The Sidewise Awards for Alternate History will not be presented in 2020 as a result of the current pandemic the judges have announced.
Instead, two years’ worth of awards will be presented at DisCon III, the 2021 Worldcon in Washington, D.C. Instructions for submitting for consideration works published in the eligibility years of 2019 or 2020 can be found here.
“It’s disappointing that global circumstances have forced us to delay our awards selection process this year, but that is just the timeline that we’re in,” Sidewise Award founder Steven H Silver said. “We considered cancelling this year’s award, but determined that the best course of action was to delay the awards so that we could ensure that great works continue to be recognized.”
The award takes its name from Murray Leinster’s 1934 short story “Sidewise in Time,” in which a strange storm causes portions of Earth to swap places with their analogs from other timelines. To be considered, a work must have either first English-language publication or first American publication in the calendar year prior to the year in which the award is to be presented. Two awards are usually presented each year, one for works of fewer than 60,000 words and one for works in excess of 60,000 words.
“Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the first Sidewise Awards, which were presented at the 1996 Worldcon in Los Angeles,” Silver said. “We look forward to celebrating the award’s silver anniversary next year and anticipate finding excellent examples of alternate history literature in the future.”
The organization also announced a new member of the awards jury. Canadian fan and blogger Olav Rokne will join the current panel of Karen Hellekson, Matt Mitrovich, Jim Rittenhouse, Kurt Sidaway, and Steven H Silver.
“For more than 20 years, I’ve been reading books and stories when they appear on the Sidewise shortlist. This award was my road map to alternate history fandom,” Rokne said. “It is an honor to be asked to serve on this awards jury, and to help make the great works of alternate history better known to the world.”
Works published in 2019 and 2020 should be sent to all of the judges (non-DRM e-copies in MOBI, EPUB, and PDF may be sent to Steven H Silver at firstname.lastname@example.org for distribution to all the judges). Addresses for shipping physical books can be found at here. The judges read throughout the year and ask that copies be sent as early as possible.