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Awards Eligibility 2020: The First Sister

I've never written one of these posts before, but it's been brought to my attention that I should, so here we go. It’s that magical time when people begin to think about nominating books for awards, like the Hugo or Nebula. Since 2020 was ~that year~ (you know, with all ~that stuff~), it was pretty tough to be a debut author, and I often felt like I was punching above my weight class. Luckily, I have a great team behind me, and several amazing people have championed the book, leading to lots of word-of-mouth shares and growing a community around TFS. In fact, thanks to write-in votes, TFS even made into the semi-final round of the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards! Since then, I've seen more people talking about and reading TFS, which has made my Grinch-like heart grow two sizes. I can't imagine how much it would help to make it to a long or shortlist for other 2020 awards. So if you enjoyed my novel and you have the power of nomination (which sounds like an ancient spell), I’d love for you to consider the following:

The First Sister (US: Skybound; UK: Hodder)

Combining the social commentary of The Handmaid’s Tale with the white-knuckled thrills of Red Rising, this epic space opera follows a comfort woman as she claims her agency, a soldier questioning his allegiances, and a nonbinary hero out to save the solar system.

First Sister has no name and no voice. As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the soldiers of Earth and Mars—the same ones who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain—Saito Ren—whom she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but soon discovers that working for the war effort is so much harder to do when you’re falling in love.

Lito val Lucius climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and a traitor to the cause, he now has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But when he discovers recordings that Hiro secretly made, Lito’s own allegiances are put to the test. Ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart.

A stunning and sweeping debut novel that explores the power of technology, colonization, race, and gender, The First Sister is perfect for fans of James S.A. Corey, Chuck Wendig, and Margaret Atwood.

Genre: science fiction

Some Accolades:

A lot of fun, as stylish as it is substantial.


"Wonderfully imaginative and gripping - Lewis's debut sucks you in from the very first scene and keeps you absorbed in a rollercoaster of high-octane action and devastating twists. Her prose is rich and assured; her characters complex and compelling. I couldn't put it down."

- R.F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War

"Debut of the month . . . A layered, action-filled plot and diverse characters create a powerful entry into the space opera genre."

- Library Journal

"Lewis skillfully handles the tale's many moving pieces, maintaining pace, nuance, and clarity throughout. Lewis's lush prose creates an immersive, richly textured world with complex social dynamics and solid LGBTQ and multicultural representation."

- Publishers Weekly

"Lewis's The First Sister is a ferocious mix of energetic plotting and vivid characters. Ridiculously readable."

- April Genevieve Tucholke, author of The Boneless Mercies

An enjoyable queer space opera romp with a dark underbelly.


If you're a fan of sci-fi rebels with strong female protagonists, this is a must read!

- SciFi & Scary

This is a great science-fiction debut of incredible scope that should appeal to all fans of the genre. I'm looking forward to seeing where is goes next. Highly recommended.

- Never Imitate

This is a book that will leave you itching for the next installment, rooting for your favorite characters (or couples), and impatient to jump back into this world.

- Rainbow Round Table

A feminist space opera that blends social commentary with the cosmic magic of space . . . an introspective tale of humanity and who is allowed to define it.

- The Mary Sue, who also named The First Sister one of the "Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels of 2020"

Thanks for considering!

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