2015 Canopus Award Finalist!


I’m thrilled and proud to announce that I’m one of the finalists for the inaugural Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing!

This award is presented by 100 Year Starship, a project founded by Mae Jemison and jointly funded by NASA and DARPA. They’re looking to facilitate the creation of an interstellar starship within the next hundred years. How cool is that? 100YSS hosts an annual public symposium, and as part of the upcoming one in Silicon Valley they will announce the winners of this award in several categories.

The story of mine that is recognized by them is “The Race for Arcadia,” which is part of Mission: Tomorrow, a Baen anthology edited by Bryan Thomas-Schmidt, out this fall. It is a story of the rekindled space race, this time between the US, Russia, and India, as each nation strives to become the first to land a manned spacecraft on Arcadia, or as we know it now, Kepler 452b. (Incidentally, this will likely be the first professionally published story to mention this recently discovered Earth-lke exoplanet by name!)


The complete press release from 100YSS follows:




The Authors and Works in Categories of Previously Published and Original Fiction and Nonfiction for the 2015 Awards Released


HOUSTON, September 23, 2015 — 100 Year Starshipâ (100YSSâ) today announced the finalists in the inaugural Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing.  The Canopus Award is  an annual writing prize recognizing the finest fiction and non-fiction works that contribute to the excitement, knowledge, and understanding of interstellar space exploration and travel.

Winners will be announced and honored on Friday, October 30, 2015 during the 100 Year Starship 2015 Public Symposium held at the Santa Clara Marriott, in Santa Clara, California  October 29-November 1, 2015.

The finalists (listed in no particular order) in the four award categories are listed below.

In the category of “Previously Published Long-Form Fiction” (40,000 words or more):

·       Slow Bullets  by Alastair Reynolds

·       Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

·       The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper

·       InterstellarNet: Enigma by Edward M. Lerner

·       Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

·       Coming Home by Jack McDevitt

In the category of “Previously Published Short-Form Fiction” (between 1,000 and 40,000 words):

·       “Race for Arcadia” by Alex Shvartsman

·       “Stars that Make Dark Heaven Light” by Sharon Roest

·       “Homesick” by Debbie Urbanski

·       “Twenty Lights to the Land of Snow” by Michael Bishop

·       “Planet Lion” by Catherine M. Valente

·       “The Waves” by Ken Liu

·       “Dreamboat” by Robin Wyatt Dunn

In the category of “Original Fiction” (1,000-5,000 words):

·       “Landfall” by Jon F. Zeigler

·       “Project Fermi” by Michael Turgeon

·       “Everett’s Awakening” by Yelcho

·       “Groundwork” by G. M. Nair

·       “His Holiness John XXIV about Father Angelo Baymasecchi’s Diary” by   Óscar Garrido González

·       “The Disease of Time” by Joseph Schmidt

In the category of “Original Non-Fiction” (1,000-5,000 words):

·       “Why Interstellar Travel?” by Jeffrey Nosanov

·       “Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens” by Louis Friedman and Slava Turyshev

Judges for the Canopus Award  are: writer and 100YSS Creative and Editorial director Jason Batt; author and former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole; Founder of International Speechwriting Associates Kathleen Colgan, Ph.D.; teacher at the University of Edinburgh in the School of Education and Leadership, Janet DeVigne; editor Jaym Gates, 100YSS Principal and former astronaut Mae Jemison, M.D., Chapman University creative writing student Alec Medén; Rutgers University Professor Ronke Olabisi. Ph.D.; faculty and advisor to the Singularity University David Orban, Georgia high school freshman Bailey Stanley, writer and anthropologist Juliette Wade, Ph.D.; Aeronautical and Astronautical engineer Paul Webber; journalist Sofia Webber; astrobiologist and creator of Yuri’s Night Loretta Whitesides; and Major General Ken Wisian.

For more information about award criteria, visit http://100yss.org/initiatives/canopusaward.



4 Responses to 2015 Canopus Award Finalist!

  1. rufaroz says:

    Her name is spelled Jemison.

    Sent from my iPad


    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Thanks! I caught and fixed that a few minutes ago. Of all people I should know to take extra care spelling people’s last names, but I was a bit too excited and rushed to post… 🙂

  2. beckydevendra says:

    Wow, congrats!

  3. Widdershins says:

    WOW! Who’da thunk? … I would. You deserve it … may you win. 😀

%d bloggers like this: