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Astra Lost in Space, Batman Ninja, 'How Many Light-Years to Babylon?' Win at 51st Seiun Sci-Fi Awards

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Issui Ogawa's Signpost to the Stars novel wins "Best Japanese Long Story" award

The 59th Japan Science Fiction Convention (Nihon SF Taikai) revealed the winners of the 51st Seiun Awards on Saturday. Masaomi Andō and Lerche's television anime adaptation of Kenta Shinohara's Astra Lost in Space manga won the "Best Media" award.

Additionally, Dowman Sayman's How Many Light-Years to Babylon? manga and Masato Hisa's Batman Ninja manga both won the "Best Comic" award.

Yūko Shiraishi won the "Best Artist" award, Issui Ogawa's Signpost to the Stars won the "Best Japanese Long Story" award, Hiroe Suga's "Mizu no Tsuki (Invisible moon)" won the "Best Japanese Short Story" award, the Japanese translation of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem novel won the "Best Translated Long Story" award (translated by Nozomi Ohmori, Toya Tachihara, Sakura Mitsuyoshi, and Wan Zai), and the Japanese translation of Greg Egan's Uncanny Valley short story won the "Best Translated Short Story" award (translated by Makoto Yamagishi). The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration's first-ever image of a black hole won the "Free" category, and NHK's "100 Minutes on a Famous Book: Sakyo Komatsu Special 'Mythology in the Age of Godlessness'" program won the "Best Non-Fiction" award.

The nominees of the Media and Comic categories were:

Best Comic

Best Media

The awards this year were again separated into nine categories: Japanese Novel, Japanese Short Story, Translated Novel, Translated Short Story, Media, Comic, Art, Nonfiction, and a "Free" category. Each category had between 6-11 nominees. The nominees were chosen among works that were released between January 1 and December 31, 2019.

The attendees of "F-CON" in Fukushima, the 59th Japan Science Fiction Convention, voted on the winners. The staff will hold a ceremony for the winners at the convention, which will take place on March 13-14, 2021. The event was originally scheduled to take place on August 22-23, but the organizers delayed the event until next year due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation.

"Seiun Shō" literally translates to "nebula awards," but the Japan SF Con's Seiun Awards are more akin to the Hugo Awards, in that the attendees of each respective convention vote on the winners. There is another set of awards, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan's Nihon SF Taishō honors, that are the rough Japanese equivalent of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Awards. Like the Hugo Awards, the Seiun Awards honor all forms of speculative fiction — including but not limited to science fiction — and related materials.

Previous winners of the Seiun Awards include Kemono Friends, And Yet the Town Moves, Shin Godzilla, Kochikame, Girls und Panzer, Knights of Sidonia, The World of Narue, Bodacious Space Pirates, Range Murata, Masamune Shirow, Makoto Shinkai, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam: The Origin, 20th Century Boys, Summer Wars, Card Captor Sakura, Madoka Magica, Pacific Rim, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Moyashimon, and more.

Last year, the SSSS.GRIDMAN anime won the Media category, and Tsukumizu's Girls' Last Tour manga won the Comic category.

Sources: Japan Science Fiction Convention, Comic Natalie, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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