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University Relations

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June 29, 2009
Contact: James Gunn, Center for the Study of Science Fiction, (785) 864-3380.

Science fiction writers earn awards for best novels, short story of the year

LAWRENCE — James Gunn, director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, has announced winners of 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.

The Campbell award is shared by Cory Doctorow’s “Little Brother” (Tor Books) and Ian MacLeod’s “Song of Time” (PS Publishing). James Alan Gardner’s “The Ray Gun: A Love Story” won the Sturgeon award. The authors will accept their awards July 10 at KU and will be featured at the Campbell Conference on Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12.

The Campbell Conference will discuss “What’s Old, What’s New: The New Space Opera, the New Hard SF, the New Weird.” In the afternoon session the three winners will open a discussion on what’s new in publishing and its effect on writing and reading. Doctorow is a major author on digital and Internet publishing and thinks 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, Arthur C. Clarke’s “Rendezvous with Rama” and Robert Merle’s “Malevil” tied. In 2002, Jack Williamson’s “Terraforming Earth” and Robert Charles Wilson’s “The Chronoliths” tied.

Doctorow writes a column about digital publishing for Locus magazine and may be the only Campbell award winner who has also won the Campbell award presented by the World Science Fiction Convention for “best new writer.” Some of his essays have been published by Tachyon Publishing as “Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future.”

MacLeod studied law and worked in the public sector 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.

Gardner turned to writing after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Waterloo. His story “The Children of Creche” won the Writers of the Future grand prize in 1989. He has published seven novels. He also is an educator and technical writer.


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