CSSF News Archive
The following are announcements and news items from 2011
and before, newest to oldest.
Sheila Williams Article about the Center Appears in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
New York, NY December issue, 2011
For the December issues of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, editor Sheila Williams wrote a lovely article, "Sliding Doors" (click here to read), about her visit to the Campbell Conference in July, 2011, and reminisces about what could have been if she had come to KU to study SF. Thanks, Sheila! Part Two appears next month in the January, 2012, issue.
"The Gothic Imagination" Event Monday, Oct. 31
Kij Johnson Reading and Signing on Oct. 18 at Jayhawk Ink Bookstore
Gunn, Healey, and Sturgeon Discuss Theodore Sturgeon Acquisition on NPR
Lawrence, KS July 26, 2011
CSSF Founding Director James Gunn, KU Special Collections Librarian Elspeth Healey, and Sturgeon Trustee Noel Sturgeon appeared on KCURs Central Standard show tomorrow, Thursday, July 27, from 10:00am to 10:30am to discuss our newly acquired Sturgeon collection. The show aired on 89.3 FM; to listen to the NPR interview with James Gunn, Nol Sturgeon, and Elspeth Healey about the acquisition, see the AboutSF audio archive here.
Theodore Sturgeon Award and John W. Campbell Award Winners Announced
Lawrence, KS July 8, 2011
Irish author Ian McDonalds The Dervish House won the Campbell Award for the best science-fiction novel of the year and Geoffrey A. Landiss The Sultan of the Clouds won the Sturgeon Award for the best short science fiction of the year in a ceremony Friday at the University of Kansas.
The Campbell Award was presented to McDonald by Campbell Award juror Elizabeth Anne Hull. The Sturgeon Award was presented to Landis by Nol Sturgeon, Theodore Sturgeons daughter, trustee of his literary estate, and a member of the Sturgeon Award jury.
McDonald was born in Scotland in 1960 but was moved to Northern Ireland when he was five, and lived through the troubled years. He was turned on to science fiction by childhood television programs and began writing at the age of nine. He sold his first story at twenty-two and became a full-time writer in 1987. Much of his writing has focused on the developing nations of Africa, India, and South America, and one commentator has suggested that his life in Northern Ireland led him to consider that country a developing-world society. The Dervish House is set in Turkey, specifically Istanbul, five years after Turkey has been admitted to the European Union and offers, one reviewer said, a coalescence of order out of interacting possibilities.
Landis came to science fiction through science. He was born in Detroit in 1955 but moved regularly throughout his childhood. He is a NASA scientist with a Ph.D. in physics from Brown University after undergraduate studies at M.I.T. in physics and electrical engineering. He has worked on several space missions, including Mars Pathfinder and the long-lived Mars Exploration Rovers. He began publishing science fiction in 1984 and attended Clarion in 1985, where he met his wife, writer Mary Turzillo. Landis has won two Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award for his short fiction. He is known as a writer of hard science fiction, and The Sultan of the Clouds describes a possible way of living on Venusor, rather, living in floating cities in the upper atmosphere of Venus.
This is McDonald's second trip to the Awards ceremony. His Tendeleos Story won the Sturgeon Award in 2001.
Campbell Award second place went to How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu; Chris McKitterick presented the award. Third place went to The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi; Jen Green presented the award.
Sturgeon Award second place went to "The Maiden Flight of McCauleys Bellerophon," by Elizabeth Hand; Nathaniel Williams presented the award. Third place went to "The Things," by Peter Watts; Benjamin Cartwright presented the award.
The Awards are presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction during the Campbell Conference, a four-day event held annually at the University of Kansas. The Campbell Award is selected, from nominations by publishers, by a jury composed of seven writers and academics. The Sturgeon Award is selected, from nominations by reviewers and editors, by a jury composed of five writers and academics.
Theodore Sturgeon's Papers Donated to the Science Fiction Special
Author Michael Byers discusses his novel, Percival's Planet, which was inspired by the true story of Kansan and noted astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto. Byers talk will be introduced by Steven A. Hawley, KU Professor of Physics and Astronomy and former NASA astronaut.
The Ballroom event will also feature a guided astronomy display including Tombaugh artifacts, presented from 6:30 p.m. by the KU Department of Physics and Astronomy. Following the talk, Michael Byers will sign his books. Click here to read a sample from his book, published in the New York Times.
The event will conclude with a telescope viewing session on the Kansas Union 6th floor deck (weather permitting).
James Gunn gave the 2010 Festival of Ideas keynote talk on Isaac Asimov to help celebrate WVU's recent acquisition of a large collection of Asimov's work.
Now available: full 50-minute video of Gunn's talk.
Tuesday November 9, 2010
6:00pm - 9:00pm
KU student union, Alderson Auditorium
Charles Beaumont was a principal writer for the Twilight Zone, mainstay of 1960s TV, wrote for Playboy and Esquire, and began a promising movie career. As the only child of an obsessed mother with an explosive temper, he endured hardships such as being dressed as a girl and seeing his pets tortured. Beaumont was the charismatic nucleus of a group of California writers including Richard Matheson, William F. Nolan, Harlan Ellison, and Ray Bradbury. His intensity and need to confront controversy influenced TV and science fiction; he understood the human condition, living at the edge in everything he did and created. At the height of his career, Beaumont exhibited strange and frightening symptoms: slurred words, balance problems, memory lapses. Was it alcohol abuse? Leftovers from childhood meningitis? Stress? He began to age, looking more like a man of 70 than one in his 30s. Beaumont seemed trapped in one of his own Twilight Zone stories. Whatever the cause, he would not live to see his 39th birthday.
