2020 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans

The announcement of the winners for the African Speculative Fiction Society’s 2020 Nommo Awards, which had been rescheduled out of respect for the people injured in the recent protests in Lagos and other Nigerian cities, went ahead in a virtual ceremony on October 25 with awards being presented by Tade Thompson, past winner of the Ilube Nommo Award and the Clarke Award, Chinelo Onwualu, co-founder Omenana Magazine, Mame Bougouma Diene, author and ASFS officer, and Setor Fiadzigbey, co-winner of the 2018 Nommo Award for best comic. 

The 2020 Ilube Nommo Award for Best Novel

  • David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Voting narrowly gave the victory that work over The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell.

The 2020 Nommo Award for Novella

  • Incompleteness Theories by Wole Talabi

This is his second Nommo Award.  The novella comes from Talabi’s single-author collection Incomplete Solutions.

The 2020 Nommo Award for Short Story

[Tie]

  • “Tiny Bravery” by Ada Nnadi
  • “Sin Eater” by Chikodili Emelumadu

Both stories were published by the Nigeria-based online journal Omenana.

 The 2020 Nommo Award for Graphic Novel/Comic

  • DANFO by Morakinyo Araoye, and Steven Akinyemi (authors) Ogim Ekpezu (artist)  (TAG Comics)

The Nommo Awards were established in 2016.  The roughly 200 published authors and artists who are members of the African Speculative Fiction Society first nominate and then vote for the winners.  The Awards recognize work in the four categories by African creators across multiple genres including fantasy, interstitial fiction, science fiction, spiritual fiction, Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism and horror.

The Ilube Nommo Awards are named after Tom Ilube, CBE who sponsors the prize money for all four awards.  This year additional funding was received via Africa Storybundle from Apex Publications and Shadreck Chikoti.

For a full listing of the short lists and winners of previous Nommos visit the ASFS website

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 Nommo Awards Shortlists

The African Speculative Fiction Society has unveiled the shortlists for the 2020 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans. 

Voting for the winners by members of the ASFS will start on May 30 and end August 30.

2020 Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African

  • Masande Ntshanga, Triangulum (Penguin Random House South Africa)
  • Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift (Penguin Random House/Vintage/Hogarth)
  • Nerine Dorman, Sing Down The Stars (Tafelberg)
  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa, David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon)
  • Tade Thompson, Rosewater Insurrection (Orbit)
  • Tochi Onyebuchi, War Girls (Razorbill Penguin Group)

2020 Nommo Award for Best Speculative Novella by an African

  • Caldon Mull, Weatherman (Caldon Mull)
  • Kerstin Hall, The Border Keeper (Tor.com)
  • Wole Talabi, Incompleteness Theories (from single-author anthology Incomplete Solutions, Luna Press)

2020 Nommo Award for Best Speculative Short Story by an African

  • Ada Nnadi, Tiny Bravery (Omenana)
  • Chikodili Emelumadu, Sin Eater  (Omenana)
  • Deji Bryce Olukotun, Between The Dark And The Dark (Lightspeed)
  • Ivana Akotowaa Ofori, Principles Of Balance  (Jalada)
  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa, The Haunting Of 13 Olúwo Street  (Fireside)
  • Wole Talabi, When We Dream We Are Our God (Apex Magazine and All Borders Are Temporary, TrAP Magazine)

2020 Nommo Award for Best Graphic Novel/Comic by Africans

  • Beast From Venus by Kiprop Kimutai (author) and Salim Busuru (artist) (Avandu Vosi)
  • Captain South Africa by Bill Masuku (artist and author) (Enigma Comix)
  • Danfo by Morakinyo Araoye, and Steven Akinyemi (authors) Ogim Ekpezu (artist)  (TAG Comics)
  • Hawi by Beserat Debebe (author) and Stanley Obende (artist)  (Etan Comics)
  • Kami by Mika Hirwa (author and artist) (Mira Hirwa publisher)
  • Nani by Ziki Nelson (author) Jason Lamy (artist) (Kugali comics)
  • Sanu by Charles Sentongo (author and artist) Elupe Comics
  • Welcome To Dead World by Bill Masuku (author and art) (Sam Graphico Anthology)

The African Speculative Fiction Society, composed of professional and semiprofessional African writers, editors, publishers, graphic artists and film makers, was founded in 2016.

The Nommos were presented for the first time in 2017. The awards are named for twins from Dogon cosmology who take a variety of forms, including appearing on land as fish, walking on their tails.

The winners will be announced at an online ceremony some time this autumn.

 [Thanks to Geoff Ryman for the story.]

2020 Nommo Nominations Longlist

The African Speculative Fiction Society has released the 2020 longlist for the Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction.

The African Speculative Fiction Society, composed of professional and semiprofessional African writers, editors, publishers, graphic artists and film makers, was founded in 2016.

The Nommos were presented for the first time in 2017. The awards are named for twins from Dogon cosmology who take a variety of forms, including appearing on land as fish, walking on their tails.

The long lists consist of all titles in their respective categories that were nominated by members of the ASFS. All works are speculative fiction, were published between January 1, 2018 – December 31 2019, and are thought to be by Africans as defined by the ASFS and Nommo Awards Guidelines. Some of these works were nominated once, some just missed the shortlist.  The ASFS lists them in full to draw attention to all the works members felt worthy of consideration.

