Macarthur "genius prize" recipient Octavia Butler (previously) is one of science fiction's most important figures, an author who wrote cracking, crackling, accessible and fast-moving adventure stories shot through with trenchant and smart allegories about race, gender and power (I like to think of her as "woke Heinlein").
Last night's Hugo Awards ceremony featured a significant first: Nora Jemisin became the first novelist in science fiction history to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugos, once for each volume in her Broken Earth trilogy (the concluding volume, The Stone Sky, won last night's prize); in addition to the unprecedented honor, Jemisin had another first, with her acceptance speech, which may just be the best such speech in the field's history.
As part of the renaissance in interest in the glorious science fiction novels of afrofuturist pioneer Octavia Butler (previously), Seven Stories press has just released a two-volume, slipcased set of Butler's fantastic post-apocalyptic adventure novels The Parable of the Sower (with an introduction by Gloria Steinem) and The Parable of the Talents (with an introduction by Toshi Reagon).
Teff is one of the oldest grains to have been cultivated, a staple for so long that its original cultivation date is lost to history and can only be estimated at between 1000 and 4000 BCE; it is best known as the main ingredient in injera, the soft pancakes that are served with Ethiopian meals.
The 2017 Nebula Awards, presented by the Science Fiction Writers of America, were announced last night, with a sweep in the main literary categories by women: Best Novel, The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin; Best Novella, All Systems Red by Martha Wells; Best Novelette, A Human Stain by Kelly Robson; Best Short Story, Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM, by Rebecca Roanhorse; Best Dramatic Presentation, Get Out; and the Andre Norton YA prize went to The Art of Starving by Sam J Miller.
The BBC has published a long and welcome feature on Afrofuturism, the term coined by former Boing Boing guestblogger Mark Dery to describe (in the words of Steve Barnes) "science fiction, fantasy and horror created by or featuring the children of the African diaspora (people of African origin living outside of the continent)."
This year's Hugo Award winners have been announced, and the prizes overwhelmingly went to brilliant women like NK Jemisin and Seanan McGuire, to the eminent satisfaction of all those who saw the right-wing, misogynist, racist campaign to make science fiction inhospitable to brown people and women, took countermeasures, and for two years in a row, demonstrated the field's inclusiveness and commitment to quality, rather than pandering to reactionary panic over the prospect of a future that breaks with the shameful past.
Tonight in Kansas City, MO, at Midamericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, the Hugo Awards
were presented to a rapt audience in person and online, with voters weighing on a ballot
that had been partially sabotaged by a small clique of people who objected to
stories about wowen and people who weren't white.