Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

This page lists the finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction by year of publication.

The Award is presented during the Conference Awards Banquet at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, as the focal point of a weekend of discussions about the writing, illustration, publishing, teaching, and criticism of science fiction. We hope to release lists of finalists for as many previous Awards as possible, so check back for updates. Finalists are listed alphabetically by author's last name. When each year's results are made public - usually near the Conference - this page is updated to show the winners (highlighted).

2020 Sturgeon Award Finalists

"The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex," Tobias S. Buckell. New Suns, ed Nisi Shawl, Solaris Books, March 2019.

"Omphalos," Ted Chiang. Exhalation, Knopf, May 2019.

This is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Saga Press, July 2019.

"Give the Family My Love," A.T. Greenblatt. Clarkesworld, February 2019.

"The Dead, in Their Uncontrollable Power," Karen Osborne. Uncanny Magazine, March 2019.

"The Painter of Trees," Suzanne Palmer. Clarkesworld, June 2019.

"Waterlines," Suzanne Palmer. Asimov's, June 2019.

"Sisters of the Vast Black," Lina Rather. Publishing, October 2019.

"The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir," Karin Tidbek. Publishing, January 2019.

"New Atlantis," Lavie Tidhar. Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2019.

"The Archronology of Love," Caroline M. Yoachim. Lightspeed Magazine, April 2019. 

2019 Sturgeon Award Finalists

"Freezing Rain, A Chance of Falling," L.X. Beckett. Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 2018.

"The Only Harmless Great Thing," Brooke Bolander. Publishing,

"The Secret Life of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington," P. Djèlí Clark. Fireside Magazine, Feb 2018.

"Umbernight," Carolyn Ives Gilman. Clarkesworld, Feb 2018.

"Nine Last Days on Planet Earth," Daryl Gregory., Sept 2018.

"When We Were Starless," Simone Heller. Clarkesworld, Oct 2018.

"The Starship and the Temple Cat," Yoon Ha Lee. Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Feb 2018.

Winner: "When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis," Annalee Newitz. Slate, Dec 2018.

"Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach," Kelly Robson. Publishing.

"On the Day You Spend Forever with Your Dog," Adam Shannon. Apex, Dec 2018.

"Yard Dog," Tade Thompson. Fiyah Lit Mag, July 2018.

2018 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Winner: "Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue," Charlie Jane Anders. Boston Review: Global Dystopias, Oct 2017.

"Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance," Tobias S. Buckell. Lightspeed, ed. John Joseph Adams. Saga Press, 2017.

"The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine," Greg Egan. Asimov's, Nov/Dec 2017.

"Sidewalks," Maureen McHugh. Omni, Nov 2017.

"The Martian Obelisk," Linda Nagata., July 2017.

"The Secret Life of Bots," Suzanne Palmer. Clarkesworld, Sept 2017.

"And Then There Were (N-One)," Sarah Pinsker. Uncanny, March 2017.

"A Series of Steaks," Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Clarkesworld, Jan 2017.

"Fandom for Robots," Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Uncanny, Sept 2017.

"Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience," Rebecca Roanhorse. Apex, Aug 2017.

"We Who Live in the Heart," Kelly Robson. Clarkesworld, May 2017.

2017 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Nina Allan, "The Art of Space Travel,", 27 July 2016.

Amal El-Mohtar, "Seasons of Glass and Iron," The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, eds. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, Saga Press, 2016.

Carolyn Ives Gilman, "Touring with the Alien," Clarkesworld, April 2016.

Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black Tom,, February 2016.

Ian R. MacLeod, "The Visitor From Taured," Asimov's, September 2016.

Sam J. Miller, "Things with Beards," Clarkesworld, June 2016.

Dominica Phetteplace, "Project Empathy," Asimov's, March 2016.

Winner: Catherynne M. Valente, "The Future is Blue," Drowned Worlds, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, 2016.

Kai Ashante Wilson, A Taste of Honey,, 13 October 2016.

2016 Sturgeon Award Finalists

"And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead," Brooke Bolander. Lightspeed, Feb 2015.

"The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred," Greg Egan. Asimov's, Dec 2015.

"The New Mother," Eugene Fischer. Asimov's, Apr/May 2015.

"Folding Beijing," Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu. Uncanny Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015.

"Emergence," Gwyneth Jones. Meeting Infinity, ed. Jonathan Strahan. Solaris.

"Damage," David D. Levine., 21 Jan 2015.

