Campbell Conference
and Awards Ceremony:
"Communication and Information"
July 5-8, 2012

Information Map
2012 Conference
Special Guests for 2012
Schedule of Events
Maps of KU and Lawrence
Reports from Previous Campbell Conferences


Click the image to see a larger image of
the poster, courtesy Marie DeMars.
Click here to open the full-sized (14MB) pdf poster for printing
 - please help us spread the word by printing and sharing!


The 2012 Campbell Conference took place on July 5 - 8 in Lawrence, Kansas. This year we met in The Oread hotel for all our activities - and had a room block there, too - one block from our usual rooms in the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas. Using the theme of "Communication and Information," we explored how changing technologies and the ways we gather and share information is changing science fiction and how we buy, share, and tell the stories that define the genre.

To see photos of the 2012 event, check out Keith Stokes' Midamericon Fan Photo Archive, here.

Joan Slonczewski and James Gunn at the 2012 Awards Banquet
Photo byKeith Stokes.

The Campbell Conference is the concluding event of the Writers Workshop in Science Fiction and the Novel Writers Workshop in Science Fiction, and the kick-off event for the Intensive English Institute on the Teaching of Science Fiction. Held regularly at the University of Kansas since 1973 (except for the special joint event in 2007 with SFRA and the Heinlein Centennial), the Conference provides a setting for presentating science-fiction honors:

This year, activities began on Thursday evening. Friday afternoon saw the annual writing talk with our guest authors and editors, and the Awards Banquet took place on Friday evening. Winners of both awards took home Lucite trophies and have their names engraved on the permanent trophies that remain on display at the Center's office.

The Kansas Union Bookstore also hosts a signing with the attending authors on the Saturday of the Conference, also held in The Oread hotel. See the schedule of events for more details. We usually plan for Conference attendees to be able to get a copy of the Sturgeon Award-winning short story and to be able to purchase the Campbell Award-winning novel at the signing. Stay tuned for updates!

Campbell Conference book signing from 2008
Kij Johnson, James Gunn, Chris McKitterick, and Frederik Pohl.

Special Guests for 2012

In addition to area authors and regular guest authors, the Campbell Conference usually brings to Lawrence the winners of the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award as special guests, as well as others. CSSF Director James Gunn is our permanent special guest.

More of this year's guests will be announced as plans firm.

Robin Wayne Bailey is the author of many novels and short works, including "The Children's Crusade," a 2007 Nebula nominee. He's edited two notable collections, including Architects of Dreams: The SFWA Author Emeritus Anthology. Mr. Bailey is a past president of SFWA and was a key player in the 1996 creation of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame.

M.C. Chambers writes science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Shapers' Veil, was published by Hadley Rille Books. Her short work includes "Silk and Velvet" in the anthology Renaissance Festival Tales and an award-winning science fiction story, "Visual Silence," in the anthology Return to Luna. She has been a member of the Noble Fusion writers group since 1998. She is also a flute player, a mother of five, and a variable print programmer.

Tina Connolly is a native Lawrencian and KU grad who now lives in Portland, Oregon. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Fantasy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the anthology Unplugged: Year's Best Online SF. Her debut fantasy novel Ironskin is forthcoming from Tor Books in October 2012, with a sequel in 2013. She frequently narrates for Podcastle and Pseudopod, runs the flash podcast Toasted Cake, and her website is

Andy Duncan's story "The Pottawatomie Giant" won the World Fantasy Award in 2001, as did his collection Beluthahatchie and Other Stories in the same year. His novella "The Chief Designer" won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 2002. His short-story collection, The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories, is currently available from PS Publishing. Duncan taught Clarion in 2004 and Clarion West in 2005 and was a full-time journalist for 12 years. He is Assistant Professor of English at Frostburg State University, and an instructor in the Honors College of the University of Alabama. Andy is this year's visiting author for the second week of the Science Fiction Writers Workshop.

Sheila Finch is the author of seven science fiction novels and numerous short stories that have appeared in Amazing, Asimovs, Fantasy Book, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and many anthologies. Sheila taught creative writing at El Camino College for thirty years and at workshops around California. She also writes non-fiction about teaching creative writing and science fiction, including a series on the SFWA website. Her work has won several awards, including the Nebula Award for Best Novella, the San Diego Book Award for Juvenile Fiction, and the Compton-Crook Award for Best First Novel.

James Gunn is a science fiction author and historian, KU professor emeritus of English, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and SFWA Grand Master. He is a past president of SFWA and is chair of the Campbell Award jury to select the best science-fiction novel of the year. Dr. Gunn is on the advisory board of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame.

Kij Johnson is a freelance author whose fantasy and SF novels and short stories have been nominated for all the major awards, and her stories have won the Sturgeon Award (where she now serves as juror), World Fantasy Award, Nebula Award three times, and IAFA Award; she is currently a Hugo Award finalist. Kij is Associate Director of the Center, teaches the Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel Writing Workshop, and was recently hired by the University of Kansas English Department as Assistant Professor of Fiction Writing.

