[The JRB Daily] 2020 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans—shortlists announced

The shortlists for the 2020 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans have been announced.

The Nommo Awards are presented in four categories: Novel (The 2020 Ilube Nommo Award), Novella, Short Story and Graphic Novel.

The nominations for the awards are made by members of the African Speculative Fiction Society. The longlists were announced in April. Now the final voting for the winners, by members of the society, will begin.

African Speculative Fiction Society members have a three-month period to read the works and vote for winners. If you are a published writer and are African, then you can join the ASFS. Click here to find out how.

2020 Nommo Novel Award shortlist

Masande Ntshanga is the winner of a Betty Trask Award in 2018, winner of the inaugural PEN International New Voices Award in 2013, and a finalist for the Caine Prize in 2015. He was born in East London, South Africa, and graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from UCT.

About the book

A young maths genius who is haunted by the disappearance of her mother begins to see visions of a mysterious obelisk. Opening in 1999, Triangulum deals with the collapse of the homeland system in South Africa. Uniting science fiction, mystery, philosophy and history with an experimental structure, the novel explores ideas around time, technological progress, environmental degradation, contemporary sexuality and Africa’s role in the future of the planet.

Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. She’s a recipient of a 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction and the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing. She was selected for the Africa39 in 2014 and received a 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her first novel, The Old Drift (Hogarth, 2019), won the 2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book prize for fiction and the LA Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. It was shortlisted for the LA Times’ Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and named one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review.

  • Nerine Dorman, Sing Down the Stars (Tafelberg)

Nerine Dorman is a South African author and editor of science fiction and fantasy currently living in Cape Town. Her novel Sing down the Stars won Gold for the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature in 2019, and her YA fantasy novel Dragon Forged was a finalist in 2017. Her short story ‘On the Other Side of the Sea’ (Omenana, 2017) was shortlisted for a 2018 Nommo award, and her novella The Firebird won a Nommo for ‘Best Novella’ during 2019. She is the curator of the South African Horrorfest Bloody Parchment event and short story competition and is a founding member of the SFF authors’ co-operative Skolion, that has assisted authors such as Masha du Toit, Suzanne van Rooyen, Cristy Zinn and Cat Hellisen, among others, in their publishing endeavours.

About the book

In a future society where various alien races mix with humans, twelve-year-old Nuri performs crimes for Vadith until the day she is called away from her home in the slums by an irresistible song only she can hear. Nuri ends up in a secret training facility with the cream of Terra’s youth, who are all competing for the ultimate prize.

  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa, David Mogo, Godhunter (Simon and Schuster)

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is the author of David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019) and the forthcoming The Nameless Republic trilogy (Orbit, 2021). His fiction and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, Fireside and other periodicals and anthologies. Find him at suyidavies.com and at @IAmSuyiDavies on Twitter.

About the book

Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake, David teams up with a motley crew of gods and humans alike to keep Lagos standing.

Tade Thompson lives and works in the South of England. He is of Yoruba extraction. His background is in medicine and anthropology. His work has won the Arthur C Clarke, the Ilube Nommo and Julia Verlanger awards among others, as well as nominated for the Hugo, Shirley Jackson, Philip K Dick awards.

About the book

All is quiet in the city of Rosewater as it expands on the back of the gargantuan alien Wormwood. Those who know the truth of the invasion keep the secret. The government agent Aminat, the lover of the retired sensitive Kaaro, is at the forefront of the cold, silent conflict. She must capture a woman who is the key to the survival of the human race.

  • Tochi Onyebuchi, War Girls (Razorbill Penguin Group)

Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of the young adult novel Beasts Made of Night, which won the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African, its sequel, Crown of Thunder, and War Girls. His adult fiction debut, Riot Baby, was published by Tor.com in January 2020.

About the book

Nigeria in the year 2172 finds itself riven by civil war. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, have managed to find some measure of peace in a camp for war orphans deep in the secessionist Biafran Republic. But when their camp is attacked, they are thrust on opposite sides of the conflict and each must confront their past to find their way back to each other.

2020 Nommo Novella Award shortlist

  • Caldon Mull, Weatherman (Caldon Mull)

Caldon Mull is the pen name of a veteran storyteller with continent-spanning work experience consulting for the financial and military sectors. His work includes his primary series the ‘Sol Senate Cycle’ and his time-tripping fantastika series ‘Agency Tales’. His fiction work has received honourable mentions over the years beginning with the 1986 Writers of the Future contest and from the SFSA Nova Award over later decades. He only recently debuted on a shortlist for the 2019 Nommo Awards with his new weird novella Neid-fire. He has been published in Omenana, RPGA Network, the SFSA Probe and several other, now-defunct local publications. He currently is resident in Finland with his wife and many cats.

