The Roswell Award and Feminist Futures Award winners were announced on May 21, recognizing outstanding new works of science fiction by emerging writers from across the United States and worldwide, including the winner of this year’s feminist themed sci-fi story.
The program featured dramatic readings of the finalists by celebrity guests.
First: “Astronomology: or How Elon Musk killed Neil deGrasse Tyson” by Ed Marsh [Read by Rico Anderson]
Second: “Dr. Harriet Hartfeld’s Home for Aging AIs” by Paul Martz [Read by Tim Russ]
Third: “Heart to Heart” by Susan Wachowski [Read by Chad Coleman]
“Beauty is the Beast” by Ven Pillay [Read by Nana Visitor]
“Tyrannosaurus Mechs” by Gregory Norris [Read by Steven L. Sears]
“Falling Giants” by Camilla Linde
“The Seventh Day is for Resting” by Florencia Hain
“Bob’s Your Uncle” by Larry Herbst
“Meat Ships Are the Worst” by Addison Marsh
2022 FEMINIST FUTURES AWARD
“Salt Water,” by Jane Smith [Read by Karen Malina White]
FEMINIST FUTURES HONORABLE MENTIONS
“Maximum Potential Skill Level” by Didrik Dyrdal
“Chrysanthemums are made to bloom” by Emma Uren
“The Part of Paradise where our Anger comes from.” by Yuwinn Kraukamp
Los Angeles County high school students are invited to submit their original short science fiction stories to The Tomorrow Prize through December 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. The finalists’ stories will be read by celebrity guests live in May 2022 and the winners will receive cash prizes. A nonprofit program presented by the Omega Sci-Fi Awards, The Tomorrow Prize is an opportunity for students to shine as the thinkers of the future.
The Tomorrow Prize is open to all students attending high school in Los Angeles County, and it is free to submit. Students may submit up to two original stories of 500 to 1,500 words, each. Science fiction is a uniquely inspiring medium that has enabled many of our greatest thinkers and scientists to imagine the heights — and limits — of human achievement. Teen writers are encouraged to explore scientific, social, technological, environmental, moral and philosophical themes and issues in their writing and always, at the core, to master the art of great storytelling.
“The Tomorrow Prize inspires and motivates high school students of diverse backgrounds and from every region of Los Angeles County to test the limits of their imaginations and explore the issues they care about through science fiction writing,” says Omega Sci-Fi Awards Director Rosalind Helfand.
Up to five finalists will be chosen and their stories read by celebrity guests live in the May 2022 culminating event. First, second, and third place cash prizes will be presented following the reading. The first place winner will be published by L.A. Parent Magazine.
“The Green Feather Award” Recognizes Outstanding Eco-Themed Sci-Fi Stories: The Nature Nexus Institute (NNI) is partnering with The Tomorrow Prize to present “The Green Feather Award.” This special award recognizes an outstanding science fiction short story by a teen author [or team of authors] that centers on overcoming today’s environmental challenges. Strong entries will highlight the importance of ecology and biodiversity. The winner’s story will also be read at the culminating event and the winner will receive a cash prize and publication by the NNI.
The Omega Sci-Fi Awards are a program of Sci-Fest LA and the arts and education nonprofit, Light Bringer Project. Sponsors also include B5 Events, L.A. Parent Magazine, and Nature Nexus Institute.
Prizes: The Tomorrow Prize 1st Place – $250; 2nd Place – $150; 3rd Place – $100; The Green Feather Award – $250 and online publication
The Roswell Award is back in its seventh season, and writers everywhere can submit their original short science fiction stories to the competition through December 21, 2021 at 11:59pm. Finalists’ stories will be read by celebrity guests live in May 2022 and the winners will receive cash prizes. A nonprofit program presented by the Omega Sci-Fi Awards, The Roswell Award is an opportunity for future-minded emerging writers to have their stories highlighted to a worldwide audience.
Each writer aged 16 and older may submit one story between 500 and 1,500 words. Past submissions have come from dozens of countries including Canada, Malaysia, Sweden, Malawi, Singapore, Indonesia, England, Kazakhstan, Brazil, and others. It is free to submit work.
