Suzanne Palmer Wins the 2020 Theodore Sturgeon Award

The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at Kansas University has announced this year’s winners of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award: Suzanne Palmer, for her story “Waterlines.”

The center’s jury hands out the award annually to the best short science fiction story of the year. Last year’s recipient was Annalee Newitz, for her story “When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis.”

Palmer’s story is set on a world where two societies (Erax and Oceanics) don’t speak to one another, something that causes problems when a group of Oceanics arrive at a base with a couple of human bodies. The story was published in Asimov’s July / August edition, and you can read the entire story online here.

Normally, the award would be handed out in person at the center’s annual conference, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that event has been postponed.

In addition to Palmer (who was nominated twice), this year’s finalists included Tobias S. Buckell, Ted Chiang, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, A.T. Greenblatt, Karen Osborne, Lina Rather, Karin Tidbeck, Lavie Tidhar, and Caroline M. Yoachim. The center says that Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone earned the second place slot for their novella This is How You Lose the Time War, while Karin Tidbeck earned the third place position for “The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir.”


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