A short list of about five works in each category will be announced in mid May and ASFS members will then vote.  The winners will be announced at an online ceremony some time this autumn.

2020 NOVEL LONG LIST

  • Akwaeke Emezi — PET (Faber and Faber)
  • Eugen Bacon — CLAIMING T-MO (Meerkat Press)
  • Frank Owen — NORTH (Penguin Random House South Africa)
  • Lauri Kubuitsile — BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Penguin Random House South Africa)
  • Masande Ntshanga — TRIANGULUM (Penguin Random House South Africa)
  • Mary Watson — THE WICKERLIGHT (Bloomsbury)
  • Mary Watson — THE WREN HUNT (Bloomsbury)
  • Myles Ojabo — BLACK RIVER (Dafel Books)
  • Namwali Serpell — THE OLD DRIFT (Penguin Random House/Vintage/Hogarth)
  • Nerine Dorman — SING DOWN THE STARS (Tafelberg)
  • Nerine Dorman — THE COMPANY OF BIRDS (Immanion Press)
  • Rachael A.Z. Mutabingwa — KUNDA (Zaaz Press) free on Kindle
  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa — DAVID MOGO, GODHUNTER (Simon and Schuster)
  • Tade Thompson — ROSEWATER REDEMPTION (Orbit)
  • Tade Thompson — ROSEWATER INSURRECTION (Orbit)
  • T C Farren — THE BOOK OF MALACHI (Kwela)
  • Temi Oh — DO YOU DREAM OF TERRA TWO? (Simon and Schuster)
  • Toby Bennet — THE MUSIC BOX (Tafelberg)
  • Tochi Onyebuchi — WAR GIRLS (Razorbill Penguin Group)
  • Tomi Adeyemi — CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE (Macmillan Publishers/Henry Holt and Co.)
  • Yolandie Horak — A STUDY OF ASH & SMOKE

NOVELS NOMINATED BUT NOT ELIGIBLE

  • Evan Winters — A RAGE OF DRAGONS – first published in 2017
  • Mugabi Byenkya — DEAR PHILOMENA – first published 2017 (Discovery Diversity Publishing)
  • Tochi Onyebuchi — RIOT BABY – published 2020 (Tom Doherty/Tor.com)
  • Tomi Adeyemi — CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE – Shortlisted 2019 (Macmillan Publishers/Henry Holt and Co.)

2020 NOVELLA LONG LIST

  • Bill Masuku — MISFORTUNISM (Sera Blue Books)
  • Bill Masuku — PSYCHOPHAGY (Sera Blue Books)
  • Caldon Mull — WEATHERMAN (Caldon Mull)
  • Caldon Mull — TERRAFORM TRIPTYCH (Caldon Mull)
  • C L Corona — HIGH TOWER GODS (Amazon Digital Services)
  • Cat Hellisen — EVEN WHEN THE WORLD HAS TOLD US WE HAVE ENDED (ebook)
  • Kerstin Hall — THE BORDER KEEPER (Tor.com)
  • Unathi Slasha — JAH HILLS (Black Ghost Books) — NB: copyright 2017, published 2018
  • Wole Talabi — INCOMPLETENESS THEORIES — (single-author anthology, INCOMPLETE SOLUTIONS, Luna Press)

