Monday, April 13, 2020

Award annoucements

This weekend two awards we're particularly fond of were announced.

Congratulations to Sarah Pinsker, whose Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea was awarded the Philip K. Dick Award, and to Sarah Tolmie, whose The Little Animals was awarded a special citation. Here's the official press release:

April 10, 2020
For Immediate Release

2020 Philip K. Dick Award Winner Announced

It was announced on Friday, April 10, 2020 at Norwescon 43, in (virtual) SeaTac, Washington,
that the winner for the distinguished original science fiction paperback published for the first
time during 2019 in the U.S.A. is:

Pinsker (Small Beer Press)

Special citation was given to:

THE LITTLE ANIMALS by Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct Press)

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for
distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States. The
award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the award ceremony is
sponsored by the NorthWest Science Fiction Society. The 2019 award was given to THEORY
OF BASTARDS by Audrey Schulman (Europa Editions) with a special citation to 84K by Claire
North (Orbit).

The judges for the 2020 award were Thomas A. Easton, Karen Heuler, Mur Lafferty, Patricia
MacEwen (chair), and James Sallis. This year’s judges are F. Brett Cox, Brendan DuBois, Cynthia Felice, Tim Pratt, and Jessica Reisman.

The virtual award ceremony can be found online at:

For more information, contact the award administration: Gordon Van Gelder (201) 876-2551,
John Silbersack (347) 787-7445, and Pat LoBrutto (301) 460-3164

For more information about the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society,

The second award announced was the Otherwise (previously known as the James Tiptree Jr.) Award. And for this award, congratulations go to to Akwaeke Emezi.
Here is Pat Murphy's email announcing the award:

Right now, we seem to be living in a dystopian science fiction future. Despite that, the Otherwise Award (originally the Tiptree Award) is still here —  still searching the world for speculative works that challenge us to think in new ways about gender. We are still celebrating those creators who are inventing new and better futures (which the world certainly needs right now). 

I am pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Otherwise Award: Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi

“Akwaeke Emezi's Freshwater is beautiful, complicated, magical, challenging, and sometimes vividly cruel,” writes juror Edmond Y. Chang. “Told from multiple, overlapping, and often conflicted perspectives, the novel tells the story of Ada, who is caught between worlds, trying to navigate family, education, migration and immigration, Catholicism and Igbo spirituality, and what it means to be a self, a person.  The novel does not shy away from explorations of gender nonconformity (particularly for people of color), sexuality, toxic masculinity, race, mental illness, and trauma.  There are no easy paths or answers for Ada (or the reader), and therefore the novel imagines alternative, even radical forms of identity and most importantly survival.”

The 2019 Honor List celebrates nine exceptional and thought-provoking works:  

For the jury's comments on all these works, please visit the Otherwise Award website. The Award winner and Honor List often become my reading list for the next year. If you need a break from the daily news barrage, from tending to the needs of family, from worrying about the state of the world we live in, from sewing face masks (my current preoccupation), consider allowing yourself some time to read and explore other worlds. 

As always, if you spot a work of fiction that you want to call to the attention of the 2020 judges, please post it on the recommendation page of the Award website. We count on the community to let us know what's out there. On the website, you can also read more about past winners and donate to help fund the award. (We count on the community for that too.)

I'd like to commend the 2019 jury (Debbie Notkin, Mariana Calderon, Edmond Y. Chang, Trish Salah, Bogi Takács.) for completing their task during such difficult times. The Award only exists because of  the support of our community. Thank you all. 


Pat Murphy
For the Otherwise Award Motherboard

PS We are working on plans for a  (possibly virtual) celebration of the winner and the Honor List. The winner will receive $1000 in prize money, a specially commissioned piece of original artwork, and (of course) chocolate.