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Campbell Conference 2002


Two unusual circumstances marked last year's Campbell and Sturgeon Awards presented Friday, July 5, at the University of Kansas.

The Theodore Sturgeon Award for the best short SF of the year went to stories published in the same magazine, "Asimov's Science Fiction," edited by Gardner Dozois, and, moreover, to stories published in the same issue of the magazine, June 2001. The winning story was Andy Duncan's "The Chief Designer." Second place was awarded to "Lobsters" by Charles Stross; and third place, to "Undone" by James Patrick Kelly.

The other unusual circumstance: For only the second time in the history of the John W. Campbell Award for the best science-fiction novel of the year, two novels tied for first place. They were Jack Williamson's Terraforming Earth and Robert Charles Wilson's The Chronoliths. Nancy Kress's Probability Sun took third place. All three novels were published by Tor Books. The only previous tie was in 1974, when Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama tied with Robert Merle's Malevil.

The award to Duncan was presented by Frederik Pohl, a member of the Sturgeon Award final judges; the award to Wilson was presented by Chris McKitterick, a member of the Campbell Jury. Williamson, who is 94, was unable to be present but sent a message of appreciation, saying that the award was particularly welcome because Terraforming Earth would be his final novel. His writing career was, as well, closely associated with John Campbell's Astounding. The awards were presented at a dinner held on the KU campus July 5. Duncan came from Alabama to accept his award; Wilson, from Concord, Ontario, Canada.

The awards were presented as part of the annual Campbell Conference sponsored by J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The Center also sponsors an intensive science fiction course.

At the conference 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 at KU. The posthumous inductions went to Donald A. Wollheim and James Blish; living authors inducted were Samuel R. Delany and Michael Moorcock.

The Sturgeon Award stories are nominated by a committee of some two-dozen reviewers and editors chaired by McKitterick, and the winners are chosen by Pohl, Gunn, and Kij Johnson, with the assistance of Andros 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 Brian Stableford.

- James Gunn, director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction

James Gunn (right) opens the 2002 Campbell, Sturgeon, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame award dinner.

Elizabeth Hull (left) announces the third place Campbell Award winner Nancy Kress for Probability Sun.

Chris McKitterick (right) presents the first place Campbell Award to Robert Charles Wilson for The Chronoliths. Wilson shared the award with Jack Williamson for Terraforming Earth. Due to the tie for first place, there was no second place winner.

Robert Charles Wilson (left) accepts the first place Campbell Award.

Kij Johnson (right) announces the second place Sturgeon Award winner Charles Stone for "Lobsters."

Fred Pohl (left) announces the first place Sturgeon Award winner Andy Duncan for "The Chief Designer."

Andy Duncan (right) accepts the first place Sturgeon Award.

Fred Pohl and Andy Duncan.

Andy Duncan and Robert Charles Wilson.