Vylar Kaftan writes speculative fiction of all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and slipstream. Shes published stories in places such as Clarkesworld, Realms of Fantasy, and Strange Horizons, and founded a new literary-themed convention called FOGcon. She lives with her husband Shannon in northern California and blogs at Her story Im Alive, I Love You, Ill See You in Reno was nominated for a Nebula Award.

Larry Martin is Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. He was a discoverer of the American Cheetah, Miracinonyx; the sabertoothed cats, Barbourofelis and Xenosmilus; the earliest beaked bird, Confusciusornis; and is a leading authority on saber-toothed carnivores, fossil rodents, birds from the age of dinosaurs, and the fossil history of disease. Larry has once again graciously offered to host one of his regular "Science Fiction Sunday" gatherings at his home for an informal afternoon discussion on the last day of the Campbell Conference.

Christopher McKitterick is an author, editor, and faculty member at the University of Kansas, where he serves as CSSF Director and teaches technical writing, fiction writing, and science fiction. His short fiction, nonfiction, and essays have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, and his debut novel, Transcendence, was released in 2010. Chris teaches the Science Fiction Writers Workshop.

Eric T. Reynolds is the publisher/editor of Hadley Rille Books and writes about science, space, and archaeology. Eric is a member of SFWA and Broad Universe and a graduate of the Science Fiction Writers Workshop.

Joan Slonczewski is a Professor of Biology at Kenyon College and author of many science fiction novels and short stories. Her novel, A Door into Ocean, won the Campbell Award in 1986, and her current novel, The Highest Frontier, has won this year's Campbell - only the second time in Award history that an author has won twice (after Frederik Pohl). Dr. Slonczewski lives in Ohio.

Sheila Williams has been the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine since 2004, where her editing has earned five Hugo award nominations and Locus award nominations. She is a prolific editor of anthologies, both fiction and nonfiction, and writes regular essays and editorial pieces. Williams also co-founded the Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. She will accept this year's Sturgeon Award for best short SF on behalf of Paul McAuley.

Keep your eye out for talks and readings by and about these special guests! We will continue to update the guest list until shortly before the Conference begins.

Campbell Award winners and Hall of Fame inductees
Special Guests from 2004
George Zebrowski (Campbell Award 1999 winner and Sturgeon Award juror), Frederik Pohl (the only two-time Campbell winner, 1978 and 1985), Gregory Benford (Campbell 1981), Jack McDevitt (Campbell 2004), Brian Aldiss (1983 Campbell winner, SF&F Hall of Fame inductee, and First Fandom Hall of Fame inductee), and Hall of Fame inductee Harry Harrison. Aldiss and Harrison created the Campbell Award in 1972. Photo courtesy Karen Gunn.

Schedule of Events

Though we might hold related events as early as Thursday this year, the Conference really kicks off with an informal discussion about SF and writing on Friday afternoon as part of the Writing Workshops (all attendees are invited to join). After a break, we hold the Awards Banquet on Friday evening. Saturday morning is devoted to a round-table discussion on our theme, followed by a book-signing event, afternoon readings and presentations, and an evening reception. Sunday events include a morning discussion with the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award winners, plus an informal get-together hosted by our local paleontologist, Larry Martin, in the afternoon.

Friday, July 6

  • 1:00pm: "The Secrets of Successful Science Fiction" chat with our attending guest authors during the Workshop.
    : Krehbiel Scholarship Hall 1st Floor Lobby (1301 Ohio St - link here) near the KU campus. Though this is of special interest to our Workshop attendees, all Campbell Conference registrants are welcome to join.
  • 6:00pm - 9:00pm: Awards Ceremony and Banquet for the John Campbell Award for best SF novel of the year and the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short SF of the year. The Banquet costs extra, but all Conference attendees are invited to attend the Awards Ceremony (starts at about 7:00pm) that follows the meal. You must contact Lydia Ash in advance so we can arrange for seating.
    : TBA in The Oread hotel. Valet parking in The Oread's garage; parking is free on the hill as marked.
  • Evening: Reception immediately following Awards Ceremony.
    Location: TBA at Awards Ceremony.

Campbell Award, Sturgeon Award, and SFRA Pilgrim Award were given jointly during the 2007 Heinlein Centennial Gala
Campbell Award, Sturgeon Award, and SFRA Pilgrim Award together in 2007
Photo courtesy Keith Stokes

Saturday, July 7

  • 9:00am – noon: Round-table discussion.
    : TBA in The Oread hotel near the KU campus.
     This year's topic: "Communication and Information." Valet parking in The Oread's garage; parking is free on the hill as marked.

