Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki revealed the inaugural finalists for the 2021 Emeka Walter Dinjos Memorial Award For Disability In Speculative Fiction today.
The prize has two categories. One awards a writer of speculative fiction for their representation or portrayal of disability in a world of speculative fiction, whatever their health status. The second awards a disabled writer for a work of speculative fiction in general, whatever the focus of the work may be.
THE DISABLED WRITERS CATEGORY
- Jaye Viner’s “Cannibalism in the Inhuman Age” in Drabblecast
- Christine Lucas’s “Echoes of a Broken Mind” in Future SF
- Marissa Lingen’s “So Your Grandmother Is a Starship Now: A Quick Guide for the Bewildered” in Nature
- Dare Segun Falowo’s “Sonskins” in Baffling Mag
- Seanan McGuire’s “Treatment Plan” in VITAL: The Future of Healthcare
THE DISABILITY REPRESENTING WORKS CATEGORY
- P.H. Low’s “The Loneliness of Former Constellations” in Strange Horizons
- Tabatha Wood’s “Long Drop” in Seeds
- McKinley Valentine’s “The Code for Everything” in Fantasy Mag
- Jennifer Lee Rossman’s “The Steel Magnolia Metaphor” in Escape Pod
- Justin C Key’s The Algorithm Will See You Now in VITAL: The Future of Healthcare
The winners will be announced in the first quarter of January 2023. You can see more about the award and what it aims to achieve here.
ABOUT THE SELECTED WORKS.
Works By Disabled Writers
- Jaye Viner’s “Cannibalism in The Inhuman age” on Drabblecast, is a far future story about a person who steals the identity of his robot supervisor in order to make a better life for himself and his family in a time when the productivity of machines is valued even more than it is now. It’s the story of dehumanization via automation, and the covert re-humanization of automation done by the most desperate.
- Christine Lucas’s “Echoes of a Broken Mind” in Future SF is a story of secrets, betrayals and comeuppance, set in a space station around Jupiter.
- Marissa Lingen’s “So Your Grandmother Is a Starship Now: A Quick Guide for the Bewildered” in Nature is a science fictional romp through the idea that other people–even our elders–have personal autonomy and different goals for their own lives than we might have for them. It’s a comedic look at one more in a long line of life’s many bodily changes.
- Dare Segun Falowo’s Sonskins in Baffling Mag is an experimental queer horror from the point of view of mothers who would do anything in their power to see their sons take up conventional, normalized roles in their lives, even if it means playing games with skin.
- Seanan McGuire’s Treatment Plan in VITAL: The Future of Healthcare is an attempt at projecting a believable outcome for the modern American medical system. In this fascist, dystopic America, diagnosis of a medical condition or illness will cause a person to be separated from society and condemned to an early death.
The Disability Representing Works Category:
- P.H. Low’s “The Loneliness of Former Constellations in Strange Horizons – A cyborg house witch whose body was deeply affected by her stint in battle and her ambitious monster-slaying tenant fall for each other in the aftermath of an intergalactic war.
- Tabatha Wood’s “Long Drop” in Seeds – Using an outside toilet is often an unpleasant experience, without finding a monster inside one too. “Long Drop” follows a harried single mother and her capricious daughter as they drive across Aotearoa, and a rest stop that will change their lives.
- McKinley Valentine’s “The Code for Everything” in Fantasy Mag – In this story, autistic code-switching gains a new challenge in the fairy realm, with interesting results.
- Jennifer Lee Rossman’s “The Steel Magnolia Metaphor” in Escape Pod – The autistic daughter of a sick and dying mother finds the language to bridge their experiential divide.
- Justin C Key’s “The Algorithm Will See You Now” in VITAL: The Future of Healthcare. This story features a therapist who suffers from mental illness herself, but is still an effective professional mental health provider.
Award administrator Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki thanked those who assisted in reading, recommendations and other tasks, Mazi Nwonwu of Omenana, Lezli Robyn of Galaxy’s Edge, M L Clark, and Ross Showalter.
[Based on a press release.]