2020 SHORT STORY LONG LIST

  • Acan Innocent Immaculate — SONG BIRD (Brittle Paper and Go the Way Your Blood Beats, anthology edited by Anathi Jongilanga, Brittle Paper)
  • Ada Nnadi — TINY BRAVERY (Omenana)
  • Ama Josephine Budge — A SHOAL OF LOVERS LEADS ME HOME (Anathema Magazine)
  • Ayodele Olufintuade — THE STORM PAINTER (Strange Horizons)
  • Caldon Mull REFUGIA — (Omenana)
  • Chikodili Emelumadu — SIN EATER (Omenana)
  • Chinelo Onwualu — WHAT THE DEAD MAN SAID (Slate.com)
  • Dare Segun Falowo — VAIN KNIFE (The Dark Magazine)
  • Deji Bryce Olukotun — BETWEEN THE DARK AND THE DARK (Lightspeed)
  • Ekari Mbvundula — THE BLUE BALL (Story Ink Africa)
  • Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald — IFE-IYOKU (Selene Quarterly)
  • Eugen Bacon — A PINING (StylusLit),
  • Eugen Bacon — THE DAY CHIVALRY DIED (AntipodeanSF),
  • Eugen Bacon — A GOOD BALL (Other Terrain Journal); (the three Bacon stories are from the single-author anthology DYING AND OTHER STORIES)
  • Hannah Onoguwe — WHERE THE PALM NUT GROWS (Timeworn Literary Journal)
  • Haku Jackson — THE SILENT GOD (Omenana)
  • Imade Iyamu — ODUDUWA: THE RETURN (in anthology YOUNG EXPLORERS ADVENTURE GUIDE VOL 6 edited by Corie and Sean Weaver, Dreaming Robot Press)
  • Innocent Chizaram Ilo — FEMALE COMPUTER WANTED APPLY WITHIN (Fireside Fiction)
  • Innocent Chizaram Ilo — RED CROWS (Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores)
  • Ivana Akotowaa Ofori — PRINCIPLES OF BALANCE (Jalada)
  • Kathleen Kayembe — THE OCEAN THAT FADES INTO SKY (Lightspeed)
  • Keletso Mopai — BECOMING A GOD (from the single-author anthology IF YOU KEEP DIGGING, Jacana Media) (Omenana)
  • Keletso Mopai – FOURTEEN (from single-author anthology IF YOU KEEP DIGGING, Jacana Media)
  • Kofi Nyameye — THE LIGHTS GO OUT ONE BY ONE (Asimovs Science Fiction)
  • Lesley Arimah — SKINNED (McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern)
  • Mame Bougouma Diene — ANOTHER DAY IN THE DESERT (EscapePod)
  • Mame Bougouma Diene — THE LAST OF HER KIND (Omenana)
  • Mandisi Nkomo — DROPZONE (Mandisi Nkomo)
  • Mohale Mashigo – MUTSHIDZI (anthology A WORLD OF HORROR edited by Eric J Guignard, Dark Moon Books)
  • Nick Wood — A MILLION REASONS WHY (from single-author collection LEARNING MONKEY AND CROCODILE, Luna Press)
  • Nikhil Singh — THE RE-EVOLUTION OF CLOUD 9 (from anthology THE UNQUIET DREAMER: A TRIBUTE TO HARLAN ELLISON edited by Preston Grassman, PS Publishing)
  • Olufunke Ogundimu — IN-BETWEEN (Jalada)
  • Ope Adedeji — AFTER THE BIRDS (McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern)
  • Osahon Ize-Iyamu — FLAGS FLYING BEFORE A FALL (Strange Horizons)
  • Osahon Ize-Iyamu — IN THE GARDEN WATCHING NIM-NOMS (Omenana)
  • Osahon Ize-Iyamu — WHO HAS NEVER LOVED A GENTLE HOUSE? (Strange Horizons)
  • Osahon Ize-Iyamu — THEREIN LIES A SOUL (The Dark Magazine)
  • ‘Pemi Aguda — MANIFEST 11 (Granta)
  • ‘Pemi Aguda — 24 ALHAJI WILLIAMS STREET (Zoetrope)
  • Rafeeat Aliyu — WHERE THE RAIN MOTHERS ARE (Strange Horizons)
  • Rafeif Ismail — SOMETHING LIKE REVOLUTION (Meanjin Quarterly)
  • Shingai Kagunda — HOLDING ON TO WATER (Omenana)
  • Stephen Embleton — THE GIRL WITH TWO BODIES (Kalahari Review)
  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa — THE HAUNTING OF 13 OLÚWO STREET (Fireside)
  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa — A LIGHT FOR THE DARK UNDER (Brick Moon) (also in the anthology IT STARTS WITH A HEIST (Brick Moon)
  • Tariro Ndoro — A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (anthology HOTEL AFRICA, Short Story Day Africa)
  • Tariro Ndoro — THE CURE (in NOWHEREVILLE: WEIRD IS OTHER PEOPLE, Broken Eye Books)
  • T L Huchu — CORIALIS (Fiyah)
  • Tiah Marie Beautement — THE AMERICAN REFUGEE (Cast of Wonders Podcast)
  • Tobi Ogundiran — FAÊL (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • Wole Talabi — WHEN WE DREAM WE ARE OUR GOD (Apex Magazine and ALL BORDERS ARE TEMPORARY, TrAP Magazine)
  • Wole Talabi — ABEOKUTA52 (Omenana)
  • Wole Talabi — TENDS TO ZERO (in NOWHEREVILLE: WEIRD IS OTHER PEOPLE, Broken Eye Books)

SHORT STORIES LONG LISTED BUT NOT ELIGIBLE

  • Blaize Kaye — BRAND NEW WAYS TO LOSE YOU OVER AND OVER – short listed 2019 (Omenana)
  • Dare Segun Falowo — NGOZI UGEGBE NWA – published 2020 (The Dark Magazine)
  • Derek Lubangakene — ORIGAMI ANGELS – not eligible shortlisted 2019 (Omenana)
  • Henrietta Rose-Innes — LIMERENCE – first published 2016 (Some Such Stories)
  • Innocent Chizaram Ilodianya — RAT AND FINCH ARE FRIENDS – published 2020 (Strange Horizons)
  • Tiah Marie Beautement — MOMENTO MORI – shortlisted 2019 (Omenana)
  • T L Huchu NJUZU – shortlisted 2019 (first published in AfroSFV3 edited by Ivor W. Hartmann and in the Johannesburg Review of Books)

