Nebula Award News

2023 Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards Go to Cerece Rennie Murphy and Greg Bear

We are pleased to announce that the 2023 Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards will be presented to Cerece Rennie Murphy and posthumously, to Greg Bear at the 58th Annual SFWA Nebula Awards® ceremony in May. 

The Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award is given by SFWA for significant contributions to the science fiction, fantasy, and related genres community. The award was created in 2008, with Wilhelm named as one of the three original recipients, and was renamed in her honor in 2016. Murphy and Bear join the ranks of distinguished previous Solstice Award winners, including Petra Mayer, Carl Sagan, Octavia Butler, and Gardner Dozois.

Cerece Rennie Murphy

Photography by Imagine Photography

An author of speculative fiction novels, short stories, and children’s books, Cerece Rennie Murphy founded the webzine and newsletter Nazaru in 2016 to share her love for and showcase the best in indie science fiction and fantasy books, comics, and culture. In response to the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on BIPOC creators, she launched Virtuous Con in 2021. The sci-fi and comic culture convention brings fans together with authors, artists, comic book creators, and craftsmen in a virtual and “virtuous circle of mutual respect, admiration, genuine caring, and generosity,” as the website describes. Recognizing that cost can be a barrier, Murphy has kept the fees affordable through the use of corporate and private sponsorships.

Murphy’s platform has expanded beyond its initial scope to include summer workshops on craft and has set the stage for bold new voices to emerge in art, media, and print. She has used her fifteen years of experience in program development, management, and fundraising in the community and international development arenas to make a difference and offer something new and valuable to the SF community.

Christine Taylor-Butler, SFWA Director-At-Large, remarks, “Cerece Rennie Murphy’s work in the community showcases how a single individual can expand opportunities for inclusivity in science fiction. The science fiction community continues to reap the benefits from her efforts.”

Greg Bear

Photography by Bill Wadman

The literary achievements of Greg Bear (1951–2022), including over 50 books and multiple Nebula Awards and nominations, constitute a significant contribution to the science fiction and fantasy fields on their own. But Bear also spent decades building up the SFF community by volunteering his time and efforts to many different projects that left a mark. Those include his terms as vice president and president of SFWA, his time spent editing the SFWA Forum and the 2015 SFWA Nebula Showcase, his service on the board of advisors for the Museum of Science Fiction, and being part of the founding group of the Golden State Comic Book Convention, the predecessor to what is now known as the San Diego Comic-Con International.

Our November 2022 In Memoriam in honor of Bear attests to the lasting influence of his personal relationships with writers as well. In it, several SFWA past presidents comment on how he positively affected their lives and work.

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy offered the following remarks on this year’s recipients: “Congratulations to Cerece Rennie Murphy on her extraordinary contributions to the SFF community. We look forward to seeing what she’ll do next. It’s bittersweet to honor Greg Bear for the legacy of a lifetime, knowing how greatly he’ll be missed.”

The 58th Annual Nebula Awards Ceremony will stream live to the public on SFWA’s YouTube and Facebook channels in May. The ceremony will be held during the 2023 Nebula Conference, taking place online and in-person in Anaheim, CA. Registration for the annual professional development conference for aspiring and established professionals of the speculative fiction industry can be purchased here.

Mishell Baker to Receive 2023 Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award

We are pleased to announce that the 2023 Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award will be presented to Mishell Baker at the 58th Annual SFWA Nebula Awards® for her outstanding work on behalf of the organization.

The Service to SFWA Award recognizes a volunteer of SFWA who best exemplifies the ideal of service to their fellow members. In 2012, the award was renamed in honor of author Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. who dedicated 20+ years of volunteer service to the organization.

Mishell Baker's headshot

Mishell Baker

Mishell Baker has served as the primary contact for SFWA’s Estate Program since 2016. She has liaised with publishers interested in reprinting works by science fiction and fantasy authors who are no longer with us, and acted as an intermediary for individual heirs who wish to keep their contact information confidential. Baker has a well-earned reputation for handling these communications with consistency and sensitivity, providing help in sometimes difficult and confusing situations.

Michael Capobianco, co-chair of the SFWA Estates-Legacy Committee and former SFWA president, remarked, “Mishell has been the steadfast, behind-the-scenes heart and soul of the Estates Project for going on seven years and I can’t think of anyone who deserves this volunteer service award more.”

SFWA’s Estate Program was created in 2007 by Bud Webster, the 2011 recipient of this same award. The program promotes and preserves the work of writers who helped build the science fiction and fantasy genres. Today, the SFWA Estates-Legacy Committee, among other duties, oversees the Estates database to facilitate legitimate paid publication of reprinted works, enabling editors, publishers, and agents to seek reprint permissions, make payments to estates and heirs, and double-check publication rights.