The Roswell Award empowers diverse emerging writers globally to contribute their unique voices and perspectives to the art of science fiction story writing, while also tapping into the power of science fiction to serve as a lens for examining the greatest challenges and moral dilemmas humanity faces. Writers are encouraged to explore scientific, social, technological, environmental, moral and philosophical themes and issues in their writing and always, at the core, to master the art of great storytelling.
“Science fiction opens doors for writers of all backgrounds to explore how we relate to one another, to our world, and to our future and to write stories that are unique to them,” says Omega Sci-Fi Awards Director Rosalind Helfand.
Up to five finalists will be chosen and their stories read by celebrity guests live in the May 2022 culminating event. First, second, and third place cash prizes will be presented following the reading. The first place winner will also receive an online course from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.
“Feminist Futures Award” Recognizes Outstanding Sci-Fi with Feminist Themes: New to the Omega Sci-Fi Awards, the Feminist Futures Award recognizes a science fiction story that embraces feminist themes. Top entries will exemplify excellence in feminist storytelling and capture the complexities and other aspects of identity, as well as intersectionality, through the imaginative power of science fiction. This competition is open to people of any gender and/or no gender. The winning story will be published by co-presenter ArtemisJournal.
The Omega Sci-Fi Awards are a program of Sci-Fest LA and the arts and education nonprofit, Light Bringer Project. Sponsors also include B5 Events, UCLA Writers’ Extension Program, and Artemis Journal.
Prizes Include: First Place – $500; Second Place – $250; Third Place – $100; Feminist Futures Award: Publication in Artemis Journal, additional prizes to be announced.
The Lightbringer Project is taking submissions for its four Omega Sci-Fi Awards – the Roswell Award, Feminist Futures Award, Tomorrow Prize, and Green Feather Award – until December 21.
THE ROSWELL AWARD. The Roswell Award is an international short science fiction story competition from writers age 16 and older. The complete guidelines are here.
Selected finalists will be chosen to have their stories read in their honor by celebrity guests during the Culminating Event on May 21, 2022.
First, Second, and Third place Roswell Award winners will receive $500, $250, and $100 cash prizes.
The First Place Roswell Award winner will receive a UCLA Extension Writers’ Program sponsored 11-week or shorter online course.
FEMINIST FUTURES AWARD. The Lightbringer Project has announced a new feminist prize they are co-presenting with Artemis Journal — the Feminist Futures Award. The complete guidelines are here.
The Feminist Futures Award is an additional special prize category for a feminist themed sci-fi story. The winning story will be published by co-presenter Artemis Journal.
THE TOMORROW PRIZE. Los Angeles County high school students are invited to submit their short science fiction stories to The Tomorrow Prize. Full guidelines are here.
Selected finalists will be chosen to have their stories read in their honor by celebrity guests during the Culminating Event on May 22, 2022.
First, Second, and Third place Tomorrow Prize winners will receive $250, $150, and $100 USD cash prizes.
The First place Tomorrow Prize winner will be published in L.A. Parent Magazine.
THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD. The Tomorrow Prize partner, the Nature Nexus Institute is co-presenting The Green Feather Award, which highlights an environmentally focused sci-fi story. For more details see the submission guidelines here.
The Green Feather Award is an additional special prize category for an environmentally focused sci-fi story. The winner will receive $250.00 & online publication by the Nature Nexus Institute.
Omega Sci-Fi Awards has announced the 2021 finalists and honorable mentions for both The Roswell Award and The Tomorrow Prize. They also have revealed the winner of the Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award, their feminist themed prize, and the winner of the Green Feather Award, their eco-themed prize.