2020 GRAPHIC NOVEL LONG LIST

  • BEAST FROM VENUS — (Avandu Vosi) Kiprop Kimutai (author) and Salim Busuru (artist)
  • BLACKMOON (Comic Republic) — Tobe Max Ezeogu (author) and Tobe Max Ezeogu, Tobe Ezeogu, Ozo Ezeogu, Kelechi Isaac (artists)
  • CAPTAIN SOUTH AFRICA Part 1: Origins (Enigma Comix) — Bill Masuku (author and artist)
  • DANFO (TAG Comics) — Morakinyo Araoye, and Steven Akinyemi (authors) Ogim Ekpezu (artist)
  • HAWI (Etan Comics)– Beserat Debebe (author) and Stanley Obende (artist)
  • IYANU CHILD OF WONDER (YouNeek Studios) — Roye Okupe (author) and Godwin Akpan (artist)
  • JEMBER (Etan Comics) — Beserate Dbebe (author) and Stanley Obende (artist)
  • KAMI (Mira Hirwa publisher) — Mika Hirwa (author and artist)
  • MOONGIRLS (Drama Queens Gh) — Akosua Hanson, Suhaidatu Dramani, George Hanson, Tsiddi (authors) and AnimaxFYB Studios (artists)
  • LAND OF GODS: ORUN (Vortex Comics) — Kevin Sampong and Somto Ajuluchukwu (authors) Gemahel Kamgain (art)
  • NANI (Kugali Comics) — Ziki Nelson (author) Jasonas Lamy (artist)
  • SANU (Elupe Comics) — SSentogo Charles (author and artist)
  • WELCOME TO DEAD WORLD (Sam Graphico Anthology) — Bill Masuku (author and artist)

GRAPHIC NOVELS NOMINATED NOT ELIGIBLE

  • TATASHE — Cassandra Mark (author) and Tobe Max Ozeogu (Comic Republic) shortlisted 2019.
  • ROVIK — Yvonne Waniyoke (author) and Salim Busuru (Avandu Vosi) shortlisted 2019.

[Thanks to Geoff Ryman for the story.]

2019 Nommo Awards

At the opening ceremony of the Ake Festival on Thursday, October 24, the winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans were announced.

The awards are given by the African Speculative Fiction Society, an organization of professional and semiprofessional African writers, editors, publishers, graphic artists and film makers founded in 2016.

The Nommos were presented for the first time in 2017. The awards are named for twins from Dogon cosmology who take a variety of forms, including appearing on land as fish, walking on their tails.

NOVEL – The Ilube Award

  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

NOVELLA

  • The Firebird by Nerine Dorman

SHORT STORY

  • “The Witching Hour” by Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald

GRAPHIC NOVEL

  • Shuri by Nnedi Okorafor (Writer), Leonardo Romero (Artist)

[Via Locus Online.]

Pixel Scroll 5/15/19 These Groots Are Made For Walking, Ent That’s Just What They’ll Do

(1) HOGWASH, POPPYCOCK & BALONEY. George R.R. Martin quashed a current rumor in his post “Idiocy on the Internet”.

…All of a sudden this crazy story about my finishing THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING years ago is popping up everywhere. No, I am not going to provide links. I don’t want to reward purveyors of misinformation with hits.

I will, however, say for the record — no, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished. DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six

It seems absurd to me that I need to state this. The world is round, the Earth revolves around the sun, water is wet… do I need to say that too? It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. It makes not a whit of sense. Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers — not just here in the US, but all around the world — ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense. Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books.

So… no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no “deal” to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if THE WINDS OF WINTER had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.

(2) BUT THIS STORY IS TRUE. Martin confirmed a different report quoting his opinion of two characters created by Tolkien and Rowling:

At the Q&A following the premiere of the new TOLKIEN film in Los Angeles last week, I did indeed say that Gandalf could kick Dumbledore’s ass.

Gandalf COULD kick Dumbledore’s ass. I mean, duh. He’s a maia, folks. Next best thing to a demigod. Gandalf dies and come back. Dumbledore dies and stays dead.

But if it will calm down all the Potterites out there, let me say that Gandalf could kick Melisandre’s ass too.

(3) HORRORMENTARY. The new drama Years and Years, which follows a British family over the next 15 years began Tuesday night on BBC1 in the UK, and will be screened on HBO in the US later in the year. BBC contemplates: “How the near future became our greatest horror”.

…But if [J.G.] Ballard’s thinking was subversive at the time, now we’re beset by the nearest of ‘near future’ narratives. They are intent on imagining not what will become of us in thousands of millennia, or even in a few decades’ time – à la dystopian works like Blade Runner and Soylent Green, previously understood as ‘near future’ – but in as little as the next few years. In doing so, these near-near-future stories create realities that feel immediately recognisable to us, but invariably with a pretty unpleasant twist or three. In literature, these have gone hand in hand with the rise of the ‘mundane science fiction’ movement – which began in the mid-noughties and was built on “not wanting to imagine shiny, hard futures [but give a] sense of sliding from one version of our present into something slightly alienated”, says Roger Luckhurst, a professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at London’s Birkbeck College and an expert in science fiction.

And, at the moment, such stories are particularly prevalent on the small-screen….

(4) BLACK MIRROR. The show returns to Netflix on June 5:

(5) BEAUMONT REMEMBERED. Pulpfest’s Mike Chomko profiles “THE TWILIGHT ZONE’S Magic Man — Charles Beaumont”, who died too soon —

…At the height of his writing career, Beaumont began to suffer from a mysterious ailment. “By 1964, he could no longer write. Meetings with producers turned disastrous. His speech became slower, more deliberate. His concentration worsened. . . . after a battery of tests at UCLA, Beaumont was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s Disease; he faced premature senility, aging, and an early death.” He died on February 21, 1967 at the age of thirty-eight.

(6) STORIES REBORN. Paula Guran’s anthology Mythic Journeys: Retold Myths and Legends was released yesterday by Night Shade Books.

The Native American trickster Coyote . . . the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone . . . Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa . . . the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend . . . Freyja, the Norse goddess of love and beauty . . . Ys, the mythical sunken city once built on the coast of France . . . Ragnarok, the myth of a world destroyed and reborn . . . Jason and the Argonauts, sailing in search of the Golden Fleece . . .

