Monthly Archives: July 2020

2019 Shirley Jackson Awards

The awards are handed out annually to the works of horror, dark fantasy and psychological suspense that best exemplify the legacy of horror author Shirley Jackson. Due to Covid-19, this year’s ceremony was a virtual one rather than its normal venue at ReaderCon in Massachusetts, USA. I was delighted just to be listed in the novella category alongside an amazing list of writers and genuinely suprised to win.

Congratulations to everyone on the list.

Here are this year’s winners (listed in bold) and nominees:


  • The Book of X, Sarah Rose Etter (Two Dollar Radio)
  • Curious Toys, Elizabeth Hand (Little, Brown and Co)
  • Goodnight Stranger, Miciah Bay Gault (Park Row Books)
  • Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo (Gollancz)
  • Nothing to See Here, Kevin Wilson (Ecco)
  • Tinfoil Butterfly, Rachel Eve Moulton (MCD x FSG Originals)



  • “Ormeshadow,” Priya Sharma (
  • Into Bones Like Oil, Kaaron Warren (Meerkat Press)
  • “Late Returns,” Joe Hill (Full Throttle)
  • “The Monster of Elenhaven,” Jennifer Giesbrecht (
  • This is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Gallery/Saga Press)


  • Luminous Body, Brooke Warra (Dim Shores)
  • Black Bequeathments, Simon Strantzas (Dim Shores)
  • The Couvade, Joanna Koch (Demain Publishing)
  • “Deeper, Darker Things,” Steve Dillon (Deeper, Darker Things and Other Oddities)
  • Pwdre Ser, Kurt Fawver (Dim Shores)
  • “Taproot,” M. R. Carey (Ten-Word Tragedies)


  • “Kali_Na,” Indrapramit Das (The Mythic Dream)
  • “How to Become a Witch-Queen,” Theodora Goss (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery)
  • “The Truth About Josh Enloe,” Nick Straatmann (Parhelion)
  • “The Well,” Mariana Enríquez, translated by Megan McDowell (issue 55.1 of The Southern Review)
  • “Whistle, My Lad, and I Will Come,” Gina Ochsner (The Pink Issue of Fairy Tale Review)



  • Song for the Unraveling of the World, Brian Evenson (Coffee House Press)
  • Collision: Stories, J. S. Breukelaar (Meerkat Press, LLC)
  • Every Human Love: Stories, Joanna Pearson (Acre Books)
  • Homesick, Nino Cipri (Dzanc Books)
  • Mouthful of Birds, Samanta Schweblin (Riverhead Books)
  • Wounds, Nathan Ballingrud (Saga Press)


  • The Twisted Book of Shadows, edited by Christopher Golden & James A. Moore (Twisted Publishing)
  • Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow (Saga Press)
  • The Mythic Dream, edited by Rivers Solomon (Saga Press)
  • The Unquiet Dreamer: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison, edited by Preston Grassmann (PS Publishing)
  • Wonderland: An Anthology of Works Inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane (Titan Books)
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Speculative Pakistan

The Last Word presents Speculative Pakistan, readings and a panel discussion about speculative fiction in Pakistan, with winners and finalists of the Salam Awards.

The Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction is a short story award to promote science fiction and related genres of writing in Pakistan. The scope is broad and will include every thing from regular science fiction and steampunk to magic realism and weird fiction.

The award is named for Dr. Abdus Salam, one of the pioneers of scientific research in Pakistan. Salam was the first Pakistani to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979. To the world he was the first Muslim scientist to win the prize, but in Pakistan he was not. His religious sect, the Ahmadiyya community had been declared non-Muslim in 1974, by the Pakistani parliament.

My thanks to the award team for having me on board as a moderator for this event.

Register here.

Banner design by Amna Naveed.