THE ROSWELL AWARD for original short science fiction from writers worldwide
“The Rite to Vote” by Matthew Cushing (Connecticut, USA)
“Imagine Dandelions” by Andrea Goyan (California, USA)
“Autonomous” by Ben Hennesy (USA/Tanzania)
“Run” by Tenzin Phillips (South Africa)
“Biomimicry” by Ven Pillay (South Africa)
“Realtiger” by Susan Wachowski (Illinois, USA)
“When The Books Were on Paper” by Evgeniy Bondarev (Russia)
“Logistics” by Christian Dark (United Kingdom)
“Buddy and I” by Bryan Leong Jing Ern (Malaysia)
“Opt-In” by Susan Harper (California, USA)
“Way Out” by Larry Herbst (California, USA)
“Starchild” by Mayor Prosper Ihechi (Nigeria)
“Eclosion” by Alice Laciny (Austria)
“Rate Me!” by Lexus Ndiwe (United Kingdom)
“Mittens Aurelius: Meowditations” by Mark Thomas (Canada)
THE WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY AWARD for original short feminist themed science fiction
“Never Turn Your Back on the Water” by Courtney Watson (Virginia, USA)
“Yes” by Marie Cartier (California, USA)
“Unfrozen” by Libby Marshall (Illinois, USA)
“Fish Hunting Fish” by Archie Nicholson (Canada)
“Virgintillion” by Anna O’Brien (Maryland, USA)
“The Shadows of the Baobabs Fall Long” by Bailey Sweatman (Texas, USA)
THE TOMORROW PRIZE for original short science fiction by Los Angeles County high school students
“EP-1M Contamination” by Britney Cruz (Susan Miller Dorsey High School)
“Äerd” by Tessa Kennedy (John Marshall High School)
“Star Sailor” by Gwendolyn Lopez (Pasadena High School)
“Returning Home” by Sofia Orduno (Mt. SAC Early College Academy)
“The Plague” by Flora White (Geffen Academy at UCLA)
“Cold Ashes” by Ethan Kim (Crescenta Valley High School)
“The Gorm” by Jakob Wedel (Wedel Academy Independent Homeschool)
THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD for original short eco-themed science fiction by Los Angeles County high school students
“Corn” by Sienna Koizumi (Culver City High School)
“The Great Forgotten” by Jonah Guardino (High Tech LA)
On May 22 and 23 there will be Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards events hosted in partnership with actress and stunt person Patricia Tallman’s(Babylon 5, Star Trek) B5 Events.
These events are free to attend with registration. Registration and more info is available here.
Saturday, May 22 at 11am PDT: The Roswell Award and Women Hold Up Half the Sky Virtual Celebrity Readings and Awards. Register here.
Sunday, May 23 at 5pm PDT: The Tomorrow Prize and Green Feather Award Virtual Celebrity Readings and Awards. Register here.
The Roswell Award and Women Hold Up Half the Sky Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards will honor the best emerging science fiction writers from across the United States and worldwide. The Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award, a special feminist-themed award, is co-presented by the feminist publication Artemis Journal and KPFK’s Feminist Magazineradio show. The first place winner will also be presented with a free online course from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.
Featured celebrity guests for The Roswell Award Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards on May 22 include: LaMonica Garrett (Arrow, Dc’s Legends Of Tomorrow), Ruth Connell (SUPERNATURAL), Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Phil Lamarr (Samurai Jack, Futurama), Tiffany Lonsdale-Hands (Siren), Kari Wahlgren (Rick And Morty), and David Blue (Stargate Universe).
Finalist judges for The Roswell Award include: Author Steven Barnes (Lion’s Blood, The New Twilight Zone), paleontologist Alyssa Bell (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Dinosaur Institute), author Wesley Chu (The Lives Of Tao, The Walking Dead: Typhoon), author and engineer S.B. Divya (Runtime, Escape Pod), author Rebecca Moesta (Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights, Star Wars: Junior Jedi Knights), writer and director Philippe Mora (Communion, Continuity), author Larry Niven (Ringworld, The Integral Trees).
The Tomorrow Prize and Green Feather Award Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards is co-presented by L.A. Parent Magazine. These include five all-female Finalists for The Tomorrow Prize original short sci-fi competition, this year’s Honorable Mentions, and the Winner of the Green Feather Award, a special ecology-themed award co-presented by the Los Angeles Audubon Society.
