This is a post about awards eligibility—the nonfiction type. This category tends to get less than half the initial nominations of, say, best novel or short story, but it is worth some thought. After all, it is nonfiction that makes sense of and binds together the individual fictions we create, read, and live.
Strange Horizons publishes nonfiction regularly, in the form of articles, reviews, columns, interviews, and roundtables. Based on your clicking habits, dear readers, here is a reminder of what you paid the most attention to in 2017 from the SH nonfiction team:
100 African Writers of SFF. This is an ongoing series by Geoff Ryman, with interviews and perspectives covering a continent. In 2017, we published pieces on Cape Town, Nairobi, and Malawi, as well as the diaspora in the U.K. and an interview with Sofia Samatar. A winner of the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Non-Fiction in 2016, we expect great things from this series and Ryman in 2018.
“Kirk Drift.” This entry in Erin Horáková’s Freshly Remember’d column smashed the record for most popular item of any category on our site last year. In her essay, Erin traces the change in the popular culture perception of Captain Kirk of the Star Trek franchise from his first days in the original series. Do you think of Kirk as a reckless, rebellious womanizer? Think again.
“Decolonizing Science Fiction and Imagining Futures: An Indigenous Futurisms Roundtable.” Rebecca Roanhorse ran this discussion early last year with Elizabeth LaPensee, Johnnie Jae, and Darcie Little Badger. It considered a future with visible indigenous faces, customs, and perspectives, as well as issues with representation in the present. From alternate realities to a redefinition of what “discovery” means, this roundtable is worth a re-read.
“Emotional Labour in SFF.” SH editor Eli Lee ran this roundtable with Mazin Saleem, Leigh Alexander, Laurie Penny, and RJ Barker. The piece discusses the characters who shoulder emotional labor in speculative fiction, where it is lacking, and what sorts of stories we could tell about social care in the future.
“Where Do Female Werewolves Come From?” This essay by Hannah Priest is about female werewolves and their origins in urban fantasy. It begins in ancient mythology and continues through Latin texts, the Victorian Gothic, and colonialist narratives. Priest digs into hypermasculinity and misogyny, objectification and class.
Our reviews team puts out three reviews per week, every week. It was difficult to narrow down the best options for 2017, but here’s a brief list of popular reviews:
Mazin Saleem’s review of Alien: Covenant
Vandana Singh’s review of The Great Derangement
Samira Nadkarni’s review of Deserts of Fire
Keguro Macharia’s review of Binti: Home
Rachel Cordasco’s review of Tamil Pulp Fiction, Vol. III
M. Milks’s review of Meanwhile, Elsewhere
Zina Hutton’s review of Luke Cage
We wish you a fond revisit of Strange Horizons nonfiction!