Jamiella Brooks and Chioniso Tsikisayi won at the Canopus Award for Interstellar Writing in Fiction at the NEXUS 2023 Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya on February 4, 2023.
The Canopus Award recognizes the finest fiction and non-fiction works that engage broad audiences and enhance the understanding, excitement, and knowledge of interstellar space exploration and travel. This year’s theme was “Who Owns Space?” Writers were invited to explore the possible paths ahead in space, to help identify how various actions, technology focuses, policies, individuals, and communities, and even the stories we tell over the next ten years may indelibly fix space exploration objectives, gatekeepers, and benefits for decades into the future.
The judges for 2023 included writer Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grandmaster Nalo Hopkinson, writer of Marvel’s Iron Heart and University of Chicago Professor Dr. Eve Ewing, 100YSS Principal and former astronaut Mae Jemison, M.D., writer Tlotlo Tsamaase, writer Mame Bougouma Diene, writer and 100YSS Creative and Editorial director Jason Batt, writer and director Mickey Fisher, actress and musician Helen Slater, editor Steven H. Silver, editor Arley Song, editor Lynne M. Thomas, Professor Janet de Vigne, editor and writer Jaym Gates, writer and former Canopus Award winner Edward M. Lerner, and many more.
The finalists for the awards were revealed on December 12 before the winners were announced in Nairobi this weekend with the following writers of African descent winning in their categories;
Original Local Short-form Fiction
- Gumbojena, Chioniso Tsikisayi, Zimbabwe
Her response; Canopus Award Winner 2023❤ This is so beautiful, thank you I’m deeply honoured. Didn’t think I had the capacity to write about space; speculative fiction is a genre that I’ve always found intimidating but here we are!
Original Short-Form Fiction
- The Living Archaeologist, Jamiella Brooks