Featured celebrity guests for The Tomorrow Prize Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards on May 23 include: Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Rico E. Anderson (The Orville), Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), Duane Henry (Captain Marvel), and more.
Finalist judges for The Tomorrow Prize include: volcanologist, explorer, and author Jess Phoenix (Ms. Adventure), and author Charles Yu (How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe, Interior Chinatown), author Jennifer Brody (The 13th Continuum, 200), American Flight engineer Bobak Ferdowsi.
This will be Omega Sci-Fi Awards’ sixth year hosting celebrity guests to read finalists’ stories. Gary Phillips, sci-fi and mystery writer and Omega Sci-Fi Awards board member says, “I was thrilled to read the entries for this year’s awards and am looking forward to hearing the Finalists’ stories read aloud by this stellar line-up.”
Their 6th annual Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards events, with dramatic readings of the finalists’ stories followed by the prize announcements, will be on:
The Omega Sci-Fi Awards is a nonprofit program founded in 2014 by Sci-Fest L.A. that aims to recognize and encourage emerging sci-fi writers, and Light Bringer Project, a Pasadena-based nonprofit arts and education organization. The awards ceremony is hosted in conjunction with LitFest Pasadena2021, a series of literary panel discussions that will be held on May 15-16 from noon to 6:00 p.m. Pacific.
…The Arkham House Archive contains over 4000 letters and documents related to publications issued by Arkham House, Mycroft & Moran and Stanton & Lee between 1939 and 1971, as well as correspondence and business papers related to Derleth’s activities as writer and editor for other publishers, including his editorial work as an anthologist in the 1940s and 1950s, and as a TV scriptwriter in the 1950s. This archive is a highly important collection of letters and documents. The core of the archive is correspondence, often extensive, from several hundred authors whose work Derleth published under his own imprints or in his highly important non-Arkham House anthologies published in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as manuscripts, mostly typewritten (including fair copies and carbons), submitted by Arkham House authors.
… These business papers largely predate the August William Derleth Papers held by the Wisconsin Historical Society, as “most of the pre-1963 materials were destroyed when this collection was originally processed, so substantially complete records survive only for the years between 1963 and 1970.”
(2) ROSWELL JUDGE. Light Bringer Project has introduced S.B. Divya as one of the Finalist Judges for the Roswell Award international short science fiction story competition from writers age 16 and older.
S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma. She enjoys subverting expectations and breaking stereotypes whenever she can. Divya is the Hugo and Nebula–nominated author of Runtime and co-editor of Escape Pod (anthology), with Mur Lafferty. Divya also co-host of the premier science fiction podcast magazine, Escape Pod.
Her short stories have been published at various magazines including Analog, Uncanny, and Tor. Her collection, Contingency Plans For the Apocalypse and Other Situations, is out now from Hachette India. Machinehood is her debut novel from Saga Press. She holds degrees in computational neuroscience and signal processing, and she worked for twenty years as an electrical engineer before becoming an author.
Find out more about her at SBDivya.com or on Twitter as @DivyasTweets.
(4) NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the March 10 Financial Times, Tom Faber discusses how video games incorporate museums into their gaming.
In 2020’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the hero is excluded from a science museum as a child but returns later as the titular web-slinger, leaping triumphantly between the wings of rockets suspended from the ceiling. Here the museum space is shorthand for lost innocence, playing on gamers’ memories of school trips to exhibitions. This same effect is pulled off more artfully in The Last Of Us Part II, which features a poignant flashback sequence in an abandoned museum of science and history. In the ruined atrium, flooded with sunlight and overtaken by vines, the complex relationship between protagoinist Ellie and her father-figure Joel is infused with tenderness as they play on dinosaur skeletons and enter the command module of an Apollo spacecraft, forgetting the zombie-infested world outside for a few blissful moments.
