The Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction was awarded to Zen Cho’s story collection Spirits Abroad.
Judges commended the stories for their imagination, tenderness, joy and play. “During the past two years, for many of us, the world has felt harder than ever to exist in,” they said in a citation. “‘Spirits Abroad’ gave this judging panel a much-needed adventure.”
The Los Angeles Times today unveiled the finalists for the 41st annual Book Prizes. Winners will be announced virtually on Friday, April 16 in a prologue to the Festival of Books, Stories and Ideas. Traditionally the nation’s largest in-person literary event, the festival will be held online this year, beginning on Saturday, April 17, and continuing over the course of six days.
The finalists of genre interest follow below. The complete list of finalists is here.
The Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
Piranesiby Susanna Clarke
Lakewood: A Novelby Megan Giddings
The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy, 1)by N. K. Jemisin
The Only Good Indiansby Stephen Graham Jones
Where the Wild Ladies Areby Aoko Matsuda, Polly Barton (translator)
Umma’s Table by Yeon-sik Hong, Janet Hong (translator)
Marlon James won the new Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, and Walter Mosley was honored with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement when the 40th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were awarded today on The Times’ Books Twitter feed.
Following each prize announcement, a video of the winner’s speech was shared on Twitter, with all videos now compiled on The Times’ YouTube page.
The Book Prizes recognized outstanding literary works in 12 categories.
2019 Book Prizes Winners
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift: A Novel, Hogarth
George Packer, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, Knopf
Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose
Emily Bernard, Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine, Knopf
Emily Bazelon, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, Random House
Ben Lerner, The Topeka School: A Novel, Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Eleanor Davis, The Hard Tomorrow, Drawn & Quarterly
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Yale University Press
Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy Book 1), Riverhead
Science & Technology
Maria Popova, Figuring, Knopf
Young Adult Literature
Malla Nunn, When the Ground is Hard, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Bradbury Prize winner Marlon James said in his acceptance remarks:
Well, you know, there is something kind of ironic about winning an award in tribute to the creator of the original American dystopia when we are in a kind of dystopia. You know, I I think kind of it makes me think even more about Ray Bradbury and more about how we look at his dystopia as a possible future not realizing in a way it has happened. You know, we’re not burning books but we’re burning intelligence, we are burning expertise, we are burning the simple privilege of knowing, and we’re seeing the consequences of that. But let’s not deal too much with the bad because this is a great occasion and I’m so incredibly honored and so incredibly humbled by winning this the inaugural Ray Bradbury prize for science fiction fantasy and speculative fiction…
Walter Mosley’s acceptance video:
The complete list of 2019 Book Prizes finalists and previous winners is available at latimes.com/BookPrizes, as is eligibility and judging information
The Book Prizes awards ceremony usually takes place at the LA Times Festival of Books in the spring, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, and rescheduled to October 3-4 at USC.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian and Michael Toman for the story.]
Today’s L.A. Times Book Prizes finalists announcement includes the first nominees for the Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction, sponsored by Ray Bradbury Literary Works. The prize honors Bradbury’s literary legacy by celebrating writers working in his field today.
“Ray was a proud Angeleno who used words to both predict and prevent the future,” said a statement from Bradbury’s family. “(T)his prize recognizes authors with a similar passion for storytelling and the far-reaching effects their words have in this world,”
The Ray Bradbury Prize for Science
Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
The 2019 Robert
Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement
The award recognizes a writer whose work focuses on the American West. Mosley is best known for his mystery series featuring detective Easy Rawlins, a private detective in South-Central Los Angeles, however, he also has written a half-dozen sff novels, and several shorter works, including the Crosstown to Oblivion series.
“We are pleased to celebrate Walter Mosley’s 30-year writing life, which spans mysteries, short stories, science fiction, nonfiction, plays, and works for television and film,” said Times Book Editor Boris Kachka. “Whether through a detective story set in the streets of 1950s Los Angeles or essays about contemporary politics, Mosley reaches a wide range of readers, bringing about a deeper understanding of the world and the people who live in it.”