Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A(n inter)stellar start to the day

Not to step on my lede, the finalists for the inaugural Canopus Award, given for interstellar-themed SF, were announced today. And in the novel category -- well, that's the (inter)stellar news. I'll come to that.

First, some background ...

It's been nearly a year since I posted about participating in a 100 Year Starship Symposium (as one topic among several in "Nanotech and starships and fusion, oh my!")., seeded with NASA and DARPA funding, headed by physician and onetime shuttle astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, is an awesome organization, its five-year mission: "To boldly go ..." (No, wait. That's another interstellar organization.) 

And the mission of 100YSS?
We exist to make the capability of human travel beyond our solar system a reality within the next 100 years. We unreservedly dedicate ourselves to identifying and pushing the radical leaps in knowledge and technology needed to achieve interstellar flight, while pioneering and transforming breakthrough applications that enhance the quality of life for all on Earth. We actively seek to include the broadest swath of people and human experience in understanding, shaping and implementing this global aspiration.
And why this made my day? Still coming.

Many of the last year's panelists and participants were SF fans. Several of us (and not just me) were SF authors. One item that didn't make it into my summary post (although I covered it in a longer article written for Analog (*)) was the announcement of a new SF award: the Canopus.

(*) "Alien Adventures: Rising to the Challenge," 
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October 2015.)
In consonance with 100YSS's inspirational and aspirational goal, the Canopus Award, named after the second-brightest star in our night sky, is "awarded annually to the writers of the most distinguished publication with a primary component of interstellar exploration or travel." (The full announcement of the launch (heh) of the Canopus Award is here.) Canopus Awards will be, well, awarded, for the first time at the upcoming (October 29th through November 1st) 100YSS 2015 Symposium.

Why post about this today? To promote the conference and a Good Cause? Absolutely! But beyond that, the press release is (as per my opening paragraph) just out with finalists for the inaugural Canopus Awards. And my latest InterstellarNet series novel, InterstellarNet: Enigma, is on the list ...

As a physicist, onetime NASA contractor, and SF author, how could I not be delighted? In the
novel category, I find myself in the most excellent authorial company of, following 100YSS's "no particular order" ordering: Alastair Reynolds, Elizabeth Guizzetti, Brenda Cooper, (here's where my name appears), Kim Stanley Robinson, and Jack McDevitt. 

For the complete listing of this year's finalists in all categories, check out the Canopus Awards press release.

Fingers crossed ...


qraal said...

Good luck Edward! I loved the Interstellar Net tales in "Analog".

Edward M. Lerner said...

Thanks, qraal.