Winner: "The Game of Smash and Recovery," Kelly Link. Strange Horizons, 17 Oct 2015.

"Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan," Ian McDonald. Old Venus, eds. G.R.R.Martin and Gardner Dozois. Bantam Books.

"Our Lady of the Open Road," Sarah Pinsker. Asimov's, Jun 2015.

"The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill," Kelly Robson. Clarkesworld, Feb 2015.

"Gypsy," Carter Scholz. Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2015.

"Avery Cates: The Walled City," Jeff Somers. Kindle edition, Jun 2015.

2015 Sturgeon Award Finalists

"Lady With Fox," Greg Benford. Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction (eds. Ben Bova and Eric Choi), Tor Books, 2014.

"Childfinder," Octavia E. Butler. Unexpected Stories, Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy, 2014.

"In Her Eyes," Seth Chambers. Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2014.

Winner: "The Man Who Sold the Moon," Cory Doctorow. Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (eds. Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer), Morrow, 2014.

"Herd Immunity," Tananarive Due. The End is Now (eds. John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey), Broad Reach Publishing, 2014.

"When it Ends, He Catches Her," Eugie Foster. Daily Science Fiction 26 Sep 2014.

We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory. Tachyon, 2014.

Yesterday's Kin, Nancy Kress. Tachyon, 2014.

"A Hotel in Antarctica," Geoffrey Landis. Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (eds. Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer), Morrow, 2014.

"The Regular," Ken Liu. Upgraded (ed. Neil Clarke). Wyrm Publishing, 2014.

"The Lightness of the Movement," Pat MacEwen. Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar/Apr 2014.

"We Are the Cloud," Sam J. Miller. Lightspeed Sep 2014.

"The Fifth Dragon," Ian McDonald. Reach for Infinity (ed. Jonathan Strahan). Solaris, 2014.

"Shatterdown," Suzanne Palmer. Asimov's Jun 2014.

"The Cryptic Age," Robert Reed. Asimov's Dec 2014.

Nominations for this year came from John Joseph Adams, Rebecca Bates, Charles Christian, Neil Clarke, Ellen Datlow, Wendy Delmater, Jim DeMailolo, Matthew Foster, Rose Jasper Fox, Gordon van Gelder, Niall Harrison, Hugh Howey, Mark Kelly, Chris McKitterick, Trevor Quachri, Kat Sherbo, Jonathan Strahan, Daniel Wilson, Michael Thomas, Lois Tilton, Dave Truesdale, Sheila Williams, and Christie Yant. Thank you very much for your participation!

2014 Sturgeon Award Finalists

"Bloom," Gregory Norman Bossert. Asimov's, Dec 2013.

"The Weight of the Sunrise," Vylar Kaftan. Asimov's, Feb 2013.

"They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass," Alaya Dawn Johnson. Asimov's, Jan 2013.

"Over There," Will McIntosh. Asimov's, Jan 2013.

"The Wildfires of Antarctica," Alan DeNiro. Tyrannia and Other Renditions, Small Beer Press (originally appeared in Oct/Nov Asimov's).

"The Irish Astronaut," Val Nolan. Electric Velocipede, May 2013.

Winner: "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind," Sarah Pinsker. Strange Horizons, July 2013.

"Mystic Falls," Robert Reed. Clarkesworld, Nov 2013.

"Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer," Kenneth Schneyer. Clockwork Phoenix 4, Mythic Delirium Books.

"The Urashima Effect," E. Lily Yu. Clarkesworld, June 2013.

Nominations for this year came from John Joseph Adams, Rebecca Bates, Neil Clarke, Frank Ludlow, Andy Duncan, Ellen Datlow, Gordon van Gelder, Niall Harrison, Rich Horton, Kim Stanley Robinson, Trevor Quachri, Lois Tilton, Dave Truesdale, Leslie What, and Sheila Williams. Thank you very much for your participation!

2013 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Kate Bachus

"Things Greater Than Love"

Strange Horizons, March

Aliette de Bodard


Clarkesworld, June

Aliette de Bodard

"Scattered Along the River of Heaven"

Clarkesworld, January

Andy Duncan

"Close Encounters"
NOTE: Duncan, a juror, removed the story from consideration.

The Pottawatomie Giant

Winner: Molly Gloss

"The Grinnell Method"

Strange Horizons, September

Jay Lake

"The Weight of History, The Lightness of the Future"

Subterranean, Spring

Ken Liu

"The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species"

Lightspeed, August

Ken Liu

"Mono No Aware"

The Future is Japanese

Linda Nagata

"Nahiku West"

Analog, October

Robert Reed



Bruce Sterling

"The Peak of Eternal Light"

Edge of Infinity

E. Catherine Tobler

"(To See the Other) Whole Against the Sky"

Clarkesworld, November

Nancy Kress

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

Nominations for this year came from Abyss & Apex, J J Adams, Rebecca Bates, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Bethke, Ellen Datlow, Jim DeMaiolo, Vincent Docherty, Niall Harrison, Rich Horton, Frank Ludlow, Chris McKitterick, Rudy Rucker, Jonathan Strahan, Michael Damian Thomas, Christy Tidwell, Lois Tilton, Dave Truesdale, and Sheila Williams. Thank you very much for your participation! 

2012 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Charlie Jane Anders

"Six Months, Three Days", June

Paul Cornell

"The Copenhagen Interpretation"

Asimov's, July

Yoon Ha Lee


Clarkesworld, January

Kij Johnson

"The Man Who Bridged the Mist"
NOTE: Johnson, a juror, removed the story from consideration.

Asimov's, Oct / Nov

Jake Kerr

"The Old Equations"

Lightspeed, July

Ken Liu

"The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary"

Panverse Three

Ken Liu

"The Paper Menagerie"

F&SF, March / April

Winner: Paul McAuley

"The Choice"

Asimov's, Dec / Jan

Catherynne M. Valente

"Silently and Very Fast"

Clarkesworld, October

Nominations for this year came from John Joseph Adams, Lou Anders, Rebecca Bates, Aliette de Bodard, Neil Clarke, Gardner Dozois, Niall Harrison, Patrick Neilsen Hayden, David Hartwell, Chris McKitterick, Eric Reynolds, Jonathan Strahan, Stephen Sullivan, Lois Tilton, Dave Truesdale, and Sheila Williams. Thank you very much for your participation!

2011 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Eleanor Arnason

"Mammoths of the Great Plains"


Damien Broderick

"Under the Moons of Venus"

Subterranean (Spring)

Elizabeth Hand

"The Maiden Flight of McAuley's Bellerophon"

Stories: All-New Tales

Winner: Geoffrey A. Landis

"The Sultan of the Clouds"

Asimov's, September

Yoon Ha Lee

"Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain"

Lightspeed, September

Paul Park

"Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance"

F&SF, January / February

Robert Reed

"Dead Man's Run"

F&SF, November / December

Alastair Reynolds


Godlike Machines

Steve Rasnic Tem

"A Letter from the Emperor"

Asimov's, January

Lavie Tidhar

"The Night Train"

Strange Horizons, 14 June

Peter Watts

"The Things"

Clarkesworld, January

Nominations for this year came from Rebecca Bates, Neil Clarke, Gardner Dozois, Greg Feeley, Gordon Van Gelder, Niall Harrison, David Hartwell, Rich Horton, Mark Kelly, Chris McKitterick, Eric Reynolds, Stanley Schmidt, Jonathan Strahan, Lois Tilton, Dave Truesdale, Nathaniel Williams, Sheila Williams, George Zebrowski. Thank you very much for your participation!

2010 Sturgeon Award Finalists

John Barnes

"Things Undone"

Baen's Universe, December

Damien Broderick

"This Wind Blowing, and This Tide"

Asimov's, April/May

Sara Genge

"As Women Fight"

Asimov's, October/November

Kij Johnson

NOTE: Johnson, a juror, removed story from consideration. Not for young readers.

Clarkesworld, October

Ted Kosmatka and Michael Poore

"Blood Dauber"

Asimov's, December

Tanith Lee


Fantasy Magazine, October

Winner: James Morrow

"Shambling Towards Hiroshima"

Tachyon Publications (stand-alone novella)

Tim Pratt

"Her Voice in a Bottle"

Subterranean, Winter 2009

Robert Reed

"True Fame"

Asimov's, April/May

Lewis Shiner

"The Death of Che Guevara"

Subterranean, Fall 2009

Rachel Swirsky

"Eros, Philia, Agape"

Peter Watts

"The Island"

The New Space Opera 2

Nominations for this year came from John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Scott Edelman, Rich Horton, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Chris McKitterick, Stanley Schmidt, Lois Tilton, Larry Taylor, Gordon Van Gelder, Sheila Williams, and George Zebrowski. Thank you very much for your participation!