The films "The Intruder" and "Charles Beaumont: The Twilight Zone's Magic Man" are followed by discussion with Jason and Sunni Brock and author William F. Nolan. Reception and autographing follow, and the book "The Bleeding Edge" and DVD will be available for sale in the KU Union Traditions Lounge.
Ticket Cost: Free
Friday November 5, 2010
4:00pm - 5:30pm
KU student union, Jayhawk Ink Bookstore
Local author and CSSF Director Chris McKitterick's debut novel, TRANSCENDENCE, comes out today, and Jayhawk Ink is hosting the release party. McKitterick will read from the book and sign copies, and will host an off-campus reception afterward. If you can't make the event but would like a copy of the novel, publisher Hadley Rille Books is also taking pre-orders at a substantial discount here.
MORGANTOWN, WV - October 26, 2010
James Gunn gave the 2010 Festival of Ideas keynote talk on Isaac Asimov to help celebrate WVU's recent acquisition of a large collection of Asimov's work.
Read WVU's Daily Athenaeum story on the event here.
Click here to see the full 50-minute video of Gunn's talk.
LAWRENCE, KS - August 17, 2010
We are now looking for a new AboutSF Coordinator: Could that be you? Click here to read the job description.
To apply, send us a resume and letter (to Chris McKitterick at email@example.com) describing how you fit our vision and why you're passionate about science fiction. Tell us how you understand the AboutSF mission and how you feel you can extend our reach. Applications must arrive by 4:00pm on Monday, August 30.
LAWRENCE, KS - July 9, 2010
A dystopian novel about a near-future of energy shortages and bioengineering, and a long satirical story that mixes the beginning of nuclear destruction with the tradition of the Japanese monster films have won the 2010 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards to be presented at the University of Kansas on Friday, July 16, as part of the Centers annual Campbell Conference.
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi has won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year. Bacigalupi is no stranger to the awards, his story The Calorie Man having won the Sturgeon Award for the best SF short of the year in 2006. The Windup Girl, like The Calorie Man, is set in a world in which energy shortages have forced a return to mechanical work translated into springs, and genetic manipulation has produced gigantic beasts of labor as well as invisible cats and artificial humans. The Windup Girl has the additional distinctions of having won the Nebula Award and the Compton Crook Award and being nominated for the Hugo Award (winner yet to be announced), and being Bacigalupi's first novel.
Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best SF short story of the year. The story is a satire about a plan to end World War II with the production of gigantic iguanas who breathe fire and the production of a film that features an actor as a Godzilla-like monster in a rubber suit pretending to destroy a miniature Japan in an effort to persuade the Japanese to surrender. Shambling Towards Hiroshima was written by a master satirist who describes himself as a scientific humanist. His best-known novels are his Godhead trilogy composed of Towing Jehovah (1994; Blameless in Abaddon (1996); and The Eternal Footman (1999). His most recent novels are The Last Witchfinder (2006) and The Philosophers Apprentice (2008). Morrows Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge won the Nebula Award for 1988 and his City of Truth, for 1991.
Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson was chosen second by the seven-person jury in the Campbell novel competition. The City & the City by China Mieville was chosen in third place. In the Sturgeon short-story competition, there was a three-way tie for second and third places voted by the five-person jury: Things Undone by John Barnes, This Wind Blowing, and This Tide by Damien Broderick, and As Women Fight by Sara Genge.
Both Bacigalupi and Morrow will attend the Awards dinner. They pair a short-story writer who has won the novel award for his first novel, and a veteran novelist who won the short-story award. Both will participate in the Campbell Conference on July 17-18, and the autographing session and the featured readings of Theodore Sturgeons short stories in Oread Books on July 17.
Click here to see the finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.
Click here to see the finalists for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
The May/June issue is a first-time tribute to science fiction, and the
companion website that contains a lot of exclusive content is also a first for
this award-winning literary magazine.
Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute and author of Confessions of an Alien Hunter [Amazon|Powell's], will discuss the possibility of contact and what it would mean to the world in "The Scientific Search for ET" at 7pm this Sunday, May 9, at Alderson Auditorium in the KU Kansas Union. It's free.
Shostak was on the Cobert Report last week. Check it out!
Also, he and Sara Seager (Associate Professor of Physics at MIT) were on KCUR's (Kansas City's public radio station) "Up to Date" program yesterday; go to the website if you want to listen to the podcast!
LAWRENCE, KS - December 22, 2009
Interested in Earth-like worlds beyond the Solar System? Then listen to Nate (AboutSF Coordinator at KU), Gregory Rudnick (KU Professor of Physics and Astronomy), and Daniel McIntosh (UMKC Professor of Physics) discuss "The Quest for Other Earths" on KCUR's Walt Bodine Show at 10:00am on Wednesday, December 23. Listen live in the Kansas City area on 89.3 FM or go to KCUR.org and click Listen to hear the show later on your computer.
Seattle, WA - December 22, 2009
In 2010, Kij Johnson will become vice chair on the board of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, taking on the role of chair in 2011. Kij attended this six-week workshop for writers of speculative fiction in 1987, and she says, "it changed my writing and my life in wonderful ways, as it has changed - and will change - the work and lives of hundreds of others."
