Worldcon 74: 2016 Campbell and Sturgeon Award Winners Announced

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The awards ceremony for the 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the 2016 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award were held Thursday night in Kansas City, Missouri on the second night of MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention.

Created in 1973, the Campbell Awards have had their home at the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas since 1979, with the awards ceremony capping the Campbell Conference, where attendees discuss the writing, teaching, publishing and criticism of science fiction. The Sturgeon Award was established in 1987 by Dr. James Gunn, Founding Director of the Gunn Center.  This year, the return of WorldCon to Kansas City after 40 years saw the Campbell Conference joining the event and providing the academic programming for the convention, as well as holding the awards ceremonies there.

The 2016 jurors for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award are Christopher McKitterick, Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Paul Kincaid, Pamela Sargent, and Lisa Yaszek, and the event was hosted by McKitterick and Kij Johnson, Associate Director of the Gunn Center. Presenters included Christopher McKitterick, Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, and Elizabeth Anne Hull.

The finalists for the 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award are:

  • The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit/Knopf)
  • Europe at Midnight, Dave Hutchinson (Rebellion)
  • Radiomen, Eleanor Lerman (The Permanent)
  • Luna: New Moon, Ian McDonald (Gollancz/Tor)
  • Galapagos Regained, James Morrow (St. Martin’s)
  • Going Dark, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island/Saga)
  • The Book of Phoenix, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
  • Where, Kit Reed (Tor)
  • The Thing Itself, Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
  • Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (William Morrow/Harper Collins)

The Winners of the 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award are:

Third Place: The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit/Knopf)
Two books tied for Second Place:
Going Dark, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island/Saga)
The Thing Itself, Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
First Place:
Radiomen, Eleanor Lerman (The Permanent)

Presenter Sheila Finch (Reading the Bones, Nebula Award Winner 1998) described Radiomen as a book that “starts quietly, from a writer who knows what she’s doing” and “allows mystery”. Lerman, whose Radiomen is her first speculative fiction novel, was unable to attend the ceremony, sent a letter thanking the jurors and the audience.

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The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year was established in 1987 by Dr. Gunn and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children. Sturgeon began writing science fiction in 1939, and with Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and A. E. van Vogt, is widely regarded as beginning the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

The 2016 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Nominees were:

  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead”, Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
  • “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred”, Greg Egan (Asimov’s 10/15)
  • “The New Mother”, Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s 4-5/15)
  • “Folding Beijing”, Hao Jingfang (Uncanny Magazine 1-2/15)
  • “Emergence”, Gwyneth Jones (Meeting Infinity)
  • “Damage”, David D. Levine (Tor.com 01/21/15)
  • “The Game of Smash and Recovery”, Kelly Link (Strange Horizons 10/17/15)
  • “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan”, Ian McDonald (Old Venus)
  • “Our Lady of the Open Road”, Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 6/15)
  • “The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill”, Kelly Robson (Clarkesworld 2/15)
  • “Gypsy”, Carter Scholz (F&SF 11-12/15)
  • “Avery Cates: The Walled City” Jeff Somers (self-published 6/15)

The winners of the 2016 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award are:
Third Place: “Gypsy”, Carter Scholz (F&SF 11-12/15)
Second Place: “The New Mother”, Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s 4-5/15)
First Place: “The Game of Smash and Recovery”, Kelly Link (Strange Horizons 10/17/15)

Kelly Link was also unable to attend, sending a letter stating “What an honor this is! It was clear, reading Sturgeon, that short fiction could do anything!”

For more coverage on Worldcon, check out this link for articles and interviews.

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Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror film "American Maniacs", and serves on the board of directors for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City and the Kansas City Film Commission.

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