Anders Wins 2018 Sturgeon Award

Charlie Jane Anders’ short story “Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue” is the winner of the 2018 Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award.

The award was presented during the Campbell Conference Awards reception on Friday, June 22.

Anders’ story was published in Boston Review: Global Dystopias (Oct 2017).

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.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 4/18/18 Wanna Bees Pulling Gees Through The Trees

(1) LUKE SKYRANTER. Movie Banter brings you “10 minutes of Mark Hamill being HONEST about The Last Jedi.

No matter what you think of the film and the way Luke Skywalker was portrayed, thank goodness Mark isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He is sincere and cares about the franchise as much as he cares about the fandom.

 

(2) THE BREW THAT IS TRUE. Inverse explains that “Ewoks Are Coffee Farmers According to Star Wars Canon”.

The upcoming Han Solo movie will, no doubt, make all sorts of changes to Star Wars canon, but a just-released book about Han and Lando’s adventures quietly revealed that Ewoks are actually renown coffee farmers. Yep, those cute little Imperial-killing teddy bears are responsible for the best cup of java you’ll find outside of Dex’s Diner.

The book, Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel, came out earlier this week, and it follows the two coolest characters in the galaxy across three distinct time periods. In one of them, set after Return of the Jedi but well before The Force Awakens, baby Ben Solo kicks his dad in the face. Later in that scene, Han’s culinary droid, BX-778, brews up a mean cup of Endorian caf. (Coffee is called “caf” in the book because, well, that’s how Star Wars rolls).

(3) STURGEON ANALYSIS. At Rocket Stack Rank, Eric Wong’s analysis shows the Sturgeon Award nominees are highly correlated with other guides to outstanding short fiction: “Sturgeon Award Finalists Versus Other Top Stories of 2017”. Greg Hullender says:

Last year too, the Sturgeon Award Finalists were the most accurate guide to which stories would be broadly recommended (by serious reviewers, major anthologies, and prestigious awards). http://www.rocketstackrank.com/2018/01/2016-best-sff-short-fiction-guides.html

There’s definitely something special about this award. It should get more attention than it does.

(4) THESE POTATOES AIN’T GONNA PLANT THEMSELVES! Or will they? “All by Itself, the Humble Sweet Potato Colonized the World”.

Of all the plants that humanity has turned into crops, none is more puzzling than the sweet potato. Indigenous people of Central and South America grew it on farms for generations, and Europeans discovered it when Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean.

In the 18th century, however, Captain Cook stumbled across sweet potatoes again — over 4,000 miles away, on remote Polynesian islands. European explorers later found them elsewhere in the Pacific, from Hawaii to New Guinea.

The distribution of the plant baffled scientists. How could sweet potatoes arise from a wild ancestor and then wind up scattered across such a wide range? Was it possible that unknown explorers carried it from South America to countless Pacific islands?

An extensive analysis of sweet potato DNA, published on Thursday in Current Biology, comes to a controversial conclusion: Humans had nothing to do with it. The bulky sweet potato spread across the globe long before humans could have played a part — it’s a natural traveler.

Likewise, ArsTechnica says “Sweet potatoes may have reached Pacific Islands 100,000 years ahead of Polynesians.”

“This finding is likely to be controversial because it calls into question the alleged contacts between Polynesians and Americans in pre-European times,” Oxford University botanist Pablo Muñoz-Rodriguez, who led the study, told Ars Technica. “[The] sweet potato was the only remaining biological evidence of these contacts.”

Muñoz-Rodriguez and his team sampled DNA from 119 specimens of sweet potatoes and all of their wild relatives, including a sweet potato harvested in the Society Islands in 1769 by the Cook expedition. With those samples, Muñoz-Rodriguez and his colleagues built a phylogenetic tree: a family tree that shows evolutionary relationships among organisms based on the differences in their DNA. For plants, researchers often build two phylogenetic trees: one for the DNA stores in the nucleus of the plant’s cells and one for the chlorophyll-producing organelles called chloroplasts, which have their own DNA. Genetic material doesn’t always get passed on in the same way for both, so it’s sometimes useful to compare the two.

The team used the phylogenetic trees to estimate how long ago each branch of the tree split off from the others. It turned out that the Society Islands sweet potato hadn’t interbred with Central and South American lines for at least 111,500 years…

(5) TODAY’S JOB LOST TO ROBOTS. WIRED Magazine reports “A Robot Does the Impossible: Assembling an Ikea Chair Without Having a Meltdown”. I’m beginning to suspect Brian Aldiss wrote the wrong ending for “Who Can Replace A Man.”

Researchers report today in Science Robotics that they’ve used entirely off-the-shelf parts—two industrial robot arms with force sensors and a 3-D camera—to piece together one of those Stefan Ikea chairs we all had in college before it collapsed after two months of use. From planning to execution, it only took 20 minutes, compared to the human average of a lifetime of misery. It may all seem trivial, but this is in fact a big deal for robots, which struggle mightily to manipulate objects in a world built for human hands.

(6) ALL IN A DAY. Initially, Patrick Nielsen Hayden made his feelings clear about a new book coming out which has the same title as an Emma Bull novel. (Jump on the thread here.)

Later he apologized. (Thread begins here)

(7) DOG DUTY. The New York Times inquires: “Do You Know Which Dog Breeds Are in a Mutt? Scientists Want to Find Out”.

One of the favorite pastimes of dog people is guessing a mutt’s ancestry.

Is that scruffy little guy in the dog park a mix of Afghan hound and Catahoula leopard dog? Is the beast that bit someone really a pit bull, or a cocker spaniel-beagle potpourri? And how about your aunt’s yippy pillow on paws — Maltese/poodle/peke?

If you’re wondering about your own dog you can, of course, get a DNA test. But there’s a lot of open territory for that familiar figure in the canine world, the dog guesser. You know who I mean, they’re like dog whisperers, but louder.

Now all self-proclaimed experts have a chance to prove their mettle or meet their comeuppance. The MuttMix survey debuted on Monday. It is citizen science for people who are willing to be proven terribly wrong, a dog quiz that tests how good you are at figuring out what a mutt is made of.

The survey is being run by the Darwin’s Dogs program at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., a center for genome studies, and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Fellow dog guessers (yes, I confess) proceed at the risk of your exceedingly high self-regard….

(8) THE MODERN PROMETHEUS. Mary Shelley biopic opening in theaters May 25.

Starring: Elle Fanning, Maisie Williams, Bel Powley, Douglas Booth, Joanne Froggatt & Stephen Dillane She will forever be remembered as the writer who gave the world Frankenstein. But the real life story of Mary Shelley—and the creation of her immortal monster—is nearly as fantastical as her fiction. Raised by a renowned philosopher father (Stephen Dillane) in 18th-century London, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning) is a teenage dreamer determined to make her mark on the world when she meets the dashing and brilliant poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth). So begins a torrid, bohemian love affair marked by both passion and personal tragedy that will transform Mary and fuel the writing of her Gothic masterwork. Imbued with the imaginative spirit of its heroine, Mary Shelley brings to life the world of a trailblazing woman who defied convention and channeled her innermost demons into a legend for the ages.

 

(9) NEXT ON HIS AGENDER. Jon Del Arroz, worried there might still be a few people he hasn’t alienated this week, announced he is “Coming Out As A Woman” [Internet Archive link] – which is to say, adopting a pseudonym.

After serious deliberations, I will be only submitting short fiction to professional markets from a new female pen name. I’ve come up with the name, I’ve got the email address, it’s ready to go. I will be, for all intents and purposes, a female author. It’s the only way to get ahead in the business, and the smart thing to do. I won’t be broadcasting the name here in case of any inadvertent discrimination, but I will keep you informed as to how reactions change based on having a female name. It’ll be interesting to say the least.

(10) PRELUDE TO SPACE. NPR tells about “Antarctic Veggies: Practice For Growing Plants On Other Planets”.

…Now, the greenhouse project, called EDEN ISS, is fully operational. Bamsey’s colleagues in Antarctica harvested their first salads last week.

And while growing greens in Antarctica is exciting — for much of the year there’s no fresh produce at Neumayer Station III — Bamsey says the end goal of this project is much farther away. EDEN ISS is a practice round for cultivating food in space.

The eight-nation team of EDEN ISS researchers chose to grow “high-water-content, pick-and-eat-plants,” Bamsey says, “things that can’t normally be stored for long periods of time.” The crops include lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, swiss chard, and herbs — basil, chives, cilantro and mint. One-tenth of the yield will become research data, while the rest will help feed Neumayer Station III’s crew….