LAWRENCE, KS - November, 2009
Paul Di Filippo and Sheila Finch have accepted appointment to the jury for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best SF novel of the year. In 2009, Paul A. Carter retired from the jury after having bravely served for many years, almost since the Award's inception.
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. A collection of the Lingster stories recently appeared as The Guild of Xenolinguists. 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, most recently, a series of short essays on the field that appear online at 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.
Paul Di Filippo sold his first story in 1977, and his second in 1985. Since then, he has accumulated over 150 periodical credits, and had twenty-five books published. He has two more due out in 2010. He reviews for a number of venues, including The Barnes & Noble Review. He has lived with his partner Deborah Newton for 34 years in Providence, Rhode Island, currently with a calico cat named Penny Century and a chocolate cocker spaniel named Brownie.
The Campbell Award is one of the major annual awards for science fiction. The first Campbell Award was presented at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. Since then the Award has been presented in various parts of the world: at California State University at Fullerton; at St. John's College, Oxford; at the World SF Writers Conference in Dublin; in Stockholm; at the World SF meeting in Dublin again; the University of Kansas; and in a joint event with the Science Fiction Research Association in Kansas City in 2007. The current jury consists of Gregory Benford, Paul Di Filippo, Sheila Finch, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid, Christopher McKitterick, Pamela Sargent, and T.A. Shippey.
SAN JOSE, CA - November 1, 2009
LAWRENCE, KS - September 20, 2009
LAWRENCE, KS - September 14, 2009
A British author of what has been called the New Weird will be the KU English Departments Richard W. Gunn Memorial Lecturer September 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kansas Unions Alderson Auditorium (map .pdf here). China Miéville's novel Perdido Street Station launched a genre that combined urban fantasy with the rigorous background and treatment customarily associated with science fiction.
Update: Miéville also gave a reading of his novel-in-progress and a Q&A with a large audience in the Oread Bookstore on September 23.
The British author of two other novels in the Perdido Street Station universe, The Scar and Iron Council, also published King Rat, Un Dun Lun, and the recent The City & the City. Miéville also is an academic, with a B.A. from Cambridge and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He has been a candidate for the British House of Commons and has published a book on Marxism and international law, as well as co-editing (with Mark Bould) Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction (Early Classics of Science Fiction). His fiction has been nominated for numerous awards and won the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award twice and the Locus Magazine award.
Miéville edited a special issue on Marxism and fantasy for Historical Materialism and a forthcoming special issue on Marxism and science fiction. He will be speaking on "Cognition as Ideology: A Dialectic of SF Theory."
The Gunn Lecture, endowed by Dr. Richard W. Gunn, brother of James Gunn, emeritus professor of English and director of the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, has featured several science-fiction scholars. Although it has also sponsored speakers on Shakespeare and Ralph Ellison, it has brought a distinguished group of science-fiction experts to the campus beginning with scholar Fredric Jameson, William A. Lane Professor at Duke University, and continuing with Bill Brown, Edgar Carson Waller Professor at the University of Chicago. Michael Chabon, a prize-winning science-fiction and mainstream author and editor, presented a Humanities lecture last year.
Click here for more information.
AboutSF's Teaching Speculative Fiction: A Portable Workshop
Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, Montral, Qubec
Thursday, August 6, 2009 at Worldcon - at the Palais des congrs de Montral
Two Tracks of Programming - Presentations in English and French Running Concurrently
Schedule of English-Language Events (Francophone track listed below)
9:00 10:00 - Empower Your Students: Teach Them Science Fiction, Too Keynote
Award-winning science fiction author and science educator, Julie E. Czerneda, begins the educator program with a frank discussion of how the creativity and reasoned speculation of science fiction are essential tools for scientific literacy and full citizenship in the future your students will inherit.
10:00 12:00 Science Fiction and Scientific Literacy mini workshop
Assess scientific literacy (yours and your students) and learn how to put science fiction to work in your science classroom to develop key components in this hands-on workshop with Donna Young, Lead Educator for the NASA Chandra X-Ray Center EPO Office, and award-winning SF and astronomical illustrator, Jean-Pierre Normand. Materials for classroom use will be provided.
hour break to pick up lunch
Les Jardins food court (level 7), with its variety of fast food selections (deli, salad bar, pizza, prepared dishes), offers fast and efficient service at affordable prices. An adjacent outdoor terrace is open during the summer.
12:30 13:30 Brown bag lunch
Join Julie Czerneda for a romp through SF films as she shows examples of Science, Scientists, and Other Bizarre Notions. Warning: there will be laughter as well as some surprises.
13:30 14:00 Introducing AboutSF Presentation
AboutSF provides the foundation for the Anticipation workshop. A special DVD/CD with over a hundred files goes home with workshop members as a resource. David-Glenn Anderson is the tour guide.
14:00 16:00 Stretching the mind while thinking outside the box mini workshops/presentations
Cathy Palmer-Lister, Lynn E Cohen-Koehler, Lindalee Stuckey, Maaja Wentz, Sharon Rawlins, Eric Choi, and Susan Fichtelberg explore reading, writing and everything else within a classroom. A question may be asked: You have read H. G. Wells Invisible Man. Would you like to be invisible? Why? Why not? A smorgasbord of books, movies, arts, social science and other subject will be covered.
16:00 17:00 Final words -- Open discussion and evaluation
Graduates without Anticipation membership may purchase a $25 special membership to attend Anticipation. Tour the art show, browse the dealers room or attend after 5 pm programming.
