The inaugural prize was won by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson, for her novel The Principle of Moments. The runner-up was Kyla Jardine for The Reeves’ Guild.
In addition to The Principle of Moments and The Reeves’ Guild, the shortlist consisted of:
Blood of the Wolf by Jaya Martin
Kali’s Call by Dolly Garland
Nowhere more Changeable than the Mortal Heart by Ewen Ma
Seeds of Heaven by Victor Ogana
The Scent of Cloves by Dan Buchanan
The Shape of the World by Amy Borg
The judges for the 2020 prize were actor Adjoa Andoh, New York Times bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton, founder of Illumicrate subscription box Daphne Tonge, Gollancz’s senior commissioning editor Rachel Winterbottom and Abi Fellows, literary agent at The Good Agency.
Commenting on the winning titles, Winterbottom said: “The Principle of Moments is such a joyous, energetic, thrilling read. Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson takes us on an adventure that explores vital, brilliant stories interwoven through time and space, shedding a light on our past, present and future. It’s a story so gloriously inventive, it’s science fiction at its very best—without boundaries. Esmie’s imagination and writing really captured my heart and left me wanting nothing more than to follow Asha and Obi to the ends of time.
“The Reeves’ Guild achieves that rare feat of hooking you immediately from the opening scene. With enviable skill, Kyla Jardine transports you into the bureaucratic world of Leif Corbeau’s MI5, providing the perfect, (extra)ordinary backdrop for occult goings on in London. Kyla has written a world that feels vividly, vitally real, firmly grounding the supernatural elements alongside characters who have their own everyday lives to live. It’s addictive, brilliant, incredibly accomplished writing.”