The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) has announced its 2020 longlist for the BSFA Awards. It includes eight Africans. Four contributors to Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, edited by Zelda Knight and Nommo award winner Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald, are nominated.
The nominated contributors include the Nigerians Dare Segun Falowo, for “Convergence in Chorus Architecture”; Nuzo Onoh, for “The Unclean”; and the co-editor Donald, for “Ife-Iyoku, Tale of Imadeyunuagbon.” The fourth is the Ugandan writer and filmmaker Dilman Dila, for “Red_Bati.”
The Somali American Sofia Somatar is up for her “Fairy Tales for Robots,” published in Made to Order. The African Australian Eugen M. Bacon is longlisted for her “The Road to Woop Woop,” from her collection The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories.
Also nominated is the Commonwealth Prize for Africa Region winner Innocent Chizaram Ilo, for “Rat and Finch are Friends,” published in Strange Horizons. And a fifth Nigerian: Tobi Ogundiran, for “Isn’t Your Daughter Such a Doll,” published in Shoreline of Infinity.
First presented in 1970, the BSFA Awards are voted for by members of the organisation. The award is now presented in four categories: BSFA Award for Best Novel; BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction; BSFA Award for Best Non-Fiction; and BSFA Award for Best Artwork.
“I was surprised,” Dominion co-editor Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald told Open Country Mag. “There are things I plan, hope for. That wasn’t one of them. Because African writers don’t usually get into those spaces. I think the list has the most African writers it’s ever had. No African has ever won. I hope that changes. Maybe this year.”
Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora was funded on Kickstarter. “We didn’t want to not pay the writers,” Donald said. “We raised about $10K.”
Past BSFA Awards winners include Geoff Ryman, Ted Chiang, Ian McDonald, Aliette de Bodard, and Christopher Priest. The Nigerian American novelist Nnedi Okorafor was shortlisted in the short story category for “Binti” in 2015. The Nigerian British novelist Tade Thompson was shortlisted in three categories in 2019.
Congratulations to the longlisted writers.