Rory August’s The Last Gifts of the Universe is the winner of the second Self-Published Science Fiction Competition.
The Self-Published Science Fiction Competition, created by Hugh Howey and Duncan Swan, is modeled after Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, and has his blessing. The contest started with 300 novels and ten teams of book bloggers who read and scored the books through several elimination rounds.
In the final round the top seven books were read by all the judges. The teams’ scores for each finalist and links to their reviews are posted on the SPSFC website.
The Tar Vol On review concisely sums up the winning story:
The Last Gifts of the Universe stars two siblings working for a non-profit that sends them to the stars, searching for records from dead civilizations, hoping to find some clue as to the nature of the disaster that has destroyed every known non-human society. In addition to the isolation of [Scout] traveling through space with just one human companion (there’s also a cat [Pumpkin]), the lead is still working through their grief over the death of their mother. And as if the psychological difficulties weren’t enough, there’s a much less ethical and better-funded group also tracking down dead civilizations in hopes of monopolizing alien technologies.
Rory August tweeted this acceptance: “I am so grateful and so happy to see that Last Gifts resonated with so many readers and judges. I’m so proud of Scout and Pumpkin!”