2009 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Paolo Bacigalupi

"The Gambler"

Fast Forward 2

Ted Chiang


Eclipse 2

Charles Coleman Finlay

"The Political Prisoner"

F&SF, August

Cory Doctorow & Benjamin Rosenbaum

"True Names"

Fast Forward 2

Winner: James Alan Gardner

"The Ray Gun: A Love Story"

Asimov's, February

Kathleen Ann Goonan

"Memory Dog"

Asimov's, Apr/May

Kij Johnson

"26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss"
NOTE: Johnson, a juror, removed story from consideration.

Asimov's, July

Ian McDonald

"The Tear"

Galactic Empires

Maureen McHugh

"Special Economics"

Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Hannu Rajaniemi

"His Master's Voice"

Interzone 218

Michael Swanwick

"From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled"

Asimov's, February

Nominations for this year came from Lou Anders, Rebecca Bates, Aliette de Bodard, Andy Cox, Ellen Datlow, Wendy S. Delmater, Gardner Dozois, L. Timmel Duchamp, Eugie Foster, Kelly Green, Eileen Gunn, Anthony Hildebrand, Andrew Hook, Jim Kelly, Mark R. Kelly, Chris McKitterick, Eric Reynolds, Stanley Schmidt, Mike Payne, Larry Taylor, Lois Tilton, Dave Truesdale, Fran Van Cleave, Gordon Van Gelder, and Sheila Williams.

2008 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Barron, Laird

"The Forest"

Inferno, Dec, Tor

Bear, Elizabeth


Asimov's, March

Chiang, Ted

"The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate"

F&SF, Sept

Ford, Jeffrey

"The Dreaming Wind"

Coyote Road, Viking Juvenile, July

Fowler, Karen Joy


Asimov's, Apr/May

Johnson, Kij

"The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs Of North Park After the Change"
NOTE: Johnson, a juror, removed story from consideration.

Coyote Road, Viking Juvenile, July

Jones, Gwyneth

"The Tomb Wife"

F&SF, August

Kessel, John

"The Last American"

Foundation 100, August

McLeod, Ian R.

"The Master Miller's Tale"

F&SF, May

Moles, David R.


F&SF, Dec

Sinisalo, Johanna

"Baby Doll"

SFWA European Hall of Fame, Tor, June

Wolfe, Gene


F&SF, April

Nominations for this year came from Lou Anders, Rebecca Bates, Suzanne Church, Ellen Datlow, Wendy Delmater, Gardner Dozois, L. Timmel Duchamp, Scott Edelman, Nick Gevers, Eileen Gunn, Brian Hades, David Hartwell, Jim Kelly, Mark R. Kelly, Bridget McKenna, C. Powell, Eric Reynolds, Stanley Schmidt, Ekaterina Sedia, Mike Payne, Sue Ramey, Steve Silver, Larry Taylor, Lois Tilton, Gordon Van Gelder, and Sheila Williams.

2007 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Bacigalupi, Paolo

Yellow Card Man

Asimov's Dec

Flynn, Michael F.

Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth

Asimov's Oct/Nov

Ford, Jeffrey

Botch Town

The Empire of Ice Cream, Golden Gryphon

McDonald, Ian

The Djinn's Wife

Asimov's Jul

Melko, Paul

The Walls of the Universe

Asimov's, Apr/May

Reed, Robert

A Billion Eves

Asimov's, Oct

Rickert, M.

You Have Never Been Here

Feeling Very Strange

Rosenbaum, Benjamin

The House Beyond Your Sky

Strange Horizons, Sept

Rowe, Christopher

Another Word for Map Is Faith

F&SF Aug

Shunn, William


Asimov's, Apr/May

Swanwick, Michael

Lord Weary's Empire

Asimov's Dec

Wilson, Robert Charles

The Cartesian Theater

Futureshocks, Roc

Wilson, Robert Charles

Julian: A Christmas Story

PS Publishing chapbook

Nominations for this year came from Lou Anders, Rebecca Bates, Suzanne Church, Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois, Eugie Foster, Nicholas Gevers, Eileen Gunn, Brian Hades, Jim Kelly, Bridget McKenna, C. Powell, Eric Reynolds, Ekaterina Sedia, Steven H. Silver, Larry Taylor, Lois Tilton, Gordon Van Gelder, and Sheila Williams.

2006 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Bacigalupi, Paolo

The Calorie Man

F&SF, Oct/Nov

Gregory, Daryl

Second Person, Present Tense

Asimov's, Sept

Link, Kelly

Magic for Beginners

F&SF, Sept

McDaid, John G.