Myths and legends are the oldest of stories, part of our collective consciousness, and the source from which all fiction flows. Full of magic, supernatural powers, monsters, heroes, epic journeys, strange worlds, and vast imagination, they are fantasies so compelling we want to believe them true.

(7) FRIEDMAN OBIT. “Stanton Friedman, famed UFO researcher, dead at 84”CBC has the story.

A nuclear physicist by training, Friedman had devoted his life to researching and investigating UFOs since the late 1960s.

He was credited with bringing the 1947 Roswell Incident — the famous incident that gave rise to theories about UFOs and a U.S. military coverup — back into the mainstream conversation.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.

Apparently a big day in the history of B-movies.

  • May 15, 1953 Phantom From Space premiered in theaters.
  • May 15, 1959Invisible Invaders debuted in movie houses.
  • May 15, 1969 Witchfinder General, starring Vincent Price, screened for the first time.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 15, 1856 L. Frank Baum. I adore The Wizard of Oz film and I’m betting you know that it only covers about half of the novel which is a splendid read indeed. I’ll confess that I never read the numerous latter volumes in the Oz series, nor have I read anything by him. What’s the rest of his fiction like? (Died 1919.)
  • Born May 15, 1877 William Bowen. His most notable work was The Old Tobacco Shop, a fantasy novel that was one runner-up for the inaugural Newbery Medal in 1922. He also had a long running children’s series with a young girl named Merrimeg whom a narrator told her adventures with all sorts of folkloric beings. (Died 1937.)
  • Born May 15, 1926 Anthony Shaffer. His genre screenplays were the Hitchcock’s Frenzy and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man. Though definitely not genre, he wrote the screenplays for a number of most excellent mysteries including Death on the NileMurder on the Orient Express and Sleuth. (Died 2001.)
  • Born May 15, 1955 Lee Horsley, 64. A performer who’s spent a lot of his career in genre undertakings starting with The Sword and the Sorcerer (and its 2010 sequel Tales of an Ancient Empire), horror films Nightmare ManThe Corpse Had a Familiar Face and Dismembered and even a bit of SF in Showdown at Area 51. Not sure where The Face of Fear falls has a it has a cop with psychic powers and a serial killer. 
  • Born May 15, 1960 Rob Bowman, 59. Producer of such series as Alien Nation, M.A.N.T.I.S.Quantum LeapNext Generation, and The X-Files. He has directed these films: The X-Files, Reign of Fire and Elektra. He directed one or several episodes of far too many genres series to list here.  
  • Born May 15, 1966 Greg Wise, 53. I’m including him solely as he’s in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. It is a film-within-a-film, featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing themselves as egotistical actors during the making of a screen adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s 18th century metafictional novel Tristram Shandy. Not genre (possibly) but damn fun. 

(10) VIRGIN GALACTIC. The company’s press release, “Sir Richard Branson Announces Virgin Galactic Move to Spaceport America this Summer, as Company Readies for Commercial Service”, does not state when service will commence.

At a press conference [on May 10] at the New Mexico State Capitol Building in Santa Fe, hosted by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic’s development and testing program had advanced sufficiently to move the spaceline staff and space vehicles from Mojave, California to their commercial operations headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico. The move, which involves more than 100 staff, will commence immediately and continue through the summer, to minimise schooling disruption for families.

Virgin Galactic partnered with New Mexico in an agreement which saw the state complete construction of Spaceport America, the world’s first, purpose-built commercial spaceport, and Virgin Galactic committing to center its commercial spaceflight activities at the facilities once its vehicles and operations were ready for service.

(11) ZUBRIN’S CASE. The Space Review hosts Jeff Foust’s coverage of Robert Zubrin’s new book The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility.

…The second part of the book tackles the question of why humanity should move out in the universe. The reasons are familiar ones, from scientific discoveries to new technologies to the survival of humanity itself. For example, Zubrin reiterates a belief, dating back to his The Case for Mars book more than 20 years ago, that a human settlement on Mars will require ingenuity to survive, stimulating new technologies from robotics to fusion power that might not be developed on Earth.

Zubrin offers a comprehensive plan, one rich in technical detail—perhaps too rich at times, with some passages filled with equations describing chemical processes needed to extract resources on Mars or other worlds or discussing the physics of advanced propulsion technologies. But it seems a little fanciful to talk about concepts for interstellar travel like antimatter and magnetic sails when we find it so difficult today simply to get to low Earth orbit reliably and inexpensively.

(12) DAGGERS. The longlists for the The Crime Writers Association Dagger Awards have been posted.

Lavie Tidhar’s “Bag Man”, in The Outcast Hours anthology, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, is one of the works longlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger Award.

(13) REBELS WITH A CAUSE. Marie Kondo really struck a nerve.The Independent had no trouble finding people who have no plans to winnow their book stacks: “Going against the decluttering craze: the book hoarers who defy Marie Kondo”. For one example —  

Jane Green, bestselling author who traded England for New England

I’ve run out of space. Books are starting to get stacked up on the floor, underneath tables, underneath chairs, on top of tables. They’re everywhere. With no more room on the bookshelves, I’ve been eyeing this gorgeous French armoire that takes up an entire wall. That wall is just perfect for shelves and would make the room warmer. I know, however, that my husband really likes the armoire. He sees: storage, storage, storage. I see: books, books, books. We’ll see who wins. 

