A Home for Really Short Stories: Scientific American Announces “Quantum Shorts” Fiction Contest

Scientific American has just announced the Quantum Shorts 2013 competition, in partnership with Tor Books and the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. The Quantum Shorts contest encourages readers to submit a short story that is inspired by quantum theory and will run until December 1, 2013.

Quantum theory states that particles can be in more than one place at the same time, or exhibit a strange, almost telepathic link called entanglement. “Quantum-inspired fiction will no doubt be just as exciting and unusual as quantum theory,” says Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina. “We are excited to read the inspired stories that are submitted.”

Entries can be submitted here from now through December 1, 2013.

A panel of judges will select the winners and runner-ups in three different categories: Open International, Student International and Student Singapore. The public will vote and decide the People’s Choice prize in the Open International category. Winners will receive a trophy, a cash prize and a one-year digital subscription to ScientificAmerican.com. The winner of the Open International category will be featured on ScientificAmerican.com.

”The more you learn about quantum theory, the more it stretches your imagination. I look forward to seeing how people entering our contest are inspired by their glimpse into the quantum world,” says Artur Ekert, Director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies and a judge for the Quantum Shorts contest. Ekert is one of the co-inventors of quantum cryptography, a technique for secure communication that harnesses quantum behavior.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden, senior editor at Tor Books will also act as a judge, and points out the value of having imaginative writers interact with the frontiers of science. ”Science fiction can’t tell us what science will discover. But it can often tell us how we’ll feel about it when that happens,” he says.

The short story submissions are limited to 1,000 words in length, in English. Entries must be uploaded here to the Quantum Shorts website, which also features a full set of rules and guidelines.


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