For her years of dedication and excellence in undertaking this essential volunteer work for the organization and the SFF community, SFWA is proud to offer the 2023 Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award to Mishell Baker. She will join many distinguished recipients of the award, including Connie Willis, Victoria Strauss, Julia Rios, Bud Sparhawk, Lee Martindale, Vonda McIntyre, and Jim Fiscus.

Promo graphic for the 2023 Nebula Conference. This year's star deity has hands outstretched in a spell, casting petals that appear to become meteorites.

The award will be presented at the 58th Nebula Awards® Ceremony, taking place on May 14, 2023 in Anaheim, CA, and online. The ceremony is part of the 2023 Nebula Conference. Registrations for the conference and tickets for the ceremony banquet are available here.

Please join us in congratulating Mishell for receiving this award!

Make Your 2023 Nebula Conference Programming Suggestions

A key reason why our annual Nebula Conferences are full of valuable professional development for aspiring and established SFF and related genre creators is that they offer programming on craft and business topics that you want to learn more about.

Now is the time to suggest the topics you’d like to see in this year’s conference!

Contribute specific panel and programming ideas by completing this form by Monday, February 13https://airtable.com/shrXE8V14VhKjbrBH. Please feel free to submit program items that you simply want to attend and/or ones that you’d like to participate in. You’ll need to complete a new form for each proposed topic.

Here are some ideas based on current issues SFF creators are facing:

  • What’s the future of table-top RPG writing?
  • You’ve done it! You’ve become a brand! Now how do you find time to write?
  • How to read a contract for media tie-in work.
  • The social media landscape is shifting: What new strategies can creators adopt for engagement?

Examples from past years:

  • Writing Through the Pain: Learn from Authors Living with Chronic Pain
  • Comics and the Craft of Storytelling: How Sequential Art Can Elevate Yours
  • Collaborative Writing: How to Share Your Brain Space
  • Short Story Collections: When to Release Them and How

Even if you’re unable to attend the conference in Anaheim or online over the May 12–14 weekend, you may still get the chance to see your topic tackled! If selected, panels, presentations, and workshops will appear in our 2023 conference archive. All conference registrations include a year’s worth of access to that archive.

If you’d like to volunteer as a speaker for the conference, you can also indicate that by updating your SFWA profile here. Select “edit” and then be sure that “Speaker – at the Nebula Conference” is checked in your volunteering preferences in the Other Information section. Not a member? Not a problem! Anyone can volunteer as a speaker at any time by submitting contact information and volunteer preferences here: https://membership.sfwa.org/Volunteer.

Once again, the survey for submitting your programming ideas is here: https://airtable.com/shrXE8V14VhKjbrBH. Don’t forget to also register for the conference if you haven’t yet! Online registrations are $150, and there are very few in-person registrations left at the current registration price of $449. Once they’re gone, the price will rise.

We look forward to seeing how your suggestions can help create another fantastic year of Nebula Conference programming!

The SFWA Events Team

2023 Nebula Conference Registration and Volunteer & Programming Opportunities

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2023 Nebula Conference, which will be taking place both online and in-person at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort, in Anaheim, CA, the weekend of May 12–14, 2023.

Conference Hotel exterior with fireworks in the night sky behind it.

Registrations may be purchased at this link. Registration for the online portion of the conference is $150.00 and includes access to broadcasts of the weekend’s panels and the subsequent archive, the Nebula Awards ceremony, a conference Discord, and entry to our ongoing Nebula conference events beginning May 1, 2023.

In-person conference registration begins at $449.00. Due to limited space and seating, we anticipate the conference and banquet to sell out, so we are encouraging people to buy their tickets early. Participants may attend panels and the awards ceremony in-person, take part in mentorships and receptions, and visit the SFWA hospitality suite. It also includes access to the online conference.

For Anaheim attendees, tickets for the Nebula Awards banquet can be purchased for an additional $125.00. This three-course celebration dinner held before the Nebula Awards ceremony on Sunday, May 14, 2023 is a fantastic opportunity to mingle with old friends and meet new peers. Conference attendees who wish to attend the ceremony without purchasing a ticket to the banquet may do so on a space-available basis.

The Nebula Conference is the premier professional development conference for aspiring and established members of the science fiction and fantasy industries. It includes content geared toward creators working in games, comics, prose, poetry, and other mediums of storytelling, which reflects the diversifying and expanding membership in the organization.  We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our community and our Nebula Award finalists and honorees throughout the weekend.

