Award: John W. Campbell Award

This permanent Campbell Award trophy bears the names of all the winners

The John W. Campbell Award, named to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, which is now named Analog. It is awarded every Summer during the Campbell Conference at the University of Kansas Center for the Study of Science Fiction.

Campbells are awarded to the best science fiction novel of the year as determined by a small committee of academics and authors. The committee will not name a winner if no truly outstanding original novel was published for that year, making this award a great reading list for those with discriminating literary tastes.

Campbell Award winners receive a personalized trophy, and winners’ names are added to the permanent trophy.


  • A tie for 1st place in 2002, 2009, 2012
  • A tie for 3rd in 2007, 1992, 1986
  • No 1st place in 1994
  • No 2nd place winner in years 2002, 2001, 1982
  • No 3rd place winner in years 2001, 1995, 1983, 1982, 1975
  • 1976 awarded 1st to a 1970 novel due to lack of a truly outstanding 1975 novel.
  • 1974 had ties for 1st and 2nd, with 3rd going to a nonfiction book.

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June 2014


Campbell Award

About the John W. Campbell Award [1]

The John W. Campbell Award for the best science-fiction novel of the year is one of the three major annual awards for science fiction. The first Campbell Award was presented at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. Since then the Award has been presented in various parts of the world: at California State University at Fullerton; at St. John's College, Oxford; at the World SF Writers Conference in Dublin; in Stockholm; at the World SF meeting in Dublin again; and since 1979 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

The Award was created to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, which is now named Analog. Campbell, who edited the magazine from 1937 until his death in 1971, is called, by many writers and scholars, the father of modern science fiction. Writers and critics Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss established the award in Campbell's name as a way of continuing his efforts to encourage writers to produce their best possible work.

The Award differs from the other two major awards in the field by being restricted to the novel and by its method of selection. The Hugo Awards are voted upon by some thousand of the several thousand members who pay advance fees to attend the World Science Fiction Convention, which meets annually at different locations on Labor Day weekend. The Nebula Awards are voted by some hundred of the nearly one thousand members of the Science Fiction Writers of America and presented at the annual Nebula Award meeting usually held late in April.

The Campbell Award is the only award of the three selected by a committee small enough to discuss among its members the novels published during the year and to arrive at a consensus choice. The Award has been presented to an unusual variety of authors from around the world, listed below by year.

In recent years the Campbell Award has been presented during the Campbell Conference at the University of Kansas as the focal point of a weekend of discussions about the writing, illustration, publishing, teaching, and criticism of science fiction.


  1. ^Reproduced from with permission from Chris McKitterick granted 7/18/2005


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