Campbell Conference 2003
History and Science Fiction

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 Shepard's Over Yonder was published on the SciFiction section, edited by Ellen Datlow, of Second place was awarded to Bronte's 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 Kress' Probability Space took first place (a earlier novel in the series, Probability Sun, took third place last year). Moreover, Kress' 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 Brin's Kiln People; third place went to Robert J. Sawyer's 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. Director Kevin Willmott and cinematographer Matthew Jacobson led a discussion after the showing.

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.

- 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.