In-game museums sometimes serve instead of meta-commentary, spaces where games tell the story of their own creation. The joyous PS3 platformer Astro’s Playroom is a living exhibition of Sony’s greatest hits, while old Ratchet And Clank games contain secret levels which teach players about how developers created the game’s physics and environments. Most imaginative is the post-credits museum of Call Of Duty 2: Modern Warfare, remastered last year, where players can scrutinise character models, environments and weapons from the game. Looking closely at each diorama–zooming in via the scope on your sniper rifle, naturally–reveals the extraordinary detail put into each component. A tempting red button causes the exhibits to spring to life and attack.
(5) SMARTEST GUY IN THE ROOM? [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Isaac Asimov’s autobiography In Joy Still Felt discusses how in 1958 he was approached to be on a quiz show called Brain or Brawn and he declined to appear. Asimov writes, “I thought of Sprague de Camp, who managed to get on The $64,000 Question and who (for reasons known only to himself and God), chose motion pictures as his category, then muffed the very first question.”
I’d be interested in stories about fans and pros being on quiz shows. Ray Bradbury appeared on an episode of You Bet Your Life in 1956.
… The White Rabbit never says, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” nor does the Mad Hatter say, “I am under no obligation to make sense to you.” The quote attributed to the Queen of Hearts – “That’s enough! Off with their head” – is almost right; she was after “heads”.
Dr Franziska Kohlt, editor of the Lewis Carroll Review, says she’s always spotting Carroll misquotes. “I saw a post about the coins on a collectors’ page, and almost automatically went checking for the quote, thinking, ‘Oh I hope they haven’t – oh no they have,” she said. “Misattributed Alice quotes are absolutely everywhere.”
Kohlt said that the “hurrier I go” and the “I am under no obligation!” quotes are “absolutely not Carroll quotes, as much as the internet insists”. “You wouldn’t believe how often we have to deal with these misquotes. I even find them in academic papers,” she said….
(7) TRIVIAL TRIVIA.
Anthony J. Lumsden conceived a design so advanced for the Van Nuys sewage facility that the building stood in for Star Trek’s Starfleet Academy (see it in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). 6100 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys. (See “Scene It Before: The Japanese Garden from Star Trek” in Los Angeles Magazine.)
(8) JAMES FOLLETT OBIT. British writer James Follett (1939-2021) died January 10. Blake’s 7 fans knew him as the scriptwriter for the “Stardrive” and “Dawn of the Gods” episodes. In the Seventies he wrote many genre plays for BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Theatre, Just Before Midnight, and Saturday Night Theatre. In the Eighties he created Radio 4’s acclaimed SF serial Earthsearch, and later wrote three novels based on it. Altogether he wrote 11 sff novels, several computer games, and many radio and TV scripts. (He was the cousin of Ken Folett.)
(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
March 15, 1981 — On this date in 1981, Scanners premiered. Directed by David Cronenberg and produced by Claude Héroux, it starred Jennifer O’Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane and Michael Ironside. Reviewers, with the exception of Roger Ebert who despised it with all of his soul, generally liked it, and reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it a healthy sixty four percent rating among audience reviewers. The same cannot be said for the sequels which have ratings of seventeen and eighteen percent among those same reviewers.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born March 15, 1852 – Augusta, Lady Gregory. Folklorist, playwright, theatre manager. Vital to Irish Literary Revival. For us, collected and retold Irish tales e.g. “The Three Sons”, Cuchulain of Muirthemne. Bernard Shaw called her the greatest living Irishwoman. (Died 1932) [JH]
Born March 15, 1924 — Guy Williams. Most remembered as Professor John Robinson on Lost in Space though some of you may remember him as Don Diego de la Vega and his masked alter ego Zorro in the earlier Zorro series. (Is it genre? You decide. I think it is.) He filmed two European genre films, Il tiranno di Siracusa (Damon and Pythias) and Captain Sinbad as well. (Died 1989.) (CE)
