An amazing debut novella, THE BRUISING OF QILWA by Naseem Jamnia snares a shortlist inclusion for the 2023 IAFA Crawford Award

Samuel R. Delany Fellowship recipient Naseem Jamnia’s debut novella THE BRUISING OF QILWA continues to collect accolades with a 2023 IAFA Crawford Award shortlist mention, Gary K. Wolfe at Locus discussing the book in his The Year in Review 2022, and review from The Reading Rebel. Also, Nalini Haynes on the Dark Matter Zine podcast interviews Jamnia.

Cover for THE BRUISING OF QILWA by Naseem Jamnia
Cover by Elizabeth Story

The winner of the 2023 Crawford Award, presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts for a first book of fantasy published the prior year, is Simon Jimenez for his novel The Spear Cuts Through Water (Del Rey). Jimenez had previously published a well-received science fiction novel, The Vanished Birds (2020), but The Spear Cuts Through Water is his first fantasy book, making it eligible for the award.

The awards committee also named a shortlist including Maya Deane, Wrath Goddess Sing (William Morrow), Naseem Jamnia, THE BRUISING OF QILWA (Tachyon), Alex Jennings, The Ballad of Perilous Graves (Redhook), and Jacob Kerr, The Green Man of Eshwood Hall (Serpent’s Tail)

2023 IAFA Crawford Award

Naseem Jamnia’s distinctively titled The Bruising of Qilwa, which also is one of the two most interesting first novels I read this year (see below for the other), with its nonbinary healer as protagonist, its powerfully-developed themes of colonialism, marginalization, and oppression, and its sys­tems of blood magic worked out with such consistency that they begin to look like actual hematology.

Gary K. Wolfe

I love books with magic and I thought the magic system in this book was well thought out and easy to understand. I love that this book talked about immigration, affordable healthcare, and prejudice. This book handled these subjects very well. The writing is so beautiful and lyrical. I love that this world is queer normative and am hoping for more books written in this world. I highly recommend this gem of a book.

Rating: 5 stars

The Reading Rebel

This is a Dark Matter Zine podcast and I’m your host Nalini Haynes. Today I’m talking to author Naseem Jamnia about their book the Bruising of Qilwa. My review for this book is here.

Dark Matter Zine