Schedule of French-Language Events
L'enseignement et la science-fiction : un atelier exploratoire
Anticipation, le 67e congrs mondial de science-fiction, Montral, Qubec
le jeudi 6 aot 2009 au Palais des congrs de Montral
10h30 11h30 - La place de la science-fiction l'cole Table ronde Georges Henri Cloutier, Julie Czerneda, Jean Pettigrew, Daniel Sernine
La SF mrite-t-elle une plus grande place l'cole au Qubec? Dans quelle mesure pourrait-elle faciliter l'accs la lecture pour les garons, ou l'apprentissage des sciences? Est-il possible de l'enseigner dans le cadre des programmes actuels? Peut-elle enrichir l'enseignement d'autres sujets? Le projet "About SF" peut-il tre transpos au Qubec ou au Canada francophone? Ou le travail a-t-il dj t fait?
11h30 12h - La science-fiction au secondaire Prsentation ric Gauthier
Comment parle-t-on de la science-fiction au secondaire? Un auteur expriment explique comment on retient l'attention des coliers du secondaire en les introduisant aux concepts fondamentaux du conte, de la narration et de la science-fiction.
pause d'une demi-heure pour aller chercher manger
12h30 13h30 - Repas Films (facultatifs; en anglais)
Dans l'autre salle, Julie Czerneda prsente une srie de films de SF afin d'illustrer la reprsentation de la science, des scientifiques et autres bizarreries incomprises de Hollywood.
13h30 15h - La science-fiction au primaire Prsentation Philippe Collin, Michle Laframboise
Comment parle-t-on de la science-fiction au primaire? Deux intervenants aguerris discutent de leurs mthodes pour prsenter la science-fiction aux plus jeunes en fournissant quelques exemples.
15h 16h - Les auteurs l'cole Table ronde Jean-Pierre Guillet, Danielle Martinigol, Francine Pelletier
Comment les auteurs font-ils, en une heure, pour prsenter la fois la science-fiction et leurs ouvrages? La science-fiction est-elle bien accueillie l'cole?
16h 17h Conclusions -- Discussion gnrale et bilan
Les participants l'atelier qui ne sont pas inscrits Anticipation ont droit un rabais de 25$ sur toute inscription (pour une journe, pour la fin de semaine ou pour les cinq jours). Visitez l'exposition de tableaux, magasinez dans la salle de ventes ou assistez aux tables rondes. Restez le jeudi ou passez toute la fin de semain.
LAWRENCE, KS - June 30, 2009
Two Canadians and a Briton have won the 2009 John W. Campbell Award for the best science fiction novel of the year and the 2009 Theodore Sturgeon Award for the best short science fiction of the year, James Gunn, Director of the University of Kansas Center for the Study of Science Fiction, announced today.
The Campbell award is shared by Cory Doctorows Little Brother (Tor Books) and Ian MacLeods Song of Time (PS Publishing). Third place goes to James Morrow's The Philosopher's Apprentice (William Morrow).
James Alan Gardners The Ray Gun: A Love Story won the Sturgeon Award. Second place goes to Kathleen Ann Goonan's "Memory Dog" (Asimov's), and third place goes to Ian McDonald's "The Tear" (Empire).
The authors will accept their awards at the University of Kansas during an Awards dinner on July 10 and will be featured at the annual Campbell Conference on Saturday, July 11, and Sunday morning, July 12.
The Campbell Conference will discuss Whats Old, Whats New: The New Space Opera, the New Hard SF, the New Weird. In the afternoon session, the three winners will open a discussion on whats new in publishing and its affect on writing and reading. Doctorow is a major author on the new digital and internet publishing, and believes that copyright laws should be liberalized to allow free sharing of all digital media.
This is only the third time in the history of the Campbell Award that the balloting of the jurors has resulted in a tie: in 1974 between Arthur C. Clarkes Rendezvous with Rama and Robert Merles Malevil and in 2002 between Jack Williamsons Terraforming Earth and Robert Charles Wilsons The Chronoliths.
Doctorow and Gardner are Canadians. Doctorow currently is living in London. MacLeod is a Britain. Doctorow writes a column about digital publishing for Locus Magazine. Some of his essays have been published by Tachyon Publishing as Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future. Ian R. MacLeod studied law and worked as a public servant before publishing his first novel, The Great Wheel (which won the Locus first novel award), in 1997. His novella The Summer Isles won the Sidewise Award for alternate history and again as a novel.
Gardner turned to writing after earning bachelor and masters degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Waterloo. His story Children of the Creche won the Writers of the Future grand prize in 1989. He has published seven novels. He also is an educator and technical writer.
LAWRENCE, KS - August 6th, 2008
Author Michael Chabon will give what should be a great talk: "Conquering the Wilderness: Imaginative Imperialism and the Invasion of Legoland," A Hall Center for the Humanities Presentation.
LAWRENCE, KS - July 9, 2008
The Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas has announced the winners of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of 2007 and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction of 2007.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, July 11, in conjunction with the centers annual Campbell Conference and the annual meeting of the Science Fiction Research Association, which is taking place July 10-13 in Lawrence. This year the Campbell Conference offers Teaching Science Fiction: A Portable Workshop.
The Campbell Award will be presented to Kathleen Ann Goonan for In War Times. Second place goes to Michael Chabons Nebula Award-winning The Yiddish Policeman's Union, and third to Ken MacLeod for The Execution Channel.