For years, I couldn’t get rid of anything. I have had to learn to manage the flow. Paperbacks I tend not to keep unless I love them and know I’m going to reread them. Hardcovers are really hard for me to get rid of. They all signify a time in my life. They all have stories around the stories. I will sometimes just stand there and look at my books and remember.

(14) ANOTHER BRICK IN THE PAYWALL. Digiday elaborates on a trend that has made it more challenging for me to research Scroll items at sites that think I should pay for their material (the noive!): “Incognito no more: Publishers close loopholes as paywall blockers emerge”.

Subscription publishers have tightened their paywalls, plugging leaks and reducing the number of articles readers access before subscribing. But as reader revenue becomes more of a focus, more sophisticated ways of dodging paying have emerged.

There have always been a number of low-tech ways to circumvent cookie-based metered paywalls, where the same content is freely available in some but not all cases. For instance deleting cookies, using multiple browsers and copying the URL are go-to methods, and are near impossible to mitigate against. However, over the last 18 months, publishers have started plugging these gaps.

In February, The New York Times started tightening its paywall so readers couldn’t access paywalled content by switching their device to incognito mode. A New York Times spokesperson said it’s too early to glean the impacts of these tests.

(15) MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NOMMOS. The announcement of the 2019 Nommo Awards shortlist was followed by a press release with additional details:

The 2019 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans announce the shortlists for the Nommo Awards in all four categories – novel, novella, short story and comics/graphic novels.

The roughly 170 members of the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) nominated works for the Awards long list and short lists.  They will now have a three-month period to read the works and vote for the winners of the Awards. 

The short-listed works must be speculative fiction created by Africans and published in calendar year 2018. The winners of the Ilube Nommo Award and the Comic/Graphic Novel award receive UD$ 1000.00.  The winners of the novella and short story awards receive US$ 500.00.  The ASFS thanks its patron Tom Ilube, CBE for his generosity.

The ASFS was founded in 2015. The creation of the Nommo Awards was announced at the Ake Festival in Abeokuta in November 2016.  The winners will be announced at the Ake Festival in Lagos Nigeria in November.

(16) DOES WHATEVER A SPIDER CAN. BBC:“Spider Uses Web As Slingshot To Ensnare Prey, Scientists Find”.

This high-velocity maneuver is a nightmare if you’re a fly.

There’s a type of spider that can slowly stretch its web taut and then release it, causing the web to catapult forward and ensnare unsuspecting prey in its strands.

Triangle-weaver spiders use their own web the way humans might use a slingshot or a crossbow. Scientists from the University of Akron say this is a process called “power amplification,” and they published their research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

(17) WWW. Cute name: “Wood wide web: Trees’ social networks are mapped”.

Research has shown that beneath every forest and wood there is a complex underground web of roots, fungi and bacteria helping to connect trees and plants to one another.

This subterranean social network, nearly 500 million years old, has become known as the “wood wide web”.

Now, an international study has produced the first global map of the “mycorrhizal fungi networks” dominating this secretive world.

Details appear in Nature journal.

Using machine-learning, researchers from the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and Stanford University in the US used the database of the Global Forest Initiative, which covers 1.2 million forest tree plots with 28,000 species, from more than 70 countries.

(18) ANCIENT PUNCH. “Chang’e-4: Chinese rover ‘confirms’ Moon crater theory” says the BBC.

The Chinese Chang’e-4 rover may have confirmed a longstanding idea about the origin of a vast crater on the Moon’s far side.

The rover’s landing site lies within a vast impact depression created by an asteroid strike billions of years ago.

Now, mission scientists have found evidence that impact was so powerful it punched through the Moon’s crust and into the layer below called the mantle.

Chang’e-4 has identified what appear to be mantle rocks on the surface.

It’s something the rover was sent to the far side to find out.

Chunlai Li, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues have presented their findings in the journal Nature.

(19) GAME OF PYTHONS. Funny or Die shows why “Cersei isn’t the only hard-nosed negotiator Tyrion’s ever faced.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Daniel Dern and OGH.]

2019 Nommo Shortlist

The African Speculative Fiction Society has released the 2019 shortlist for the Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction.

The African Speculative Fiction Society is composed of professional and semiprofessional African writers, editors, publishers, graphic artists and film makers was founded in 2016.

The Nommos were presented for the first time in 2017. The awards are named for twins from Dogon cosmology who take a variety of forms, including appearing on land as fish, walking on their tails.

