The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction (CSSF) has announced the winner of the 2022 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best science fiction short story published in 2021. The winning piece, selected by a jury of prominent science fiction writers and scholars, is Nalo Hopkinson’s “Broad Dutty Water: A Sunken Story”, published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (November/December 2021).
Jurors praised the work for its imaginative worldbuilding, subtle allusions to mythology, and the loveable character of Lickchop—the protagonist’s pet pig. One noted, “[It’s] nice to find a climate change story that moves forward towards a future rather than [only] looking back to the past.” Hopkinson’s tale is set in the Caribbean basin, in an era identified as post-Inundation: “Nobody was really sure what Florida town or city they were floating above; catastrophic flooding and the resulting seismic activity had changed shorelines too much”.
Nalo Hopkinson was born in Jamaica in 1960. She moved to Canada in 1977, and won the 1997 Warner Aspect First Novel Contest for Brown Girl in the Ring. Since the start of her career, she has published six novels, numerous short stories, and has written comics in DC’s “Sandman” universe. She has received the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award, the John W. Campbell and Locus Awards, the World Fantasy Award, Canada’s Aurora Award, the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, and the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award. In 2020, Science Fiction Writers of America made Hopkinson its 37th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, a lifetime achievement award in recognition of her writing, teaching, and mentorship. She currently lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she is a professor in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.
CSSF will present the trophy and monetary prize to Hopkinson at the Sturgeon Award Ceremony on Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 7 pm in the Hall Center for the Humanities (900 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS). The ceremony will feature a reading by Hopkinson, Q & A session, recognition of special guests, and a presentation by Spencer Libraries Curator Elspeth Healey on the Theodore Sturgeon papers in the KU archives. Those who are interested in attending virtually can register here.