FIYAHCON Announces Shortlist For the 2021 Ignyte Awards

Last year, FIYAH magazine created FIYAHCON, a widely acclaimed virtual convention centering and celebrating BIPOC in speculative fiction. Along with FIYAHCON, organizers created the Ignyte Awards, which “seek to celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the current and future landscapes of science fiction, fantasy, and horror by recognizing incredible feats in storytelling and outstanding efforts toward inclusivity of the genre.”

The winners of the first Ignyte Awards were announced in October—and now it’s time to announce the 2021 finalists!

The Ignyte committee said in a statement, “The committee feels that these creators, creations, entities, and perspectives from 2020 represent the brightest lights in speculative fiction’s future. We encourage you to seek out the nominees unfamiliar to you on this list, engage with their works of fiction or acts of community, and to use those experiences to inform your vote.”


Best Novel—Adult

Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse (Gallery Books/Saga Press)

The City We Became – N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Midnight Bargain – C. L. Polk (Erewhon Books)

The Only Good Indians – Stephen Graham Jones (Gallery Books/Saga Press)

Vagabonds – Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (Gallery Books/Saga Press)


Best Novel—YA

Elatsoe – Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)

Legendborn – Tracy Deonn (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

Raybearer – Jordan Ifueko (Amulet Books)

A Song Below Water – Bethany Morrow (Tor Teen)

A Sky Beyond the Storm – Sabaa Tahir (Razorbill)



Best in Middle Grade

Frightville: Curse of the Wish Eater – Mike Ford (Scholastic Paperbacks)

Ghost Squad – Claribel A. Ortega (Scholastic)

Maya and the Rising Dark – Rena Barron (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Race to the Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse (Read Riordan/Disney Publishing Worldwide)

A Wish in the Dark – Christina Soontornvat (Candlewick Press)



Best Novella

Empress of Salt and Fortune – Nghi Vo (Tordotcom)

The Four Profound Weaves – R. B. Lemberg (Tachyon Publications)

Ring Shout – P. Djèli Clark (Tordotcom)

Riot Baby – Tochi Onyebuchi (Tordotcom)

Stone & Steel – Eboni J. Dunbar (Neon Hemlock)



Best Novelette

The Inaccessibility of Heaven – Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny Magazine)

Love Hangover – Sheree Renée Thomas (Mocha Memoirs Press)

The Night Sun – Zin E. Rocklyn (

One Hand in the Coffin – Justin C. Key (Strange Horizons)

The Transition of Osoosi – Ozzie M. Gartrell (FIYAH)


Best Short Story

Body, Remember – Nicasio Andres Reed (Fireside Magazine)

EXPRESS TO BEIJING WEST RAILWAY STATION | 开往西站的特别列车 – Congyun ‘Mu Ming’ Gu, translated by Kiera Johnson (Samovar)

My Country is a Ghost – Eugenia Triantafyllou (Uncanny Magazine)

Rat and Finch are Friends – Innocent Chazaram Ilo (Strange Horizons)

You Perfect, Broken Thing – C. L. Clark (Uncanny Magazine)



Best in Speculative Poetry

The Alt-History of King Kong – Renoir Gaither (Speculative City)

Fin – Terese Mason Pierre (Uncanny Magazine)

The Harrowing Desgarrador – Gabriel Ascencio Morales (Strange Horizons)

Hungry Ghost – Millie Ho (Uncanny Magazine)

Tequila Mockingbird | Matar un Ruiseñor – Raúl Gallardo Flores, translated by Juan Martinez (Strange Horizons)



Critics Award

Jesse @ Bowties & Books

Charles Payseur @ Quick Sip Reviews

Maria Haskins

A. C. Wise

Stitch @ Stitch’s Media Mix



Best Fiction Podcast

Beneath Ceaseless Skies – Editor Scott H. Andrews

Escape Pod – Editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya; Assistant Editor Benjamin C. Kinney; Hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart, Audio Producers Summer Brooks and Adam Pracht, and the entire Escape Pod team

Nightlight Podcast – Tonia Ransom

PodCastle – Editors Jen R. Albert, Cherae Clark, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Host + Assistant Editor Setsu Uzume, & Audio Producer Peter Adrian Behravesh

The Magnus Archives – Written and performed by Jonathan Sims, Directed by Alexander J Newall, Produced by Lowri Ann Davies. Distributed by Rusty Quill



Best Artist

John Picacio

Nilah Magruder

Odera Igbokwe

Paul Lewin

Rovina Cai


Best Comics Team

Cuisine Chinoise: Five Tales of Food and Life – Zao Dao, with Diana Schutz & Brandon Kandor (Dark Horse Comics)

Far Sector – N. K. Jemisin & Jamal Campbell (DC Comics)

Giga – Alex Paknadel & John Lê (Vault Comics)

Parable of the Sower – Written by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings (Abrams ComicArts)

You Brought Me the Ocean – Alex Sanchez & Jul Maroh (DC Comics)


Best Anthology/Collected Works

A Phoenix Must First Burn – ed. Patrice Caldwell (Viking Books for Young Readers)

Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World that Wouldn’t Die – editor, publisher dave ring (Neon Hemlock)

Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction – ed. Joshua Whitehead (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Nine Bar Blues – Sheree Renée Thomas (Third Man Books)

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with a Fresh Bite – ed. Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker (Imprint)

Best in Creative Nonfiction

“The African Superhero and the Legacy of Captain Africa” – Suyi Davies Okungbowa (

“Fine Weather, Isn’t It?” – Tochi Onyebuchi (SFWA Bulletin #215)

“How to Make a Family: Queer Blood Bonds in Black Feminist Vampire Novels” – Tamara Jerée (Strange Horizons)

“I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream: The Duty of the Black Writer During Times of American Unrest” – Tochi Onyebuchi (

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Excellence” – Nibedita Sen (Uncanny Magazine)

The Ember Award (for unsung contributions to genre)

Clarion West

Dhonielle Clayton

K. Tempest Bradford

Michi Trota

Tananarive Due


The Community Award (for Outstanding Efforts in Service of Inclusion and Equitable Practice in Genre)

Anathema Magazine: Spec from the Margins – Michael Matheson, Andrew Wilmot, Chinelo Onwualu

Beth Phelan

Diana M. Pho

#PublishingPaidMe – L.L. McKinney & Tochi Onyebuchi

Writing The Other: Online Classes and Workshops – Nisi Shawl + K Tempest Bradford


Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Voting for the winners is open to the public here. Voting continues through 11:59 pm ET on May 21st.

Tickets to this year’s FIYAHCON are available here.


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