Lawrence, Kansas: Secret Science Fiction Wonderland

Books GeekMom Travel
Credit: Center for the Study of Science Fiction

Lawrence, Kansas is a great place to be a geek. It’s home of the University of Kansas and the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Every year since 1979 they’ve handed out the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science-fiction novel of the year, and in 1987, they added the  Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year.

These are two pretty prestigious awards for winners, and the campus holds an awards ceremony and the Campbell Conference every July (July 5-8 this year). There are also novel and short story writing workshops lead by some of the best in the industry, so this is a great place to be for the aspiring writer, too. For those who don’t want to register or attend the all day conference, there’s also a massive book signing every year.

Now, I realize not everyone is lucky enough to live in Lawrence or have the financial means for a summer trip to the area. For everyone else, I suggest checking out AboutSF, an educational outreach effort by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction,   Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Science Fiction Research Association. There are interviews, podcasts, and plans for teachers including reading guides and sample projects. The reading guides actually make great summer reading lists for yourself or your kids.

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