For the first time, there are two winners of the Sturgeon Award: Finistera, by David R. Moles, and Tidelines, by Elizabeth Bear. Interestingly, second place for the Sturgeon Award was also a tie: Gene Wolfes Memorare, and Ian R. MacLeods The Master Miller's Tale.
The Campbell award is one of the three major annual awards for science fiction. The award was created to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (now called Analog). Many writers and scholars call Campbell, who edited the magazine from 1937 until his death in 1971, the father of modern science fiction.
The Sturgeon award was established in 1987 by James Gunn, professor emeritus of English and director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon as a memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.
The Science Fiction Research Association is the oldest professional organization for the study of science fiction and fantasy literature and film. This years conference is titled Creating, Reading and Teaching Science Fiction. Notable guest speakers include Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club; Paul Kincaid, author of What We Do When We Read Science Fiction; and Joan Slonczewski, a professor at Kenyon College who uses science fiction to help teach biology. Breakout sessions explore varied topics such as Reimagining the Future of the Past in Science Fiction Film and Television; Aliens, Animals and Environmentalism in Science Fiction; and Playing the Universe: Reading and Teaching Science Fiction With Video Games.
From Adam Frisch, SFRA President November 15, 2007
GOOD NEWS !
Your SFRA Executive Committee has accepted the gracious invitation of the Campbell Conference to hold our 2008 annual meeting in conjunction with them on July 10-13 (Thurs. through Sun.) at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.
The Campbell Conference is the concluding event of the Writers Workshop in Science Fiction, the Novel Writers Workshop in Science Fiction, and the beginning of the Intensive English Institute on the Teaching of Science Fiction. It has been held regularly at the University of Kansas since 1973, except for the special joint event in 2007 with SFRA and the Heinlein Centennial. This year our two organizations will be working together at a common site to provide quality academic panels, paper presentations and author discussions. During the coming weeks SFRA will be posting details about our part of the conference on this list-serve and on our website (www.sfra.org); also check out the Campbell Conference webpage.
Currently, SFRAs tentative theme for this 2008 meeting is: "Teaching, Reading and Creating Science Fiction," which meshes well with both the Campbell Conferences themes of "Teaching Science Fiction" plus "Current Trends in Science Fiction" and our own previously announced Dublin theme of "Good Writing in SF." "Creating SF" also encourages panels and paper analyzes of SF in non-literary media, a recent extension of SFRAs traditional focuses that we have been encouraging. This announced theme sacrifices a certain amount of excitement for major inclusivityits difficult for me at the moment to imagine what SF type of material it excludesand thus it may be slightly tweaked when we designate our academic programmer for this conference. But when that person is appointed shortly, rush right in with whatever sort of presentation you may have been planning for Dublin, or come up with a new one!
Lawrence, Kansas, lies about 50 miles west of the Kansas City International airport. SFRA plans to work during the coming months to insure smooth and convenient transportation between Kansas City and Lawrence. Lodging promises to be very reasonable, as will be the conference registration fee at this new venue and the cost for whatever banquet / reception we hold. (And dont forget that SFRA will be offering to the extent it can some travel remuneration for graduate students reading papers, especially overseas students who had planned on attending in Dublin.) SFRA will soon announce its guest list of invited SF authors and critics, and the Campbell Conference traditionally hosts local authors, institute instructors and the winners of the John W. Campbell and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards. The eventual list of SF authors for this combined event promises to be absolutely awesome, as my students would say. Finally, the University of Kansas has always been an exciting college town to visit, even when its football teams were losing almost every game, and its the site of our SFRA archives for any workaholics out there.
SFRA hosted its annual convention in Lawrence in 1982, and absolutely everyone Ive talked to remembers that 1982 meeting with fondness. 2008 promises to be even better! I sure hope most of you will find a way to come. Well lift a toast together to the Dublin conference that almost was, and celebrate the fine Lawrence conference that is happening.
LAWRENCE, KS November 22, 2006
During lunch at the University of Kansas student union today, SFWA President Robin Wayne Bailey surprised James Gunn and a small group of friends with the news that Gunn will be honored this Spring as the next Grand Master of science fiction.
The title "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master" is bestowed upon a living author for a lifetime's achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy. Nominations for recognition as a Grand Master are made by the president of SFWA; the final selection must be approved by a majority of the SFWA officers and participating past presidents. Gunn was President of SFWA in 1971-72, though for obvious reasons they did not contact him about this potential honor.
While it is not a Nebula Award, the Grand Master honor is conferred as part of the Nebula Awards® Banquet. This year's ceremony will take place on May 11-13, 2007, in New York City.
LAWRENCE, KS November 12, 2006
In 2005, the Center with donations from publishers, conventions, and notable people in the field created a Volunteer Coordinator position at the University of Kansas to perform outreach with SF educators, librarians, and other SF people, and this project has shown fruit especially on the AboutSF.com website. Check out the new "Lessons Library" for educators and librarians here, including the Center's new on-line course.
LAWRENCE, KS July 7, 2006
The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the
University of Kansas has announced the winners of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial
Award for best short science fiction of 2005 and the John W. Campbell Memorial
Award for best science fiction novel of 2005.
The winner of this year's John W. Campbell Memorial Award is Robert J. Sawyer for his novel, Mindscan (Tor Books).
The winner of this year's Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is Paolo Bacigalupi for his story, "The Calorie Man" (Fantasy & Science Fiction).
