Campbell Conference and Awards 2014:
"Science Fiction and the Real World" and
"Appreciating Frederik Pohl"
June 13-15, 2014

Connect with other SF authors, scholars, editors, and fans while celebrating the best SF of the year.
In an intimate setting, discuss topics relevant to the human condition and the science-fiction field.
Since 1979.

Special Guests for 2014
   Inspirations for discussion
Schedule of Events
Maps of KU and Lawrence
Reports from Prior Conferences

         Updated June 2, 2014

Thanks to everyone who attended - we had a great time! And congratulations to the winners of the Campbell and Sturgeon Awards. Ad Astra!

This year's Campbell Conference took place on June 13 - 15 in Lawrence, Kansas. We returned to the University of Kansas Student Union for all our activities, including the big signing with the attending authors; it is one block from our room block The Oread hotel (where we held the Conference for the past few years). Using the theme of "Science Fiction and the Real World," we discussed the intersection between futurism, extrapolation, invention, science fiction, and the world we live in - or will soon. This year - in addition to the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award - we also honored Frederik Pohl for his long and distinguished service to the Center, the Sturgeon Award jury, and the field of science fiction in general.

Award winners at the 2009 Campbell Conference Awards Banquet
Cory Doctorow, Ian MacLeod, James Alan Gardner (James Gunn in background). Photo by Keith Stokes.

The Campbell Conference, which has been offered at the University of Kansas in Lawrence since 1978, is the central feature of the summer SF program: It is the concluding event of the Writers Workshop in Science Fiction led by Chris McKitterick and the Novel Writers Workshop in Science Fiction led by Kij Johnson, the multiple-award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy and an assistant professor in the University's MFA writing program. And it is the kick-off event for the Intensive 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 presenting science-fiction honors:

The Conference unofficially begins on Friday afternoon with an informal discussion about SF and writing as the concluding event of the Writing Workshops. After a break, the real Conference kickoff event is the Awards Banquet on Friday evening, followed by a reception to congratulate the winners. Saturday morning is devoted to a round-table discussion on our theme, followed by a group book-signing event, usually afternoon readings or presentations or other events, and an evening reception to gather and talk more intimately about what was said (or left unsaid) in the large groups. Sunday events begin with a morning discussion between the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award winners and the other attendees, plus we often wrap up with an informal afternoon get-together. Last year, Ruth Lichtwardt and KaCSFFS graciously hosted the event, and in recent years, KU Paleontologist Larry Martin with his regular "Science Fiction Sunday" gatherings at his home on the last day of the Campbell Conference.

We invite winners of the Campbell and Sturgeon awards (and often their editors) to the event, where they are Guests of Honor and get trophies to take home (they also have their names engraved on the permanent trophies that remain on display at the Center's office).

Planning is in the early stages, so check back soon for more details. See the schedule of events for updates!

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


Special Guests for 2014

In addition to area authors and other guest authors and editors, the Campbell Conference usually brings to Lawrence the winners of the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award as Guests of Honor. CSSF Director James Gunn is our permanent Special Guest. During the autograph session on Saturday, the bookstore will have available many works from these fine folks for you to purchase and get signed. This year's guests will be announced as plans firm, but here's what we have so far:

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.

Andy Duncan's novelette "Close Encounters" won the Nebula Award. His 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. (Note: Andy needs to leave after Friday's activities, so if you want a book or signature, get it early!)

Tessa Gratton writes speculative YA fiction since she couldn't find any wizards to teach her how to use magic and there isn't a market for dinosaur handlers these days. Her debut novel Blood Magic, its sequel The Blood Keeper, and The Lost Sun: United States of Asgard all came out from Random House Children's Books. You can find her online at or on her short story blog,

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 both SFRA and SFWA, and chairs 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.

Elizabeth Anne Hull is an SF author, editor, politician, past president of the Science Fiction Research Association, and noted scholar in the field. Her most recent project was editing the anthology Gateways, an expression of respect and affection from 17 of Frederik Pohl's peers. Hull is a Professor Emerita of William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.

Matthew Jacobson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of Kansas, where he teaches film and media production. Matt is also a cinematographer, producer, and director, with over 40 feature film and video credits to his name. As Director of Photography, Matt has taken three feature films to the Sundance Film Festival - a rare achievement for most working filmmakers, much less those who teach full-time. Matt's latest projects are two new feature films with creative partner and fellow KU professor Kevin Willmott; Destination: Planet Negro! (a science fiction comedy satire), and Jayhawkers, about legendary coach Forrest C. "Phog" Allen and his most famous recruit at KU, Wilt Chamberlain. Both are tentatively scheduled for release in 2014.

Kij Johnson's fantasy and SF novels and short stories have won the Sturgeon Award (where she now serves as juror), World Fantasy Award (which she also serves as juror), Nebula Award (three times), IAFA Crawford Award, and Hugo Award. Kij is Associate Director of the Center, teaches the Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel Writing Workshop, as well as a number of other regular-semester writing and fantasy-related courses at KU, and is Assistant Professor of Fiction Writing in the University of Kansas English Department.

Christopher McKitterick is an author, editor, and faculty member at the University of Kansas, where he serves as CSSF Director and teaches fiction writing, creative writing, and science fiction, and serves on the Campbell Memorial Award jury. His short fiction, nonfiction, and essays have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, and his debut novel, Transcendence, was published by Hadley Rille Books. Chris teaches the CSSF Speculative Fiction Writers Workshop and Intensive Institute on the Study of SF, as well as a number of other regular-semester writing and SF courses at KU.

Sarah Pinsker's fiction has appeared in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and in anthologies including Long Hidden, Fierce Family, and the Future Embodied, among other places. Her novelette, "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind," was nominated for the Nebula Award in 2013. She is an incoming member of SFWA's Board of Directors, and a member of Broad Universe and Codex. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels and a fourth forthcoming. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mike Page teaches science fiction and other English courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He's the editor of a collection of stories, The Man with the Strange Head, by Miles J. Breuer, an early science fiction pioneer. His critical study The Literary Imagination from Erasmus Darwin to H.G. Wells: Science, Evolution, and Ecology, explores the intersections between literature and science in the nineteenth century. His latest essay on Golden Age science fiction and ecology appears in Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, edited by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson. He is currently completing a book on Frederik Pohl for the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series from the University of Illinois Press.

Eric T. Reynolds is the publisher and 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 Speculative Fiction Writers Workshop. (Note: Eric's travel status is uncertain at the moment - will update when we know more.)

Lane Robins was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of two scientists, and grew up as the first human member of their menagerie. She attended the Odyssey workshop, the Center for the Study of Science Fiction novel and short story workshops, and received a BA in Creative Writing from Beloit College. She is the author of Maledicte and Kings & Assassins. Under the name Lyn Benedict, she writes the urban fantasy series beginning with Sins & Shadows. In 2015, her (still untitled) romantic mystery will be published by Blind Eye Books. Her short fiction has been published recently in Strange Horizons, Penumbra, and is forthcoming in Nightmare Magazine. Robins currently resides in Lawrence, KS, but lives in worlds full of cannibal fairies, modern knights, and little girls who can turn their pigtails into snakes.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children's speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince, received honorable mention on Barnes & Noble's Year's Best SF of 2011, and was followed by two sequels, The Returning and The Exodus. His children's books include 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Jokes For Kids, and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter - Land Of Legends. Schmidt has edited the anthologies Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6, Beyond The Sun, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age, and, with Jennifer Brozek, Shattered Shields. Schmidt hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer's Chat) on Twitter.

Jeremiah Tolbert is is a freelance web designer/​developer operating as Clockpunk Studios, a writer of science fiction and fantasy short fiction, and a nature photographer. He is also human, male, in his mid-30s, married, with two cats. He was born in Kansas, and now resides there once again, after detours to Iowa, Kenya, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Kevin Willmott wrote and directed the critically acclaimed film CSA: The Confederate States Of America, about an America where the South won the Civil War. His other feature films include The Only Good Indian, The Battle for Bunker Hill, Ninth Street, Destination: Planet Negro! and Jayhawkers. For television, Willmott co-wrote with Mitch Brian House Of Getty and The '70s, both mini-series for NBC. In 2005, he produced High-Tech Lincoln, a special which premiered on The History Channel. As a screenwriter, Willmott co-wrote Shields Green And The Gospel Of John Brown, Civilized Tribes, and Little Brown Brothers, about the Philippine Insurrection and to adapt the book Marching To Valhalla by Michael Blake. Willmott adapted The Watsons Go To Birmingham for CBS, and directed a stage version of The Watsons Go To Birmingham in New York and at Kansas City's Coterie Theater. The play T-Money And Wolf, written with Ric Averill, was produced by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Willmott directed the premiere performances of Now Let Me Fly, a new play by Marcia Cebulska commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

The Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award winners are always invited to be present to receive their awards, and their editors often attend, as well.

More guests TBA!

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.

Inspirations for this year's discussion

This year's topic is "Science Fiction and the Real World," and we'll also be honoring long-time friend of the Center, Frederik Pohl during the discussion as well as with presentations on Saturday afternoon. Some materials to get you thinking:

In Memoriam: Frederik Pohl 1919 - 2013

Frederik Pohl authored nearly 50 novels, dozens of short stories, and several nonfiction books, and has edited a number of anthologies and magazines, perhaps most notably Galaxy. Fred won the Hugo and Nebula Awards multiple times, as well as the Campbell Award (and until recently, he was the only two-time Campbell winner, 1978 and 1985). Here's a short biography on his website.

Starting in 1995, when the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award became a juried award, Fred served first with James Gunn and Judith Merril, and since then with several other distinguished jurors until retiring in 2013. Fred was associated with Gunn since the 1940s, eventually becoming involved with what later became the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Here he presented many talks, recorded a discussion about "The Ideas in Science Fiction" in 1973 Literature of Science Fiction lecture series, served the Intensive Institute on Science Fiction and Science Fiction Writing Workshop, and lent his understanding to the Center in countless other ways. We cannot begin to express how much we will miss his help, insight, and friendship.

Right up until his death, Fred continued expanding the time-scope of The Way the Future Was: A Memoir, published serially along with other thoughts a blog at The Way the Future Blogs, which earned him a Hugo Award - for fan writing! The book and his recent additions are a moving, insightful, and revelatory look at the cultural history of SF. Check out the Center's memorial on the news page for more, including some readings by Fred.

SF and the Real World

Here are a few suggested readings to get you thinking about this year's Saturday-morning discussion - more to come!

Schedule of Events

Stay tuned: This is a working draft of the schedule, which will likely grow as new special guests confirm and as we add other events of interest to SF scholars and educators. Your packet will have all the up-to-date info!

Quick overview:

Friday, June 13

  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm: "Secrets of Successful Speculative Fiction" discussion with our attending guest authors as the concluding event of the Workshops. This is of special interest to our workshop attendees, though all Campbell Conference registrants with writing aspirations are welcome to join.
    : Rieger Scholarship Hall 1st floor lobby or dining area, 1323 Ohio Street - plan to arrive between 1:30pm and 2:00pm! Street parking is free, but is likely to fill up fast, so give yourself a few minutes extra.
  • 6:00pm - 9:00pm: Awards Ceremony and Banquet celebrating the John Campbell Award for best SF novel of the year, as well as the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short SF of the year. Eating during the Banquet costs extra, but all Conference attendees are invited to attend. The Awards Ceremony (starts at about 7:00pm) follows the meal. Even if you do not intend to eat dinner, you must contact Lydia Ash ( in advance so we can make sure to arrange for seating!
    : Kansas Room, Level 6, Kansas Union; parking is free on the street and hill as marked, or at cost in the adjacent garage.
  • Evening: Reception immediately following Awards Ceremony to congratulate the winners and rub elbows with other attendees and guests. Wine and beer provided.
    Location: Watkins Room, Level 6, Kansas Union.

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, June 14

  • 9:00am – noon: Round-table discussion. This year's topic: "Science Fiction and the Real World," with a special focus on the work and life of Frederik Pohl.
    Location: Kansas Room, Level 6, Kansas Union; parking is free on the street and hill as marked, or at cost in the adjacent garage.
  • Noon – 12:45pm: Break for lunch. The Kansas Union plans to open some of their small restaurants just for us! Several other eating establishments are nearby; if you wish to dine at the Oread a block away or downtown, click here to see a good list of Lawrence restaurants.
  • 12:45pm – 1:30pm: Group autograph session with attending authors and editors.
    : Jayhawk Ink Book Store, Level 2, Kansas Union.
    You can purchase current, recent, and even some rare books by the authors in the bookstore, as the buyers make sure we're well supplied for the autograph session! 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. This event is free and open to the public.

  • 1:45pm – 4:30pm: Readings, presentations, and discussion about the life and career of Frederik Pohl. Presenters include: James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Kij Johnson, Chris McKitterick, and Mike Page.
    Reading by Sarah Pinsker.
    Location: Kansas Room, Level 6, Kansas Union; parking is free on the street and hill as marked, or at cost in the adjacent garage.

  • 4:30pm – 6:30pm: Break for dinner.

  • 7:30pm – 9:30pm: Special screening of the film CSA: The Confederate States of America, followed by a discussion with writer and director Kevin Willmott and cinematographer Matthew Jacobson.
    Location: Oldfather Studios, 1621 W. 9th Street - details in your membership packet.

  • 9:00pm: For those still up for more, an informal evening gathering in downtown Lawrence to talk more intimately about what was said (or left unsaid) in the day's discussion, and spend some small-group time with our special guests.
    Location: Wherever you prefer!

Sunday, June 15

  • 10:00am – noon: Sunday events begin with a morning "Meet the authors and editors" discussion between the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award winners and the other attendees. Some pastries and beverages provided.
    Location: Kansas Room, Level 6, Kansas Union; parking is free on the street and hill as marked, or at cost in the adjacent garage.

  • Noon – 12:45pm: Break for lunch. Click here to see a good list of Lawrence restaurants.

  • 1:30pm - late afternoon: "Science Fiction Sunday." Continuing the tradition begun by Larry Martin, we gather after lunch for an informal afternoon salon of intelligent conversation and great company at his lovely family home, co-hosted by Jean Martin and Amanda Martin-Harmon.
    Location: (information 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

Registration and Costs




Campbell Conference

  • Friday events
  • Friday night reception
  • Awards ceremony (no dinner) on Friday.
    Note: You must let us know that you will
    attend, or we cannot provide seating.
  • Book signing on Saturday
  • Readings
  • Saturday night reception
  • Sunday morning talk with guests
  • Sunday afternoon gathering

Early bird registration cost: $40 (until June 1);
ConQuest convention attendees also get a special membership rate of $35 at ConQuest.

Registration June 2 and later or at door: $45

Awards Banquet only

  • Meal during Friday evening Awards Ceremony
  • Soft drinks and iced tea

Registration*: $25

*Note: Register early to ensure that we can accommodate you for dinner. To attend the Awards Ceremony only (but not dinner),
please contact Lydia Ash ( in advance to ensure seating.

Campbell Conference

Awards Banquet

  • All above events
  • Meal during Friday evening Awards Ceremony
  • Soft drinks and iced tea

Registration with dinner: $65 - $70

Free and Public Events

  • Book signing on Saturday
  • Readings on Saturday

(no need to register)

Feel free to drop us an email with any questions: Lydia Ash

Housing for the 2014 Campbell Conference

Our official housing is in the lovely new Oread Hotel, where previous year's activities have taken place. 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 for the best price.

More details as we get them.


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

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

University of Kansas map.

Kansas Union map (in .pdf format).

Lawrence bus routes and maps.

Google Maps centered on the KU Kansas Union.

Unfortunately, this summer KU is enduring lots of road construction. See this map for details (click the image to see image in full-screen):

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.

2013 Campbell Conference report

2012 Campbell Conference report

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.

2013 Campbell Conference photos

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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