Saturday, September 26, 2009

Aaron's Book of the Week :: Acacia by David Anthony Durham

AcaciaThe Book of the Week is Acacia by David Anthony Durham, which won Mr. Durham this year's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Acacia is the first volume is an epic fantasy series, the second of which, The Other Lands, was just released. This is the 2007 first edition, with cover art by Paul A. Romano.

It is a bit odd for David Anthony Durham to receive an award as a "new writer," since he is already an accomplished author, with three very well-received historical novels to his credit, Gabriel's Story, Walk through Darkness, and Pride of Carthage. But he was eligible for the award because Acacia was his first foray into science fiction and fantasy, and presenting Durham the Campbell Award certainly accomplishes one of the award's purposes, to introduce SF/F readers to excellent writers with whom they may not yet be familiar. I believe that Durham is only the second African-American to win the Campbell Award, after Nalo Hopkinson -- coincidentally, both Durham and Hopkinson are of Caribbean descent. (The Campbell Award wasn't around when Samuel Delany broke into the field, and I don't know how Octavia Butler was overlooked.) David Anthony Durham is a very welcome addition to the SF/F field.

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