Blog: February 2021: BSFA Award News

I’m delighted to report WATER MUST FALL has been shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Award, due to be awarded (online, of course!) at Confusion 2021, over Easter as usual, given it’s EASTERCON! Many, many thanks to all the BSFA members who liked the book well enough to both read and vote for it. There are many fantastic SF books out there from 2020, so I’m very chuffed indeed. Special thanks to Ian Whates at NewCon Press for taking a punt on my book – Vincent Sammy‘s glorious cover art for WATER MUST FALL could so easily have been amongst the shortlists too.

Congratulations to all the other shortlisted novels and stories in other categories – I’m especially thrilled to see Club Ded by Nikhil Singh, who is an outrageously multi-talented writer, artist and musician. Ivory’s Story by Eugen Bacon (a considerable writing talent) is there too – and, although shortlisted in the ‘short’ category, Ivory’s Story is a noteworthy extended narrative. That is, given it is a full-length novella, I’m sure it will be one to watch in that specific category for the upcoming Nommos – the African SF Awards. And African short SF is well represented on the BSFA shortlist by the Dominion anthology – congrats to all, including editors Zelda Knight and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki!

And, speaking of short African SF, Wole Talabi has his latest Top 10 African SF short picks for 2020 here. The Nommos Awards also include a comics/graphic novel category and that is certainly a burgeoning scene amongst many African creatives. I have a 2019 South African comics article in Vector (the BSFA critical magazine) here. Brainwavez have a 2020 update here.

But, roaring into 2021, is Bishop Q, a well drawn and smartly plotted tale of a man caught up between the problems of his past and the loyalties of his present. In episode 1 we learn that – although it looks like he can time travel – his past may not be quite so easy to escape. A cracking start for what looks like a very promising South African speculative fiction (SF) comic. An initial review, entitled Bishop Q is a Love Letter to South African Comics is here. All speed and power to Motlatsi Kane’s new comics venture.

Finally, for 2021, Tade Thompson has a new upcoming novel, which will may well be a smart and electric subversion of Space Opera? It’s entitled: FAR FROM THE LIGHT OF HEAVEN (Orbit Books). Tendai Huchu has just released the first of his Edinburgh Nights series, entitled THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD and, another upcoming delight for sure, is due from Chikodili Emelumadu. Dazzling (2021): Treasure, a young girl who has lost her father and is taken in by a spirit, finds her life intertwined with Ozoemena, another girl who becomes part of a Nigerian Leopard Society — whose members are normally men. For updates, follow @chemelumadu

And for those who love shorter novella lengths, look no further than Luna Presss upcoming series, which includes Dilman Dila‘s The Future God of Love. Or try Eugen Bacon’s new collection Danged Black Thing.

May you and your families stay safe and well – and may 2021 be a much better year for all, than 2020!

Nick Wood (February 2021)