gift of stars.

“Today, as we move forward into a new world order, Romance Writers of America must be one group, united by the purity of craft that identifies the organization. Guided by their star shine, moving quietly with confidence in the direction of their purpose, writing wonderful stories. Members must step up and deliver their best. Romance novels are read by people of Every Background throughout the World! They read these novels for entertainment, general information, life-style ideas, encouragement, rules of behavior, fun, a good laugh, hope, and a reminder of how life could be…if only.

“It is the duty of every Romance writer to give every Romance reader that experience. The writer must elevate themselves to be worthy of the craft and bring to it all of the nuances and magic of good storytelling. The reader deserves and expects nothing less.”

BGSU’s Browne Popular Culture Library profiled Stephens on Twitter today. Thread starts here.

Some of the initial reaction on Twitter:

[Via Locus Online.]

2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has named author Jacqueline Woodson (USA) and illustrator Albertine (Switzerland) winners of the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Awards.

Given every other year by IBBY, the awards recognize lifelong achievement and are presented to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children’s literature.

As author, Jacqueline Woodson has a prolific body of writing from picture books to young adult literature, all of which feature lyrical language, powerful characters, and an abiding sense of hope. As illustrator, Albertine creates books with multiple levels of interpretation, with drawings made with infinite precision that are lively and full of humour. 

The criteria used to assess the nominations included “the aesthetic and literary quality as well as the freshness and innovation of each nominee’s work; the ability to see the child’s point of view and to stretch their curiosity; and the continuing relevance of the work to children and young people.” The Award is based on the entire body of work.

IBBY National sections submitted 34 author nominees and 36 illustrator nominees. The jury deliberated each nominee, carefully and thoroughly assessing each candidate while maintaining discussions related to the criteria.

The Author’s Award has been given since 1956, and the Illustrator’s Award since 1966. The winners each receive a gold medal and a diploma.

2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners

Jacqueline Woodson

She made her debut as an author in 1990 with Last Summer With Maizon, the first book in a trilogy about a friendship between two girls. In the same year she also published The Dear One, a story about teen pregnancy. Her thirty-three books and thirteen short stories range in subjects from foster care to interracial relationships, from drug abuse to the witness protection programme, but all share the common features of lyrical language, powerful characters, and an abiding sense of hope. In 2014, her autobiographical work Brown Girl Dreaming was the winnerof the National Book Award and Coretta Scott King Award and is a Newbery Honor book. It is the centrepiece of her oeuvre: her first-hand experiences of how African-Americans were treated differently in the North and South, where her own path to becoming a writer is woven in with her life experiences. Jacqueline Woodson was a Finalist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award and won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2018. After serving as Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015-17 she was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2018-19.


Among her most important books for children are the titles: La rumeur de Venise (The Venice rumour, 2009)which was selected for the 2010 IBBY Honour List; Les Oiseaux (Little bird, 2011); Les Gratte-Ciel (Sky high, 2011); and Ligne 135 (Line 135, 2012). Her book, Mon tout petit (My little one, 2015), an endless embrace between mother and child that unwinds in a flipbook, was selected for the 2016 IBBY Honour List; it won the 2016 Bologna Ragazzi Award and won the Green Island Award at the Nami Island Concours in 2017. She was a Finalist for the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award and her book, Les Oiseaux, was included in the list of books highlighted by the Andersen Jury as an outstanding work.

Bookbird profiles of the winners and shortlist can be viewed here.

[Based on a press release.]

More 2020 Crime Fiction
Awards Finalists

The longlists or shortlists for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, Glass Key Award and Margery Allingham Short Story Competition have been announced.

 HARPER LEE PRIZE. The finalists for the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction have been announced by the University of Alabama School of Law. The three books chosen to compete for the prize are:

  • The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
  • The Hallows by Victor Methos
  • An Equal Justice by Chad Zunker.

The prize, previously authorized by Lee, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

GLASS KEY. The shortlist for the Glass Key 2020 for best Nordic crime novel have been announced.

  • Dødfunden (Found Dead)by Gretelise Holm (Denmark)
  • Den åttonde tärnan (The Eight Bridesmaid) by Eva Frantz (Finland)
  • Svik (Betrayal) by Lilja sigurðardóttir (Iceland)
  • Kniv (Knife) by Jo Nesbø (Norway)
  • Skuggjägaren (Shadow Hunter) by Camilla Grebe (Sweden)

MARGERY ALLINGHAM. Finally, the longlist for the 2020 Margery Allingham Short Story Competition has been announced by the Crime Writers Association of the UK.

  • The Boy from Galway Bay by Sally Bothroyd
  • The Last Letter by Antony M Brown
  • The Nantes Affair by Briony Cameron
  • Prey by Amelia Coulon
  • Voices by Lauren Everdell
  • The Jewish Laundry by Michael Hare
  • One Bright Blue Day in Amsterdam by Jennifer Harvey
  • A Time to Confess by Della Millward
  • Sting in the Tail by Laila Murphy
  • A Death in the Library by Emily Organ
  • F8 by Alexandra Pendjiky
  • Morning Murder by Wendy Swarbrick

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2019 BSFA Awards

The British Science Fiction Association presented the 2019 BSFA Awards in a video ceremony on YouTube today.

The results ordinarily would have been announced at the 2020 Eastercon, Concentric, in April, but the convention was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The winners are:

Best Novel

  • Adrian Tchaikovsky – Children of Ruin (Tor)

Best Shorter Fiction

  • Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone – This is How You Lose the Time War (Jo Fletcher Books)

Best Non-Fiction

  • Farah Mendlesohn – The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein (Unbound)

Best Artwork

  • Chris Baker (Fangorn) – Cover for ‘Wourism and Other Stories’ by Ian Whates (Luna Press)

2020 Prix Imaginales Winners

The recipients of the 2020 Prix Imaginales were revealed on May 15.  

The Prix Imaginales recognize the best works of fantasy of the year published in France in six categories, with a prize of 1,000 euros for the first five categories and 500 euros for the last two.

Catégorie roman francophone / French novel

  • Catherine DUFOURDanse avec les lutins (L’Atalante)

Catégorie roman étranger traduit / Foreign Novel translated into French

  • Marina and Sergueï DIATCHENKOVita Nostra – Les Métamorphoses 1 (L’Atalante)  Translated into French by Denis SAVINE

Catégorie jeunesse / Youth category

  • Flore VESCOL’Estrange malaventure de Mirella (L’École des loisirs)

Catégorie illustration / Illustration

  • François BARANGER, Les Montagnes hallucinées 1 (Bragelonne)

Catégorie nouvelle / Short Story

  • Thomas GEHA, Chuchoteurs du dragon et autres murmures (Elenya)

Catégorie prix spécial du Jury / Special Jury Award

  • S.T. JOSHILovecraft je suis providence tomes 1 et 2 (ActuSF)

A jury composed of critics, journalists and specialists selected the nominees: Jacques Grasser (Président), Stéphane Wieser (Directeur du Festival), Christophe de Jerphanion, Natacha Vas-Deyres, Lloyd Chéry, and Frédérique Roussel.

The awards were announced online instead of at Imaginales, the Festival of the Imaginary Worlds in Épinal, France because it is one of the myriad events cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

[NOTE: The Prix Imaginales is a different award than the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire.]

Premios Kelvin 505 – 2020 Finalists

Spain’s Festival Celsius 232 committee revealed the 2020 shortlists for its Premios Kelvin 505 on May 8.

Congratulations to authors including Johanna Sinisalo, Nnedi Okorafor, Marlon James, whose works in Spanish translation made the finals.

The winners selected by the award juries will be announced on June 29. The trophies are scheduled for presentation at Festival Celsius 232 which takes place July 14-18 in Avilés, Spain, however, their Twitter feed indicates they are under quarantine due to the epidemic, and the fate of the con seems to be undecided.

Mejor novela original en castellano publicada por primera vez en España / Best original novel in Spanish published for the first time in Spain

  • El arcano y el jilguero, by Ferran Varela (El Transbordador)
  • Mars Company, by Francisco Miguel Espinosa (Aristas Martínez)
  • Nuestra parte de la noche, by Mariana Enríquez (Anagrama)
  • Sigilo, by Ismael Martínez Biurrun (Alianza)

Mejor novela traducida al castellano y publicada por primera vez en España / Best novel translated into Spanish and published for the first time in Spain

  • El hambre, by Alma Katsu, translated into Spanish by Natalia Cervera (Alianza)
  • El núcleo del sol, by Johanna Sinisalo, translated into Spanish by David Tejera (Roca)
  • Leopardo negro, lobo rojo, by Marlon James, translated into Spanish by Javier Calvo (Seix Barral)
  • Quien teme a la muerte, by Nnedi Okorafor, translated into Spanish by Carla Bataller Estruch (Crononauta)

Mejor novela juvenil traducida al castellano y publicada por primera vez en España / Best youth novel translated into Spanish and published for the first time in Spain

  • Chicas de papel y fuego, by Natasha Ngan, translated into Spanish by Nora Inés Escoms (Puck)
  • Más allá del invierno, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, translated into Spanish by Aitana Vega (Ático de los Libros)
  • Sed, by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman, translated into Spanish by Pilar Ramírez Tello (Nocturna)
  • Una obsesion perversa, by Victoria E. Schwab, translated into Spanish by Nora Inés Escoms (Puck)

Mejor novela juvenil original en castellano publicada por primera vez en España / Best original juvenile novel in Spanish published for the first time in Spain

  • El efecto Frankenstein, by Elia Barceló (Edebé)
  • La hora zulú, by César Mallorquí (SM)
  • La voz de Amunet, by Victoria Álvarez (Nocturna)
  • Yo soy Alexánder Cuervo, by Patricia García-Rojo (SM)

Incidentally, the committee has a little rule that the winner has to pick up the hardware in person, which probably won’t be an option this year.

The Kelvin are only delivered in Avilés. Kelvin only travel in the suitcase of their rightful owners. Kelvin are like Thor’s hammer or Arthur’s sword. If the winner of a Kelvin is not present to pick it up, it will faithfully wait in Limbo for Expectant Kelvins until it appears the following year, or the next, or the next … The Kelvins take a breath to Cthulhu, so they are eternal , you know. And very patient.

This Is Horror Awards
2019 Voting Opens

This Is Horror, the UK website, is taking votes for its annual awards through 12:01 a.m. BST on May 30. Anyone can vote — click through for instructions. Here is the shortlist.

Novel of the Year

  • Carnivorous Lunar Activities by Max Booth III
  • The Bone Weaver’s Orchard by Sarah Read
  • The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz
  • The Reddening by Adam Nevill
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Novella of the Year

  • Dear Laura by Gemma Amor
  • In The Scrape by James Newman and Mark Steensland
  • Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma
  • The Half-Freaks by Nicole Cushing
  • The Pale White by Chad Lutzke

Short Story Collection of the Year

  • Out of Water by Sarah Read
  • Sefira and Other Betrayals by John Langan
  • Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro
  • Song for the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson
  • Wounds by Nathan Ballingrud

Anthology of the Year

  • Echoes, edited by Ellen Datlow
  • Midnight in the Graveyard, edited by Kenneth W. Cain
  • Nox Pareidolia, edited by Robert S. Wilson
  • Pop The Clutch, edited by Eric J. Guignard
  • The Twisted Book of Shadows, edited by Christopher Golden and James A. Moore

Fiction Magazine of the Year

  • Black Static
  • Dark Moon Digest
  • Nightmare Magazine
  • The Dark
  • Vastarien: A Literary Journal

Publisher of the Year

  • Crystal Lake Publishing
  • Flame Tree Press
  • Nightscape Press
  • Raw Dog Screaming Press
  • Silver Shamrock Publishing

Fiction Podcast of the Year

  • Creepy Pod
  • Tales to Terrify
  • The Magnus Archives
  • The NoSleep Podcast
  • The Wicked Library

Nonfiction Podcast of the Year

  • Bizzong
  • Booked. Podcast
  • Cosmic Shenanigans
  • Ladies of the Fright
  • The Horror Show with Brian Keene

Cover Art of the Year

  • Ben Baldwin for Hollow Heart by Ben Eads
  • Catrin Welz-Stein for This House of Wounds by Georgina Bruce
  • Mikio Murakami for The Worst Is Yet to Come by S.P. Miskowski
  • Sabercore Art for The Fearing: Book One Fire and Rain by John F.D. Taff
  • Stephen Mackey for Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro