Campbell Conference and Awards 2016
"Tomorrow Is Now"
Academic Track for MidAmeriCon II:
The 74th WorldCon

August 17-21, 2016
Kansas City, Missouri

Connect with SF authors, scholars, editors, and fans while celebrating the best SF of the year. Since 1974.
This year, we combine forces with the biggest SF event in the world,
the annual World Science Fiction Convention! Since 1939.

 Scholar-Mentor Program

About the Conference
Special Guests for 2016
Schedule of Events
Reports from Prior Conferences

         Updated August 9, 2016

Thanks to everyone who attended last year - we had a great time and made lots of connections.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards. Ad Astra!

The 2016 Campbell Conference was proud to serve as the academic-programming track for MidAmeriCon II: The 74th World Science Fiction Convention on August 17-21, 2016, in Kansas City, Missouri. All Conference activities took place at the MidAmeriCon facilities.

* Full academic-track program schedule here (.pdf) *

Even though WorldCon is the biggest annual gathering of SF fans and professionals in the world, it does not always offer academic programming. This year, Gunn Center Director Chris McKitterick was asked to put together an academic programming track on behalf of the Center. So, rather than host a separate Campbell Conference with WorldCon just a month later in neighboring Kansas City - forcing out-of-town guests to choose one or the other - we decided to combine the two. The working committee of SF scholars put out a call for presentations, and have a fantastic line-up of presentations that will take place almost entirely in a single room from Wednesday through Sunday. Huge thanks especially go out to co-Chairs Amanda Hemmingsen and Michael Page - we couldn't have done this without you!

Our regular attendees and award winners gain the opportunity to be part of the biggest SF event of the year while still celebrating the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award, and participating in our traditional Saturday morning round-table discussion. And WorldCon attendees gain a taste of the Campbell Conference.

Using MidAmeriCon's theme of "Tomorrow Is Now," we'll discuss the current state and future of science fiction. See the Call for Presentations for details.

In addition to a running track of presentations, we also plan to hold our usual round-table discussion. We're also looking to match up professionals and academics with student attendees - stay tuned for more. And of course we'll celebrate the winners of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel (see the finalists here) and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short SF (see the finalists here), and host a reception for our winning Guests of Honor (if they are able to attend).

  Campbell Conference 2016:
  MidAmeriCon II Academic Track

This year's academic-track panels, presentations, and round-table programming for MidAmeriCon II is hosted by the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and serves as this year's Campbell Conference (normally held each June in Lawrence, KS).

* Full academic-track program schedule here (.pdf) *

MidAmeriCon II's theme is "Tomorrow Is Now." Its look and feel is based on that of the 1939 World's Fair, whose theme was "World of Tomorrow," not only exploring what tomorrow would be like but also celebrating how far we have come.

Looking to attend the event? Here's the page with the list of presentations. We'll post the full academic-program schedule here as things firm up. Feel free to attend one or all of the 30+ presentations, Awards Ceremony, and open discussion.

About the Conference

Normally held annually at the University of Kansas (except for the special joint event in 2007 with SFRA and the Heinlein Centennial, and the 2016 ), the Conference provides a setting for intelligent discussion about SF centered around the presentation of these science-fiction honors:

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

This year's Conference begins when MidAmeriCon opens its doors. Planning is in the early stages, so check back for more details.

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

Speakers and Special Guests for 2016

Because of our combined event this year, the Campbell Conference not only plans to invite the winners of the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award as Guests of Honor, but attendees will also have the opportunity to meet and hear from the thousands of other MidAmeriCon II authors, editors, and fans! Visit the MidAmeriCon II website for details.

MidAmeriCon II Guests of Honor:

MidAmeriCon II Toastmaster:

This year's Campbell Conference guests will be announced as plans firm, but here's who has so far affirmed participation in the Campbell Conference at MidAmeriCon II:

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

Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. She is the John W. Campbell New Writer, Hugo, Locus, and Spectrum Award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and nearly a hundred short stories, including her 2008 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winning story, "Tideline." Bear now serves on the Sturgeon Award jury. Her work has been nominated numerous times for these and other awards. Bear's hobbies include rock climbing and cooking. Bear lives in Massachusetts, but may frequently be found in Wisconsin, the home of her partner, fantasist Scott Lynch.


Gregory Benford is the author of more than twenty novels, including Jupiter Project, Artifact, Against Infinity, Eater, and Timescape. A two-time winner of the Nebula Award, Benford also won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for which he now serves as a juror), the Australian Ditmar Award, the 1995 Lord Foundation Award for achievement in the sciences, and the 1990 United Nations Medal in Literature.

Sheila Finch is the author of seven science fiction novels and numerous short stories that have appeared in Amazing, Asimov's, 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. She also serves on the John W. Campbell Memorial Award jury.

Joe Haldeman has won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards multiple times, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Forever Peace, The World Fantasy Award, The James Tiptree Award, and was honored as Damon Knight Grand Master.

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 served on the advisory board of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame for a number of years. See his page on this website for his bibliography and a fuller bio.

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

Kij Johnson's fantasy and SF novels and short stories have won the Sturgeon Award (which 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, where she is Assistant Professor of Fiction Writing in the University of Kansas English Department.

John Kessel is the author of the novels Good News from Outer Space (which placed for the 1990 John W. Campbell Memorial Award), and Corrupting Dr. Nice, and, in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. Kessel's stories have received the Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, the Locus Poll, and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. His play "Faustfeathers" won the Paul Green Playwright's Prize, and his story "A Clean Escape" was dramatized as the first episode of the ABC TV series Masters of Science Fiction. In 2009 his story "Pride and Prometheus" received both the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. With Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short SF, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology, as well as Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, The Secret History of Science Fiction, and Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology.

Christopher McKitterick is an author, editor, and faculty at the University of Kansas, where he teaches fiction writing, creative writing, and science fiction; he is the Center's Director, 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 Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop and Intensive Institute on the Study of SF, as well as a number of other regular-semester writing and SF courses.

Michael Page co-Chairs Academic Programming for the 2016 Campbell Conference at WorldCon in Kansas City, and a Research Fellow working with the Center. Mike teaches science fiction and holds an administrative position in the English Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His book, Frederik Pohl, was released from the University of Illinois Press in the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series. 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. Mike is just completing the first critical study of James Gunn.

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," won the 2014 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award,, and "Our Lady of the Open Road" won the 2016 Nebula for Best Novelette. 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.

Robert Silverberg is a prolific science fiction and fantasy author and editor. He has won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards multiple times, and was honored as Damon Knight Grand Master.

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.

Schedule of Events

* Full academic-track program schedule here (.pdf) *

Stay tuned: This is a working draft of the schedule, which will grow as we confirm presentations and special guests, and as as we add other events of interest to SF scholars and educators.

Here's the page that will eventually have the list of presentations after we've sorted through the proposals.

For details about the full MidAmeriCon II programming schedule, visit this page.

Registration and Costs

Because this year is a joint event with MidAmeriCon II, simply register for that event and you'll have full access to all WorldCon and Campbell Conference activities, including the Campbell and Sturgeon Awards Ceremony. Stay tuned for more information as WorldCon plans firm up.

For those who intend to only participate in the academic track, we are looking into alternative registrations.

For Campbell Conference questions not related to the Call for Presentations, contact us.

Housing for the 2016 Campbell Conference
at MidAmeriCon II

This year's joint event with MidAmeriCon II means we'll share convention-hotel space with other WorldCon attendees. Reserve your room beginning in January, 2016, to ensure you have a convenient space to stay during the big event! Full details and registration links here.



Drop us a line: or

This year's Campbell Conference at WorldCon is headed up by Amanda Hemmingsen, Chris McKitterick, and Michael Page, with a number of other committee members helping make everything happen.

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

Transportation from MCI Airport
to MidAmeriCon II

This year's Conference takes place in Kansas City, Missouri. This lovely metropolis is centrally located in the US, which means you can easily get there by plane, train, or automobile; its central location is especially convenient for within driving distance. The Kansas City International airport (MCI) is only a 20-minute drive from the convention center and hotels. The train station is only 1.5 miles away. Come on by and enjoy what Kansas City has to offer!

Many transport services offer rides from the Kansas City International (MCI - the "M" is for "Mid-Continent") airport.


  • Reserve well in advance of your trip to confirm pricing and availability.
  • KCI stands for "Kansas City International Airport," though the official airport code changed to MCI - "Mid-Continent International Airport" - a few years ago.
  • This list is for your information only. KU and the Gunn Center are not affiliated with these services.

Past Conferences

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

2015 Campbell Conference

2014 Campbell Conference

2013 Campbell Conference

2012 Campbell Conference

2011 Campbell Conference

2010 Campbell Conference

2009 Campbell Conference

2008 Campbell Conference

2007 Campbell Conference

2006 Campbell Conference

2005 Campbell Conference

2004 Campbell Conference

2003 Campbell Conference

2002 Campbell Conference

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.

2015 Campbell Conference

2014 Campbell Conference

2013 Campbell Conference

2012 Campbell Conference

2011 Campbell Conference

2010 Campbell Conference

2009 Campbell Conference

2008 Campbell Conference (by Ed Carmien)

2007 Campbell Conference

2006 Campbell Conference

2006 Campbell Conference (by Tracy Majkol)

2005 Campbell Conference

2004 Campbell Conference

2003 Campbell Conference

2002 Campbell Conference

2001 Campbell Conference

2000 Campbell Conference

1998 Campbell Conference

1997 Campbell Conference

1996 Campbell Conference

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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