Exterior of the conference hotel with lawn and palm trees.

Programming Survey

Are you interested in being part of the programming for this year’s online Nebula Conference? That could mean being a panelist or giving a workshop! Or it could simply mean suggesting the topics you’d most like to see on the schedule.

If you’d like to volunteer as a speaker, you can do that by updating your volunteer preferences when you complete your registration or at any time by updating your volunteer preferences in your profile at SFWA.org. Not a member? Not a problem! Anyone can volunteer as a speaker at any time by submitting contact information and volunteer preferences here: https://membership.sfwa.org/Volunteer.  Either way, you’ll receive an automated survey shortly after you update your preferences.

To contribute specific panel and programming ideas to our 2023 conference, submit your program proposal by Monday, Feb 13, 2023 here: https://airtable.com/shrXE8V14VhKjbrBH. Please complete one form for each program idea you’d like to suggest.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Nebula Conference could not exist without the assistance of our amazing group of volunteers. Not only that, volunteering at the conference is an easy and fast way to meet new people and make friends. Join us, whether in-person or online!

We have dozens of volunteer roles that need to be filled, but we’re looking for excited, dedicated volunteers to hit the floor running in a few key areas:

  • Banquet Manager (in-person)
  • Safety Ambassadors (in-person and online)
  • Accessibility Ambassadors (in-person and online)
  • Special Guest Liaison (in-person)
  • Nebula Award Finalists Liaison (in-person and online)
  • Local Coordinator (in-person)

If you are interested in any of those roles, whether in-person or online, please contact our volunteer coordinator at volunteers@sfwa.org. More detailed calls about other Nebula Conference volunteer roles will be sent out soon.

Once again, registrations may be purchased at this link. Hotel reservations must be made separately, and information on how to reserve a room at conference rates is available at that webpage. For questions, please contact events@sfwa.org.

We look forward to seeing you on the Airship Nebula or at the Anaheim Port of Call in May!

The SFWA Events Team

SFWA Names Robin McKinley Its 39th Grand Master!

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) is proud to announce that Robin McKinley has been named the 39th Damon Knight Grand Master for her contributions to the literature of science fiction and fantasy.

The SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award recognizes “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” It is named after author Damon Knight, SFWA’s founder and the organization’s 13th Grand Master. McKinley joins 38 writers who’ve been granted the title, including other luminaries such as Nalo Hopkinson, Peter S. Beagle, Connie Willis, Ursula K. LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, and Joe Haldeman.

Robin McKinley is one of the leading writers of the modern fairy-tale retelling genre, and indeed, her debut Beauty, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, could be said to have started the fairy-tale retelling trend. She is also celebrated for her original fantasy novels. Her 1982 book The Blue Sword received the Newbery Honor, and its 1984 prequel The Hero and the Crown was awarded the Newbery Medal. School Library Journal said, “Her work has impacted not just the Newbery canon, but the fantasy genre, too.” Her 1985 anthology Imaginary Lands won the World Fantasy Award, and Water, the 2002 collection she co-wrote with Peter Dickinson, was later nominated as well.

Sunshine (2003), a dark sensual vampire fairy tale that Neil Gaiman called “A gripping, funny, page-turning, pretty much perfect work of magical literature,” won the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature and was named to NPR’s “Top 100 Science-Fiction Fantasy Books” list and Tor.com’s list of “Best SFF Novels of the Decade.” Spindle’s End, McKinley’s Sleeping Beauty retelling, was named to Time Magazine’s “100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time” in 2020.

McKinley’s biography, in her own words, and her full bibliography can be viewed here:

“I read McKinley’s Deerskin in my late-twenties and it turned my world upside-down,” says SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy. “From there I went on to read everything McKinley has written. With every story, each book, she haunts, delights, and enlightens me. Naming an author who’s been such a profound influence on me as both a reader and a writer as SFWA’s newest Grand Master is one of the greatest privileges of my life.”

On being named a SFWA Grand Master, McKinley shares, “I am astonished, amazed, delighted & dumbfounded. Thank you very much.”

The 39th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award will be presented to McKinley at the 58th Nebula Awards ceremony, which will take place during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference. Further details about next year’s conference will be released soon.

SFWA Announces the Winners of the 57th Annual Nebula Awards®

May 21, 2022 – The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 57th Annual Nebula Awards®. These awards are given to the writers of the most outstanding speculative fiction works released in 2021, as voted on by Full, Associate, and Senior SFWA members. The awards were presented at the live broadcast of the 57th Annual Nebula Awards Ceremony, hosted by Toastmasters Connie Willis and Neil Gaiman.

