2023 Compton Crook Award - The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

Book cover: The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings, Red background, black

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) announced that The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings has won the 2023 Compton Crook Award for best first SF/Fantasy/horror novel. Alex plans to attend Balticon in person.

The Compton Crook Award is presented to the best of each year’s English language first novel by an author in the field of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror by the members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society at our annual science fiction convention, Balticon, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention. Awards have been presented since 1983. The award is also known as the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award. Compton Crook, who wrote under the name of Stephen Tall, was a long-time Baltimore resident, Towson State University professor, and Science Fiction author. He died in 1981.

The winning author is invited to attend Balticon as a guest for two years, and presented with the cash award of $1,000 and an award plaque.

See the BSFS web site for more information about the Compton Crook Award.

Alex Jennings’ writing has appeared in Current Affairs MagazinepodcastleStrange Horizons, and New Suns, volumes 1 and 2. He is the Director of DreamFoundry’s Con or Bust Program and an instructor of Popular Fiction at the Stonecoast MFA program. His debut novel, The Ballad of Perilous Graves, was released by Orbit/Redhook last summer. Born in Germany, he trotted the globe until settling in New Orleans. Before the pandemic, he MCed a literary readings series called Dogfish.

Photo credit: Nkechi Chibueze.

Alex Jennings headshot

2023 Compton Crook Award Finalists

Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Obsidian by Sarah J. Daley

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

The Bone Orchard by Sara Mueller

The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang