Campbell and Sturgeon Award Winners’ Acceptance Remarks

The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction shared the statements made by the winners of this year’s Campbell and Sturgeon awards, presented June 28 at the Campbell Conference Awards Ceremony on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence.

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction of 2018 was won by Annalee Newitz, for their story “When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis,” published by Slate.com.

Newitz thanked the jury, Slate Future Tense, Ed Finn, and their partners Jesse Burns (present), Chris Palmer, and Charlie Jane Anders (last year’s winner). In their acceptance speech, Newitz went on to say:

It feels appropriate to be receiving the Sturgeon Award because when I was first getting into science fiction as a kid, I checked a book called More Than Human out of the library and it was the weirdest thing I have ever read. It really blew my mind, and it stuck with me for decades afterwards. I have continued to be fascinated by the idea of hive minds and the way Sturgeon offered such an affecting portrait of marginalized people who band together and become stronger through community. Despite being called idiots and outcasts, they take solace in each other’s company and represent a better future for humanity.

In my story, I played with similar themes – an abandoned drone and a crow become friends, and together they fight to stop certain death among the humans in East St. Louis. It’s a hopeful story, though it’s predicated on the fact that the people in East St. Louis are in danger from an epidemic because the CDC has shut down due to budget cuts. In real life, of course, East St. Louis needs more than robots and crows – we need the CDC, and we need other government agencies that protect the most vulnerable members of the population.

It’s my belief that science fiction can help us with that by providing a kind of emotional infrastructure that helps us believe in a better world despite our present difficulties. Fiction may not offer concrete ways to fix our problems, but it gives us the resolve to confront those difficulties in real life. That’s what I want my story to do – to give people enough hope to carry with them into real life, to continue to resist injustice. And to push for social programs that cities need more than ever.

Taking second place for the Sturgeon Award was Adam Shannon’s “On the Day You Spend Forever with Your Dog.” The third-place story was Daryl Gregory’s “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth.”

The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of 2018 was presented by juror Chris McKitterick and Campbell Conference administrator Ruth Lichtwardt. This year’s first-place winner is Sam J. Miller, for his novel Blackfish City, published by Ecco.

Miller accepted remotely from New York City, citing the importance of being home to participate in the 50th anniversary of Stonewall this weekend. In his acceptance speech, Miller said:

I’m really happy and really surprised by this award. I thought that my John Campbell karma wasn’t very good because I wrote a story called “Things With Beards” that was gay fanfic based on the movie The Thing, which was based on a story of his. I thought he’d be mad about that, but apparently he’s into it.

I really want to thank the jury who worked hard on a tough decision, and I want to thank my fellow finalists who are all amazing writers. There’s so much great science fiction happening right now, and I’m excited and honored to be part of that. I want to thank my agent Seth Fishman and my editor Zack Wagman for seeing something in this story and bringing it out into the world. I’ve got to thank my sister, my brother-in-law, my nephew, and my new niece for just being generally amazing.

I have to thank my mom, who is not a lesbian grandmother with a polar bear and killer whale on a mission of bloody revenge, but who is still a kickass warrior who became the inspiration for the character who is at the heart of Blackfish City. She’s an all-around amazing inspiration and a fucking brilliant writer, so watch out for her stuff.

Finally, above all and always, my husband Juancy, who turned me on to the three greatest narrative influences on my work: Octavia Butler, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Battlestar Galactica. I wouldn’t be the writer I am without those things, and I wouldn’t be the person that I am without you…

In second place for best novel was Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars. The third-place novel was Audrey Schulman’s Theory of Bastards.

[Based on a press release.]

Sam J. Miller Wins 2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award

Campbell Award

Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City has won this year’s John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel.

The honor was presented during the Campbell Conference Award Banquet on June 28.

In the words of the awards administrators —

Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss established the award to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (now Analog), and continue his efforts to encourage writers to produce their best work. Many consider Campbell – who edited the magazine and guided its authors from 1937 until his death in 1971 – the father of modern SF.

The winner was selected by Campbell Award jury members Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid (since 2008), Christopher McKitterick (since 2002; Chair beginning in 2018), Pamela Sargent (since 1997), and Lisa Yaszek (since 2016).

The other finalists were:

  • Semiosis by Sue Burke
  • A Spy in Time by Imraan Coovadia
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Time Was by Ian McDonald
  • Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
  • Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman
  • Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar
  • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
  • The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley  

2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Shortlist

Finalits for this year’s John W. Campbell Memorial Award  for best science fiction novel have been selected. The awards will be presented during the Campbell Conference Award Banquet on Friday, June 28.

  • Semiosis Sue Burke
  • A Spy in Time by Imraan Coovadia
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Time Was by Ian McDonald
  • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller
  • Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
  • Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman
  • Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar
  • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
  • The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley  

The award jurors are Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid, Chris McKitterick, Pamela Sargent, and Lisa Yaszek.

2018 John W. Campbell Memorial Award

David Walton receives the Campbell Award

David Walton’s The Genius Plague has won this year’s John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel. The honor was presented during the Campbell Conference Award Banquet on June 22.

In the words of the awards administrators —

Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss established the award to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (now Analog), and continue his efforts to encourage writers to produce their best work. Many consider Campbell – who edited the magazine and guided its authors from 1937 until his death in 1971 – the father of modern SF.

The winner was selected by Campbell Award jury members Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid (since 2008), Christopher McKitterick (since 2002; Chair beginning in 2018), Pamela Sargent (since 1997), and Lisa Yaszek (since 2016).

2018 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists

Finalists for this year’s John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel have been selected. Christopher McKitterick, director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and newly named Campbell Award chair announced the list on the award’s website.

  • The Rift by Nina Allan
  • Tropic of Kansas by Christopher Brown
  • Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
  • The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
  • The Moon and the Other by John Kessel
  • The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman
  • Austral by Paul McAuley
  • Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
  • After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun
  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • The People’s Police by Norman Spinrad
  • Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Genius Plague by David Walton

The Campbell Award jury members are: Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid (since 2008), Christopher McKitterick (since 2002; Chair beginning in 2018), Pamela Sargent (since 1997), and Lisa Yaszek (since 2016).

The honor will be presented during the Campbell Conference Award Banquet on June 22, as part of the annual Campbell Conference.

Tidhar Wins Campbell Award

Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station is the winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Memorial Award. The selection was announced at the Campbell Conference on June 16.

The Campbell Memorial Award was created to honor the late editor of Analog (previously Astounding Science Fiction).

This year’s award jurors were Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid, Christopher McKitterick, Pamela Sargent, and Lisa Yaszek.

2017 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists

The John W. Campbell Memorial Award shortlist has been announced. The award is  given for the best science fiction novel of the previous year.

The winner will be named during the Campbell Conference Award Banquet on Friday, June 16, as part of the annual Campbell Conference.

Finalists for the 2017 John W. Campbell Memorial Award

Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter The Medusa Chronicles
Don DeLillo Zero K
Kij Johnson The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe
Paul J. McAuley Into Everywhere
Nisi Shawl Everfair
Tricia Sullivan Occupy Me
Tade Thompson Rosewater
Lavie Tidhar Central Station
Colson Whitehead The Underground Railroad
Aliya Whiteley The Arrival of Missives
Rick Wilber Alien Morning
Ben Winters Underground Airlines
John Nicholas Wood Azanian Bridges

The Campbell Memorial Award was created to honor the late editor of Analog (previously Astounding Science Fiction). Campbell, who edited the magazine from 1937 until his death in 1971, is considered by many the father of modern SF. Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss established the award in 1972.

Jurors this year included Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid, Christopher McKitterick, Pamela Sargent, and Lisa Yaszek.

The Campbell Conference has been held each year since 1978, usually in Lawrence, Kansas. It includes a Friday-evening banquet where the annual Theodore Sturgeon and John W. Campbell Memorial Award are presented; a round-table discussion with scholars, scientists, and writers of science fiction; and other events.

This year’s Campbell Conference celebrates James Gunn and the mission of the Gunn Center – “Saving the world through science fiction.” The Conference takes place June 16-18.

[Thanks to Chris McKitterick for the story.]

2016 Campbell Award Shortlist

Campbell-trophy-sThe finalists for the 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year have been announced.

The Campbell Award is a juried award. The current jurors are Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid, Christopher McKitterick, Pamela Sargent, and Lisa Yaszek. James Gunn has served the jury since its earliest days.

To make it onto the list as a finalist, a book must receive at least one vote from the jury (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place – or, in some cases, Honorable Mention).

Paolo Bacigalupi The Water Knife Orbit / Knopf
Dave Hutchinson Europe at Midnight Rebellion
Eleanor Lerman Radiomen The Permanent Press
Ian McDonald Luna: New Moon Gollancz / Tor Books
James Morrow Galapagos Regained St. Martin’s Press
Linda Nagata Going Dark Mythic Island Press / Saga Press
Nnedi Okorafor The Book of Phoenix DAW
Kit Reed Where Tor Books
Kim Stanley Robinson Aurora Orbit
Adam Roberts The Thing Itself Gollancz
Neal Stephenson Seveneves William Morrow / Harper Collins

This year’s Award will be presented on Thursday evening (August 18) during the 2016 WorldCon (MidAmeriCon II) in Kansas City.

2015 Campbell Award Winner

Claire North

Claire North

Claire North’s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is the winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of 2014.

The award was presented at the Campbell Conference in Lawrence, KS on June 12.

2015 Campbell Award Shortlist

The finalists for the 2015 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year 2014 have been announced.

The award will be presented at the Campbell Conference, to be held in Lawrence, KS from June 11-14.

Nina Allan The Race Newcon Press
James L. Cambias A Darkling Sea Tor
William Gibson The Peripheral G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Daryl Gregory Afterparty Tor
Dave Hutchinson Europe In Autumn Solaris
Simon Ings Wolves Gollancz
Cixin Liu (Ken Liu, translator) The Three-Body Problem Tor (1st English edition)
Emily St. John Mandel Station Eleven Knopf
Will McIntosh Defenders Orbit
Claire North The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Redhook
Laline Paull The Bees Ecco
Adam Roberts Bête Gollancz
John Scalzi Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future Tor
Andy Weir The Martian Broadway Books
Jeff VanderMeer Area X (The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance) FSG Originals
Peter Watts Echopraxia Tor

Update 05/11/2015: Corrected to show all three Jeff VanderMeer novels as finalists collectively.