Booklist: At just about six months old (in a nineteen-year-old body), Nona lives a full life. She recounts her dreams to her protectors and works as a teacher’s aide at a local school. She’s been grudgingly accepted by a gang of streetwise kids and is trusted to watch a beloved teacher’s dog. At the edges of Nona’s life, glimpses of other truths occasionally slip through: there’s a giant blue sphere hanging in the sky, for one thing. Zombies are a problem. Occasionally Nona and her family are kidnapped by a clandestine local cell and interrogated about her true identity, but she manages to find the best in even those situations. In this ancillary volume set between Harrow the Ninth (2020) and the forthcoming Alecto the Ninth, Muir takes the time to explore unfolding calamity through the eyes of a true innocent. The book is set over the course of five days in the prelude to an apocalyptic event, with chapters interspersed where the reader learns how the death and resurrection of the people of Earth came to pass. Muir fans will be even more eager for the imperial scope of Alecto once they’ve finished Nona’s quiet character study.
Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
- Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor
- A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
Best Horror Novel
- The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
Premee Mohamed’s THE BUTCHER OF THE FOREST, in which a world-weary woman races against the clock to rescue the children of a wrathful tyrant from a dangerous, otherworldly forest, to Emily Goldman at Tordotcom Publishing, with Jonathan Strahan editing, for publication in 2024, by Michael Curry.
- These Lifeless Things, Premee Mohamed (Solaris)
Best Horror Novel (The August Derleth Award)
- A Broken Darkness, Premee Mohamed (Solaris)
- Nothing but Blackened Teeth, Cassandra Khaw (Titan)
- Nothing But Blackened Teeth, Cassandra Khaw (Nightfire)
- And What Can We Offer You Tonight, Premee Mohamed (Neon Hemlock)
Catalan rights to Nebula Award winner Premee Mohamed’s THESE LIFELESS THINGS and AND WHAT CAN WE OFFER YOU TONIGHT, to Chronos, by Amaiur Fernández at International Editors’ Co. in association with Michael Curry.
Hungarian rights to New York Times Bestselling author Jim Butcher’s TURN COAT and CHANGES, books 11 and 12 in the Dresden Files series, to Delta Vision, by Maša Ivanović at Prava i prevodi in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Locus: Premee Mohamed’s And What Can We Offer You Tonight is also a stunning (and Nebula-nominated) example of what short fiction can do…sharp and full of contained fury. Mohamed’s world is a brutal one where people deemed unuseful are culled by the authorities. If you are not fabulously wealthy or serving said one-percenters, you are not likely to live long. That makes Jewel’s job as a high-priced courtesan her literal lifeline. When a fellow sex worker is murdered by a client, then suddenly returns from the dead with nothing left to lose, Jewel is thrust into the mystery. Is solving it worth her own death? The story, however, is only loosely about who the murderer is. Instead, it’s a barely controlled scream about power and abuse that infuriates and satisfies. If this were novel length, it would be overwhelming. But here…Mohamed distills keenly felt emotions into a heady shot.