My story “On Darwin Tides” is a finalist in the 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest

Really proud and pleased that my story On Darwin Tides  has been selected as one of the twelve finalists in the 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest run by Arizona State University. The grand prize winner will be announced in September when the anthology containing all of the winning works is made available.

I entered the contest because I am passionate about the environment and about the need for climate change action and because I believe that the field of near-future science fiction has an important role to play in depicting the future as it might be, good or bad, that the global community might hopefully be inspired to steer this worldship of ours toward something that is sustainable, healthy and equitable for all. I also entered the contest because it was being judged by one of my all time science fiction heroes, Kim Stanley Robinson, and by experts in the sustainability, conservation, geology, climate modeling, climate politics, human geography, and environmental history fields. That such luminaries could judge my work accurate (and boy did I research the heck out of my chosen topic) and well-written enough to honour in this way makes me happier than you can imagine.


6 thoughts on “My story “On Darwin Tides” is a finalist in the 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest

  1. Congratulations, Shauna. Bravo. I blogged about you being one of the finalists on my cli fi blog at and I notified literary editors at the smh the age the australian the sat paper and the Canberra paper too about you being the only Australian to be a finalist at the ASU cli-fi short story contest. You bring honor to your country. Btw, this contest was not for near future sci fi but a new separate genre not related to sf at all dubbed cli fi aka climate fiction. So yr story won for cli fi not sci fi and ksr has now become a cli fi novelist with his new novel “new york 2140.” Set for release in march 2017. Cli fi is replacing sci fi.

    • Hi Danny. Thanks for the props and the news referrals. Our media is very much geared toward the upcoming election at the moment and issues of climate change, while very important to the electorate, are a touch persona non grata with regard to much of the media even though we have seen 93% of the Great Barrier Reef impacted by bleaching this year alone off the back of the recent 2015-16 El Nino event. As such, it will be interesting to see if there is a response. As for the point about climate fiction, yes, the contest was for that. My comment about my passion for near future science fiction was more generalised. Climate change is an important and inextricable component of any future fic, but it is not the whole story. I am also interested in and write about other near future issues outside of cli-fi including environmental destruction and the rise of AI, social media, antibiotic resistance, species loss and gene patenting.

      • You are on the right path. All topics you mention are vital to explore, yes. Go go go. Quick question. Are you connected to Scientology? I noticed one of your literary heroes (mine too, by the way) is L Ron Hubbard since you attended as invitee (all expenses paid) his group’s Writers of the Future master classes in Los Angeles at ASI building with photos of Scientology founder in the rooms. I am a big fan of his novels, too, he had that creative spark. But why the ASI page does not mention Scientology anywhere and you never said you were Scientologist. Be proud of being one!

  2. I am not a Scientologist and, to be honest, I do not know enough about the religious aspects of L Ron Hubbard to make any comments in that regard. I attended Writers of the Future because several of my close friends have won the contest in the past (one was even the grand prize winner and he is amazing writer) and have found the process to be a really good confidence and career booster. The contest has also allowed us to attend masterclasses taught by an incredible group of successful writers in the science fiction and fantasy field (in Australia it is not typical for us to have access to such mentoring unless we have the cash to make our way to the US on a regular basis). My mates suggested that I should enter and so I did, but I didn’t expect to win on my first try. Overall, what the contest gave me was self-belief – I don’t think I would be pushing forward with my career as hard as I am now and having the confidence to throw my hat into the ring on prestigious contests like the Arizona State University one had I not had that validation from such judges as Dave Farland and Tim Powers and Kevin J. Anderson telling me that, yes, I do have the capacity to potentially make a career of this.

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