(11) SPACE DIAMONDS. “Inter Jovem et Martem”? “Meteorite diamonds ‘came from lost planet'”.

A diamond-bearing space rock that exploded in Earth’s atmosphere in 2008 was part of a lost planet from the early Solar System, a study suggests.

The parent “proto-planet” would have existed billions of years ago before breaking up in a collision and was about as large as Mercury or Mars.

A team has published their results in the journal Nature Communications.

They argue that the pressures necessary to produce diamonds of this kind could only occur in planet of this size.

Using three different types of microscopy, the researchers characterised the mineral and chemical make-up of the diamond-bearing rocks. The fragments were scattered across the Nubian desert of northern Sudan after the asteroid 2008 TC3 exploded 37km above the ground on 7 October 2008.

(12) MUSICAL INTERLUDE. Another Instant Classic by Matthew Johnson:

Yub nub, yub nub, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive

Well you tell by the way I use my spear
I’m a murder bear, I got no fear
Speeder bikes and Empire goons, I’ve been kicked around
My forest moon
And now it’s all right, it’s OK
I’ve got stormtroopers to slay
And way above, I think I spy
A Death Star hangin’ in the sky

Whether you’re a Jedi or just a little yeti
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the walkers breakin’, this tree trunk is a-shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive

Yub nub, yub nub, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Yub nub, yub nub, stayin’ alive

Well you might think I’m a teddy bear
My god’s a droid in a wooden chair
I may just have stone age tools
But I’m the end of those Empire fools
And now it’s all right, it’s OK
There’ll be some fireworks this day
And way above, I think I spy
A Death Star fallin’ from the sky

Yub nub, yub nub, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Yub nub, yub nub, stayin’ al-i-i-i-ve…

[Thanks to JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day A.G. Carpenter, Ingvar and Cassy B.]

2018 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2018 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction story have been selected. Christopher McKitterick, Director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, made the announcement April 17. The awards will be presented this year during the Campbell Conference Awards reception on Friday, June 22, 2018.

  • “Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue,” Charlie Jane Anders. Boston Review: Global Dystopias, Oct 2017.
  • “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance,” Tobias S. Buckell. Cosmic Powers, ed. John Joseph Adams. Saga Press.
  • “The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine,” Greg Egan. Asimov’s, Nov/Dec 2017.
  • “Sidewalks,” Maureen McHugh. Omni, Nov 2017.
  • “The Martian Obelisk,” Linda Nagata. Tor.com, July 2017.
  • “The Secret Life of Bots,” Suzanne Palmer. Clarkesworld, Sept 2017.
  • “And Then There Were (N-One),” Sarah Pinsker. Uncanny Magazine, March 2017.
  • “A Series of Steaks,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Clarkesworld, Jan 2017.
  • “Fandom for Robots,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Uncanny Magazine, Sept 2017.
  • “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience,” Rebecca Roanhorse. Apex, Aug 2017.
  • “We Who Live in the Heart,” Kelly Robson. Clarkesworld, May 2017.

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.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story. Based on the press release.]

Valente Wins 2017 Sturgeon Award

Catherynne M. Valente’s “The Future is Blue” has won the 2017 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Her story was published in Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathan Strahan.

The Sturgeon Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year.

The winner was announced during the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet on June 16.

The members of the award jury were Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon, Trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate.

2017 Theodore Sturgeon Award Shortlist

The finalists for the 2017 Theodore Sturgeon Award for the best short science fiction story have been selected.

  • Nina Allen, “The Art of Space Travel,” Tor.com, 27 July 2016.
  • Amal El-Mohtar, “Seasons of Glass and Iron,” The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, eds. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, Saga Press, 2016.
  • Carolyn Ives Gilman, “Touring with the Alien,” Clarkesworld, April 2016.
  • Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black Tom, Tor.com, February 2016.
  • Ian R. MacLeod, “The Visitor From Taured,” Asimov’s, September 2016.
  • Sam J. Miller, “Things with Beards,” Clarkesworld, June 2016.
  • Dominica Phetteplace, “Project Empathy,” Asimov’s, March 2016.
  • Catherynne M. Valente, “The Future is Blue,” Drowned Worlds, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, 2016.
  • Kai Ashante Wilson, A Taste of Honey, Tor.com, 13 October 2016.

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.

The current jury consists of Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon, Trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate.

The winners will be announced during the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet on June 16.

