Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards Announces 2019 Book Shortlist

Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute for Computational Science has announced the book shortlist for the 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards. Established in 2017, the award honors speculative fiction works in book form (debuts and otherwise) as well as plays. It also recognizes the relationship between science and the arts, the latter which the award website describes as “[a]cting as gadfly for the good, provocateur and satirist when the sciences overreach, but also far-seeing prophets of scientific potential.” We are delighted that Malka Older’s Infomocracy is among the ten finalists honored for their creativity and thoughtfulness.

Jeff and Ann VanderMeer serve as judges for the award’s second year and will select the Neukom Institute winners from the book shortlists later this month.

The full press release, below:

Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards Announces 2019 Book Shortlist
These 10 Books May Be Telling Us the Future

HANOVER, N.H – May 9, 2019 – Ten books that dare to imagine how society collides with the future have been named to the shortlist of the 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

From the challenges of life on a floating Arctic city, to epidemics of forgetfulness and zombification, to an Earth occupied by amphibious aliens, the Neukom shortlist forces readers to grapple with uncomfortable twists to familiar storylines of climate change, social justice and technological innovation.

The second annual speculative fiction awards program will be judged by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Awards will be presented for a debut book and for a book in the open category.

“Artists and writers continue to take on the important role of challenging us with their visions of ‘what if,’ often picking up where scientists and technologists either neglect to or forget to go,” said Dan Rockmore, director of the Neukom Institute. “This year’s entries are testament to the extraordinary creativity and thoughtfulness that is finding its means of expression in speculative fiction.”

2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards Shortlist of Books:

Open Category

  • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco, 2018)
  • Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax (Soho Press, 2018)
  • Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown and Company, 2018)
  • The Night Market by Jonathan Moore (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)
  • Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman (Europa Editions, 2018)

Debut Category

  • Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories by Abbey Mei Otis (Small Beer Press, 2018)
  • Infomocracy by Malka Older (Tor, 2016)
  • Severance by Ling Ma (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018)
  • Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman (Small Beer Press, 2017)
  • The Book of M by Peng Shepard (William Morrow, 2018)

“It’s been gratifying to play a part in reading and selecting such unique and strong fiction from so many different points of view. We’ve particularly enjoyed encountering writers we had not read before—and it’s especially gratifying to find so many new voices, who we believe readers will be encountering for decades to come. The Dartmouth prize is a much-needed addition to the current slate of science fiction awards,” said spec fic writer and co-judge Jeff VanderMeer.

The winning books will be selected from the shortlist in late May.

Each award winner will receive a $5,000 honorarium that will be presented during a Dartmouth-hosted panel to discuss the genre and their work.

“We’re looking forward to selecting the winners. This is such a strong list and a difficult choice for us but a very good problem to have! It’s wonderful to see so many writers taking chances and showing us other ways to view the world we live in today and what our tomorrows could be,” said spec fic editor and co-judge Ann VanderMeer.

The Neukom Institute for Computational Science is dedicated to supporting and inspiring computational work. The Literary Arts Awards is part of the Neukom Institute’s initiative to explore the ways in which computational ideas impact society.


About the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards

The Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards is an annual awards program to honor and support creative works around speculative fiction. Established in 2017, the awards program is an open, international competition sponsored by the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College. The awards aspire to raise general awareness of the speculative fiction genre, as well as the interconnectivity between the sciences and the arts. The awards serve as part of the Neukom Institute’s initiative to explore the ways in which computational ideas impact society.


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