The Comic Queen

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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction Competition

As part of my day job I’m responsible for finding news stories that relate to optics and photonics. Recently, I came across a contest the European Space Agency is putting on called “The Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction Competition for 2005.” This is a science fiction writing and art contest that may be of interest to some of you, so although it’s off the beaten comics track, I thought I’d spread the word. Here are some of the details of the contest. For the full scoop check out the official website. The site is very helpful with not only all the details on the contest itself, but also includes lots of links to relevant sites on information about the theme – space elevator.

The Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction Competition for 2005

Theme for 2005
Unlike the previous competition, a specific theme has been selected for the current contest, namely the space elevator. The space elevator, as currently conceived, will be a 100.000 km ribbon of carbon nanotubes stretching up into space along which climbers will travel to release payloads into orbit at diverse points. The system is comprised of various components: an initial spacecraft, the ribbon, climbers, power beaming facility, anchor platform, and tracking facility.

Call for Entries
Either write a short story (not more than 2500 words) which incorporates a Space Elevator in some way or create an artwork (eg painting, digital image, drawing etc.) depicting a Space Elevator.

Evaluation Criteria

The science fiction stories and artwork should relate to a space elevator and incorporate technologies and applications in some way. For example, imaginative use of the space elevator as a cheap access to space for launching oversize or fragile objects to distant planets, or for space tourism, or space exploration or terra-forming. The jury will assess the entries in accordance with the following criteria:
- convincing use of technology,
- innovative ideas and the ability to think “outside the box,”
- development of storyline, plot, characters,
- clarity of expression, style, degree of realism,
- convincing depiction of the Space Elevator.

The contest is open to
space and science fiction enthusiasts and artists from all nations. There is no entry fee, and the submission deadline is February 25.


The winner in each category will receive a cash prize of $600 and the runners-up in each category will receive $300. It is anticipated that the winning stories and artwork will appear in a new book on the Space Elevator by Dr. Bradley Edwards due to be published in the summer of 2005.


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