Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds Wins the 2021 Compton Crook Award

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has announced (via File 770) the winner of this year’s Compton Crook Award: Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds, about a woman who travels to alternate universes to gather information, and who discovers some deeply troubling secrets about the company that employs her.

The award has been handed out annually at Balticon by the BSFS since 1983, and honors debut works in the name of author Stephen Tall, who used the pen name Compton Crook. Members of the society select the finalists and rate them to produce a winner.

In addition to Johnson’s book, year’s finalists for the award included Architects of Memory by Karen Osbourne, Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis, Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart, Docile by K.M Szpara, and The Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin. Last year’s winner was Arkady Martine’s debut, A Memory Called Empire, and other recent winners include R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War), Nicky Drayden (The Prey of Gods), Ada Palmer (Too Like Lightning), and Fran Wilde (Updraft).

For her win, Johnson will get a $1,000 cash prize, and will be the Compton Crook Guest of Honor at Balticon this year and next. This year’s convention will be a virtual con, and it’ll be held over this year’s Memorial Day Weekend from May 28th through the 31st.


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