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.

[*Each award is keyed to the calendar year preceding the conference at which it was presented.]

Award Committee

Kania Greer (chair)

Kathryn Heffner

Yilun Fan



  • Vicky Brewster (Swansea University), “Simulated Worlds and Digital Disruptions: Gothic Glitch in The Tenth Girl.


  • Josie Holland (University of Richmond), “Constructing Radical Queer Futures and Deconstructing Noir Fiction in The Penumbra Podcast.”


  • John Landreville (Wayne State University) for his paper “‘Speculative Metabolism: Digesting the Human in Upstream Color.”


No award was given due to the cancellation of the 2020 conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Conrad Scott, “‘Changing Landscapes’: Ecocritical Dystopianism in Contemporary Indigenous SF Literature.”
  • Honorable Mention: Erin Cheslow, “The Chow that Can Be Spoken Is Not the True Chow: Relationality and Estrangement in the Animal Gaze.”


  • Grant Dempsey, “Did they tell you I can Floak?’: Living Between Always and Sometimes, in China Miéville’s Embassytown.”


  • Josh Pearson, “New Weird Frankenworlds: Speaking and Laboring Worlds in Cisco’s Internet of Everything”
  • Honorable Mention: Kylie Korsnack, “Towards a Time Travel Aesthetic: Writing-between-worlds in Okorafor, Butler, and Baledosingh”


  • Francis Gene-Rowe, “You Are The Hero: Stephen Mooney’s The Cursory Epic
  • Honorable Mention: Brittany Roberts, “ ‘The Present Doesn’t Exist’: Music, Animation, and the Rupture of Cultural Memory in Vladimir Tarasov’s The Passage


  • Dagmar Van Engen, “The Interspecies Erotic: Sex and the Nonhuman in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy”


  • W. Andrew Shepherd, “‘What is and What Should Never Be’: Paracosmic Utopianism in Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World


  • Michael Jarvis, “‘Wherever you go, there you are’: Postmodern Pastiche and Oppositional Rhetoric in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension


  • W. Andrew Shephard, “Beyond the Wide World’s End: Themes of Cosmopolitanism in Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination


  • Florian Bast, “Fantastic Voices: Octavia Butler’s First-Person Narrators and ‘The Evening and the Morning and the Night'”


  • Bradley Fest, “Tales of Archival Crisis: Stephenson’s Reimagining of the Post-Apocalyptic Frontier”


  • Andrew Ferguson, “Such Delight in Bloody Slaughter: R. A. Lafferty and the Dismemberment of the Body Grotesque”


  • David Higgins, “The Imperial Unconscious: Samuel R. Delany’s The Fall of the Towers


  • Joseph Brown, “Heinlein and the Cold War: Epistemology and Politics in The Puppet Masters and Double Star


  • Linda Wight, “Magic, Art, Religion, Science: Blurring the Boundaries of Science and Science Fiction in Marge Piercy’s Cyborgian Narrative


  • Rebecca Janicker, “New England Narratives: Space and Place in the Narratives of H. P. Lovecraft”


  • Melissa Colleen Stevenson, “Single Cyborg Seeking Same: The Post-Human and the Problem of Loneliness”


  • Sarah Canfield Fuller, “Speculating about Gendered Evolution: Bram Stoker’s White Worm and the Horror of Sexual Selection”


  • Wendy Pearson, “Homotopia, or What’s Behind a Prefix?”


  • Eric Drown and Sha LaBare (tie), Drown for “Riding the Cosmic Express in the Age of Mass Production: Independent Inventors as Pulp Heroes in American SF, 1926–1939,” and LaBare for “Outline for a Mode Manifesto: Science Fiction, Transhumanism, and Technoscience”


  • Sonja Fritzsche, “Out of the Western Box: Rethinking Popular Cultural Categories from the Perspective of East German Science Fiction”


  • Shelley Rodrigo Blanchard, “‘Resistance is Futile,’ We Are Already Assimilated: Cyborging, Cyborg Societies, Cyborgs, and The Matrix”

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