A remarkable new record was made at the 2018 Hugo Awards on Sunday night. When author N.K. Jemisin won Best Novel for her book The Stone Sky at the honors, celebrating the best literary works in science-fiction and fantasy, she became the first author ever to win that award three years in a row. Jemisin’s three consecutive winners — The Fifth Season in 2016, The Obelisk Gate in 2017, and now The Stone Sky in 2018 — all form a series known as the Broken Earth trilogy, featuring a far-future Earth wracked periodically by apocalyptic disasters known as Seasons. Humanity does its best to survive this cycle of destruction, and a lot of its hope relies on the orogenes, individuals who can draw magical power from the depths of the Earth. But when another disastrous Season approaches, it’s an all-out battle as different factions compete to secure the resources necessary to endure.
Authors Connie Willis and Vernor Vinge have also won the Hugo Award for Best Novel three times, but not consecutively. Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead) and Lois McMaster Bujold (The Vor Game, Barrayar) each did it twice in a row, but Jemisin is the first to notch three consecutive wins.
When The Fifth Season first won Best Novel in 2016, it also made Jemisin the first African-American writer to ever win the award. Even before the Broken Earth trilogy, Jemisin has been writing pioneering fantasy and science-fiction novels. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the first installment in her earlier Inheritance trilogy, was included on EW’s recent list of 50 books that should be adapted for the screen.
In the meantime, the triple-award-winning Broken Earth trilogy might just make it to the screen. Last year, Deadline reported that The Fifth Season was being developed as a drama series at TNT. Don’t expect this record-breaking win to be the last you hear of Jemisin’s stories.