The Jamaican-born Canadian speculative fiction writer Nalo Hopkinson is the author of such award-winning books as Brown Girl In The Ring and Midnight Robber; her most recent work includes the short story collection Falling In Love With Hominids and the House of Whispers comic book series from Neil Gaiman's revitalized Sandman Vertigo line.
She is also an incredible cook.
Nalo was my teacher at the Clarion Writer's Workshop, where I also studied with Cory Doctorow; in fact, Cory and Nalo both spent their teenage years in Toronto, working on different floors of the North York Central Library there. (He also went to high school with Nalo's partner, David Findlay.)
Naturally, I'm excited that Nalo has been recognized with the Damon Knight Grand Master Award, a lifetime honor presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at the Nebula Awards ceremony each year. As SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal said:
Naming Nalo as Grand Master recognizes not only her phenomenal writing but also her work as an educator who has shaped so many of the rising stars of modern SFF.
Nalo's mentorship taught me new ways to think about dialect, colonialism, classics, and the conversations carried between all of those things. She also has one of the largest and most delightful hearts I've ever encountered in my life. (Nalo and I both have ADHD, too, and have often bonded over how that's both a curse and a boon for a writer as well.)
The 56th Nebula Awards and SFWA conference will take place June 4-6, 2021, although the event will be hold remotely due to COVID-19. You can find out more at events.sfwa.org.
In the meantime, here are some free short stories by Nalo you can read:
- Ours is the Prettiest (Podcastle)
- Old Habits (Uncanny Magazine)
- Soul Case (Lightspeed)
- The Easthound (Baen)
- Can't Beat 'Em (Uncanny Magazine)
- Ally (Nightmare)
- Fisherman (Strange Horizons)
Image: Henry Söderlund / Wikimedia Commons, cropped (CC 4.0)