The awards were presented at a banquet tonight that is part of the Center's annual Campbell Conference.
Campbell Award second and third place winners are Robert Charles Wilson for Spin (Tor Books) and Ian R. Macleod for The Summer Isles (Aio Publishing).
Sturgeon Award second and third place winners are Ian MacDonald for "The Little Goddess" (Asimov's Magazine) and Kelly Link for "Magic for Beginners" (Fantasy & Science Fiction).
The Sturgeon award was established in 1987 by Gunn and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction. The Sturgeon Award winner was decided by Gunn, Kij Johnson, Frederik Pohl, George Zebrowski, and Noel Sturgeon, daughter of Theodore Sturgeon.
The Campbell Award is one of the three major annual awards for the science fiction novel. The award was created to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (now called Analog). Many writers and scholars call Campbell, who edited the magazine from 1937 until his death in 1971, the father of modern science fiction. The Campbell Award winner was selected by a committee of academics and authors that includes Gregory Benford, Paul Carter, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Farah Mendlesohn, Chris McKitterick, Pamela Sargent, and Tom Shippey.
LAWRENCE, KS May 22, 2006
The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas has announced the 2006 finalists of its Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction of the year and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year. The awards will be presented at a banquet on June 9 as part of the Centers annual Campbell Conference.
Click here to see the finalists for the 2006 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.
Click here to see the finalists for the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
LAWRENCE, KS January, 2006
Award-winning science-fiction author and editor George Zebrowski has joined forces with James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Frederik Pohl to select the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short SF of the year. We thank George in advance for his efforts!
LAWRENCE, KS July 18, 2005
The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas has announced the 2005 winners of its Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction of the year and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year. The awards were presented at a banquet on June 8 that was part of the Centers annual Campbell Conference.
Bradley Denton won the Sturgeon Award for his story Sergeant Chip, and Richard Morgan won the Campbell Award for his novel Market Forces.
Denton is an alumnus of KU, earning bachelors degrees in English and astronomy in 1980 and a masters degree in English in 1984. He is a former student of James Gunn. Denton had planned to attend this years Campbell Conference, though he did not know he was receiving the Sturgeon Award and was surprised with the news during the Awards Banquet.
Morgan, because of a scheduling conflict, was unable to attend. Morgan is a tutor at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland. He is the author of a popular two-book series, Altered Carbon and Broken Angels.
Christopher Rowe won the second place Sturgeon Award for Voluntary State, and Richard Reed won third place for his work Mere.
The Sturgeon Award was established in 1987 by Gunn and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon as memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.
Geoff Ryman won the second place Campbell Award for his novel Air. Audrey Niffenegger won third place for her novel, The Time Travelers Wife.
The Campbell Award was created to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (now called Analog). Many writers and scholars call Campbell, who edited the magazine from 1937 until his death in 1971, the father of modern science fiction.
The Campbell Award winner was picked by a committee of academics and authors that includes Gunn, director of the Center; Gregory Benford; Paul Carter; Elizabeth Anne Hull; Chris McKitterick, an associate director of the Center; Farah Mendlesohn; Pamela Sargent; and Tom Shippey.
The Sturgeon Award winner was decided by Gunn; Kij Johnson; Frederik Pohl; and Noel Sturgeon, daughter of Theodore Sturgeon.
LAWRENCE, KS April 18, 2005
The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and the English Department announce the gift of a substantial collection of science-fiction magazines dating from 1945. The magazines were donated by Amy and Gary Bennett in memory of the Amy Bennetts father, the late Edward Dobert Spear. Because Special Collections already has a collection of such magazines, the gift will be available for general circulation in Watson Library.
Mr. Spear, whose studies in electrical engineering were interrupted by World War II army service in Europe, began his subscription to Astounding Science Fiction/Analog upon his return, and had the issues bound, year by year, until his death in 1995. He also had his copies of Galaxy Science Fiction bound until he gave them to his daughter in 1970. She also is a science-fiction reader, as are her three sisters and her three daughters. Mr. Spear worked as a civil engineer after the late 1960s, maintaining and designing renovations for military buildings, including the Pentagon.
Amy Spears Bennetts mother also was an electrical/electronic engineer with a degree from Cornell, and a science-fiction reader, until her death in 2001. She worked on NASA contracts for the Lunar Excursion Module radars and one of the forerunners of the internet, ARPA Net. Of her four daughters two became engineers (one currently working on nuclear power systems), one became an accountant, and one, Amy, became a nurse, earned a doctorate in nursing science, and is currently working in nursing education as coordinator of a practical nursing program in Philadelphia.
Amy Bennett comments that she and her sisters cut their teeth on their fathers Astounding/Analog collection and found that reading science fiction prepared them for real and rapid change in todays society. For us, todays shocking headlines (Men Waling on the Moon!) are yesterdays interesting stories. And we are prepared to think about the effects on society, and possible approaches to handling consequences, because science fiction authors have already done so. In fact, her youngest daughter is studying the social and ethical challenges of science and technology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
KANSAS CITY, KS April 18, 2005
As many local SF readers know, Robin doesn't do a lot of formal book signings in the Kansas City area. Therefore, we want to alert you to an upcoming event at the Waldenbooks & More store in the Westbrooke Village Shopping Center at 75th and Quivira. On Sunday, May 22nd, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., I'll be reading and signing copies of his new DRAGONKIN series.