  • Noon – 12:45pm: Break for lunch. The Oread contains several eating establishments. If you wish to dine downtown, click here for a good list of Lawrence restaurants.
  • 12:45pm – 1:30pm: Autograph session with attending authors and editors.
    : The Oread Lobby; you can purchase books in the adjacent bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.

  • 1:45pm – 4:30pm: Curated readings by Kij Johnson: classic short fiction by attending authors and nonfiction by scholars from the new James Gunn Ad Astra journal.
    : TBA in The Oread hotel. Scheduled readers TBA.

  • 7:00pm: Informal reception begins after a break for dinner.
    Location: Check your packet.


Click the image to see a larger version
of the signing poster, courtesy Marie DeMars.
Click here to open the full-sized (9MB) pdf poster for printing
 - please help us spread the word by printing and sharing!

Sunday, July 8

  • 9:00am – 11:00am: "Meet the authors and editors" informal talk with our attending guests and award-winning authors. Some pastries and beverages provided.
    Location: TBA in The Oread hotel.

  • Noon - late afternoon: Larry Martin hosts one of his regular "Science Fiction Sunday" events and has invited all Campbell Conference attendees to gather at his home to continue the conversation.
    Location: Larry Martin's home (address in your membership packet).

Campbell Conference round-table discussion group from 2007 at the Heinlein Centennial Gala
Campbell Conference round-table discussion, 2007
Photo courtesy Keith Stokes

Housing for the 2012 Campbell Conference

Our official housing for 2012 is in the lovely new Oread Hotel, where all this year's activities will take place, as well. It is only one block north of our usual Saturday space in the Kansas Union. Contact them directly to reserve a room, and be sure to mention the CSSF Campbell Conference for a special event discount rate. Information:

To reserve a room within our discounted room-block, call the hotel's reservations department:

(785)843-1200 or toll-free at (877)263-6347.

Reservations are open Monday - Friday, 8:30am-6:00pm (Central time); Saturday 10:00am - 3:00pm; and Sunday 10:00am - 3:00pm. Please refer to the Campbell Conference.


Here's a cropped map of the University of Kansas (click the image to see it in full-screen size):
 click for larger map

Here's a map showing where KU is located in Eastern Kansas:

University of Kansas map (in .pdf format):

Kansas Union map (in .pdf format):

Lawrence map (a bus-route map, but very useful, in .pdf format): 

Google Maps (just input where you wish to go and it will provide the maps).

Lawrence in the Summer

For anyone who hasn't visited, Lawrence is wonderful, a lively small city in the Kaw River valley, filled with art, events, and activities. The location of the University of Kansas, Lawrence is situated about 40 miles from Kansas City and 20 miles from Topeka. Summers can be hot, but classrooms and housing are air-conditioned.

Among its many amenities, the University of Kansas has a large science-fiction collection and excellent reference collections, including the newly acquired Sturgeon papers; museums of natural history and art; and sports, theater, and concerts. Lawrence has excellent restaurants and shopping and recreational opportunities. Kansas City is less than an hour away.

The nearest major airport is Kansas City International, about 55 miles from Lawrence. Transportation to Lawrence from Kansas City International can be arranged through one of several airport shuttle services. By car, Lawrence is at the intersection of U.S. 59 and I-70 (Kansas Turnpike). The west interchange is closer to the campus. Lawrence can also be reached by Kansas Highway 10.

Find out all about Lawrence - its history, stores, museums, observatories, and SFnal activities - here.

Contact us for any logistical help you might need in getting settled for your stay.

Reports About Past Conferences

Click the links below to see reports about previous Campbell Conferences.

2011 Campbell Conference report

2010 Campbell Conference report

2009 Campbell Conference report

2008 Campbell Conference report

2007 Campbell Conference report

2006 Campbell Conference report

2005 Campbell Conference report

2004 Campbell Conference report

2003 Campbell Conference report

2002 Campbell Conference report

poster for the 2008 book signing event
2008 Campbell Conference reading & signing poster

Photos from Past Conferences

Click the links below to see Keith Stokes' MidAmerican Fan photo-archives of previous years' activities.

2012 Campbell Conference photos

2011 Campbell Conference photos

2010 Campbell Conference photos

2009 Campbell Conference photos

2008 Campbell Conference photos (by Ed Carmien)

2007 Campbell Conference photos

2006 Campbell Conference photos

2006 Campbell Conference photos (by Tracy Majkol)

2005 Campbell Conference photos

2004 Campbell Conference photos

2003 Campbell Conference photos

2002 Campbell Conference photos

2001 Campbell Conference photos

2000 Campbell Conference photos

1998 Campbell Conference photos

1997 Campbell Conference photos

1996 Campbell Conference photos

Giselle Anatol and other SFRA speakers at the 2008 Campbell Conference
Giselle Anatol and other SFRA speakers at the 2008 Campbell Conference.

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