Year One Winners


Winners of the inaugural 100 Year Starship (100YSS) Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing were announced October 30, 2015 at the 100 Year Starship Public Symposium at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara CA. Canopus Awards recognize works “with a primary component of interstellar exploration or travel,” and winners are selected by a panel of judges.

Previously Published Long-Form Fiction (40,000 words or more)

Previously Published Short-Form Fiction (between 1,000 and 40,000 words)

  • “The Waves”, Ken Liu (Asimov’s 12/12) **WINNER**
  • “Twenty Lights to the Land of Snow”, Michael Bishop (Going Interstellar)
  • “Dreamboat”, Robin Wyatt Dunn (Perihelion 7/12/15)
  • “Stars that Make Dark Heaven Light”, Sharon Roest (L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 31)
  • “Race for Arcadia”, Alex Shvartsman (Mission: Tomorrow)
  • “Homesick”, Debbie Urbanski (Motherboard, 2015)
  • “Planet Lion”, Catherynne M. Valente (Uncanny 5-6/15)

Original Fiction (1,000-5,000 words)

  • “Everett’s Awakening”, Yelcho **WINNER**
  • “His Holiness John XXIV about Father Angelo Baymasecchi’s Diary”, Óscar Garrido González
  • “Groundwork”, G. M. Nair
  • “The Disease of Time”, Joseph Schmidt
  • “Project Fermi”, Michael Turgeon
  • “Landfall”, Jon F. Ziegler

Original Non-Fiction (1,000-5,000 words)

  • “Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens”, Louis Friedman & Slava Turyshev **WINNER**
  • “Why Interstellar Travel?”, Jeffrey Nosanov

Previously Published Long-Form Fiction

InterstellarNet: Enigma by Edward M. Lerner

Published by FoxAcre, 2014


Edward M. Lerner

Edward M. Lerner

EDWARD M. LERNER worked in high tech and aerospace for thirty years, as everything from engineer to senior vice president, for much of that time writing science fiction as a hobby. Since 2004 he has written full-time. His novels range from near-future technothrillers, like Small Miracles and Energized, to traditional SF, like the InterstellarNet novels, to (collaborating with Larry Niven) the space-opera epic Fleet of Worlds series of Ringworld companion novels. Ed’s short fiction has appeared in anthologies, collections, and many of the usual SF magazines. He also writes the occasional nonfiction technology article. Lerner lives in Virginia with his wife, Ruth. His website is .

About the Book:
(from )

Humanity once feared that we might be alone in the universe. Now we know better. And we’ve learned there are worse things than being alone … Joshua Matthews has the opportunity to write the definitive history of InterstellarNet. In that history he plans to focus attention on the improbability that an interstellar community even exists. But somehow, returning home from the party thrown to celebrate his good fortune, he has lost a month of his life. Everyone is certain he’s been on an epic bender. And so, rather than promoted, he is disgraced, unemployed, and unemployable …Firh Glithwah, leader of the Hunter clan Arblen Ems, schemes to liberate her people from two decades of ignominious internment and isolation on a remote moon of Uranus. And in the process to take vengeance against their human oppressors …Reporter Corinne Elman and United Planets intel agent Carl Rowland, each in their own way, remains scarred and haunted by the bloody fiasco that was the Hunter invasion of the Solar System …And none of them suspects that their tribulations have only begun, or that their lives will entwine—across time and space—to confront the InterstellarNet Enigma.

Judges’ Comments:

“This is beautifully written, and though it contains many really good futuristic scientific ideas, these never compromise the story. As a consequence, the story works – it is suspenseful.”

(With interesting characters, a propelling plot, and a relatively plausible concept for interspecies relations, this novel really has a lot to offer.) I was especially impressed by it’s ability to depict more feasible technologies (like neural implants and generation ships) and then further extrapolate into the more fantastical, such as artificial time dilation and societal maintenance over hundreds of millions of years. I also enjoyed the thought devoted to the Fermi paradox throughout.”  

“I found this one a lovely blend of thriller and science fiction, something I would absolutely recommend for someone who doesn’t think they like science fiction. It only falls beneath AURORA on the quality of its voice and ambition.” 

Previously Published Short-Form Fiction

“The Waves” by Ken Liu

Published in Asimov’s, December 2012


Ken Liu

Ken Liu


Ken Liu ( is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places.

Ken’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings (2015), is a Nebula finalist and the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty. He also released a collection of short fiction, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016). He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

In addition to his original fiction, Ken is also the translator of numerous literary and genre works from Chinese to English. His translation of The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015, the first translated novel ever to receive that honor.

About the Story: 
(from )

“The Waves” follows waves of humanity as they spread out from Earth, each succeeding wave overtaking the one before it. And so the biologically immortal are taken over by cyborgs, and mechanical post-humans are, in turn, taken over by beings of light and energy.

Interwoven with the waves of humanity are also old creation myths, each of which is told in a way that echoes the particular transformation that humanity is undergoing in that section. Myths have their power because they can be re-interpreted to suit the present, and I don’t see that process stopping.

Ultimately, “The Waves” is about transformation and the power of memory and narrative, themes that have dominated my fiction for some time now.

Judges’ Comments:

“10/10 on all counts!”

“The most engaging, characterized, and well-written. While not immediately, obviously relevant, the setting is very relevant to the thought process of interstellar travel.” 

