call for nominations: SFRA Innovative Research Award

Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA)
Open Call for Nominations: 2022 SFRA Innovative Research Award
Deadline for nominations: February 6, 2023

The SFRA Innovative Research Award

The Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) invites nominations for the 2022 Innovative Research Award. The award is announced annually at the SFRA conference and is awarded to the writer (or writers) of the year’s best critical essay-length work published in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Formerly known as the Pioneer Award, the SFRA Innovative Research Award was renamed in 2019 following lengthy discussions and a community vote. For a list of past winners:

Please note: Only peer-reviewed journal articles published in 2022 are eligible for submission. A maximum of two submissions is welcomed per person, and it is possible to self-nominate. Past winners will not be considered for this award, so please refer to the list of winners before submitting your nomination if you believe the author has won in the past. All nominations will remain anonymous.

For all inquiries or to submit a nomination, please send the author’s name, title of article and the journal and pages in which the article appeared to the committee chair Anna Kurowicka at Please also include the article as an attachment. The deadline for submissions in February 6, 2023.

SFRA22 Student Paper Award

SFRA student members (both graduate and undergraduate): Please consider submitting your conference presentation from the SFRA22 Oslo conference for consideration for the Graduate Student Paper Award. It’s a great opportunity to have your work honored by your sf peers and to build lines for your CV.
In order to be eligible, all you have to do is send in the paper that you presented as you presented it (no revised or extended versions, other than light editing to correct typos). Please attach all presentations (preferably in Microsoft Word or PDF format; including presentation files from PowerPoint or Prezi is fine) to an email with the subject line “SFRA Student Paper Award Submission” and send them to Josh Pearson ( The deadline for submission is Friday, September 2.
Only one entry per person, please.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the chair of the committee, Josh Pearson, directly at the above email.
The committee looks forward to reading your work!

SFRA Treasurer Changeover

Dear SFRA, I wanted to let the organization know that Jess FitzPatrick has stepped back from her role as treasurer. We on the executive committee would like to thank Jess for her work as treasurer, and welcome Tim Murphy (Oklahoma State University) and thank him for steeping into the post. Per the association bylaws, he will serve out the rest of the term.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

All best, Gerry Canavan SFRA President

SFRA Executive Board and Award Committees

Dear Members,
Do you see yourself as a committed member of the Science Fiction community? Are you a member of the Science Fiction Research Association and feel like you want to do more? Are you organized, efficient, and communicative?
If you answered yes, read on!
* We are currently seeking nominations for two positions in the SFRA EC: Secretary and President. These are volunteer positions and the length of term is three years, though the President is expected to stay on as the Immediate Past President for another three years. Full descriptions of these positions can be found in the SFRA bylaws, here [Article V, Sections 2 & 4]. Elections will be held at the end of 2022 and term of office will begin January 2023. Please do not be shy to nominate yourselves!
* We are also looking to fill out some of the positions that were created or modified during the bylaw revisions: Development Officer and a US Outreach Officer. These officers will be appointed by the President and confirmed by the EC. Further information can be found here [Article V, Sections.13 & 15]
* We will be piloting the “at large” role with two one-year postings. We are especially looking to recruit candidates who are graduate students, non-Tenure Track, non-US, and/or from marginalized communities not historically represented on the executive board. Further information can be found here [Article V. Section 10]

* SFRA is seeking volunteers to serve on its many award committees. Judges serve a three-year term, including chairing the committee their third and final year. Information on the different awards can be found here.

If you are interested in any of these positions, please send an email to Keren Omry, at, for more information. Be sure to let me know which position you would like to be considered for or which committees you are interested in potentially serving on.

The executive committee of SFRA is especially interested in including new voices from the membership in each of these roles. It is a great way to deepen your relationship with SFRA.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
Keren Omry

University of Haifa, Dept. of English
Science Fiction Research Association, Immediate Past President
Palgrave SFF: A New CanonSeries Co-editor

2022 Award Winners

The 2021 awards were announced at the banquet at the conclusion of the 2022 conference in Oslo, Norway. Congratulations to all winners!

SFRA Award for Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship
Originally the Pilgrim Award, the SFRA Award for Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship was created in 1970 by the SFRA to honor lifetime contributions to SF and fantasy scholarship. The award was first named for J. O. Bailey’s pioneering book, Pilgrims through Space and Time and altered in 2019.

This year’s awardee is Roger Luckhurst (Professor of English, Birkbeck, University of London).

SFRA Innovative Research Award
The SFRA Innovative Research Award (formerly the Pioneer Award) is given to the writer or writers of the best critical essay-length work of the year.

This year’s awardee is Amy Butt for her essay “The Present as Past: Science Fiction and the Museum” from Open Library of Humanities 7.1 (2021). The selection committee also awarded an honorable mention to Katherine Buse for her essay “Genesis Efects: Growing Planets in 1980s Computer Graphics” from Configurations 29 (2021).

Thomas D. Clareson Award
The Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service is presented for outstanding service activities-promotion of SF teaching and study, editing, reviewing, editorial writing, publishing, organizing meetings, mentoring, and leadership in SF/fantasy organizations.

This year’s awardee is Gerry Canavan of Marquette University.

Mary Kay Bray Award
The Mary Kay Bray Award is given for the best review to appear in the SFRA Review in a given year.

This year’s awardee is Nora Castle for her essay “Review of Upload (2020, TV series)” (51.1).

Student Paper Award
The Student Paper Award is presented to the outstanding scholarly essay read at the annual conference of the SFRA by a student.

The winner of the 2021 award is John Landreville (Wayne State University) for his paper “‘Speculative Metabolism: Digesting the Human in Upstream Color.”

SFRA Book Award
The SFRA Book Award is given to the author of the best first scholarly monograph in SF, in each calendar year.

This year’s winner is David M. Higgins for his book Reverse Colonization: Science Fiction, Imperial Fantasy, and Alt-Victimhood.

Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize
Awarded by the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program at the University of California, Riverside, The Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize honors an outstanding scholarly monograph that explores the intersections between popular culture, particularly science fiction, and the discourses and cultures of technoscience. The award is designed to recognize groundbreaking and exceptional contributions to the field.

This year’s winner is Sherryl Vint for Biopolitical Futures in Twenty-First-Century Speculative Fiction (Cambridge University Press). The committee also chose to recognize Jayna Brown’s Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds (Duke University Press) with a special honorable mention.