The Paul Harland Prize is the oldest annual award for original Dutch short science fiction, fantasy or horror stories.
It is named after Dutch science fiction author Paul Harland, who died in 2003.
Paul Harland (15 April 1960 – 17 June 2003) was the pseudonym of the Dutch science fiction writer Paul Smit. He had written several novels, one in English. Four times, Paul Harland won the King Kong Award, the major Dutch award for short science fiction, fantasy or horror stories, for Fuga in frictieloos porcelein (Fugue in frictionless porcelain, 1984), De wintertuin (The Winter, 1990), Retrometheus (1992), and Onkruid en stenen (Weeds and Stones, 1995). After his death the King Kong Award was renamed the Paul Harland Prize in his honor.This award is for short stories and novelettes with a word count up to 10,000 words.
The award was presented for the first time in 1976 by SF fan and critic Rob Vooren, on the occasion of a short story contest which had been organised that same year. Initially, Vooren called it the King Kong Award, and also published an irregular fanzine with the same name. Over the next ten years, the contest was mostly organised by Rob Vooren, who not only assembled the jury, but also ensured availability of the prize money (usually 1000 guilders), and later enlisted the help of a publisher. In 1984 this finally resulted in professional publication for the award winners.
In 1987 Rob Vooren handed over the organisation for the last time, to a rotating committee. For reasons of credibility, and with a view to attracting more sponsors, it was decided in 1996 to change the name to Millennium Prize. Following the death of Paul Harland, who had not only won the award several times, but had also organised it, in addition to being on the jury more often than almost anyone else, the prize was given his name in 2003.
Martijn Lindeboom and Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Starting in 2011 the Prize is being organized by author Martijn Lindeboom and beginning 2013 he works together with author Thomas Olde Heuvelt. 2013 was a record year: 206 stories were sent in (totalling about 1.3 milion words).
Saturday, the 7th of February 2015, the winners of the Paul Harland Prize 2014 will be announced during the Gala of the Fantastic Book in the Golden Tulip Hotel (Central Burgemeester Loeffplein 98) in ‘s Hertogenbosch :
The Paul Harland Prize
The NCSF (Nederlands Contactcentrum voor Science Fiction/Dutch Contact Center vor Science Fiction) Prize
The Phoenix Award
The W.J. Maryson Talent Award
The Paul Harland Debut Award
The first prize is 1,000 euros and the rest of the awards value is 2,000 euros.
J.A. Dautzenberg’s monograph (The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction) on Benelux SF&F :
“The Benelux consists of three nations: the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
The Dutch language is spoken in the Netherlands and in the northern part of Belgium, called Flanders.
The French-speaking southern and eastern part of Belgium is called Wallonia.
In the field of literature Flanders and the Netherlands are one domain, and the same can be said for Wallonia and France. Flemish (from Flanders) and Walloon (from Wallonia) authors are mostly published, respectively, in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and in France (Paris), for reasons of prestige and because of the small number of Flemish and Walloon publishers.
Dutch and Flemish SF took shape in the 1960s, when several publishers began series of translated SF, Fandom was organized and some Dutch and Flemish authors began to write SF novels. Before the 1960s there were isolated works, original or translated, but no real tradition of SF. Even during those periods when the fantastic was flowering everywhere in Western literature (as in the Romantic era, and around the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries), the quantity of Dutch and Flemish SF was very small and all of it has been almost totally forgotten, even by the most comprehensive histories of Dutch and Flemish SF…”