The $3,000 Nommo Awards, founded in 2016 by the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS), recognise the finest fantasy or science fiction works by Africans published in the preceding year. The ASFS is a body of African writers, editors, publishers and graphic artists who nominate shortlisted works and vote for the winners. The awards are given in four categories: the US$1000 Best Novel named after the awards benefactor Tom Ilube, the US$500 Best Novella, the US$500 Best Short Story, and the US$1000 Best Comic or Graphic Novel.
There are 28 works shortlisted this year: six for Best Novel, four for Best Novella, seven for Best Short Story, and eleven for Best Comic or Graphic Novel. While there are known names who made it—most notably Tomi Adeyemi, Tiah Beautement, Tendai Huchu, Imraan Coovadia, Cat Hellisen, and Nnedi Okorafor, with three different books—some buzzing books and notable names missed out: the Ghanaian-Canadian Esi Edugyan’s novel Washington Black and the Liberian Wayetu Moore’s She Would Be King, most notably among books; and then the Liberian novelist Hawa Jande Golakai, the South African writer Mohale Mashigo, and the Nigerian writers Wole Talabi and Mazi Nwonwu, among writers.
Over the next three months, ASFS members will vote for the winners in each category from the shortlists.
Here are the shortlists.