Shortlist Announced for Le Guin Fiction Prize

On Thursday, the Ursula K. Le Guin Trust announced the shortlist for the inaugural Ursula K. Le Guin Fiction Prize. The $25,000 prize, first announced back in October last year, recognizes book-length work of speculative fiction. During a speech at the 2014 National Book Awards, Le Guin spoke about which writers should be honored: “realists of a larger reality, who can imagine real grounds for hope and see alternatives to how we live now.” The award will be presented nearly a year from now on Le Guin’s birthday, October 21, 2022.

The criteria for selection are that the work be book-length written by a single author, published in the United States in English or translated in English, and published in 2022. Le Guin’s son and literary executor, Theo Downes-Le Guin, acknowledged the challenge to find ways to honor his mother’s work and legacy, telling Electric Literature, “She certainly believed in giving money directly to writers, with no strings attached, for them to use however they wished to. To create the space and the opportunity to write.”

A panel of five jurors will consider nine books on the list. The jurors are Adrienne Maree Brown, Becky Chambers, Molly Gloss, David Mitchell, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

  • After the Dragons by Cynthia Zhang (Stelliform Press)
  • Appleseed by Matt Bell (Custom House)
  • Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tordotcom Publishing)
  • The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century by Olga Ravn, translated by Martin Aitken (New Directions)
  • The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber (Graywolf Press)
  • How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (William Morrow)
  • The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom Publishing)
  • A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
  • Summer in the City of Roses by Michelle Ruiz Keil (Soho Teen)

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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