How N.K. Jemisin creates fantasy worlds rooted in reality

Hugo Award-winning novelist N.K. Jemisin talks about how she creates fantasy worlds that centre issues of racism and oppression.
Author N.K. Jemisin won the sci-fi Hugo Prize for the second year running for her novel The Obelisk Gate. (Laura Hanifin)

Originally published on Aug. 30, 2017. Rebroadcast on June 29, 2021.

N.K. Jemisin is a bestselling author and a sci-fi and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times. She was one of the 2020 MacArthur genius grant fellows, a $774,031.25 award, and won the Hugo Award for best novel three years in a row for her The Broken Earth trilogy.

The Hugo Award is one of the biggest international prizes for science fiction and fantasy. Past Hugo Award winners include legendary writers like Neil Gaiman, Kurt Vonnegut, and J.K Rowling. N.K. Jemisin was the first Black author to take home that award and the first writer to win three consecutive years.

N.K. Jemisin talks to Q about making waves in the sci-fi and fantasy world and forging new paths for the journeys and the types of characters we are used to seeing in the genre.

— Produced by Shannon Higgins



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