Also present for this event will be fellow local science fiction and fantasy author, Jim Butcher, whose exciting DRESDEN series from Penguin/Roc has been very successful. He'll also be reading and signing books.
The folks at Waldenbooks & More are planning to make something of a party and a science fiction celebration with this event. So please add it to your calendars, drop by and say hello, and buy some good books. I hope to see you there!
For more information, call Waldenbooks & More at 913-962-1428.
LAWRENCE, KS August 6, 2004
Today it was announced that local author Kij Johnson's current novel, Fudoki, is a finalist for the 08_WorldFantasyAwardBallot.html">World Fantasy Award. Once again, congratulations, Kij! This year's winners were announced during the World Fantasy Convention, October 28th-31st, in Tempe, Arizona.
LAS ANGELES, CA JULY 9
Matthew Candelaria, a graduate student who has been working with James Gunn on a couple of projects and has attended the last few SF Writer's Workshops, won the Golden Quill Award (grand prize) at this year's Writers of the Future contest, in a grand venue at the Beverly Hills Hotel at a black-tie dinner thronged with famous people in and out of science fiction.
This makes three of Gunn's students (Merry Simmons, Dylan Otto Krider, and now Matthew) who have won the grand prize, three years in a row.
Congratulations Matthew! And congrats to Jim for being such a great teacher and mentor!
LAWRENCE, KS June 11, 2004
Recently it was announced that local author Kij Johnson's current novel, Fudoki, is a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. Congratulations again, Kij! This year's winners were announced during Mythcon 35, July 30th-August 2nd, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
LAWRENCE, KS April 5, 2004
LAWRENCE, KS March, 2004
The short story, "Elixer," is Gunn's newest publication, available as the opening story in the May 2004 Analog. This story will also appear in the expanded edition of The Immortals, to be published by Pocket Books in July 2004.
LAWRENCE, KS March 31, 2004
Local author Kij Johnson will read from her current novel, Fudoki, at the public library at 7pm on Wednesday the 31st of March. The Raven Bookstore will have copies of her works available for purchase, and Kij will sign books after the reading.
LAWRENCE, KS JANUARY 20, 2004
University of Kansas professors Matthew Jacobson and Kevin Willmott have made a big hit at the 04N/Jan">Jan16/csa.html">Sundance Film Festival! Their film, CSA: The Confederate States of America, is a feature-length speculative documentary about an alternate present in a world where the South won the Civil War, and chattel slavery is still legal. (2004/jan/23/focus_on_kansas/">Click here for the Lawrence Journal-World story.)
Attendees of last summer's Campbell Conference will remember this film. Good luck to all involved!
Click here to see CSSF Workshop alumni publications and awards. So many alumni of the Workshop have been published lately that it's difficult keeping up with you. Look them up here and be sure to share with us if you're not listed!
NEW YORK, NY NOVEMBER 18
Publisher's Weekly Editors' Fiction Picks for the Year 2003
Kij's book has
just been named one of the eight best SF/F novels of the year! Below is their
full review from last month:
Publisher's Weekly Editors' Fiction Picks for October 2003
Each month Publisher's Weekly's Forecasts editors select titles being published in the next month they deem exceptional. The following is an excerpt from the editors' fiction recommendations (one book of five, including one by Toni Morrison) for October 2003:
Fudoki by Kij Johnson (Tor Books, $24.95, ISBN 0-765-30390-6)
"Johnson's mesmerizing second fantasy based on Japanese myth surpasses her inspired debut, The Fox Woman (2000). As the half-sister, aunt and great-grandaunt of the last three Japanese emperors, respectively, the princess Harueme has lived a long life of privilege at court, but now she is dying and must go to a convent. While sorting through her belongings, she comes across several blank notebooks. To fill them, Harueme spins the tale of a nameless tortoiseshell cat living in a ramshackle estate in the capital. When a fire raging through the city destroys the estate, the cat is the only survivor. The author interweaves the story Harueme tells with Harueme's own, equally absorbing tale. To call Johnson a stylist is to call Michael Jordan a basketball player - each word and phrase glitters gemlike on the page. This tale of life and dying, of love and humanity, soars with feline grace."
Congratulations Kij! This novel is now available.
More Lawrence writers publishing news!
Oread Books, level 2 in the Kansas Union on the KU campus in Lawrence, continues an ongoing series of meet-the-author events featuring campus and community authors. The events are scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 PM during Oread Books regular Thursday evening hours. The public is invited to converse with local authors while enjoying complimentary coffee or tea in the relaxed atmosphere of the stores browsing area. Several of the authors titles will be available for signing. The bookstore has excellent local-author and SF/F sections.
November 2003 Appearances:
Previous guests in the Oread Books Local Authors Series include retired nuclear engineer Robert C. Hagan, KU Professor of Design
Pok Chi Lau, and poet Dave Malone. New or established local writers interested in appearing in the series may contact the store for
LAWRENCE, KS SEPTEMBER 17, 2003
The Oread Bookstore (in the Kansas Union of the KU campus) hosted a presentation about William Widder's new book, Master Storyteller, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and two representatives of the publisher gave a wonderful talk and showed a short film about the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest. It was followed by a reading and autographing session at which Matthew Candelaria, a graduate student in the English Department who won the grand prize in the Writers for the Future Contest, signed copies of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future anthology.
