The winner of this year’s annual Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction of 2020 is Rebecca Campbell, for her story, “An Important Failure,” published by Clarkesworld.
The Sturgeon Award jurors praised Rebecca’s story as “thoughtful, moving, and intelligent,” “an absolutely beautiful story…measured, poignant, with deeply drawn complex characters.” Several noted her lovely descriptions of music and ability to move smoothly across historical periods, and, speaking to what made “An Important Failure” stand out, one juror described it as a climate story that provides no easy answers, “a story that can spur continued discussion…a rare quality.”
The second-place story for this year’s Sturgeon is Meg Elison’s “The Pill.”
The third-place story is Maureen McHugh’s “Yellow and the Perception of Reality.”
Sitting on this year’s jury were Elizabeth Bear, Kij Johnson, Sarah Pinsker, Noel Sturgeon, and Taryne Taylor.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person presentation of the award will be postponed until a date and location to be announced.
The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.
[Based on a press release.]