About the novella

Weatherman describes a future through the experiences of the Esteban Perez. It portrays a rigid and exploitative future economy in which a machine and a person are interchangeable cogs in the system. Esteban has undertaken extensive trans-human modifications as a condition for his family and his people to join the Martian colonising fleet.

  • Kerstin Hall, The Border Keeper (Tor.com)

Kerstin Hall’s debut novel, Star Eater, is forthcoming from Tor.com Publishing in 2021. Her novella The Border Keeper was released in 2019, and her short fiction has been featured in Strange Horizons and Fireside. She is a first reader for Beneath Ceaseless Skies and lives in Cape Town.

About the novella

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, arrives at the border keeper’s door asking for a favour—he wants to enter the lands of the dead. With the immortal psychopomp’s reluctant aid, he travels through the war-torn nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, where gods and demons battle for domination over their mortal subjects. But what Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.

  • Wole Talabi, Incompleteness Theories (single-author anthology, Incomplete Solutions, Luna Press)

Wole Talabi is a full-time engineer, part-time writer and some-time editor from Nigeria. His fiction has been published widely, translated into three languages and shortlisted for several awards, including the Caine Prize for African Writing. He edited two anthologies and co-wrote a play. His collection Incomplete Solutions (2019) is published by Luna Press.

About the book

In this novella, a clandestine international team led by a Nigerian physicist, work to develop teleportation technology while wrestling with their own personal issues, as they come to learn just how complex it may be to completely define, package and transports all the elements that make a person.

2020 Nommo Short Story Award shortlist

  • Ada Nnadi, ‘Tiny Bravery’ (Omenana)

Ada Nnadi is presently studying for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Lagos. She has worked for Brittle Paper as a submissions editor. Her story ‘Tiny Bravery’ made the 2019 Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List for the short story category. She will one day be the mother of many cats—and a dog.

  • Chikodili Emelumadu , ‘Sin Eater’ (Omenana)

Chikodili Emelumadu is a writer and broadcaster living in Brighton, East Sussex. She was nominated for a Shirley Jackson award in 2014 for her short story ‘Candy Girl’. She’s been published in Apex, One Throne, Eclectica and many other magazines and anthologies, including the collection African Monsters, for which her story ‘Bush Baby’ was nominated for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2017. She tweets as @chemelumadu.

  • Deji Bryce Olukotun, ‘Between the Dark and the Dark’ (Lightspeed)

Deji Bryce Olukotun graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, and also holds degrees from Yale College and Stanford Law School. He became the inaugural Ford Foundation Freedom to Write Fellow at PEN American Center, a human rights organisation that promotes literature and defends free expression. His work has been published in Guernica, Joyland, Words Without Borders, World Literature Today, and Molussus.

  • Ivana Akotowaa Ofori, ‘Principles of Balance’ (Jalada)

Ivana Akotowaa Ofori is a Ghanaian storyteller. Self-styled as ‘The Spider Kid’, she is a weaver of words in many forms, including fiction, non-fiction and spoken-word poetry. She has been longlisted twice for the Writivism Prize, first for nonfiction and second for fiction. Some of her work appears in the Flash Fiction Ghanaanthology, Kenkey for Ewes and Other Very Short Stories. When she is not reading or writing, she is likely to be raving online and in person about frustrations with school and life, or about her great love for the colour purple.

  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa, ‘The Haunting of 13 Olúwo Street’ (Fireside)

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is the author of David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019) and the forthcoming The Nameless Republic trilogy (Orbit, 2021). His fiction and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, Fireside and other periodicals and anthologies. Find him at suyidavies.com and at @IAmSuyiDavies on Twitter.

  • Wole Talabi, ‘When We Dream We Are Our God’ (Apex Magazine and All Borders Are Temporary, TrAP Magazine)

Wole Talabi won the 2018 Nommo Award for Best Speculative Short Fiction with ‘The Regression Test’. He also won the Caine Reader’s Prize, related to the Caine Prize, for his speculative story ‘Wednesday’s Story’.

2020 Nommo Graphic Novel Award shortlist

  • Beast from Venus (Avandu Vosi), Kiprop Kimutai (author) and Salim Busuru (artist)
  • Captain South Africa Part 1: Origins (Enigma Comix), Bill Masuku (author and artist)
  • Danfo (TAG Comics), Morakinyo Araoye and Steven Akinyemi (authors), Ogim Ekpezu (artist)
  • Hawi (Etan Comics), Beserat Debebe (author) and Stanley Obende (artist)
  • Kami (Mira Hirwa publisher), Mika Hirwa (author and artist)
  • Nani (Kugali Comics), Ziki Nelson (author) Jasonas Lamy (artist)
  • Sanu (Elupe Comics), Ssentongo Charles (author and artist)
  • Welcome to Dead World (Sam Graphico Anthology), Bill Masuku (author and artist)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *