Sandra Moore, Alex Barry '20 Premium for Speculative Fiction, 2021

You Are the Most Important In This Universe, by Sandra Moore, is a speculative fiction that plays with the multiverse theory in an exciting new way, one that maximizes the psychological and emotional effects of multiple selves and narrative proliferation. Moore has been working toward a novel-length narrative, with a particular interest in speculative aspect, for several years, and she assailed the task with persistence and ambition. The fruits of these efforts, at hand, is inspiring to behold. Where contemporary narratives of the multiverse concentrate merely on numerical piling, as though the multiverse is merely a sign of bounty, Sandra Moore’s version of the multiverse is about self-actualization, about the self as a series of critical encounters with psychological iterations alike and unalike. This is to think creatively about the novel as a form, too, by iterating a new idea of what a complex character might look like, likewise seeing story as a set of infinite possibilities, in any of which affect and psychology might thrive. Moore, by extension, seeks to enlarge discussions of form in creative writing beyond an iterative realism. She also means to use the speculative form, as in the work of N. K. Jemisin, to do revolutionary work, to represent the marginalized, to see oppression as genuine and context dependent, across a field of potential timelines. Moore has, therefore, made a new and very contemporary idea of the novel, one that is both highly original and warm, both innovative and gently funny.