The Peter Nicholls Essay Prize

The Foundation Essay Prize was inaugurated in 2001 and renamed after the journal's second editor, Peter Nicholls, in 2019. The prize is awarded to the best submission by a postgraduate or non-tenured researcher. (The latter within five years of their PhD.) The essays can be on any area of science fiction studies and must conform to the in-house style guide. Submissions are judged by the editorial team and the winner receives guaranteed publication in the journal. See the blog for details of the latest prize.

Past and current winners are:

2001: Wendy Pearson, ‘Science Fiction as Pharmacy: Plato, Derrida, Ryman’

2002: Matthew Wolf-Meyer, ‘Technics, Memes, Ideology: The Affirmation of Lies and the Pursuit of the Future’

2003: No competition

2004: Elizabeth Throesch, ‘Charles Howard Hinton’s Fourth Dimension and the Phenomenology of the Scientific Romances (1884-1886)’

2005: Michael LeBlanc, ‘Judith Merril and Isaac Asimov’s Quest to Save the Future’

2006: Jolene McCann, ‘Judith Merril’s Spaced Out Library’

2007: No competition

2008: Jason Bourget, ‘Biological Determinism, Masculine Politics and the Failure of Libertarianism in Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’

2009-10: No competition

2011: Chris Pak, ‘“A Fantastic Reflex of Itself, An Echo, A Symbol, A Myth, A Crazy Dream”: Terraforming as Landscaping Nature’s Otherness in H.G. Wells’s The Shape of Things to Come and Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men and Star Maker’

2012-15: No competition

2016: Selena Middleton, ‘Utopia and the Colonized Pastoral: Africa, Myth and Blackness in Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels’

2017: Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay: ‘Speculative Utopianism in Kalpavigyan: Mythologerm and Women’s Science Fiction’

2018: Emily Cox, ‘Denuding the Gynoid: The Woman-Machine as Bare Life in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina’

2019: Valentina Salvatierra, ‘The “Fiery Arc” of Language: Fictive Multilingualism, Resistance and Alterity in Ursula K. Le Guin’

2020: Katie Stone, 'Living a Science Fictional Life: The Creation of James Tiptree Jr.'

© Proudly created with