There is a wonderful effort started in Pakistan by Usman T. Malik and Tehseen Bajwa from Pakistan to recognize the pursuit of Science Fiction and imaginative fiction in Pakistan. Here is the release from the creators of the Salam Awards, please share widely.
Named after Pakistan’s only Nobel Prize winner–the theoretical physicist Dr Abdus Salam–the Salam award seeks to recognize the man’s genius and his status as a marginalized person within his country via the honorific and to encourage the pursuit of SF and imaginative writing in Pakistan. Prominent Pakistani intellectual and scientist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, a student and colleague of Dr Salam’s, has agreed to be advisor and member of the award admin and we have the gratefully acknowledged support of many others pertaining to this endeavor.The Salam Award will be given to aspiring short fiction writers of Pakistani origin, regardless of sexual orientation, creed, or caste. Story submissions will be in English, blinded, and judged by a rotating jury of SF professionals each year. The 3 finalists will each receive an agent and editorial review of their manuscripts. The winner will receive 500 US dollars as well as the aforementioned perks.Judges for 2017 are Jeff Vandermeer, Mahvesh Murad, and Usman Malik.The 2017 editor reviewer is Ann Vandermeer of Tor.com. The 2017 Agent reviewer is Seth Fishman of The Gernert Company.Tehseen Bajwa and I have been working on this for 6 months and we hope this will help change the scope of speculative/imaginative writing in Pakistan and vis-a-vis promote opportunities for more furious sociopolitical debate and literary and scientific change in Pakistan’s cultural climate.You can read more about the award here:If you have any other questions, Tehseen and I will be happy to answer them.Please join us in helping to spread word about this. We believe the impact of this, fingers crossed, will last for years.