2015 Theodore Sturgeon Award Shortlist

Sturgeon-trophy-sThe Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction has announced the finalists for the 2015 Theodore Sturgeon A. Memorial Award for the best short science fiction story.

The Sturgeon is a juried award. The finalists were selected by Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon, Trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate.

The award is given during the Campbell Conference which, this year, will be part of MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, in Kansas City. The awards ceremony will be held the evening of Thursday, August 18.

2015 finalists for the Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award are:

The World Science Fiction Convention often offers academic programming, and this year’s WorldCon officials asked Christopher McKitterick, CSSF director, to organize an academic track that will include papers and discussions.

“Rather than host a separate Campbell Conference with WorldCon just a month later in neighboring Kansas City, thus forcing out-of-town guests to choose one or the other,” McKitterick said, “we decided to combine the two.”

MidAmeriCon II will be Aug. 17-21 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

[Thanks to JJ for the story. Based on a press release.]

2015 Sturgeon Award Winner

Doctorow Sturgeon AwardCory Doctorow’s “The Man Who Sold the Moon” is the winner of the 2015 Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of 2014.

The award was presented at the Campbell Conference in Lawrence, KS on June 12 and accepted on Doctorow’s behalf by Joey Eschrich.

The winning story appeared in the anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer.

2015 Sturgeon Award Shortlist

The finalists for the 2015 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of 2014 have been announced.

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

“Lady With Fox,” Greg Benford. Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction (eds. Ben Bova and Eric Choi), Tor Books, 2014.
“Childfinder,” Octavia E. Butler. Unexpected Stories, Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy, 2014.
“In Her Eyes,” Seth Chambers. Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2014.
“The Man Who Sold the Moon,” Cory Doctorow. Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (eds. Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer), Morrow, 2014.
“Herd Immunity,” Tananarive Due. The End is Now (eds. John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey), Broad Reach Publishing, 2014.
“When it Ends, He Catches Her,” Eugie Foster. Daily Science Fiction 26 Sep 2014.
We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory. Tachyon, 2014.
Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress. Tachyon, 2014.
“A Hotel in Antarctica,” Geoffrey Landis. Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (eds. Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer), Morrow, 2014.
“The Regular,” Ken Liu. Upgraded (ed. Neil Clarke). Wyrm Publishing 2014.
“The Lightness of the Movement,” Pat MacEwan. Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar/Apr 2014.
“We Are the Cloud,”  Sam J. Miller. Lightspeed Sep 2014.
“The Fifth Dragon,” Ian McDonald. Reach for Infinity (ed. Jonathan Strahan). Solaris, 2014.
“Shatterdown,” Suzanne Palmer. Asimov’s Jun 2014.
“The Cryptic Age,” Robert Reed. Asimov’s Dec 2014.

 

2014 Campbell and Sturgeon Award Winners

The winners of the Campbell Award for the Best SF Novel and the Sturgeon Award for Best Short Story have been announced. The awards will be presented June 13 at the Campbell Conference in Lawrence, Kansas.

John W. Campbell Memorial Award

  • Strange Bodies, by Marcel Theroux

Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

  • “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss,” by Sarah Pinsker

[Via Locus Online and SF SIte News.]

2014 Sturgeon Finalists

The 2014 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award shortlist was announced on May 1 by Christopher McKitterick, Director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The award is given for the best science fiction short story of the year:

  • “Bloom,” Gregory Norman Bossert. Asimov’s, Dec 2013.
  • “The Weight of the Sunrise,” Vylar Kaftan. Asimov’s, Feb 2013.
  • “They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass,” Alaya Dawn Johnson. Asimov’s, Jan 2013.
  • “Over There,” Will McIntosh. Asimov’s, Jan 2013.
  • “The Wildfires of Antarctica,” Alan De Niro. Tyrannia and Other Renditions, Small Beer Press.
  • “The Irish Astronaut,” Val Nolan. Electric Velocipede, May 2013.
  • “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” Sarah Pinsker. Strange Horizons, July 2013.
  • “Mystic Falls,” Robert Reed. Clarkesworld, Nov 2013.
  • “Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer,” Kenneth Scheyer. Clockwork Phoenix 4, Mythic Delirium Books.
  • “The Urishima Effect,” E. Lily Yu. Clarkesworld, June 2013.

The winners will be revealed at the Campbell Conference on Friday, June 13 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.