N.K. Jemisin nominated for a Locus Award

The Continuum committee would like to congratulate Guest of Honour N.K.Jemisin on the recent nomination of her novel The Killing Moon for a Locus Award.

Those who have been following her work would not find this overly surprising; her books have generated significant buzz and received critical acclaim, and have earned numerous award nominations. Her debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, won a Locus award in 2011.

Staffer’s Book Review had this to say about The Killing Moon:

To anyone paying attention to genre scuttlebutt, it’s common knowledge that Jemisin is one of the more outspoken proponents of bringing new points of view to the fantasy lexicon. Whether that means non-western cultures, strong female characters, or more challenging narrative structures, she’s practiced what she preaches. In Killing Moon the focus is more on the first two, eschewing the more complex narratives of her past work. The result is a plot oriented novel that will appeal to traditional fans of high fantasy as well as those tired of reading recycled characters and worlds.

Strange Horizons talks about Jemisin’s storytelling:

Set in a mythical never-was Egyptian-and-Nubian influenced past, this is a novel primarily about people of color. It reverses the One Minority Friend trope, using Sunandi’s white companion, Lin, to illustrate how the characters think about race and personhood. The treatment of a white woman in a black world subtly brings the ways we deal with these issues for characters of color in traditional fantasy novels to the surface. Female characters—Speaker Sunandi, Lin, Sister Meliatua, etc.—are plentiful, distinct, and interesting.

Jemisin’s prose is smooth and competent, employing carefully balanced archaisms and neologisms. The novel’s strategic use of speech—including variations between characters, situational registers of formality, classes, cultures, and in-world languages—complements and supports her world. The transitions between storytelling modes, character points of view, and characters’ different mental states happen easily, providing narrative richness and effectively conveying information about the characters, setting, and plot. The book earned its four hunded pages, and could have been longer without losing its muscularity and strong sense of purpose.

We are very excited about the insights into the craft of writing and the perspectives that N.K. Jemisin will be bringing to the convention as our Guest of Honour, and have no doubt that attendees will take a great deal away from her presence.

For those who can’t wait until the convention, you can read a great interview at Worlds Without End and another at the Epic blog, and an excellent feature at Salon, If Tolkien Were Black.

See you at the Con!