Theodore Sturgeon
"Ask the Next Question"

Have you wondered about the shape on top of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award? (See the photo of the trophy on the left, below.) It's a stylized Q with an arrow through it, Theodore Sturgeon's signature mark. Sturgeon explains why he used this symbol in a June, 1967, essay from Cavalier Magazine, scanned and presented here (on the right):

Starting in 2004, winners of the Sturgeon Award began receiving personalized trophies.
The permanent Award, beside the new trophies in this photo, bears the names of every winner.

About the Sturgeon Award

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founder of the J Wayne and Elsie M Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon's children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

Sturgeon, born in 1918, was closely identified with the Golden Age of science fiction, 1939-1950, and is often mentioned as one of the four writers who helped establish that age. The others were Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and A. E. van Vogt; all four had their first SF stories published in 1939. In addition to fiction (his best-known novel is the classic, More Than Human), Sturgeon also wrote book reviews, poetry, screenplays, radio plays, and television plays, including two classic teleplays for the original Star Trek. He was a popular lecturer and teacher, and was a regular visiting writer at Gunn's Intensive Institute on the Teaching of Science Fiction. Sturgeon died in 1985.

His books, manuscripts, and papers have been deposited at the University of Kansas, as he wished. See this page for news and information about the 2011 acquisition, valued at over $600,000.

Sturgeon Award Resources

Sturgeon Award winners

Sturgeon Award finalists

More images of the Sturgeon Award trophy

Theodore Sturgeon Resources

The Theodore Sturgeon Literary Trust website is a fantastic resource for all things Sturgeon. It contains many stories, audio readings of Sturgeon's works, information about new and reprinted work (the Trust owns the copyright to his work), and much more - even a recipe!

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 4/14/2014