About five Nigerian writers won big at Nommo (inaugural) Awards which was launched in 2016 by the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS), a body of African writers, editors, publishers and graphic artists to reward and recognize the finest fantasy or science fiction works by Africans. The categories of the awards included Best Novel named after the benefactor Tom Ilube ($1000) , Best Novella ($500), Best Short Story ($500) and Best Comic or Graphic Novel ($1000).
The winners whose names were announced during the just concluded Ake Arts Festival in Abeokuta were ‘hand-picked’ by members of the body after their works made the shortlist of nineteen in each category before voting over the following three months started.
For the Best Comic or Graphic Novel which attracted $1000, the nominees were Avonome, written by Xavier Ighorodje, illustrated by Stanley Obende and published by the Comic Republic; The Corpse Exhibition, published as Chimurenga Chronic‘s Issue 3 and edited by Ntone Edjabe; June 12, by Ibrahim Ganiyu, Chike Newman Nwankwo and Akinwade Ayodeji Akinola, and published by Vortex; Might of Guardian Prime‘s Issues 1-8, published by the Comic Republic—Issue 1 written by Ozo Ezeogu and illustrated by Jide Martin, Issues 2-6 written by Toheeb Deen Ipaye and illustrated by Jide Martin, and Issues 7-8 written by Wale Awelenje and illustrated by Stanley Obende. The winner was The Corpse Exhibition, edited by Ntone Edjabe.
The nominees of the Best Short Story were: The Marriage Plot by Tendai Huchu; Ndakusuwa by Blaize Kaye, Sundown by Innocent Immaculate Acan, Who Will Greet You at Home? by Lesley Nneka Arimah and Wednesday’s Story by Wole Talabi. It was a joint win. The Marriage Plot by Tendai Huchu and Who Will Greet You at Home? by Lesley Nneka Arimah.
The nominees for the Best Novella were: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor; The Flying Man of Stone by Dilman Dila; Hell Freezes Over by Mame Bougouma Diene; The Last Pantheon by Tade Thompson and Nick Wood; and Ta O’reva by Muthi Nhlema. The winner was Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.
For Best Novel, the nominees were Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood; Azotus, the Kingdom by Shadreck Chikoti; Blackass by A Igoni Barrett, whose name is received with ovation; Rosewater by Tade Thompson; and Taty Went West by Nikhil Singh and the winner was Rosewater by Tade Thompson.
This years edition of the festival had a lot of high-profile Nigerians and foreign guests in attendance among which were Tom Ilube, and Geoff Ryman—creative writing lecturer in Manchester University and recipient of the Arthur C Clarke Award, the British Science Fiction Award and the Nebula Award—who introduced The Manchester Review‘s Issue 18 which focused on African speculative fiction
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