The 2015 Jamie Bishop Memorial Award to A Spanish Science Fiction Essay

    The Jamie Bishop Memorial Award is a prize for a critical essay on the fantastic written in a language other than English granted by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.

    Jamie Bishop (1971-2007) was the son of Michael Bishop, an award-winning science fiction writer, and Jeri Whitaker Bishop, an elementary-school counselor; he grew up in Pine Mountain, Georgia, the family’s hometown since 1974, and attended school there as well as in Athens, Georgia, and in both Kiel and Heidelberg, Germany. Jamie was an artist and a craftsman as well as an instructor of the German language at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). He was among those killed in the Virginia Tech massacre of April 16, 2007. RIP.

     The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) defines the fantastic to include science fiction, folklore, and related genres in literature, drama, film, art and graphic design, and related disciplines.

    The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA), founded in 1982 is a nonprofit association of scholars, writers, and publishers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in literature, film, and the other arts. The IAFA’s founder was Dr. Robert A. Collins from the Florida Atlantic University. IAFA’s principle activities are the organization of the International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA), which was first held in 1980, and the publication of a journal, the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (JFA), which has been published regularly since 1990.

      Steven Bermúdez  Antúnez

    Fernando Angel Moreno, Mikel Peregrina, Steven Bermúdez Antúnez

    Fernando Angel Moreno (Professor, Complutense University  of Madrid, Department of Spanish Language & Literary Theory and Comparative Literature Department, Spain), Mikel Peregrina (Complutense University of Madrid, Spanish Philology, Spain) and Steven Bermúdez Antúnez (Professor, Zulia University, Maracaibo, Venezuela) have won the Ninth Annual Jamie Bishop Memorial Award, granted by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, for the best critical essay about fantastic genre written in a language other than English, with the essay about Spanish science fiction titled “Condiciones para el nacimiento de la ciencia-ficción española contemporánea” (Conditions for the Birth of the Recent Spanish Science Fiction).


    Fernando Ángel Moreno, Mikel Peregrina, and Steven Bermúdez Antúnez :

    Condiciones para el nacimiento de la ciencia ficción española contemporánea [1] (Conditions for the Birth of Recent Spanish Science Fiction)

    “The present work examines the numerous editorial, social, political and technical factors that influenced the rise of Spanish science fiction during the eighties. The enormous complexity of this historical and literary reality provides us with the keys for understanding the development of this genre in Spain, as well as for opening new ways of analyzing the Spanish literature of the second half of the twentieth century.”


    Sophie Beaulé (Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Classics at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) :

    Le corps en devenir et la machine de guerre: Bérard, Chen, Darrieussecq et Dufour [2] (The Female Body, Becoming and the War Machine: Bérard, Chen, Darrieussecq and Dufour)

     Teresa López-Pellisa

    Teresa López Pellisa (Autonomous University of Barcelona , Spanish Philology Department, Barcelona, Spain) :

    “Incas y extraterrestres en la ciencia ficción peruana contemporánea: José B. Adolph y Daniel Salvo”[3] (Incas and Extraterrestrials in Contemporary Peruvian Science Fiction: José B. Adolph and Daniel Salvo)


    Francisca Noguerol (Associate Professor, University of Salamanca, Faculty of Philology, Department of Spanish Literature, Salamanca, Spain) :

    “Heterocósmica en la minificción: El caso de Cecilia Eudave”[4] (Heterocosmica in “Sudden Fiction”: The Case of Cecilia Eudave)

    [1] This essay will appear in Spanish in:  Prosopopeya: Revista de crítica contemporánea, 2015-2016, nº 9.

    [2] This essay appeared in French in the journal Recherches féministes 27.1 (2014): 129-144.

    [3] This essay will appear in Spanish in the collection Fragmentos de un nuevo pasado. Inventario de mitos prehispánicos en la literatura latinoamericana actualOxford: Peter Lang, 2015. 181-204. Hispanic Studies: Culture and Ideas. 67.

    [4] This essay will appear in Spanish in the collection Estrategias y figuraciones de lo insólito en la narrativa mexicana (siglos XIX-XXI). Ed. Javier Ordiz. Berna: Peter Lang, 2014. 59-80. Hispanic Studies: Culture and Ideas. 61.

    Congratulations to all,  winners and finalists !

    The prize will be awarded at the annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts held each March : Thirty-Sixth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts with the theme “The Scientific Imagination”, March 18-22, 2015, Orlando (Florida), Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel, USA (Guests of Honor : James Morrow (winner of the Sturgeon Award, the World Fantasy Award, and two Nebula Awards), Joan Slonczewski (winner of two Campbell Awards), and Guest Scholar : Colin Milburn (author of Nanovision: Engineering the Future).

