First Place ($80):
"Middlenames" by Thomas Faulhaber, 13
Second Place ($40):
"Young Eyes" by Allie Aguila, 12
Third Place ($20):
"The Mystical Creatures of Blue Spout Bay," by Marlena Rohde, 12
Fourth Place ($10):
"Sunk" by Benjamin Mitchell, 13
"The Transmitter" by Sabrina Guo, 12
"Holding On," by Macy Li, 12
"Shhh" by Harper Miller, 11
We have to admit: when we put out a call for our science fiction contest, we were nervous. But, once we started reading your entries, we realized what a good reminder this contest was—a reminder of the fact that a good story is a good story, regardless of genre. The stories that stood out to us were the ones that would have stood out to us in general submissions as well. They were stories that used exciting language, that created realistic worlds, that kept us engaged, that created suspense, and that ultimately led us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world.
Many stories stood out to us for different reasons, but the few that we chose were really remarkable: "Middlenames," the winning story, offers an imaginative critique of religion and class through an invented society that assigns you a middlename—which determines your identity for life—at birth. "Young Eyes" explores the dangers of technology, and both "Mystical Creatures of Blue Spout Bay" and "Sunk" take radically different approaches to climate change. We're excited to share the full stories with you in a special Science issue that will be published this September.
Congratulations to all our winners, and to our honorable runners-up, and thank you for your wonderful work! Your Amazon voucher prizes will be with you this weekend.