The winners are as follows:

NEBULA AWARD FOR NOVEL

A Master of Djinn, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom; Orbit UK)

 

NEBULA AWARD FOR NOVELLA

And What Can We Offer You Tonight, Premee Mohamed (Neon Hemlock)

 

NEBULA AWARD FOR NOVELETTE

“O2 Arena”, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Galaxy’s Edge 11/21)

 

NEBULA AWARD FOR SHORT STORY

“Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3–4/21)

 

THE ANDRE NORTON NEBULA AWARD FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION

A Snake Falls to Earth, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)

 

THE RAY BRADBURY NEBULA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DRAMATIC PRESENTATION

WandaVision: Season 1, Peter Cameron, Mackenzie Dohr, Laura Donney, Bobak Esfarjani, Megan McDonnell, Jac Schaeffer, Cameron Squires, Gretchen Enders, and Chuck Hayward (Marvel Studios)

 

NEBULA AWARD FOR GAME WRITING

Thirsty Sword Lesbians, April Kit Walsh, Whitney Delaglio, Dominique Dickey, Jonaya Kemper, Alexis Sara, and Rae Nedjadi (Evil Hat Games)

 

Additional awards and honors presented:

THE SFWA DAMON KNIGHT MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER AWARD

Mercedes Lackey

 

THE KATE WILHELM SOLSTICE AWARD

Arley Sorg

Troy L. Wiggins

Petra Mayer (posthumous)

 

THE KEVIN J. O’DONNELL, JR. SERVICE TO SFWA AWARD

Colin Coyle

Presenters joined virtually from around the country, including many past Nebula Award winners among them, and former and current SFWA Board members: Martha Wells, DaVaun Saunders, Greg Kasavin, John Scalzi, Amal El-Mohtar, Steven H Silver, Henry Lien, A. T. Greenblatt, C.L. Polk, and SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy and Vice President Tobias S. Buckell.

The ceremony can be viewed at SFWA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

2022 Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards Go to Arley Sorg, Troy L. Wiggins, and Petra Mayer

We are pleased to announce that the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award will be presented to Arley Sorg and Troy L. Wiggins, and posthumously, to Petra Mayer at the 57th Annual SFWA Nebula Awards®. The ceremony takes place Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 5pm Pacific Time.

Image of the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, which features a giant butterfly.

 

The Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award is given by SFWA for distinguished contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community. Sorg, Wiggins, and Mayer join the ranks of previous Solstice Award winners, including Octavia E. Butler, James Tiptree, Jr., and Carl Sagan.

Arley Sorg

Headshot of Arley Sorg with multiple awards in the background

It’s possible that no other person has attended as many science fiction and fantasy conventions as Arley Sorg, primarily in his role as a senior editor and photographer for Locus Magazine. His convention reports, interviews, and book reviews have given many up-and-coming and established creators a moment in the spotlight. But Sorg’s work with several of the genres’ most celebrated short fiction markets is arguably more influential, including his recent reprisal of Fantasy Magazine with Christie Yant. Sorg has also been a relentlessly empowering voice for many storytellers behind-the-scenes, giving countless pep talks and good advice online and in person. 

Arley Sorg is co-editor-in-chief at Fantasy Magazine, a 2021 World Fantasy Award Finalist and a 2022 Locus Award Finalist. He is also a finalist for two 2022 Ignyte Awards, for his work as a critic as well as for his creative nonfiction. Arley is a senior editor at Locus Magazineassociate editor at both Lightspeed & Nightmare, and a columnist for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He takes on multiple roles, including slush reader, movie reviewer, and book reviewer, and conducts interviews for multiple venues, including Clarkesworld Magazine and his own site: arleysorg.com. He has taught classes and run workshops for Clarion West, Augur Magazine, and more, and has been a guest speaker at a range of events. 

Troy L. Wiggins

Troy L. Wiggins has been supporting Black speculative fiction storytelling for years through curation, criticism, editorial work, and of course, his own fiction. For over a decade, he’s contributed both commentary on the influence of Black writing in the speculative genres and helped shape it, most recently through his contribution to Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda. As the publisher and former co-editor at the groundbreaking FIYAH Magazine, Wiggins carries this important work to the African diaspora at large.

Troy L. Wiggins is an award-winning writer and editor from Memphis, Tennessee. His short fiction has appeared in the Griots: Sisters of the Spear, Long Hidden: Speculative From the Margins of History, and Memphis Noir anthologies, and in Expanded Horizons, Fireside, Uncanny and Beneath Ceaseless Skies Magazines. His essays and criticism have appeared in the Memphis Flyer, Literary Orphans Magazine, People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, PEN America, and on Tor.com.

