We’ve all heard of the Hugos and the Nebulas. They’re the big names when it comes to science fiction awards.
And while having a Hugo or a Nebula is a great achievement, there are plenty of other reputable awards for science fiction books (and short stories and poetry) out there too.
Here are a few science fiction awards not everyone knows about!
- Gaylactic Spectrum Award
- Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award
- Dwarf Stars Award
- Eugie Award
The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards were initially presented by the Gaylactic Network, first established in 1998 and first awarded in 1999. However, they created their own organization in 2002 called the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards Foundation.
The award focuses on works of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy that positively represent the LGBTQ+ community.
They have award categories for Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, and many others.
Nicola Griffith won three awards, making her the most awarded novelist in of the GSA. She has also been given five nominations, alongside Melissa Scott, making them both the most nominated writers in this spectrum.
If you’d like to nominate a piece for this science fiction award, please visit their website.
The Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award was created in 2001 by the Cordwainer Smith Foundation in memory of science fiction author, Cordwainer Smith.
Cordwainer Smith was a pen-name for Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, a former US Army officer and expert in psychological warfare. He wrote a number of science fiction novels, but his career was cut short in 1966, when he suffered a heart attack.
His memorial award focuses on under read science fiction or fantasy to purposely draw more attention to the authors.
The awards go to Best Underrated Science Fiction and Best Underread Fantasy.
British writer and philosopher Olaf Stapledon was the first winner of the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Awards, and since 2001, the awards haven’t stopped. Most recently, British writer David Guy Compton (or D. G. Compton) won the last award in 2021.
Other previous winners were:
- R. A Lafferty (2002);
- Edgar Pangborn (2003);
- Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore (2004);
- Leigh Brackett (2005);
- William Hope Hodgson (2006);
- Daniel F. Galouye (2007)
- Stanley G. Weinbaum (2008)
- A. Merritt (2009), Mark Clifton (2010);
- Katherine MacLean (2011);
- Fredric Brown (2012);
- Wyman Guin (2013);
- Mildred Clingerman (2014);
- Clark Ashton Smith (2015);
- Judith Merril (2016);
- Seabury Quinn (2017);
- Frank M. Robinson (2018)
- Carol Emshwiller (2019); and,
- Rick Raphael (2020).
The Dwarf Stars Award was established as a counterpoint to the Rhysling Award in 2006, both awards given by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Dwarf Star was created to honor short form poetry, as many of the winners of the Rhysling award wrote in long forms.
This award focuses on sci-fi, horror, and fantasy poems of ten lines or fewer, published in English in the prior year.
Categories include Best Science Fiction Author, Best Horror Author, and Best Fantasy Author.
The awards have first, second and third places. American writer Ruth Berman won first place in 2006, and John C. Mannone won first place in 2020 (the last award given so far).
Other previous first-winners include: Jane Yolen (2007), Greg Beatty (2008), Geoffrey A. Landis (2009), Howard V. Hendrix (2010), Julie Bloss Kelsey (2011), Marge Simon (2012), Deborah P. Kolodji (2013), Mat Joiner (2014), Greg Schwartz (2015), Stacy Balkun (2016), LeRoy Gorman (2017), Kath Abela Wilson (2018), and Sofia Rhei (2019).
The Eugie Foster Memorial Award (or simply Eugie Award) was first presented in 2016 at Dragon Con’s awards banquet and has been ongoing ever since. It was named in honor of prolific speculative writer and editor Eugie Foster.
This award focuses on short speculative fiction published in the previous year.
The Eugie Award categories include Best Innovative and Essential Short Speculative Fiction.
The American writer Catherynne M. Valente won the first award back in 2016, and the Canadian writer Siobhan Carroll won the last award in 2020.
Other previous first-winners include N. K. Jemisin (2017), Fran Wilde (2018), and Simone Heller (2019).
There are plenty more science fiction awards out there, some well-known, some a bit more niche. Is there an award that you follow closely? Comment down below!
And if you’re interested in the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Short Fiction, you can check out the guidelines here: