The Future Worlds Prize for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of Colour announced its 2021 shortlist on November 18.
The eight stories are (in alphabetical order by author surname):
- “A Shadow in Chains” by M H Ayinde
- “The Sawling” by Jordan Collins
- “Frankincense” by Salma Ibrahim
- “In the City of Villages” by Franchesca Liauw
- “Margot, Who Is Beautiful Now” by Bea Pantoja
- “The Warden” by Madeehah Reza
- “Contracts Made in Gold” by Aqeelah Seedat
- “A Box Full of Stories” by Fatima Taqvi
The shortlist was chosen by the prize’s publishing partners who read anonymized versions of the entries.
Sarah Shaffi, project manager for the prize, said: “Our shortlist consists of eight brilliant new voices in the world of SFF. This is a prize looking for originality, for works that enrich the SFF genre and for potential, and our eight shortlisted writers and their work display all that and more. “It is now over to our judges to decide on one winner. I don’t envy them!”
Ben Aaronovitch, founder of the prize, said: “What has stunned me about the response to the Future World Prize is the number of entrants, their quality and their enthusiasm. Even so I believe that we have only sampled the ocean of talent out there and I hope we can build upon this promising beginning to get even more brilliant writing in front of even more readers.”
Actor Adjoa Andoh, who judged the prize in its first year and is providing financial support in its second year, said: “I came on board to support Future Worlds Prize, the brainchild of novelist Ben Aaronovitch, because I, like Ben, want to see more storytellers of colour exploring the possibilities that the speculative and science fiction form offers to reimagine the world and embrace new readerships. I am delighted therefore in the second year of the award that so many writers of colour have stepped up. Long may we grow and flourish as writers and readers. Keep those stories coming!”
The prize will be judged by:
- Actor and author Shobna Gulati
- Author Tasha Suri
- Writer Nii Ayikwei Parkes
- Journalist Zahra Hankir
- Cultural commentator Lloyd Bradley
- Publisher Valerie Brandes.
Future Worlds Prize for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of Colour aims to find new talent based in the UK writing in the SFF space, from magical realism and space operas to dystopia and more. The winner will receive a prize of £4,000, the runner-up £2,000 and up to six additional shortlisted authors will each receive £800. All shortlisted writers, the runner-up and the winner will also receive mentoring from one of the prize’s publishing partners.
The prize’s publishing partners are HarperVoyager, the SFF imprint at HarperCollins, Penguin Random House UK’s Del Rey UK, Gollancz, Hachette’s SFF imprints including Orbit, and Pan Macmillan’s Tor.
Future Worlds Prize, first run in 2020 and founded by bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch, was previously called the Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award. As part of the prize’s long-term aim of opening science fiction and fantasy publishing to more people, it has been rebranded for its second year. The prize is sponsored by Aaronovitch, with additional financial support from Bridgerton actor Adjoa Andoh. It is administered by Cityread, a registered literature charity.
The 2020 prize was won by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson for “The Principle of Moments”, a space-based adventure story. Jikiemi-Pearson has since secured a publishing deal with Gollancz, and her debut novel will be released in 2022.
More information about the shortlisted authors and works follows the jump.Continue reading