Keyboard Practice

F&SF, Jan

McDonald, Ian

The Little Goddess

Asimov's, Jun

McIntyre, Vonda

Little Faces

SciFiction, Feb

Sterling, Bruce

The Blemmye's Stratagem

F&SF, Jan

Stoddard, Jason


SciFiction, Sept

Van Pelt, James

The Inn at Mount Either

Analog, May

Willis, Connie

Inside Job

Asimov's, Jan

Nominations for this year came from Rebecca Bates, Suzanne Church, Kathryn Cramer, Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois, L. Timmel Duchamp, Eugie Foster, Nicholas Gevers, Brian Hades, David Hartwell, Mark R. Kelly, Bridget McKenna, Sue Ramey, Stanley Schmidt, Ekaterina Sedia, Steven H. Silver, Larry Taylor, Lois Tilton, and Gordon Van Gelder.

2005 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Berman, Judith

The Fear Gun

Asimov's, Jun

Bisson, Terry

Scout's Honor


Cooper, Brenda

Savant Songs


Denton, Brad

Sergeant Chip


Feeley, Gregory

Arabian Wine

Asimov's, Apr/May

Gerrold, David

Dancer in the Dark

F&SF, Apr

Kessell, John

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence


Lanagan, Margo

Singing My Sister Down

Black Juice

Link, Kelly

Stone Animals

Conjunctions #43

Moscoe, Mike

The Strange Redemption of Sister Mary Ann

Analog, Nov

Okorafor-Mbachu, Nnedi

The Magical Negro


Reed, Robert


Golden Gryphon

Rosenbaum, Benjamin

Start the Clock

F&SF, Aug

Rowe, Christopher

The Voluntary State

SciFiction, 5/5

Sargent, Pamela

Venus Flowers at Night


Tilton, Lois

The Gladiator's War: A Dialogue

Asimov's, Jun

Tomasula, Steve

Risk-Taking Gene as Expressed….

Denver Quarterly, Fall 04

Uttley, Stephen

Invisible Kingdoms


Watson, Ian

An Appeal to Adolf

Conqueror Fantastic

Wolfe, Gene

The Lost Pilgrim

The First Heroes

2004 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Bacigalupi, Paolo

The Fluted Girl

F&SF, 6/03

Baker, Kage

The Empress of Mars

Asimov's, 7/03

Barton, William

Off on a Starship

Asimov's 9/03

Castro, Adam-Troy

The Tangled Strings of Marionettes

F&SF, 7/03

Ford, Jeffrey

The Empire of Ice Cream

SciFiction, 2/26/03

Kelly, Jim

Bernardo's House

Asimov's 6/03

Kessell, John

It's All True

SciFiction, 11/5

Levine, David D.

The Tale of the Golden Eagle

F&SF, 6/03

Nestvold, Ruth

Looking Through Lace

Asimov's, 9/03

Sanders, William

Dry Bones

Asimov's, 5/03

Shepard, Lucius

Only Partly Here

Asimov's, 3/03

Skillingstead, Jack

Dead Worlds

Asimov's, 6/03

2003 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Ted Chiang

Liking What You See: A Documentary

Stories of Your Life and Others, Tor

Richard Chwedyk

Bronte's Egg

F&SF, 8/02

Greg Egan


Interzone, 2/02

Paul di Filippo

A Year in the Linear City

PS Publishing

Gregory Frost

Madonna of the Maquiladora

Asimov's, 5/02

John Kessel

Stories for Men

Asimov's, 10/02

Ursula K. LeGuin

The Seasons of the Ansarac

Infinite Matrix, 6/3

Ursula K. LeGuin

The Wild Girls

Asimov's, 3/02

Ian R. MacLeod


Asimov's, 5/02

Robert Reed


F&SF, 3/02

Lucius Shepard

Over Yonder

SciFiction, 1/02

Bruce Sterling

In Paradise

F&SF, 9/02

Charles Stross


Asimov's, 6/02

Click here to return to the main Sturgeon Award page.

Theodore Sturgeon Resources

  • The Theodore Sturgeon website is the Official Site of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Trust, and contains information about new and reprinted work by Theodore Sturgeon (the Literary Trust owns the copyright to his work).
  • The Theodore Sturgeon Page contains a great deal of information about Theodore Sturgeon, including publications, reminiscences by friends and colleagues, a bio, photographs, and more.

updated 8/10/2021