The Salam Award, an imaginative fiction award, announced its 2020 winner–Nihal Ijaz Khan.
The Salam Award, named after Pakistan’s first Nobel laureate Dr Abdus Salam, is a short story award to promote science fiction and related genres of writing in Pakistan.
According to its website, the award includes everything from regular science fiction and steampunk to magic realism and weird fiction.
The winner’s entry — The Smokecense of Pluvistan — is about Pluvistan, a city where it always rains. A father and daughter struggle at the end of all life to find her mother’s faith and the tree that will reunite them with her in heaven.
1/2 We are pleased to announce the winning story for the 2020 Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction is Nihal Ijaz Khan's 'The Smokecense of Pluvistan'! Our jury found this story was filled with "strangeness and wonder." You can read it here: https://t.co/f6isgPoDkN— The Salam Award (@TheSalamAward) September 30, 2020
The winner gets a cash prize of Rs50,000 and their story is published on the Salam Award website.
It is also reviewed by an established literary agent for market guidance and possible representation and gets an editorial review by a professional editor for critique and potential publication in a multi-award winning science fiction magazine.
The three judges this year were award-winning editor Ellen Datlow, author AT Greenblatt and Pakistani writer and comedian Sami Shah.
The deadline for submissions for the 2020 award was July 31. The rules to participate in the competition are that participants must either be currently residing in Pakistan, or be of Pakistani birth/descent and must submit a 10,000 unpublished English short story that has original content.