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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