Theodore Sturgeon Award 2021 Finalists

This year’s finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction story have been announced by Christopher McKitterick, Director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The winner of the award will be revealed online later this summer.

2021 Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award Finalists

  • “If You Take My Meaning,” Charlie Jane Anders. Tor.com, Feb 2020.
  • “An Important Failure,” Rebecca Campbell. Clarkesworld, Aug 2020
  • “The Translator, at Low Tide,” Vajra Chandrasekera. Clarkesworld, May 2020.
  • “The Pill,” Meg Elison. Big Girl, June 2020.
  • “The Mermaid Astronaut,” Yoon Ha Lee. Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Feb 2020.
  • “50 Things Every AI Working With Humans Should Know,” Ken Liu. Uncanny Magazine, Nov 2020.
  • “Yellow and the Perception of Reality,” Maureen McHugh. Tor.com, July 2020.
  • “A Mastery of German,” Marian Denise Moore. Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Aug 2020.
  • “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon,” Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki. Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Aug 2020.
  • “A Guide for Working Breeds,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Tor.com, March 2020.
  • “AirBody,” Sameem Siddiqui. Clarkesworld, April 2020.

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.

3 thoughts on “Theodore Sturgeon Award 2021 Finalists

  1. It’d be interesting to note the concordance among the Hugo and Nebila winner in the short story category and the winners of the Sturgeon Award. A cursory glance at the honored tales shows only two, “Schoedinger’s Kitten” and “Bears Discover Fire”.

  2. Guy Lillian: That must be part of the reason that “Bears Discover Fire” ranks at the top of Mark Kelly’s SF Awards Database short story ratings.

  3. There are three crucial short stories in my teenage years. The first is Sturgeon’s “The Professor’s Teddy Bear,” which electrified me. Up to then I had never read a genre short story that shook me. I was shook. Whatever THAT story was, I wanted more of THAT.

    The second is Ellison’s “Silent in Gehenna,” which introduced me to HE, but also alerted me to the non-literary means available to make a non-literary point in a literary venue.

    The third is “Bears Discover Fire,” which induced me to write again when I had given up. It carries the lesson that took hold in me for two decades. What a great teacher that story is for a simpleton such as I! I cannot explain why that story among the many I read provided the spark. The setting, the dialogue, the characters were familiar to me, but it is something more, something ineffable. Clearly the story isn’t a hit for everyone. But it sure replaced my spark plugs.

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