John Wiswell

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John Wiswell
  • author
GenreSpeculative fiction
Science fiction
Notable awardsNebula Award for Best Short Story

John Wiswell is an American science fiction and fantasy author whose short fiction has won the Locus and Nebula Awards and been a finalist for the Hugo, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards. His debut fantasy novel, Someone You Can Build a Nest In, was released in April 2024 by DAW Books and Quercus.[1][2][3]


Wiswell's short fiction has been characterized as making outlandish and unsettling concepts feel familiar, often overlapping with metaphors for disability,[4] while also frequently having a "lighthearted and clever" tone.[5] He has written fiction for numerous venues including Nature Magazine, Fantasy and Science Fiction,[5] Lightspeed,,[6] the NoSleep Podcast, and Uncanny Magazine.

In 2022, DAW Books acquired the rights to publish Wiswell's first two fantasy novels.[1] The debut novel, Someone You Can Build a Nest In, is described as a "creepy, charming monster-slaying sapphic romance — from the perspective of the monster" and will be released in spring 2024.[1][2]


In 2021, Wiswell won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story[7] for his work "Open House on Haunted Hill" published in Diabolical Plots.[8] This work was also a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story,[9] Locus Award for Best Short Story,[10] and World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction.[11]

His short story "8-Bit Free Will" originally published in PodCastle[12] was shortlisted for the 2021 British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction.[13]

His novelette "That Story Isn't The Story" published in Uncanny Magazine won the 2022 Locus Award for Best Novelette,[14] as well as being a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Novelette and the Hugo Award for Best Novelette. His short story "For Lack of a Bed," originally published in Diabolical Plots, was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the Locus Award for Best Short Story.

His short story "D.I.Y." published in Tordotcom was nominated for the 2023 Nebula Award for Best Short Story, nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, and nominated for the 2023 Locus Award for Best Short Story.[6] His short story "The Coward Who Stole God's Name," originally published in Uncanny Magazine was also nominated for the 2023 Locus Award for Best Short Story.


  1. ^ a b c "Katie Hoffman at DAW Books Acquires World Rights to Two Fantasy Novels by John Wiswell," Astra Publishing House, October 13, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Books Sold," Locus Magazine, November 2022, page 9.
  3. ^ "Spotlight on Anne Perry of Arcadia," Locus Magazine, March 2024
  4. ^ Duckett, Katharine (2019-03-13). ""The Tentacle and You" and the Fundamental Weirdness of a Physical World Not Built For Your Form". Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  5. ^ a b "Charles Payseur Reviews Short Fiction: Diabolical Plots, Lightspeed, Fantasy and F&SF" by Charles Payseur, Locus Magazine, July 19, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "2023 Hugo, Astounding, and Lodestar Awards Finalists," Locus Magazine, July 6, 2023.
  7. ^ "SFWA Announces the 56th Annual Nebula Award® Finalists". The Nebula Awards. 2021-03-16. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  8. ^ "DP FICTION #64A: Open House on Haunted Hill by John Wiswell". Diabolical Plots. 2020-06-15. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  9. ^ "2021 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 2021-01-01. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  10. ^ "2021 Locus Awards Winners". Locus Online. 2021-06-26. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  11. ^ Asher-Perrin, Emmet (2021-07-21). "Announcing the 2021 World Fantasy Award Finalists". Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  12. ^ "PodCastle 654: 8-Bit Free Will". PodCastle. 2020-11-24. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
  13. ^ "British Fantasy Awards 2021: Shortlists announced". The British Fantasy Society. 2021-07-27. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  14. ^ "2022 Locus Awards Winners," Locus Magazine, June 25, 2022.

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