    Winning essays may be posted on the IAFA website in the original language and/or considered for publication in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts should they be translated into English.

    The purpose of IAFA is to promote and recognize achievement in the study of the fantastic, mainly through the organization and management of an annual academic conference, the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA). IAFA also publishes the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, which is a peer-reviewed journal for scholarship within the field of the fantastic, and the news blog which publishes information relevant to the IAFA membership.

    The 2014 Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for an essay on the fantastic written in a language other than English

    Vera Cuntz-Leng

    Winner : Vera Cuntz-Leng (Philipps University Marburg, Germany)

    “Frodo auf Abwegen: Das queere Potenzial des aktuellen Fantasykinos” 1 (Frodo Gone Astray: The Queer Potential of Fantasy Blockbusters)

    Since the foundation stone of blockbuster cinema was laid with the release of STAR WARS (US, 1977), Hollywood has produced at regular intervals fantasy movies with high budgets and impressive special effects that need to attract as many recipients as possible to guarantee commercial success. Due to the resulting universality of these films, fantasy cinema appears to be predestined to be read against the grain, because certain issues need to be excluded from the narration and therefore conspicuous gaps (Leerstellen) – particularly in relation to sexuality – The method of Queer Reading may uncover the subversive potential of the genre and can open up new spaces for marginalized social topics; spaces within mainstream cinema, where alternative gender and sexual concepts are allowed and welcome. A queer reading of Peter Jackson’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (NZ/US 2001) and Alfonso Cuarón’s HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (GB/US 2004) exemplifies the argument that fantasy genre films have a high subversive potential. Furthermore, an outlook will be given about the way in which fantasy movies might discuss “gender, sex, and desire” in the future.

    Finalist : Merja Leppälahti (cultural researcher, writer and critic, Turku, Finland)

    “Eläviä vainajia, muodonmuutoksia ja muita outoja tapauksia: Kansanperinne taipuu fantasiaksi” 2 (From Folklore to Fantasy: The Living Dead, Metamorphoses, and Other Strange Things)

    Clotilde Landais

    Semi-Finalist : Clotilde Landais (Assistant Professor at Purdue University in French and Comparative Literature, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

    “Aliss de Patrick Senécal: la métalepse ontologique comme instrument du fantastique” 3 (Patrick Senécal’s Aliss: Ontological Metalepsis as an Instrument of Fantastic Fiction)

    1. This essay appeared in German in: Zeitschrift Für Fantastikforschung 1.1 (2011): 24-43.

    2. This essay appeared in Finnish in the journal Elore (December 2012).

    3. This essay appeared in French in the journal @nalyses 8.2 (2013).

    A number of awards for scholarship and fiction writing are presented under the aegis of the IAFA. They are listed in order of when they were first awarded at the annual conference.

     The IAFA Distinguished Scholarship Award is an annual career award, presented annually since 1986, recognizing distinguished contributions to the scholarship and criticism of the fantastic.

     The IAFA Crawford Award each year recognizes an outstanding new writer whose first fantasy book was published during the previous calendar year. It is not specifically a first novel award. The award was established with the support of the late Andre Norton, who also helped establish the criteria and who continued to support the award over the years.

     The Robert A. Collins Service Award, named after the conference’s founder (who was also its first recipient in 1985) is a special award presented to an officer, board member, or division head for outstanding service to the organization.

    The Stephen R. Donaldson Award, presented only four times since its inception in 1997, is a special award recognizing exceptional support and service to the organization from individuals who have not served as officers, board members, or division heads.

     IAFA Graduate Student Award : The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts presents an annual award and stipend to the graduate student submitting the most outstanding paper at the Association’s conference. The award, and a check for $250, will be presented to the winner at the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. Students must submit their completed paper (3500 words, excluding bibliography) and verification of student status by February 1.

    Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for an Essay Not in English : Prize of $250 U.S. and one year’s free membership in the IAFA to be awarded at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts each March.

    Dell Magazines Award (formerly the Isaac Asimov Award) : The $500 award will go to the best unpublished and unsold science fiction or fantasy short story submitted by a full-time undergraduate college student. The winner will be invited to the IAFA annual Conference on the Fantastic in mid-March in Orlando, FL, and the winning story will be considered for publication in Asimov’s science fiction magazine.


    Latest articles

    Related articles