The L.A. Times announced the winners of its annual book prizes in a virtual ceremony on April 16th, including the winner of the second Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction: Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians.
The novel was part of a stacked finalist lineup that included Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi, Megan Giddings’ Lakewood, N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, and Aoko Matsuda’s Where the Wild Ladies Are (translated by Polly Barton).
At the L.A. Times Book Prize site, Jones’ winning book is described as “A novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American Indian experience.”
The Ray Bradbury Prize was added to the Book Prize lineup in 2019 and first given in 2020; the inaugural winner was Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf. The award “honors and extends Bradbury’s literary legacy by celebrating and elevating the writers working in his field today,” and is sponsored by Ray Bradbury Literary Works.
The Only Good Indians racked up starred reviews and praise when it was released last year. In a review for NPR, Gabino Iglesias said, “Jones is one of the best writers working today regardless of genre, and this gritty, heartbreaking novel might just be his best yet.
You can watch Jones talk briefly about the book—which was supposed to be a novella, and was originally written partly in “fake second person”—here.