And the winner is…


We received a total of eight submissions to the short story contest, which made for a small slate of high quality candidates. There were no bad stories and every one was entertaining in some way. Every entry was read by all three judges independently. We subsequently met to discuss our assessments and to decide on a winner. (Actually, getting all of us together at the same time for a conference call was the most difficult part of the process.)

In this post, I’ll announce the winners. In the coming days and weeks, I will post the stories along with short interviews with the authors.

Third place goes to “The Avatars Remember Nothing” by Gill Williamson. Gill has generously donated his prize of $100 to Sembrando, one of the charities that we are supporting with the book. As well, he will be receiving any one book by Vernor Vinge from Tor Books.

Second place goes to “Autobiography of an Automatic Mind” by Rev Orion. Rev will be receiving a prize of $200 and a Vernor Vinge book from Tor.

First place goes to “Ritchie Boss: Private Investigator Manager” by Micah Joel. He will be receiving $500, a Vinge book from Tor, and the story will be published as the final chapter in Finding Source Code on the Web for Remix and Reuse.

Congratulations to all! Many thanks to all who entered the contest. Thanks also to Halli and Rosalva who served as judges, Tor Books for donating the books, and the various donors on Indiegogo.

Stories are due tomorrow!

The deadline has crept up on me quickly, but here we are. The cut off is 11:59pm Apia time, the latest time zone on the planet. So, depending on where you live it’s tomorrow night or early Friday morning.

My day job has me swamped, so I’ve been lax about keeping up the blog. So here are the bullets.

  • Although we didn’t meet our fundraising goals on Indiegogo, we have enough to fund the prizes. No honorariums for the judges though. :(
  • I have found judges and the panel will have a range of views.
  • We have seven submissions so far. I’m told that most will come in during the last 24 hours. I don’t know if seven represents 10% or 1% of the submissions.

 I am excited to see this project come together. It’s a bit outside of what I normally do, but this could be the start of something big.


Final Week of Fundraising

We’re into the final week of fundraising for the contest and we’re nearly there! We have received two more donations-one from an anonymous and one from Darusha Wehm. A big shout out to Darusha for supporting the science fiction community and the creative commons.

We only need another $240 to make it to our goal. That means only 24 people to donate $10. Surely, there are at least that many Vinge fans out there? (I’m feeling a bit like NPR or PBS as I write this.) We’ll take any amount, even $1. The number of donations that we get helps increase our ranking on Indiegogo and in turn raises our visibility.

With full funding, we will have prize money for the winner, runner up, and third prize, plus a small honorarium for the judge. (I have lined up a very cool judge and will be blogging about this soon.)

Our first indiegogo donor!

We have our first donor to the Indiegogo campaign.

Abram Hindle, a soon-to-be professor at University of Alberta, has given us an extremely generous gift of $50. He wrote, “I am donating because I love Sci-Fi and I want to further enrich the commons by supporting submissions licensed under CC-BY-SA.” For his contribution, we’ll be acknowledging him in the book, sending him a post card, and a button.

Now, how about you? Can you spare us a buck?


Two new donations for prizes: Cash and books, oh my

Great news! I have received two gifts that I will be putting towards prizes.

1. I have received a cash gift of $600 from an anonymous donor. I will be putting $500 of this towards first prize. The remaining $100 will be used for photocopying and postage.

2. Tor Books will be giving one copy of either “Fire Upon the Deep” or “Children of the Sky” to all the contest winners.

It’s exciting to see this contest start coming together like this.

What will future computer programming look like?

We are looking for hard science fiction short stories on the theme of future computer programming and technology, with particular attention programmers working with vast archives of source code.

But this is just the starting point. The rest is up to you…

For inspiration, consider the work of Vernor Vinge. He has written about a distant future where software developers no longer exist, but are replaced by programmer archaeologists. The job requires a thorough knowledge of the software archives, which are used to create new applications by combining existing systems. His novels “Deepness in the Sky” and “Fire Upon the Deep” both provide glimpses into this style of programming.

The winning story will be published and there are cash prizes for the top three entries.

Important Dates

Please register on the submission site by November 15, 2011.

The deadline for the contest is November 30, 2011 at 11:59pm Apia, Samoa Time.

Notifications will be sent out in late February, 2012.


This contest is open to all.

There is no requirement for or prohibition on prior publication.


Please donate to our IndieGoGo campaign to raise prize money for the contest.

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