Kemi Ashing-Giwa Wins 2024 Compton Crook Award

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) announced today that Splinter in the Sky (Saga Press) by Kemi Ashing-Giwa has won the 2024 Compton Crook Award for best debut SF/Fantasy/horror novel, a prize worth $1,000. Kemi Ashing-Giwa is the 42nd winner of the award.

Since 1983, BSFS has given the Compton Crook Award for best first novel in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. The other finalists were: 

  • Deathwind: War of the Harbingers Book 1 by Brad Pawlowski (Sunquake Books);
  • How to Be Remembered by Michael Thompson (Sourcebooks Landmark)and
  • These Burning Stars by Bethany Jacobs (Orbit)

Judging for the award has two parts. First, members of BSFS picked four finalists by reading and rating debut novels published between November 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023. Then, in the finalist round, club members picked a winner.  

The award includes a framed award document and, for the novel’s author, a check for $1,000 and an invitation to be the Compton Crook Guest of Honor at Balticon (the BSFS annual convention) for two years. Balticon will be held this year in Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend, May 24-27.

Kemi Ashing-Giwa studied organismic and evolutionary biology, and astrophysics at Harvard, and is now pursuing a PhD in the Earth & Planetary Sciences department at Stanford. She has a novella, “This World Is Not Yours” scheduled for September 2024 from Tor Nightfire and a novel, The King Must Die scheduled for 2025 from Saga Press.

The Compton Crook Award was named in memory of Towson State College Professor of Natural Sciences Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall and died in 1981. Professor Crook was active for many years in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and was a staunch champion of new works in the fields eligible for the award. For more details visit award webpage.

Past winners of the award have included Donald Kingsbury, Elizabeth Moon, Michael Flynn, Wen Spencer, Maria Snyder, Naomi Novik, Paolo Bacigalupi, Myke Cole, Charles Gannon, Fran Wilde, Ada Palmer, R.F. Kuang, Arkady Martine, and P. Djèlí Clark. Last year’s winner was Alex Jennings for his novel The Ballad of Perilous Graves.

Reading and rating books for the 2025 award will begin this summer. For more information contact [email protected].

BSFS is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable, literary and educational organization, dedicated to the promotion of, and an appreciation for, science fiction in all of its many forms. The Baltimore Science Fiction Society was launched on January 5, 1963 and has been holding Balticon since 1967.