Nigerian speculative fiction author has won the 2022 Sidewise Award for Alternate History in the category of best short-form alternate history.

The Sidewise Awards have been presented annually since 1995 to recognize excellence in alternate historical fiction. The 2022 Sidewise Awards honor the best alternate history published in calendar 2022 and were presented on October 27 at the World Fantasy Con in Kansas City.

The judges for the 2022 awards included Eileen Gunn, Matt Mitrovich, Olav Rokne, Kurt Sidaway, and Steven H Silver.

Talabi won the 2022 Best Short-Form Alternate History award for “A Dream of Electric Mothers” published in Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction, tied with Eric Choi’s “A Sky and a Heaven” published in Other Covenants: Alternate Histories of the Jewish People.


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We are so thrilled for Talabi’s sensational win! Talabi announced the news on Instagram, remarking that he was happy about the tie: “And even better, it was a tie, which means someone else won too. (congratulations Eric Choi @aerospacewriter!)”.

In his acceptance speech, Talabi remarked that the winning story is incredibly special to him since it reflects Africa for him:

I have been nominated for many awards before and if I win (which I did since you are hearing this) I am glad it’s for this story. A story that really encompasses my usual themes and style. A story that is about African history, African ingenuity, African belief systems, African grief, African technology, African joy, African Science Fiction. That is purposeful. Growing up, the Africa that was reflected back to me from the media I loved was severely limited. It still is. I am glad to be able to reflect something else into the world. An alternative story of our people, something different, something with ideas that makes the mind feel like it can expand and connect to so much more. I hope I get to keep doing that.

Read the full text of Talabi’s acceptance speech, which was read by Alex Jennings, here.

Wole Talabi is an engineer, writer, and editor from Nigeria known for his speculative fiction writing. His highly anticipated debut novel Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon (2023) was just released this month.

Congrats to Talabi on the well-deserved win!