Troy is the former co-editor of the Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. He was inducted into the Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame for his contributions to Speculative Fiction in Memphis in 2018. Troy infrequently blogs about writing, nerd culture, and race at afrofantasy.wordpress.com. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with his wife and entirely too many books. 

Petra Mayer

Photo Credit: Allison Shelley/NPR

Petra Mayer loved the speculative fiction genres, and passionately celebrated them throughout her career in the news media. In choosing what writers she worked with and what books to feature, she repeatedly uplifted marginalized creators and introduced a host of readers to their stories. Mayer made space for unheard voices and developed guides like the Book Concierge, that fans of all backgrounds could use to discover new favorites. Her work and joy were gifts to the industry.

Petra Mayer was an editor at NPR Books. She shared her enthusiasm for genre fiction on air at NPR in the form of book reviews, as a regular guest on the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, through her reporting on the San Diego Comic-Con, and through the Book Concierge book recommendation tool. In her earlier career, Mayer was an associate director and producer for All Things Considered. She began working in the news media in 1997.

Mayer passed away at the young age of 46 in November 2021. Her parents established the Petra Mayer Memorial Fund for Internships. This dedicated fund “will support internships with NPR’s Culture Desk, helping to develop passionate journalists who—like Petra—can inspire audiences with a love of learning, passion for books, and dedication to sharing stories that matter.”

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy remarks, “Arley, Troy, and Petra are shining examples of how people contribute to the greater genre community by pursuing their own personal passions. I’m delighted to celebrate Arley’s and Troy’s wonderful contributions and look forward to what they’ll go on to do. I mourn the loss of Petra and all she contributed to the SFF genre and community. I hope this award will help put a light on someone we lost far too young.”

The 57th Annual Nebula Awards Ceremony will stream live on SFWA’s YouTube and Facebook channels for the public. The ceremony takes place during the 2022 Nebula Conference Online, an annual professional development conference organized by SFWA for aspiring and established professionals of the speculative fiction industry. Registration is $150 and may be purchased at events.sfwa.org.

Connie Willis and Neil Gaiman Will Host the 57th Annual Nebula Awards!

The SFWA Events Team is thrilled to announce that the highly talented duo of Connie Willis and Neil Gaiman will be toastmasters of the 57th Annual Nebula Awards®! The Nebula Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live to the public online on May 21, 2022, at 5pm PT.

Photo Credit: Mark Lewis

In addition to her long history as a celebrated toastmaster for award ceremonies in the science fiction and fantasy genres, Connie Willis was named the 2012 SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master and a recipient of the 2021 Kevin O’Donnell, Jr., Service to SFWA Award. Willis is the author of Doomsday Book, Crosstalk, and Passage, among many other fictional works and the upcoming novel The Road to Roswell. She has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards. In 2009, Willis was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Being a toastmaster is her favorite thing besides bulldogs, romantic comedies, Oxford, and Randy Rainbow videos.

Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan 

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author and creator of books, graphic novels, short stories, films, and television for all ages, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The View from the Cheap Seats, and The Sandman comic series. His fiction has received many awards and honours, including the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Several of his novels have been adapted for film and television, winning an Oscar nomination for Coraline, an Emmy nomination for American Gods, and Good Omens won the Hugo and Ray Bradbury awards, for the adaptation of a novel he wrote with the late Sir Terry Pratchett. His books have been translated into forty languages world-wide. In 2017, Gaiman became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Originally from England, he now divides his time between Scotland, where Good Omens and Anansi Boys are filmed, and the United States, where he is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

President Jeffe Kennedy says, “I’m delighted that Connie and Neil have so graciously taken time from their busy schedules to lend their voices and dynamic presences to the Nebula Awards ceremony. I’ve caught a glimpse in my crystal ball of what they’re up to and I can’t wait for everyone to join in the fun!”

This year’s Nebula Awards winners (the list of finalists) will be announced during the ceremony, which will stream for free on SFWA’s social media platforms. Of course, the ceremony is where we celebrate the most outstanding fictional works of the past year, and it’s a highlight of the 2022 Nebula Conference Online! 

Nebula Sponsorship Opportunities

Would you like to promote any upcoming releases or services at the SFWA Nebula Conference in May? Or maybe throw a party or sponsor a panel? Did you know that there are multiple sponsorship opportunities to help show your support? Email sponsors@sfwa.org for more details!