Campbell Award Renamed
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer has been renamed The Astounding Award for Best New Writer. The award, which is sponsored by Dell Magazines and administered by the World Science Fiction Society, was named for the editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later Analog Science Fiction and Fact). Current Analog editor Trevor Quachri said,
Campbell’s provocative editorials and opinions on race, slavery, and other matters often reflected positions that went beyond just the mores of his time and are today at odds with modern values, including those held by the award’s many nominees, winners, and supporters.
As we move into Analog’s 90th anniversary year, our goal is to keep the award as vital and distinguished as ever, so after much consideration, we have decided to change the award’s name to The Astounding Award for Best New Writer.
The nomination and selection process will remain the same, and we will be working with the World Science Fiction Society through future Worldcon committees to ensure the award continues to remain supportive of emerging authors.
This change follows a wide-ranging discussion in the SF field sparked by this year’s Campbell Award winner Jeannette Ng. In her acceptance speech as posted online, Ng said, in part,
John W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a fascist. Through his editorial control of Astounding Science Fiction, he is responsible for setting a tone of science fiction that still haunts the genre to this day. Sterile. Male. White. Exalting in the ambitions of imperialists and colonisers, settlers and industrialists. Yes, I am aware there are exceptions.
But these bones, we have grown wonderful, ramshackle genre, wilder and stranger than his mind could imagine or allow.
And I am so proud to be part of this. To share with you my weird little story, an amalgam of all my weird interests, so much of which has little to do with my superficial identities and labels.
For more information, see the announcement on Analog‘s blog.
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29 thoughts on “Campbell Award Renamed”
Oh, for fuck’s sake.
The Woke PC History-Erasing Police strike the science fiction world!
So just how long will it be before they find Hugo Gernsback unacceptable and rename the Hugos?
This is the opposite of erasing history. This is taking history seriously. Grow up.
Gernsback was a liberal, but a shyster who screwed his authors out of money. Don’t you want to protest that by NOT renaming the Hugos, us SJWs are showing that we care more about politics than personal integrity?
There, I gave you that one for free! 🙂
Better be quiet or you will be sent to room 101.
Eyeroll.gif goes here. That’s just the dumbest fuckin’ thing.
Christ the Status Quo warriors are truly a bunch of snowflakes. The man was an ignorant racist. I thought the sad/sick puppies where put down?
Just like in 1984.
And here I was thinking America was over McCarthyism…
Times change. Names change. Nobody is taking the Campbellaward from those who have won it. But it seems the new writers don’t want an award with his name on it. That’s fair. The award is for them, not people attached to the name.
Good. Campbell didn’t deserve to have an award named after him.
This is sick!
Because Locus was founded by Wh*te M*le Charles Brown the time has come to rename it Loca.
Why is ‘Astounding Award’ considered safe? Surely a search of its pages will turn up copious examples of badthink. Or is that to be excused, blamed on the machinations of Emmanuel Campbell-stein?
Wow. I hope 90 years from now, all of our contributions and accomplishments aren’t wiped away because we don’t hold up to the ethical standards of people in the year 2110. I made a post about the necessity of judging people separately from their work not long ago when radio stations were banning Michael Jackson’s music from the radio. If we keep on this vein, we will have to start renaming probably the majority of cities, streets, organizations, etc. I am all for social justice (pretty strongly, in fact), but people nowadays are getting a bit too self-righteous. I wonder what they have contributed, and if their own lives would bear up to a close personal examination by history.
It’s lucky that we don’t know more about Shakespeare’s personal life, because it is possible and even likely that he was as sexist, racist and anti-Semitic as some of the heroes in his plays. Then, we would have to rename the many things that have the name Shakespeare on them (including all Shakespeare festivals, and landmarks like Shakespeare Bridge in Los Angeles). Personally condemning people who made important contributions in the past is an easy way to feel superior to people who contributed more to society and art than we think we ever will. The worst kind of sour grapes.
Stupid SJW madness enslaved practically all once great SF\fantasy awards. New rasism against white, male and straight is on the march.