Born March 15, 1943 — David Cronenberg, 78. Not a Director whose tastes are at all squeamish. His best films? I’d pick Videodrome, The Fly, Naked Lunch and The Dead Zone.Though I’m tempted to toss Scanners in that list as well. ISFDB says he has one genre novel, Consumed, which garnered a Bram Stoker Award nominated for A Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Oh and he was in the film version of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. (CE)
Born March 15, 1926 – Rosel Brown. Three novels (one with Keith Laumer), two dozen shorter stories. Recent reprint collection Earthblood (6 by RB, 3 by KL, 1 by both). Had an M.A. in Greek, too. (Died 1967) [JH]
Born March 15, 1933 – Al Lewis, age 88. Chaired Westercon 15. Long active in LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society); first to receive its Evans-Freehafer Award (service). Produced The Genie and The Musquite Kid Rides Again, famous in song and story. [JH]
Born March 15, 1937 – Dan Adkins. A dozen covers, two hundred twenty interiors. Fanart for e.g. Double:Bill (he has five in this issue – PDF), Vega, Xero (he’s in The Best of “Xero”), Yandro. Fanzine, Sata (later by Bill Pearson). Here is the Nov 66 If. Here is the Jul 69 Galaxy. Here is the Sep 71 Amazing. Later worked with Wally Wood and for DC, Marvel, Dell. Here is Doctor Strange 169. Here is an interview by Roy Thomas. Sinott Hall of Fame. (Died 2013) [JH]
Born March 15, 1948 — Carl Weathers, 73. Most likely best remembered among genre fans as Al Dillon in Predator, but he has some other genre creds as well. He was a MP officer in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, General Skyler in Alien Siege, Dr. Artimus Snodgrass in the very silly The Sasquatch Gang comedy and he voiced Combat Carl in Toy Story 4. And no, I’m not forgetting he’s currently playing Greef Karga on The Mandalorian series. I still think his best role ever was Adam Beaudreaux on Street Justice but that’s very, very not genre. (CE)
Born March 15, 1949 — Lawrence Kasdan, 72. Director, screenwriter, and producer. He’s best known early on as co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. He also wrote The Art of Return of the Jedi with George Lucas which is quite superb. He’s also one of the writers lately of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Solo: A Star Wars Story. (CE)
Born March 15, 1962 — Jemma Redgrave, 59. Her first genre role was as Violette Charbonneau in the “A Time to Die” episode of Tales of the Unexpected which was also her first acting role. Later genre roles are scant but include a memorable turn as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, daughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart on Doctor Who. Not at all surprisingly,she has also appeared as Stewart as the lead in myriad UNIT adventures for Big Finish Productions. (CE)
Born March 15, 1965 – James Barclay, age 56. A dozen novels, half a dozen shorter stories. Guest of Honour at FantasyCon 2008, Master of Ceremonies at FantasyCon 2010. “Barclay Rambles On” in BFS Journal 10 (British Fantasy Society). Two children, two dogs – meaning a total of four, not two. [JH]
Born March 15, 1967 — Emily Watson, 54. Her first genre appearance is in Equilibrium as Mary O’Brien before voicing Victoria Everglot in Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Next is she’s Anne MacMorrow in the Celtic fantasy The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. She appeared apparently in a Nineties radio production of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase but I’ve no information on it. (CE)
Born March 15, 1980 – Julie Cross, age 41. Three novels, one shorter story for us; several others. NY Times and USA Today Best-Seller. Gymnast and coach. Has read The Odyssey, Native Son, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. [JH]
John Joseph Adams was a guest lecturer at the 2020 Odyssey Writing Workshop. In this excerpt from a question and answer session, he talks about worldbuilding and what he’d most like to see in submissions.
John is the editor of John Joseph Adams Books, a science fiction and fantasy imprint from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as the bestselling editor of more than thirty anthologies, including Dead Man’s Hand, Robot Uprisings, Oz Reimagined, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Other Worlds Than These, Armored, Under the Moons of Mars, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The Way of the Wizard.
Recent books include Cosmic Powers, What the #@&% Is That?, Operation Arcana, Press Start to Play, Loosed Upon the World, and The Apocalypse Triptych.
John is also the editor and publisher of the magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare.
