The SciFidea Writing Center of Singapore is accepting entries in the Dyson Sphere Science Fiction Writing Contest through August 31.
These stories from 30,000 to 100,000 words long about a Dyson Sphere will be judged by some of the top names in the field. Ten prizes of US$20,000 each will be awarded.
The contest press release explains the scientific premise:
In 1960, American physicist Freeman Dyson suggested a method for harvesting the vast amounts of energy a star puts out: surround the star with an artificial shell. In honor of him, such a shell is known as a “Dyson Sphere.”
In 1964, Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev classified civilizations into three types:
- A Type I civilization can harness all the energy that reaches its home planet from its parent star
- A Type II civilization can harness all the energy radiated in all directions by its parent star
- A Type III civilization can harness all the energy of its entire home galaxy.
Right now, we’re about three-quarters of the way to becoming a Type I civilization — and a civilization that surrounds a star with a Dyson sphere is a Type II.
In 2009, Chinese author Liu Cixin, who would go on to win a Hugo Award for his novel The Three-Body Problem, and his editor Tang Feng formed a group to discuss the astronomical parameters, physical form, and story resources of a Dyson Sphere.
“The most story-rich places on a Dyson Sphere are its weightless axis and poles,” Liu Cixin said. “These extraordinary natural forms suggest exciting ideas. The endless curved landscape is also a novelty with great rivers and glaciers flowing toward the equator.”
We’re looking for science-fiction stories that take the Dyson Sphere notion seriously, accurately depicting the realities of such a remarkable setting: its gigantic proportions, the huge amounts of power it makes available, and plausible ecologies and civilizations that might arise in such an environment. And, of course, we’re looking for great writing: polished prose and creative ideas that invoke a sense of wonder.
The press release also gives this background about the firm behind the contest, and detailed instructions for entering it:
THE CONTEST ORGANIZERS.
SciFidea is a brand launched in Singapore. The Founder Tang Feng and Chief Editor Lynn Sun aim to encourage and develop science-fiction literature and help authors monetize their works.
At present, SciFidea is committed to multiplying the medium of sci-fi works.
In the future, SciFidea will have more exciting projects, developing new types of science-fiction media that showcase humanity’s technological potential.
THE CONTEST JUDGES.
- Phoenix Alexander, Jay Kay and Doris Klein Librarian for Science Fiction and Fantasy
- David Brin, Astrophysicist, Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial, and Freedom of Speech Awards Winner
- Neil Clarke, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Clarkesworld Magazine, Ten-time Finalist and the 2022 Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Editor Short Form
- Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Editor-in-Chief at Tor Books, World Fantasy Award and Three Hugo Awards Winner
- Derek Künsken, Sci-Fi Novelist and Short Fiction Writer. Aurora and Asimov’s Reader’s Awards Winner
- Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo, Nebula, Aurora, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards Winner
- Michael Swanwick, Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards Winner. Five-time Hugo Award Winner
- Liza Groen Trombi, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Locus Magazine. President of the Locus SF Foundation. Four-time Hugo Award Winner
1. Submission deadline is the end of the day (midnight) Singapore Standard Time (UTC+8) on August 31st, 2023.
2. Only stories principally set on, in, or involving one or more Dyson spheres are eligible.
3. Entries must be previously unpublished and be between 30,000 and 100,000 words long. Only finished stories will be accepted.
4. Multiple works will be shortlisted for the ten grand prizes. If your work is shortlisted, you will be required to allow us to make it publicly and freely available on our website for a year. Those whose stories make the shortlist but don’t win will each receive US$2,000.
5. Out of the shortlisted works, ten winners will be announced early in 2024. The authors of the ten winners will each receive US$20,000.
If your work is one of those winners, you agree to grant SciFidea a ten-year publishing license to that work, with the US$20,000 prize being an advance against royalties. The author will share 50% of the net income on print publishing rights (including foreign languages in foreign countries), and another 30% of the net income from developing your work into other media (film, television, animation, graphic novels/manga, and so on).
If the work has gone on to another phase within the ten-year time limit (for instance, being adapted into a film), the contract will automatically have a ten-year renewal from the ending date of the previous one.
Please note that SciFidea is not only a publishing website or literature agency but an IP (Intellectual Property) producer per se.
HOW TO ENTER.
Email your submission to: [email protected]
Your email subject line should be in this format:
Your last name – the story’s title – the exact word count
Your submission should be attached to your email in .docx format (not .pdf, .doc, .rar or any other format). Please use Times New Roman or a similar serif typeface (although if you need a special typeface for some typographic characters or special portions of your manuscript, that’s fine).
Important: At the very beginning of your manuscript (not in the body of the email, and not in a separate file), please include a couple of sentences summarizing your plot.
The file name for your attachment should be in the same format as the email subject line:
Your last name – the story’s title – the exact word count
SCIFIDEA ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SciFideaWritingCenter/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DysonSphere15
- Website: https://contest.scifidea.org/
[Based on a press release.]