NOVEL NOMINEES
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE Tomi Adeyemi
EMPTY MONSTERS Cat Hellisen
FRESHWATER Akwaeke Emezi
KNUCKLEBONE Nechama Brodie
A SPY IN TIME Imraan Coovadia
THE STRANGE Masha du Toit
NOVELLA NOMINEES
BINTI: NIGHT MASQUERADE Nnedi Okorafor
THE FIREBIRD Nerine Dorman
HARD MARY Sofia Samatar
NEID-FIRE Caldron Mull
SHORT STORY NOMINEES
BRAND NEW WAYS (to lose you over and over
and over)
Blaize Kaye
THE GIRL WHO STARED AT MARS Cristy Zinn
THE LUMINAL FRONTIER Biram Mboob
MEMENTO MORI Tiah Beautement
NJUZU T L Huchu
ORIGAMI ANGELS Derek Lubangakene
THE WITCHING HOUR Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

GRAPHIC NOVEL NOMINEES

AKISSI: TALES
OF MISCHIEF
Marguerite Abouet (writer),  Mathieu Sapin (Illustrator), Judith Taboy (Translator), Marie Bédrune (Translator)
BLACK PANTHER, LONG LIVE THE KING Nnedi Okorafor, Andre Araujo, Mario Del Pennino,
Tana Ford
ERU Tobe Ezeogu , Oze Ezeogu
KWEZI Loyiso Mkize,  Mohale Mashigo, Clyde Beech
KARMZAH Farida Bedwei, and Ravi Allotey of Leti Arts
MALIKA – WARRIOR QUEEN Roye Okupe  (Author), Ayodele Elegba (Editor), Chima Kalu (Illustrator), Raphael Kazeem (Illustrator)
ROVIK Yvonne Wanyoike (writer), Kendi Mberia, Salim Busuru
(Creator and Artist)
SHAKA RISING Luke W. Molver (Author, Illustrator), Mbongeni Malaba
(Foreword) (South African), Mason O’Connor
SHURI Nnedi Okorafor (Writer), Leonardo Romero
TATASHE Cassandra Mark (Creator, Colourist and Writer) , Tobe
Max Ezeogu (Artist)
UNDER THE SUN Austine Osas (writer & creator), Abiodun Awodele
(writer), Yusuf Temitope (art), Nsia Ndidi (colours &
cover art) and Peter Daniel (lettering)

Click on the links to read the shortlist citations, or all the works that were longlisted.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

2019 Nommo Nominations Longlist

The African Speculative Fiction Society has released the 2019 longlist for the Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction.

The African Speculative Fiction Society, composed of professional and semiprofessional African writers, editors, publishers, graphic artists and film makers, was founded in 2016.

The Nommos were presented for the first time in 2017. The awards are named for twins from Dogon cosmology who take a variety of forms, including appearing on land as fish, walking on their tails.

The long lists consist of all titles in their respective categories that were nominated by members of the ASFS.  Some of these works were nominated once, some just missed the shortlist.  The ASFS lists them in full to draw attention to all the works members felt worthy of consideration.

The shortlist is scheduled to be released on May 14.

NOVEL LONG LIST NOMINEES
AFONJA THE RISE Tunde Leye
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE Tomi Adeyemi
CROWN OF THUNDER Tochi Onyebuchi
EMPTY MONSTERS Cat Hellisen
FRESHWATER Akwaeke Emezi
JAH HILLS Unathi Slasha
KNUCKLEBONE Nechama Brodie
NORTH Frank Owen
SHE WOULD BE KING Wayétu Moore
SHOUNA: LA GENESE Amelie Diack
A SPY IN TIME Imraan Coovadia
THE STRANGE Masha du Toit
WASHINGTON BLACK Esi Edugyan
NOVELLA LONG LIST NOMINEES
BINTI: NIGHT MASQUERADE Nnedi Okorafor
THE FIREBIRD Nerine Dorman
FISTULAS Mame Bougouma Diene
HARD MARY Sofia Samatar
NEID-FIRE Caldron Mull
NOCTURNAL Ishola Abdulwasiu Ayodele
SHORT STORY LONG LIST NOMINEES
AN AMERICAN REFUGEE Tiah Beautement
BEING A GIANT IN MEN’S WORLD Walter Dinjos
BLACK AND GOLD Mame Bougouma Diene
BLOOD SLIPPER Ilse Rensburg
BRAND NEW WAYS (to lose you over and over
and over)
Blaize Kaye
A BRIDAL SHROUD Mirette Bhagat
DRIFT FLUX Wole Talabi
THE FAERIE TREE Kathleen Kayembe
THE FAR SIDE Gabriella Muwanga
FOR WHAT ARE DELUSIONS IF NOT
DREAMS?
Osahon Ize-Iyamu
GHOST STRAIN N Mohale Moshigo
THE GIRL WHO STARED AT MARS Cristy Zinn
THE GREY MAN Vittorio Leonardi
HAUNTED BY THE CITY Mandisi Nkomo
THE HARMONIC RESONANCE OF
EJIRO ANABORHI
Wole Talabi
HEKA AND THE COLOUR THIEF Dennis Dvornak
IN HER BONES Lindiwe Rooney
IN THE GARDEN WATCHING NIM NOMS Osahon Ize-Iyamu
THE INTERPLANETARY WATER COMPANY Masimba Musodza
INTO THE DARK Kelan Gerriety
JIDENNA T J Benson
JOURNAL OF A DNA PIRATE Stephen Embleton
KU’GBO Dare Segun Falowo
LEE-AH (SISTER) H J Golakai
THE LUMINAL FRONTIER Biram Mboob
MEMENTO MORI Tiah Beautement
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE Walter Dinjos
MOTHER OF INVENTION Nnedi Okorafor
MUTSHIDZI Mohale Mashigo
NNEAMAKA’S GHOST Walter Dinjos
NJUZU T L Huchu
ORIGAMI ANGELS Derek Lubangakene
PARENTAL CONTROL Mazi Nwonwu
REMAINS OF AN OLD WORLD Blaize Kaye
RIVER DOLL Tariro Ndoro
SAFARI NYOTA Dilman Dila
SAY IT LOW, THEN LOUD Osahon Ize Iyamu
SECRET LIFE OF THE UNCLAIMED Suyi Davies Okungbowa
AND SONGS DON’T END Osahon Ize-Iyamu
THE TAILORESS OF CRIMSON LANE Shaun van Rensburg
THE THIRD SET OF STITCHES Ray Mwihaki
TIE KIDI Awuor Onyango
TOOTHSOME THINGS Chimedum Ohaegbu
THE UNUSUAL CUSTOMER Innocent Chizaram Ilo
VAIN KNIFE Dare Segun Falowo
OF WARPS AND WELTS Innnocent Chizaram Ilo
WHEN WE DREAM, WE ARE OUR GOD Wole Talabi
WHERE RIVERS GO TO DIE Dilman Dila
THE WITCHING HOUR Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki
THE WOODS ARE LOVELY Jason Hess
YARD DOG Tade Thompson

