The African Speculative Fiction Society announces itself with a new recognition called The Nommo Awards.

The African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) is a new community of writers, editors, publishers and artists of African Science Fiction and Fantasy that emerged on August 18th this year. Some of the spokespeople for the new initiative include Chinelo Onwualu, Moses Kilolo, Shadrek Chikoti, Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu, Nerine Dorman, Dilman Dila, Tade Thompson, and Masimba Musodza.

Sofia Samatar
Sofia Samatar

Speaking about the new organisation, Sofia Samatar author of A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Histories said, “The ASFS will create a space for African speculative fiction writers to network, organize, learn from each other, and debate. It will promote an ongoing conversation, led by artists, on Africa’s literatures of the imagination.”

The new organisation started their reign of terror by announcing The Nommo Awards. The Nommo Awards recognize works of speculative fiction by Africans, defined as “science fiction, fantasy, stories of magic and traditional belief, alternative histories, horror and strange stuff that might not fit in anywhere else.” The award gets its name from the image that makes up its logo: the Nommo, from Dogon cosmology, “twins who on land can take the form of fish walking on their tails.”

The award is open to authors and artists with African citizenship, who were born in Africa and live abroad, or who are children of an African parent. (Learn more about eligibility here.)

Members of the ASFS will nominate works on the website; the nomination window will open after the announcement at the Ake Festival, which takes place November 15-19. For subsequent years, the intent is to alternate the ceremony between locations in West and East Africa.

The four prize categories are:

  • The Ilube Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African ($1,000)
  • The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novella by an African ($500)
  • The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Short Story by an African ($500)
  • The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Graphic Novel by Africans ($1,000 to be shared)

“Science fiction is important because it looks ahead to African futures,” said Tom Ilube, the ASFS benefactor who provided prize money for four years. “Fantasy and fiction based on traditional tales are important because they link us back to our forebears. Both are important for African development. I wanted to make sure that the explosion of African science fiction gets the recognition it deserves.”

Alright weirdos writers of strangeness, learn more on the ASFS website.