About the Awards
The Carl Brandon Parallax Award is given to works of speculative fiction created by a self-identified person of color. This Award includes a $1000 cash prize.
The Carl Brandon Kindred Award is given to any work of speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity; nominees may be of any racial or ethnic group. This Award includes a $1000 cash prize.
Works are considered for awards in the year following their publication year.
The Carl Brandon Society will be granting four awards for works published in 2020. Each of the awards will be given for a short work and a long work. Nominations for works published in 2020 are closed. We will be announcing the four winners later in 2021.
Carl Brandon Society Award Winners
The winners of the 2019 Carl Brandon Society awards are Akwaeke Emezi, who received the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for their novel Pet, and Michele Tracy Berger, who received the Carl Brandon Kindred Award for her story “Doll Seed.”
Jury statements and honors lists follow:
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World/Random House Children’s Books) – This genre-defying YA novel, set in a near future still haunted by the ghosts of its past, is chock full of intriguing ideas about identity, history, friendship, and family. The protagonist, Jam, races to uncover an evil that most believe has been banished forever—with a little help from her friends, the local library, and a frightening extra-dimensional entity with uncertain motives. Equal parts exciting, thoughtful, frightening, and delightfully strange.
“Doll Seed” by Michele Tracy Berger (FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction) – Chevella, the heroine, may be a doll but she has the desire to know and feel love from that special child who she could call her own. Like the doll experiments of the mid-twentieth-century conducted by the real-life Dr. Clark, this story explores themes of prejudice, segregation, and self-worth. Caught at the crossroads of history and fantasy, Chevella eventually learns that she can choose her own end and new beginning.
- “Mister Dog” by Alex Jennings, published in PodCastle – An ever-changing New Orleans is the setting for this story about ghosts, memory, and what you have to acknowledge, and let go of, in order to move forward.
- “Kali_Na” by Indrapramit Das, published in The Mythic Dream (Saga Press) – Nationalism, technological advancement, religion, and revolution collide in this story, in which the protagonist ends up providing a space for the goddess, Kali, to be free.
- “The Freedom of the Shifting Sea” by Jaymee Goh [*], published in New Suns (Solaris) – A half human/ half worm befriends a human woman in this erotic horror story set in Malaysia. This is both sensual and disturbingly gross and features revenge against misogynists.
- “Harvest” by Rebecca Roanhorse, published in New Suns (Solaris) – A bloody and poetic take on the Deer Woman myth that examines the way injustices echo down through history.
- A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurence Gidney (WordHorde) – An art museum in a small Maryland town is the backdrop for this ghostly tale of magical realism. Gidney offers shimmering, colorful prose and a deep sense of history.
- David Mogo: God Hunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (Abbadon) – Set in Lagos, Nigeria, this is a fun urban fantasy romp with Nigerian-inspired magical elements.
[*] Stories authored by those involved with CBS governance are removed from award candidacy but remain eligible for honor list consideration.
- Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender (Orbit Books) – An epic story of revenge set in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world, this novel digs into many uncomfortable examinations of how identity intersects with power and oppression. This is the first volume of a series, and we’re interested to see where it goes next.
- “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger” by Rivers Solomon, published on Tor.com – A dark, bloody exploration of a community forged by vengeance and what it takes to carve out a safe space in the heart of the oppressors.
- “Burn the Ships” by Alberto Yáñez, published in New Suns (Solaris) – An alternate history of Spanish conquest and the Aztec civilization who rise to resist it and enact bloody revenge.
- “A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy” by Rebecca Roanhorse, published in The Mythic Dream (Saga Press) – In this far-future retelling of the classic Tewa story “Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden,” a mourning celebrity deals with loss, identity, and memory among the stars.
Details for the online presentation ceremony are forthcoming.
The members of the 2019 jury were Jacqueline A. Gross, Julia Rios, J.G. Stewart, and Yang-Yang Wang.
2012 – 2018
The winners of the 2011 Carl Brandon Society awards are Tenea D. Johnson, who received the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for her novel Smoketown, and Andrea Hairston, who received the Carl Brandon Kindred Award for her novel Redwood and Wildfire.
- Zen Cho for “The House of Aunts”
- Zen Cho for “起狮，行礼 (Rising Lion – The Lion Bows)”
- Minister Faust for The Alchemists of Kush
- Tenea D. Johnson for R/evolution
- Yoon Ha Lee for “Ghostweight”
- An Owomoyela “All That Touches the Air”
- Nisi Shawl for “Black Betty”
- JoSelle Vanderhooft for Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories
The 2011 Carl Brandon Awards were presented at Arisia, January 17-20, 2014 in Boston, MA, USA.
The members of the 2011 jury were Liz Henry, Zola Mumford, K. Joyce Tsai, and Maria Velazquez.
The winners of the 2010 Carl Brandon Society awards are Karen Lord, who received the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for her novel Redemption in Indigo, and Nnedi Okorafor, who received the Carl Brandon Kindred Award for her novel Who Fears Death.
- N.K. Jemisin for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
- Anil Menon for The Beast with Nine Billion Feet
- Charles Yu for “Standard Loneliness Package”
The 2010 Carl Brandon Awards were presented at Worldcon in Chicago, August 30 – September 12, 2012.
The winners of the 2009 Carl Brandon Society awards are Hiromi Goto, who received the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for her novel Half World, and Justine Larbalestier, who received the Carl Brandon Kindred Award for her novel Liar.
The winners of the 2008 Carl Brandon Society awards are Vandana Singh, who received the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for her novella Distances, and Tananarive Due, who received the Carl Brandon Kindred Award for her story “Ghost Summer” from the anthology The Ancestors.
The winners of the 2007 Carl Brandon Society awards are Nnedi Okorafor, who received the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for her novel The Shadow Speaker, and Minister Faust, who received the Carl Brandon Kindred Award for his novel From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain.
Andrea Hairston is the winner of the 2006 Carl Brandon Parallax Award for her novel, Mindscape. No Kindred Award will be given for 2006.
The winners of the 2005* Carl Brandon Society awards are Walter Mosley, who received the Carl Brandon Parallax award for his novel 47 and Susan Vaught, who received the Carl Brandon Kindred award for her novel Stormwitch.
*note, the Awards are now named for the year they were published. The Awards for 47 and Stormwitch were originally called the 2006 Awards.