GRAPHIC NOVEL LONG LIST NOMINEES

AKISSI: TALES
OF MISCHIEF
Marguerite Abouet (writer),  Mathieu Sapin (Illustrator), Judith Taboy (Translator), Marie Bédrune (Translator)
BLACK PANTHER, LONG LIVE THE KING Nnedi Okorafor, Andre Araujo, Mario Del Pennino,
Tana Ford
ERU Tobe Ezeogu , Oze Ezeogu
KWEZI Loyiso Mkize,  Mohale Mashigo, Clyde Beech
KARMZAH Farida Bedwei, and Ravi Allotey of Leti Arts
MALIKA – WARRIOR QUEEN Roye Okupe  (Author), Ayodele Elegba (Editor), Chima Kalu (Illustrator), Raphael Kazeem (Illustrator)
ROVIK Yvonne Wanyoike (writer), Kendi Mberia, Salim Busuru
(Creator and Artist)
SHAKA RISING Luke W. Molver (Author, Illustrator), Mbongeni Malaba
(Foreword) (South African), Mason O’Connor
SHURI Nnedi Okorafor (Writer), Leonardo Romero
TATASHE Cassandra Mark (Creator, Colourist and Writer) , Tobe
Max Ezeogu (Artist)
UNDER THE SUN Austine Osas (writer & creator), Abiodun Awodele
(writer), Yusuf Temitope (art), Nsia Ndidi (colours &
cover art) and Peter Daniel (lettering)

[Thans to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

2018 Nommo Awards


The African Speculative Fiction Society announced the winners of the 2018 Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction at the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Lagos, Nigeria on October 25.

The African Speculative Fiction Society, composed of professional and semiprofessional African writers, editors, publishers, graphic artists and film makers, was founded in 2016.

The Nommos were presented for the first time in 2017. The awards are named for twins from Dogon cosmology who take a variety of forms, including appearing on land as fish, walking on their tails.

ILUBE AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL

  • Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

BEST NOVELLA

  • The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

BEST SHORT STORY

  • “The Regression Test” by Wole Talabi

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL

The award has been funded for four years, by Mr Tom Ilube. The prize for best novel is $1,000, best novella $500, best short story $500, and best graphic novel $1000 to be shared.

2018 Nommo Nominations

The African Speculative Fiction Society has release the 2018 nominees for the Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction.

The African Speculative Fiction Society, composed of professional and semiprofessional African writers, editors, publishers, graphic artists and film makers, was founded in 2016.

The Nommos were presented for the first time in 2017. The awards are named for twins from Dogon cosmology who take a variety of forms, including appearing on land as fish, walking on their tails.

NOVEL NOMINEES

  • Our Memory Like Dust by Gavin Chait
  • The Real by Masha du Toit
  • Fever by Deon Meyer
  • Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
  • After the Flare by Deji Olokotun
  • Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

READ THE FULL NOVEL NOMINATION LIST & DETAILS HERE

NOVELLA NOMINEES

  • Binti: Home  by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Fallow by Sofia Samatar
  • The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

READ THE FULL NOVELLA NOMINATION LIST & DETAILS HERE

SHORT STORY NOMINEES

  • “On the Other Side of the Sea” by Nerine Dorman
  • “A Door Ajar” by Sibongile Fisher
  • “Read Before Use” by Chinelo Onwualu
  • “Snake Story” by Henrietta Rose-Innes
  • “The Regression Test” by Wole Talabi

READ THE FULL SHORT STORY NOMINATION LIST & DETAILS HERE

GRAPHIC NOVEL NOMINEES

READ THE FULL GRAPHIC NOVEL NOMINATION LIST & DETAILS HERE

The Nommos are voted on by ASFS members. Eligible works must be produced by Africans, and may be self-published.

ASFS’ definition of who is an African includes:

  • citizens of African countries,
  • people born on the continent and raised there for substantial periods of time,
  • citizens or people born on the continent who live abroad
  • people who have at least one African parent or
  • Africans without papers, and
  • some migrants to African countries*.

*’African country’ is defined as any country or contested area on the Continent of Africa, ending at the Egyptian border, and including islands such as Zanzibar and Madagascar.

The award has been funded for four years, by Mr Tom Ilube. The prize for best novel is $1,000, best novella $500, best short story $500, and best graphic novel $1000 to be shared.

[Thanks to  Mark Hepworth for the story.]