Theodore Sturgeon Award

Theodore Sturgeon Award

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best short science fiction story published in English in the preceding calendar year. It is the short fiction counterpart of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, awarded by the same organization. The award is named in honor of Theodore Sturgeon (1918–85), one of the leading authors of the Golden Age of Science Fiction from 1939 to 1950. The award was established in 1987 by his heirs—including his widow, Jayne Sturgeon—and James Gunn, at the time the Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction.

From 1987 through 1994 the award was given out by a panel of science fiction experts led by Orson Scott Card. Beginning in 1995, the committee was replaced by a group of jurors, who vote on the nominations submitted for consideration. The initial jurors were James Gunn, Frederik Pohl, and Judith Merril. Merril was replaced on the jury by former winner Kij Johnson in 1997, one of Sturgeon's children—Noel Sturgeon in most years—was added to the panel in 1999, and George Zebrowski was added to the panel in 2005. Nominations are submitted by reviewers, fans, publishers, and editors, and are collated by the current Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, Christopher McKitterick, into a list of finalists to be voted on by the jury. The maximum eligible length that a work may be is not formally defined by the center. The winner is selected by May of each year, and is presented at the Campbell Conference awards banquet in June at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, as part of the centerpiece of the conference along with the Campbell Award. Winners are always invited to attend the ceremony. Since 2004 winners have received a personalized trophy, while since the inception of the award a permanent trophy has recorded all of the winners.

During the 26 years the award has been active, 154 authors have had works nominated, 27 of whom have won. No author has won more than once. John Kessel and Michael Swanwick have each won once out of seven nominations, Ursula K. Le Guin one of six and Ted Chiang one of five, and Paolo Bacigalupi, Ian McDonald, and Lucius Shepard have won once out of four times. James Patrick Kelly has the most nominations without winning at seven, followed by Ian R. MacLeod and Robert Reed at six and Bruce Sterling at four.

Read more about Theodore Sturgeon Award:  Winners and Nominees

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