LAWRENCE, KS JULY 12, 2003
Two unusual circumstances marked this years Campbell and Sturgeon Awards presented July 11 at the University of Kansas, James Gunn, director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, announced today. For the first time, the Theodore Sturgeon Award for the best short SF of the year went to a story published on the internet. Lucius Shepards Over Yonder was published on the SciFiction section, edited by Ellen Datlow, of SciFi.com. Second place was awarded to Brontes Egg by Richard Chwedyk, published in Fantasy and Science Fiction; and third place, to Singleton by Australian Greg Egan, published in the British Interzone.
The other unusual circumstance: the John W. Campbell Award for the best science-fiction novel of the year for the first time went to someone who had earlier won the Sturgeon Award. Nancy Kresss Probability Space took first place (a earlier novel in the series, Probability Sun, took third place last year). Moreover, Kresss husband, the late Charles Sheffield, had won the Campbell Award a decade before, the first husband and wife to be so honored. Second place in the Campbell Awards went to David Brins Kiln People; third place went to Robert J. Sawyers Hominids. All three novels were published by Tor Books.
The award to Shepard was presented by Frederik Pohl, a member of the Sturgeon Award final jury; James Gunn read an acceptance letter from Shepard. The award to Kress was presented by Elizabeth Anne Hull, a member of the Campbell jury; Kress was present to accept the award.
At the dinner four persons were inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society and the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The posthumous inductions went to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Damon Knight; living authors inducted were Kate Wilhelm, who is Knights widow, and Wilson Bob Tucker. Wilhelm was present for her induction, and also accepted for Tucker.
The dinner was followed by the Campbell Conference July 12-13, at which History and Science Fiction was the topic for discussion, and the showing of a locally produced alternate history documentary titled CSA: The Confederate States of America.
The Sturgeon Award stories are nominated by a committee of some two-dozen reviewers and editors chaired by Chris McKitterick, and the winners were chosen by Pohl, Gunn, and Kij Johnson, with the assistance of Noel Sturgeon, from a group of about a dozen finalists. The Campbell Award novels are nominated by publishers and the winners selected by a committee of seven academics and authors chaired by Gunn and consisting of Gregory Benford, Paul A. Carter, Elizabeth Anne Hull, McKitterick, Pamela Sargent, T. A. Shippey, and Ian Watson.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Chancellor Robert Hemenway made a surprise presentation to Frederik Pohl of a citation for his many years of service to science fiction and to the University of Kansas and its science-fiction programs. Pohl has been a guest-writer every summer except two for the past 30 years.
PHOTOGRAPHS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
LAWRENCE, KS JUNE 18, 2003
University of Kansas professors Matthew Jacobson and Kevin Willmott graciously offered a private screening of their film, CSA: The Confederate States of America, a feature-length speculative documentary about an alternate present in a world where the South won the Civil War, and chattel slavery is still legal. Location is the Kansas Union's Alderson Auditorium on Saturday afternoon for all registered attendees of the Campbell Conference.
Many thanks to the University of Kansas Oread Book Store for sponsoring this event.
Check out the Conference page for
Click Here for Coverage of the 2002 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards
LAWRENCE, KS 1997
Pamela Sargent has accepted appointment to the committee for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the Best SF Novel of the Year, James Gunn, director of the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, announced.
The Campbell Award was founded in 1972 by Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss to honor the editor who presided over science fiction's Golden Age and died in 1971, still editor of the magazine he had taken over in 1937. The award has been presented in various places around the world, including Oxford, Dublin, and Stockholm, but since 1979 it has been presented at the University of Kansas. Membership in the committee that selects the award after discussion, principally by mail, has changed over the years. It now consists of James Gunn, Gregory Benford, Paul A. Carter, Elizabeth Anne Hull, T. A. Shippey, Brian Stableford, Robert H. Wilcox, and Sargent. Sam Lundwall, a long-time Swedish member of the committee, resigned after the 1996 award.
Sargent is a distinguished author of SF and historical novels, including The Venus Trilogy, The Shore of Women, and Ruler of the Sky: A Novel of Genghis Khan. She has won a Nebula Award for short fiction and edited the well-known Women of Wonder anthologies.
LAWRENCE, KS 1997
Kij Johnson has accepted appointment to the committee for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the Best Short SF of the Year, James Gunn, director of the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, announced.
The Theodore Sturgeon Award was established in 1987 by James Gunn and Sturgeon's heirs, including his widow Jayne Sturgeon, as an appropriate memorial to one of the field's great short-story writers. Sturgeon was closely identified with the Golden Age. Originally the winner was selected by a committee organized by Orson Scott Card, but since 1995, the winning stories have been selected by a committee of three judges from a list nominated by several dozen reviewers, editors, and others familiar with the magazine and original anthology field. Also, for the last four years, one of Theodore Sturgeon's children has participated in the judging process, Noel Sturgeon for this year's Award. The two continuing members of the committee are James Gunn and Frederik Pohl. Judith Merril, a distinguished writer, editor, and critic, resigned from the committee after serving for 1995 and 1996.
Johnson won the Sturgeon Award for her story "Fox Magic" in 1994,
won the IAFA Crawford Award for her novel The Fox Woman in 2001. She has
published a number of short stories including an e-book anthology Tales for
the Long Rains, and has a new novel, Fudoki, due out
early October 2003. She served as managing editor for Tor Books, taught
writing at Louisiana State University, worked as the manager
for story development at Wizards of the Coast, and currently writes full-time in
Lawrence while teaching writing at the University of Kansas.
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