Back to Blog

Ruocchio Wins Manly Wade Wellman Award

From our friends at The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation:

The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce the winner of the 2019 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, the result of juried selection from the list of finalists, in turn the result of juried selection from an eligibility list of over 80.

The award was presented on Friday, July 12, 2019, at Congregate 6 at the Red Lion Hotel High Point to Raleigh author Christopher Ruocchio for Empire of Silence, published by DAW.

Pitched variously as Dune meets The Book of the New Sun or Dune meets Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles, Empire of Silence begins a science fantasy trilogy recounting the story of Hadrian Marlowe, heir to an interplanetary fortune, rogue, fugitive, slave pit gladiator, and infamous star-killer, combining deep world-building and beautiful, quotable prose.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2019 award covers novels published in 2018.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author [and NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee – ed.] Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

The finalists were the result of juried selection from the final eligibility list, presented in alphabetical order by author last name:

Past winners include A.J. Hartley, John G. Hartness, and Gail Z. Martin.

North Carolina’s first, and for many years preëminent writer of speculative fiction, Manly Wade Wellman’s adult writings were a mix of history, biography, folklore, fantasy, mystery, and true murders. Although his work has been called “science fiction,” he successfully blended his varied interests to create a genre now referred to as “speculative fiction.”

His fascination with Appalachian history and folklore form the basis for his fantastic Silver John series, which features a virtuous folk-ballad-singing young hero who battles supernatural forces of evil in the North Carolina mountains, defending the innocent and timid. Wellman’s numerous works of speculative fiction also include a Martian murder mystery, tales of loathsome alien invaders, and Twice in Time, the story of a man who falls into the fifteenth century and becomes Leonardo da Vinci.