Books

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk nominated for Ignyte Award for best novel

The prizes recognize the works of science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy that reflect diversity and inclusion. The winners will be chosen by a public vote.

The prizes recognize the works of science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy that reflect diversity

The Midnight Bargain is a book by C.L. Polk. (Erewhon Books, Mike Tan)

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk is up for best novel at the 2021 Igynte Awards.

The prizes recognize the works of science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy that reflect diversity and inclusion. The finalists "represent the brightest lights in speculative fiction's future," according to the prizes' website.

Awards will be given out in 15 categories, recognizing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, criticism and community building.

The Midnight Bargain is a fantasy novel about a young woman named Beatrice. Beatrice is making her debut at "bargaining season" — an annual event where wealthy young men and women gather from all over the world to make advantageous marriages. But she harbours secret plans that will upend society. Rather than get married, Beatrice plans to bind a greater spirit and become a full magician. Performing the secret ritual goes against the rules of her world, which prohibits women from practicing magic while they can still bear children. With the help of the wealthy Lavan siblings, fiery Ysbeta and her handsome brother Ianthe, Beatrice searches for a way to change old patriarchal traditions. 

The Midnight Bargain was championed by Rosey Edeh on Canada Reads 2021.

Polk is a fantasy writer from Calgary. Their other books include Witchmark and StormsongWitchmark was nominated for a Sunburst Award and Aurora Award.

The Midnight Bargain is up against Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones and Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang, which was translated by Ken Liu.

C.L. Polk on her Canada Reads 2021 contender, The Midnight Bargain. 14:06

Joshua Whitehead is the other Canadian nominated for an Igynte Award. He nominated for best anthology/collected work for Love After the End, which he edited and curated.

Love After the End is an anthology of nine speculative fiction stories that imagine a utopian future for LGBTQ and two-spirit people. The stories range in scope and creativity but all centre on LGBTQ and two-spirit people and have a happy ending.

Contributors include Nathan Adler, Darcie Little Badger, Gabriel Castilloux Calderon, Adam Garnet Jones, Mari Kurisato, Kai Minosh Pyle, David Alexander Robertson, jaye simpson and Nazbah Tom.

Whitehead is a two-spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation. He is also the author of the poetry collection full-metal indigiqueer and the novel Jonny Appleseed.

Jonny Appleseed won Canada Reads 2021, when it was championed by Devery Jacobs.

It has been a busy time in the Indigenous literary world lately. It seems, wherever you look, a hot new title is hitting bookstore shelves. This week on Unreserved, we hear from Indigenous authors making waves across Turtle Island. 45:11

FiyahCon is a convention for BIPOC writers, creators and readers in science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy. It is being organized by the Fiyah Literary Magazine and will take place Sept. 16-19, 2021 

The finalists for the Igynte Awards were chosen by 15 staff members from FiyahCon.

The winners will be chosen by a public vote. Voting is open until May 21, 2021.

The winners will be announced at the festival. You can cast your vote here.

You can see the complete shortlists at the FiyahCon website.

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