2023 Canopus Awards Nominee!

December 14, 2022

My story “Repairs at the Beijing West Space Elevator” was nominated for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing! This story originally appeared in Chinese as part of the FAA Lunar New Year Gala and was published in English at Analog.

Congratulations to my fellow nominees (that’s an impressive list and I really don’t expect to win my category!) Results will be announced at the 100YSS conference in Nairobi this coming February.

Canopus Award Nomination and Storybundle

April 12, 2017

I’m thrilled to find myself on the list of Canopus-nominated works for the second time! Canopus is an award for excellence in interstellar writing and it’s given out by 100 Year Starship think tank. I’m in really good company, too. Last year I lost to Ken Liu, who is nominated as a translator in a different category. But this year I will most likely be losing to Alastair Reynolds or perhaps a number of other really awesome nominees. This is one of those “I’m definitely honored to be nominated” situations. 🙂

The nominated story is “Whom He May Devour” and it was published in Nautilus. You can read it for free by clicking on the link.

You can read the 2016-2017 Canopus nominees announcement press release here.

Another cool thing is that UFO1 is included in the SFWA Sci-Fi Storybundle along with all the other great books listed above.

This is my first experience with Storybundle but it’s a very cool model where you can pay what you want to get these books and you get to decide what portion goes to the authors and what to Storybundle itself, and whether a cut gets donated to SFWA. Check it out!



Various Updates and a chance to win a copy of Mission: Tomorrow!

November 11, 2015

Wow it has been a while since I updated the blog. Sorry about that! I’ve been incredibly busy traveling and working, but I’m catching up now. So, what happened in recent weeks? Let’s see:

  • I did not win the Canopus award. It went to Ken Liu’s “The Waves” as I predicted it would. He 100% deserves it. “The Waves” is my second-favorite Ken Liu story (after “The Paper Menagerie”) and I was kind of surprised not to see it on the major award ballots last year. Before the Canopus was even announced I asked Ken to include this story in Humanity 2.0, an anthology I’m editing for Arc Manor which will be published next year, and he agreed. I can’t wait to share it with readers who may not be familiar with it yet!
  • I loved the 100 Year Starship Symposium. It was an opportunity to meet with some incredibly smart people from NASA, SETI, and private space companies and listen to presentations on a wide array of subjects which I will be sure to use in future stories. The hotel which hosted the symposium also hosted the New York Jets that weekend, as they prepared to play the Raiders. The huge hotel lobby with clusters of rocket scientists and clusters of huge athletes was an amusing dissonance to observe, to say the least.

    And the scientists know how to have fun too — the Halloween party was a hoot!

    With Dr. Mae Jamison at the 100 Year Starship Symposium Halloween party.

    With Dr. Mae Jamison at the 100 Year Starship Symposium Halloween party.


  • A few short days after returning from Santa Clara, CA I drove to Saratoga Springs, NY to attend the World Fantasy Convention. It was great fun catching up with so many friends. Here’s a photo of an impromptu lunch which grew from 3 people to this in a matter of hours after we first planned it (this happens all the time at cons!)

    WFC 2015 Saratoga Springs

    WFC 2015 Saratoga Springs

  • My next trip will be to Philcon in a little over a week. I will post my schedule prior to the event.
  • Nature selected my story they published last month, “Staff Meeting As Seen By the Spam Filter” to be featured on their podcast. You can listen to it here.
  • Mission: Tomorrow, which includes my Canopus Award finalist story “The Race for Arcadia” was officially released earlier this month. You can read the first four stories (including mine!) in the sampler here. This anthology is excellent and has been highly praised at Locus.
    Read the first four stories from Mission: Tomorrow here. (Click the Next link at top right of each page to navigate).
  • You can also win an e-book copy of Mission: Tomorrow right here on my blog! Simply comment on this post between now and Wednesday, November 18. On November 19 (which also happens to be my birthday) I will randomly select one person to receive an e-book. If 10+ people comment, I will give away two copies instead.




2015 Canopus Award Finalist!

September 23, 2015


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.