Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award.

I am super proud and profoundly humbled to have served as the judge for the 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

And after many months of reading incredible books and agonizing over the decision I had to make, I am delighted to join the Institute staff in congratulating the winners!

Debut Novel Category:
Cadwell TurnbullThe Lesson (Blackstone Publishing, 2019)

Open Category:
Ted ChiangExhalation (Knopf, 2019)

I am so grateful to the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College for this incredible opportunity – and to Ted and Cadwell for their incredible work.

“Few science fiction storylines are more overused than tales of alien first contact and invasion, which makes Cadwell Turnbull’s achievement in The Lesson all the more astonishing,” said Miller. “He’s managed to make it fresh and alive and painfully relevant for a moment where our histories of colonization and exploitation are poised to teach us all some terrible lessons, and we should all be paying attention. It’s the kind of debut that makes me so excited for the future of speculative fiction.”

“Ted Chiang is simply the greatest living science fiction writer, and each new story of his is cause for celebration. It’s been 17 years since his last collection, and Exhalation is exactly the kind of brain-exploding, superhuman, profoundly human work we need right now. Far and away the best speculative book of the year, and probably the decade. Ted’s stories rewrite the rules of the world and widen the scope of our dreams, and we are all in his debt,” said Miller.

Check out the full press release here.

Honestly every one of the nominated books could plausibly have been a winner, and every one of them will reward your time… and make you feel a hell of a lot better about how fucked up our world is. I refuse to believe the species that produced books like these is past saving. I took to Twitter to shout them all out individually:

Posted on: October 8, 2020, by : Sam J. M.
File under: Awards & Anthologies, Blog