Original Fiction

“Everett’s Awakening” by Ry Yelcho

Ry Yelcho

In his own words: I have enjoyed creative writing throughout my life. I have largely kept my unfinished musings in a trunk, on a floppy disk and recently on a hard drive. Many were inspired by dreams. I have tried to be true to Morpheus even at the expense of structure, factual reality and especially logic. Blogging offered not only an incentive to finish some of the more cohesive scribbles but a way to discreetly distribute them. Hopefully they will amuse, offend or inform.

About the Story:

The first traveler to Earth 2.0 arrives and discovers humanity has already surpassed his original craft and settled the planet; humanity now is much different than the humanity that launched him.

Judges’ Comments:

“Great concept. Writing itself is clean, and nicely done.  Science seems sound, and saves the story.” 

“Developed character well for a short story. I felt for him. Science was interesting. Ethics of the end plausible (though disturbing).”

“Interesting plot twist and I liked the cultural exploration!”

Original Non-Fiction

“Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens”
by Louis D. Friedman & Slava G. Turyshev

Louis D. Friedman

Louis D. Friedman

Aerospace Engineer

Dr. Friedman is a native of New York City. He received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin in 1961, an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics at Cornell University in 1963, and a Ph.D. from the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at M.I.T. in 1971. His Ph.D. thesis was on Extracting Scientific Information from Spacecraft Tracking Data.

Dr. Friedman worked at the AVCO Space Systems Division from 1963-1968, on both civilian and military space programs. From 1970 to 1980 he worked on deep space missions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. He performed mission analysis and navigation system studies for pre-project definition of Mariner Venus-Mercury, Voyager and Galileo and was the program development leader for Venus Orbital Imaging Radar, which later became Magellan. He led the development and design for the Halley Comet Rendezvous-Solar Sail proposal and was the leader of the post-Viking Mars Program in the late 1970s. In 1979-80 he originated and led the International Halley Watch. He was manager of Advanced Planetary Studies at JPL. Dr. Friedman is the author of more than 20 technical papers on Celestial Navigation, Astrodynamics, Mission Analysis and Design, and Mission Planning. He is the author of the book Starsailing: Solar Sails and Interstellar Travel, published by John Wiley, Inc.

Dr. Friedman left JPL in 1980 and co-founded The Planetary Society with Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. He was Executive Director of the Society for 30 years and remained on the Board of Directors until Oct 2014.The Society is a non-profit, popular society seeking to inspire the people of Earth to explore new worlds and seek other life, through research, education and public participation. It is the largest space interest organization in the world.

Recently he was co-leader of the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) Asteroid Retrieval Mission Study at Caltech.  He is also co-leader of a new KISS study: Science and Technology to Explore the Interstellar Medium.  In March 2015 he was reappointed (after and earlier stint in 2011) to the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) External Council.  His book examining the implications of robotic interstellar precursor missions using nano-spacecraft and solar sails on future human space flight was published in the fall of 2015 by the University of Arizona Press.  It is titled:  From Mars to the Stars: The Future of Human Space Flight.  

Slava G. Turyshev

Slava G. Turyshev


Slava G. Turyshev (Russian: Слава Турышев) is a Russian physicist now working in the US at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He is known for his investigations of the Pioneer anomaly, affecting Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft, and for his attempt to recover early data of the Pioneer spacecraft to shed light on such a phenomenon.[1] He is interested in:

  • Science motivation, mission design, and data analysis of high-precision gravitational experiments in space.
  • Relativistic cosmology and alternative theories of gravity; theory of gravity-wave astronomy, including wave generation, propagation and detection.
  • Theory of and modeling for high-precision astronomical reference frames; lunar and interplanetary laser ranging; pulsar timing experiments.
  • Optimization and control algorithms for long-baseline optical interferometry; analytical and numerical techniques for the white-light fringe parameter estimation.

He was the principal investigator of the LATOR mission aimed at testing parameterized post-Newtonian formalism with high accuracy. Dr. Turyshev chaired several workshops at the International Space Science Institute on the Pioneer anomaly and the flyby anomaly.

About the Essay:

The use of Solar Gravitational Lenses is a feasible methodology for deep space exploration. Provides a clear understanding  for the non-scientist, but enough to provide scientist something the consider and dissect.

Judges’ Comments:

“Well written work that summarizes a program, but develops the rationale and methodology further than previous work and explains why it matters, all in a relatively short space and very coherent manner.” 

“Offering a well-organized argument presented with clear and illuminating prose, the authors of this essay present an imaginative and potentially attainable journey to E2 within the context of the 100YSS Program. As they build their essay’s argument, the authors effectively integrate critical background information while capably anticipating, and offering solutions to, their argument’s possible challenges. Authors consider other technological proposals to mission achievement and, in an apparently objective manner, cite these proposals’ overriding negatives in favor of what the authors deem the most rational and technologically achievable option.  Authors also cite current applicable technologies to mission achievement, as well as new technologies needed and capable of development. As potential recipient of the first Canopus Award in the original non-fiction category, authors set a welcome high standard of performance for future submissions.”


Years of science fiction have produced a mindset that it is human destiny to expand from Earth, to the Moon, to Mars, to the stars.

Barney Oliver

Founder and Director, Hewlett-Packard