2. DONNA SHIRLEY WAS INSPIRED BY SCI-FI NOVELISTS RAY BRADBURY AND ARTHUR C. CLARKE.
At age 12, Shirley discovered—and devoured—Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles at the Wynnewood public library. Her earthbound teenage endeavors included editing her high school yearbook and playing cymbals in the marching band, but her space dreams were powered by Jimmy, the protagonist of Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sands of Mars, who makes a seven-month voyage to the planet. In her 1998 autobiography Managing Martians, Shirley recalled, “Clarke described a world that was my ideal of community and comradeship.”
(13) SET IN DC. In the Washington Post, Fritz Hahn, Anyang Guo, and Angela Haupt ask various people for their favorite books set in Washington. Michael Dirda recommends This Shared Dream by Kathleen Ann Goonan, set in an alternate universe 1991 where JFK wasn’t assassinated and Martin Luther King becomes U.N. ambassador. “The best books about Washington D.C.”. One other sff novel is mentioned —
“Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders
I had often passed beautiful Oak Hill Cemetery on my walks around the city, but I didn’t get obsessed with it until I read “Lincoln in the Bardo,” a novel that might be described as a phantasmagoric “Spoon River Anthology” with footnotes. Set at the cemetery, and told by ghosts, it’s hilarious, disturbing and poignant by turn. George Saunders was inspired to write it after hearing about Lincoln’s visits to the cemetery to see his young son Willie, who temporarily lay in the Carroll Family Mausoleum after his death in 1862. The first time I tried to visit Oak Hill it was closing time, but an employee told me I could get a key and enter any time if I bought a plot, an idea I haven’t entirely ruled out. In the meantime I’ll make due with visiting hours.
(14) MUPPET KNOWLEDGE. In “The Muppets Find Out Which Muppet They Are” on YouTube, the Muppets take BuzzFeed’s Muppet quiz to determine which Muppet they are, a process one Muppet called “very meta.”
(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “300 Pitch Meeting” on ScreenRant, Ryan George says that 300 is set in Sparta, “a Greek city state where shirts have been outlawed” and the film consists of “slow-motion fight scenes with very muscular men wearing very tight thongs.”
[Thanks to Nick Eden, John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, JJ, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
The Tomorrow Prize sf writing contest is taking entries from students attending high school in Los Angeles County. The deadline to submit is February 1, 2021.
The Tomorrow Prize for short science fiction, by an L.A. County high school student, showcases the best in creative, critical thinking, as well as great storytelling, by students from throughout Los Angeles. The Tomorrow Prize is free for students to submit up to two original short stories of 1,500 words or less.
First place: $250.00 & L.A. Parent Magazine publication online (in full) and in print (excerpt).
Second place: $150.00
Third place: $100.00
The Green Feather Award presented by Los Angeles Audubon: $250.00 & online publication (see below)
The Green Feather Award, presented by the LA Audubon Society, is a special prize for the best environmental conservation themed story.
Students who wish to be considered for The Green Feather Award for best environmental themed story must indicate this in their cover email. Stories submitted for The Green Feather Award will be considered for the other prizes if they are not a Green Feather Award winner.
For more information and submission guidelines visit: here.
Interested educators and students can register for one of two free info Q&A sessions.
The sessions will be available for free on Zoom from 5pm-6pm PDT. This is your chance to learn tips for a great short sci-fi submission for The Tomorrow Prize and engage in a Q&A in with the competition organizers. For more information and to register for either session:
Run by Sci-Fest L.A. and the Light Bringer Project, the Roswell Award was created in 2014 to foster emerging science fiction writing talent worldwide.
For more information and submission guidelines visit here.
The “Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award” for feminist sci-fi is co-presented by Artemis literary journal and will also be presented to a distinct winner.
Selected finalists will be chosen to have their stories read in their honor by celebrity guests during a special performance.
First, Second, and Third place Roswell Award winners will receive $500, $250, and $100 USD cash prizes.
The First place Roswell Award winner will receive access to the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program sponsored 11-week or shorter online course.
The Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award is an additional special prize category for a feminist themed sci-fi story. The winner will be published by Artemis literary journal with more prizes to be announced.
Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award
This award recognizes a science fiction story that embraces feminist themes and has a female protagonist. Top entries will exemplify excellence in feminist storytelling, while capturing the complexities of their characters. The winner will receive print publication in Artemis Journal. Artemis Journal is an award-winning non-profit feminist art and creative writing journal. Its purpose is to foster art and literary excellence in the Blue Ridge mountain region of Southwest Virginia and beyond. Learn more here.
Stories are only eligible for one prize. Stories not chosen for the Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award will be considered for the other Roswell Award prizes.
Have questions about The Roswell Award writing competition and want to hear from the source? Register for one of two free online Q&A sessions available on Zoom. This is your chance to learn tips for a great short sci-fi submission for The Roswell Award and engage in a Q&A in with the competition organizers. For more information and to register for either session:
Entries must be original science fiction short stories no longer than 1500 words, by a writer over the age of 18.
Sci-Fest L.A. and Light Bringer Project seek to identify and nurture new science fiction writing talent in all corners of the globe. Science fiction writing provides a unique opportunity for writers to develop the ideas and narratives that will shape the future of humanity from how we address pressing scientific, social, philosophical, and environmental issues to inspiring us to develop new technologies and explore outer space. And of course we’re excited to see stories that entertain. We are proud to be taking a leadership role in developing the next generation of science fiction writers.
Four to six finalists will be chosen and their stories read dramatically by celebrity guests in a special performance at LitFest Pasadena on Saturday, May 19, 2018 followed by an awards presentation.
First, second, and third place winners will be chosen from the finalists. Special prizes will also be presented by partnering organizations.
First Place: $500 USD
Second Place: $250 USD
Third Place: $100 USD
Special Prize — The “Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award” presented by Artemis Journal and the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Hollywood NOW): Special publication in Artemis Journal and on the Hollywood NOW site and $100 USD.
[The “Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award”] recognizes a science fiction story that embraces feminist themes and has a strong female protagonist. Top entries will exemplify excellence in feminist storytelling, while capturing the complexities of their characters.
Applicants who wish to be considered for the Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award must indicate this on their cover page / their submission email. Stories submitted for this award will be considered for other prizes if they are not a Women Hold Up Half the Sky winner. Stories are eligible for only one prize.
Contest entries must be original short science fiction stories, not fan fiction, of 1,500 words or less.
Sci-Fest L.A. and Light Bringer Project seek to nurture imagination, creativity and excellence in writing amongst Los Angeles high school students. Science fiction writing provides a unique opportunity for students to develop the ideas and narratives that will shape the future of humanity from how we address pressing scientific, social, philosophical, and environmental issues to inspiring us to develop new technologies and explore outer space. We are seeking narratives that are imaginative, original, thoughtful, well told, and well written.
Five finalists’ stories will be dramatically read on stage by sci-fi celebrities during LitFest Pasadena on Sunday, May 20, 2018, followed by an awards presentation.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive $250, with second and third place winners each receiving $150 and $100, respectively.
The Tomorrow Prize for short science fiction was created by Sci-Fest LA in 2014 “to identify and encourage the next generation of science fiction writing talent.”
Entrants may also choose to be considered for the “Green Feather Award” presented by Los Angeles Audobon.
[The “Green Feather”] award recognizes an outstanding science fiction short story by a teen author [or team of authors] that centers on overcoming today’s environmental challenges. Strong entries will highlight the importance of ecology and biodiversity in some way, and we would be especially excited to see the local ecology, geography, culture, and environmental concerns of Southern California emphasized. We also recognize that issues of social and environmental justice strongly overlap with those concerning wildlife conservation, sea level rise, water conservation, climate change, and energy. Keeping that in mind, a story about a single neighborhood or school overcoming an environmental challenge would be just as valid as a story that tackles a much broader scale.
The “Green Feather” winner will receive a $250 cash prize and a one year Los Angeles Audubon membership.
Stories are eligible for only one prize but stories submitted for The Green Feather Award will be considered for other prizes if they are not a Green Feather Award winner.