I can’t tell if this is a troll or just stupid. Thoughts anyone?
Lastly, the new name may be better for the award. That’s not the issue. It’s the self-righteous holier-than-thou attitude that accompanies it that really galls me. This kind of attitude from the far Right or the far Left is the same awful ego trip that shows a real lack of self-awareness and humility.
Why are the status quo warriors such snowflakes? Didn’t the sick/sad puppies get put to sleep?
Good. That bastard didn’t deserve to be given that much attention to begin with.
Much ado about a name change. We have had two different Campbell awards since 1973, and it has been confusing for some. The Astounding Awards is a good new name, so finally we all can tell them apart. But a better reason is to take the spotlight that has been on a key editor of Astounding Magazine, and widen it to include all the other editors of Astounding and Analog, as well as all the writers who gave its pages so many stories and novels. Some of whom were female or non-white.
I’d rather see this as inclusion rather than exclusion. A positive refocusing. Not to de-memorialize John W. Campbell. He did lots of good as an editor as well as a writer, yet we must not forget he wrote many editorials full of counter-intuitive views and bad ideas.
The year 2020 CE will be upon us in mere weeks. Bad old ideas are yielding to new and better ones. This world is changing, the human species is evolving, the status quo is breaking.
I’m male and white, and tired of an attitude of holier-than-thou self-righteousness — that of the White Male American. He is the one who has lacked humility and awareness — of self or anything else. Whose ego had created the status quo.
Calling names like “snowflake”, or the N-word even, will not make the future any slower as in comes toward the present. Social justice will come with it. How could social justice be bad for the male or the white? It must be beneficial to everyone, including those of my gender and color, or else you can’t call it justice. I would welcome something that is good to me and to everyone. Haven’t any of our favorite writers had an outlook so positive?
“”“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.””” George Orwell, 1984
Lilliput and Blefuscu had a reason to go to war.
Campbell has not been erased from history. There was a new book about Astounding, its editor and its authors short listed for the Hugo only this year. That history will be there for all to read, judge, refine, research and contribute to. But statues and awards and plaques are not history–they are expressions of community values. There has indeed been a revolution in the SFF community… it is now intercontinental and worldwide. I doubt most of the young writers have even read a story first published in the original Astounding Magazine. It is one thing to be irrelevant. It is quite another to represent values that are antithetical to the community. Astounding as a name will honour what the magazine in all its forms with all its editors contributed to the broad flow of SFF continuity, history, development– things the new authors can honour as well.
Our history is our history, we can celebrate the good that people of the past did and acknowledge the bad without either mythologizing them or erasing them.
That said, yes, Campbell was a fascist, a racist and generally an ass. He also almost single-handedly saved sci-fi from extinction. If we fail to acknowledge either we do not do history justice.
The John W. Campbell Award Is NOT Renamed. It is STILL The John W. Campbell Award. You have no authority here.
At age 65, I have now lived to see the SF world I love morph into a politically correct, Orwellian nightmare. Campbell’s personal beliefs and political views were never the point of the award. Judging him by his contributions to the SF field is the only “fair play” standard by which to judge any historical figure. By this standard, John W. Campbell was an exceptional, monumental figure. Changing the award name is pitiful, knee jerk cow dung. This action by Dell magazines is the antithesis of SF’s purpose as a true and open “literature of ideas”. This is blatant censorship in it’s most malevolent form. No doubt at all about it.
If they’re looking at our award names in fifty years, they’ll certainly see that we had a low tolerance for sexism and racism . . . and a high tolerance for the corporate shill. We should act now to prevent their offense! While it’s certainly true that those receiving the award should have a say in what the award’s called, I think it’s funny that we can’t figure out how to treat with the idea that flawed people can make huge contributions to the public good. Despite his views, Campbell was the most influential editor in SF history, and one of the two most important.
Which makes me wonder . . . did anyone consider renaming it the Gardner Dozois? Ah, we’re back to the corporate shill part of it. The unintended consequence of this whole thing is that the people who thought that it was important to name an award after Campbell (who are mostly dead now) are themselves disrespected.