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.
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
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
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
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:
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.
James Gunn is a science
fiction author and historian, KU professor emeritus of English, Founding
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.
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
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
& 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.
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.
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
and Kings & Assassins.
Under the name Lyn Benedict, she writes the urban fantasy series
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.
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,
Battle for Bunker Hill, Ninth Street,
Destination: Planet Negro! and
television, Willmott co-wrote with Mitch Brian House Of Getty and
'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 AwardandSturgeon 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
Special Guests from 2004 George Zebrowski (Campbell Award
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
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.
Humans-in-space inspiration: Canadian astronaut
Hadfield sings and plays guitar in his revised version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity"
aboard the International Space Station. This is the first song ever recorded in
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!
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.
Location: 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance so we can
make sure to arrange for seating!
Location: 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 together in 2007 Photo courtesy
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
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.
Location: 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.
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
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
Campbell Conference round-table discussion, 2007 Photo courtesy
Registration and Costs
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
Saturday night reception
Sunday morning talk with guests
Sunday afternoon gathering
Early bird registration cost: $40 (until June 1);
convention attendees also get a special membership rate of $35 at
Registration June 2 and later or at
Meal during Friday evening Awards Ceremony
Soft drinks and iced tea
Register early to ensure that
we can accommodate you for
To attend the Awards Ceremony only (but not dinner),
contact Lydia Ash (email@example.com) in advance to ensure seating.
All above events
Meal during Friday evening Awards Ceremony
Soft drinks and iced tea
Registration with dinner: $65 - $70
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
(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
Here's a map showing where KU is located in Eastern Kansas:
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.