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The 2023 Lunar Impact Award Nominees
Voting is now open!
As the Lunar Awards has grown, so has the variety of writers focused on publishing fantasy and science fiction on Substack. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know several new authors, watching them build their audience and interact with their own community of fellow writers and fans. A few do fizzle out, submit once to the awards and are never to be seen again. But a small number stick around, and even end up making a significant impact on everyone here.
Each year, I hope to put the spotlight on these trailblazers. They’re widely recognized, and their contributions to high-quality fiction is adding to a body of respectable work on Substack. Unlike an award season, where I’m often the sole arbiter of quality control when awarding a Lunar, the Lunar Impact requires a wider audience of involvement. Many voices need to be heard to make this decision. Is this just another popularity contest? It some ways it is, and that notoriety will become an important aspect of what we’re doing.
These nominees are popular for a reason. They’re elevating speculative fiction, they’re engaging with the community and building an audience, and they are continually posting fantasy and science fiction short stories and serials that are shared constantly. They have staying power, the kind that fresh authors can look to as an example and are producing work that brings in new writers and readers for us all. This is the reader’s choice of the Lunar Awards, a chance to cast your vote and be heard.
From now until the end of November, the voting will remain open. I encourage the nominees to post about it, write Notes about it, and encourage their audience to vote. In December, I will post the results, and the winner will receive the following:
A lifetime paid comp to the Lunar Awards, which grants them 7-day early access notification for the next award season.
A $25 monetary prize. US residents may choose either PayPal (minus fees and conversion rate), an Amazon.com e-gift card or a Bookshop.org e-gift card. International residents will be paid via PayPal in participating countries.
A permanent link on the Past Winners page, including a high-resolution badge to display on their Substack.
And now for the nominees (the voting poll is below).
Bill Adler has been publishing fiction every week on Substack for nearly two years and remains one of the most prolific fiction writers in our community. While he posts a wide variety of science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, love stories, adventures, thrillers, horror, crime stories, and literary fiction, much of his work is considered speculative. Some of his best work infuses elements of Japanese folklore and culture, which is a real treat. One of this most popular stories, “Sakura Petals”, continues to delight new readers.
What some of our readers may not know is that Bill is also a successful non-fiction writer. His book “Outwitting Squirrels: 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels“, is one of several that continue to garner him worldwide attention. Bill lives in Japan, and you can find him encouraging writers on Notes or posting pictures of his cat if you’re lucky. Subscribe to Bill, cozy up with one of his short stories every Sunday, and you’ll quickly understand why he is a nominee.
Simon K. Jones
Simon K. Jones has been publishing on Substack for nearly two years, and it’s safe to say he is the Serial King. If he’s not writing about how to serialize on Substack, he is serializing in a few parts or in an ongoing series. His is presently writing Tales from the Triverse, which won an honorable mention in the season two first chapter category of the Lunar Awards. Before writing on Substack, Simon made Wattpad his home, where you can find his archive. In either location, you’ll find a wonderful body of works, full of entertaining science fiction and fantasy.
Simon resides in the U.K., and is helping represent our European writers via the Fictionistas Substack community. He contributed chapter 8 to the The Great Substack Story Challenge: 2, in which he demonstrated his love of science fiction, and his ability to tell a grand speculative tale.
S.E. Reid is a relative newcomer to Substack, where she writes for Talebones. Since early 2023, she has been delighting audiences with a wide variety of speculative short stories and novella length serials. Her short story “The Orchard Hounds” is about two girls from very different cultures who must work together to find freedom, and it won an honorable mention in the season three short story category of the Lunar Awards. What’s fascinating about S.E., is that she is building a connected universe around a place called Ferris Island. Many of her tales are told independently, but with a growing cast of interrelated characters that readers love.
When S.E. isn’t entertaining us with her speculative works, you can find her sharing her insights as a part of her “real work”, a freelance proofreader, developmental editor and creative non-fiction writer.
Geoffrey Golden is living the dream as a full-time game writer and designer, where he has worked with the likes of Disney, Capcom and Ubisoft. But don’t let those corporate names fool you, as he is heavily invested in the indie game community, writing text-based adventures enjoyed by thousands of players. On Substack, he co-founded the popular Fictionistas community, and runs an interesting experiment called Adventure Snack, where he has infused speculative fiction with interactive gameplay since July of 2019.
Adventure Snack is popular and inventive, and has won the coveted Substack “Featured Publication” award a total of three times. Most of Geoffrey’s stories are some blend of fantasy, science fiction or horror, and the joy comes in knowing that you get to play out the ending to your liking. Space murders, alien abductions, spurious wizardry and time loops are all at your disposal.
The poll will remain open until November 30. In the event of a tie, I will choose the final winner from the tied nominees via random choice. I invite you to consider your vote carefully, since the Substack poll mechanism will not allow changes after your vote is cast. All of the candidates are deserving, and we can’t thank them enough for their tireless contributions to the Substack fantasy and science fiction community.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED! The poll is now closed. Congratulations to S.E. Reid! I’ll be creating an announcement post soon.