The BSFA Awards – Non-Fiction Longlist

The BSFA Award for Non-Fiction represents a hugely diverse area of content associated with the genre of science fiction.

Throughout the award’s twenty-year history, the majority of nominees and winners have come from the field of science fiction criticism. Many of those writing about the genre and those creating content within it have dedicated large portions of their lives to cataloguing the works of great imaginative writers, finding truths in great works of fiction and celebrating a combination of both.

There is a diligent patience to this work. It responds to a clear and present need, which the BSFA sees as part of its mission: “to promote and encourage the creation, reading, criticism, and dissemination of science fiction and allied arts, across literature and other media”.

Our award for non-fiction scratches the surface of what is being produced each year. But engagement with the award, sharing what you have read and what you have been impressed by, enriches all of us.

The long list nominations represent the works read and recognised by members as being a significant achievement during 2020.

  • ‘At the Brink: Electronic Literature, Technology, and the Peripheral Imagination at the Atlantic Edge’ by Anne Karhio (Electronic Book Review) Link
  • Beachcombing: And other oddments by David Langford (Ansible Editions) Link to Sample / Link to Purchase
  • Big Echo Interviews by Peter Milne Greiner, Brendan C. Byrne ed. Robert G. Penner (Big Echo) Link to Read
  • ‘Books in Which No Bad Things Happen’ by Jo Walton ( Link
  • Diseases of the Head: Essays on the Horrors of Speculative Philosophy ed. Matt Rosen (Punctum) Link
  • ‘Estranged Entrepreneurs’ by Jo Lindsay Walton (Foundation) Link
  • ‘How Science Fiction Imagined the 2020s’ by Tim Maughan (OneZero) Link
  • ‘How the Federation Overcame its Shipbuilding Gap for the defense of Coppelius in Star Trek: Picard‘ by Claude Berube (NavyCon) Video
  • It’s the End of the World: But what are we afraid of? by Adam Roberts (Elliott & Thompson) Link to Purchase
  • ‘Review of M. John Harrison’s Settling the World‘ by Martin Petto (Strange Horizons) Link
  • Science Fiction and Climate Change by Andrew Milner and JR Burgmann (Liverpool University Press) Link
  • ‘The 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist’ by Nandini Ramachandran (Strange Horizons) Link
  • Introduction to The Jonbar Point: Essays from SF Horizons by Brian Aldiss, Introduction by Christopher Priest (the eligible part for the award) (Ansible Editions) Link to Read / Link to Purchase
  • The Unstable Realities of Christopher Priest by Paul Kincaid (Gylphi) Link to Purchase
  • Ties That Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction ed. Francesca T. Barbini (Luna Press) Link to Abstracts / Link to Purchase
  • Writing Fiction in the Age of Climate Catastrophe: A Conversation Between Anne Charnock and James Bradley by Anne Charnock and James Bradley (Los Angeles Review of Books) Link
  • ‘Zones of Possibility: Science Fiction and the Coronavirus’ by Rob Latham (Los Angeles Review of Books) Link

Over the next few weeks, we will be in contact with long list nominees and wherever possible, updating this page with links to samples of as many of these works as we can. If you are a nominee and would like to reach out, please get in touch at

Voting for the shortlist will open on 18th of January for BSFA members, and will close on 5th of February. The final vote will then open, and the winner is planned to be announced at this year’s Eastercon, ConFusion.