The winning entries will be published as part of Ediciones B's NOVA Ciència Ficció collection
The Board of Trustees awarded the First Prize of the 2007 UPC Science Fiction Award jointly to Carlos Gardini's Belcebú en llamas and Brandon Sanderson's Defending Elysium.
This 17th edition of the Award saw the Special Mention go to Records d'una altra vida by Jordi Guàrdia (Lleida, Spain). The UPC Mention was awarded to Tricord (Tres cordes i una sola melodia) by Joan Baptista Fonollosa, a lecturer at the Department of Management.
The UPC Board of Trustees awarded the First Prize of €6,000 jointly to Belcebú en llamas by Carlos Gardini (Argentina) and Defending Elysium by Brandon Sanderson (USA). The novels will be published in Spanish by Ediciones B as part of the NOVA Ciència Ficció collection, which will also include some of the other books selected as finalists.
Carlos Gardini's Belcebú en llamas is about Brother Quintó of the Silent Brotherhood, who is instructed by an important church leader to wipe out heresy in the Beelzebub Community. Brother Quintó must kidnap the Triad, his human divinity, and destroy the city. On board the Agnus Dei, a fish-shaped boat, he sails along the Agua Viva River. In the end, things are not always as they seem.
The other novel awarded the First Prize was Defending Elysium, by Brandon Sanderson. A blind man called Jason, of the Phone Company (PC), must go to the 'outer platforms' that orbit between Saturn and Uranus, at the outer limits of civilisation, to resolve the conflict with alien races he has contacted thanks to new technological discoveries.
This year, the special guest at the awards ceremony was the English author Jasper Fforde, who gave a lecture entitled Jasper Fforde, Thursday Next and Metafiction. The ceremony was presided by UPC’s vice-rector for University Policy, Josep Casanovas, the writer and member of the Board of Trustees Isabel Clara Simó, and the Commissioner for Sustainable Development and lecturer at the Department of Software Miquel Barceló, who organised the Award.
The jury awarded the Special Mention of €1,500 to Records d'una altra vida by Jordi Guàrdia of Lleida. The story begins with a young man called Luca Scolla suffering a major accident in his vfly flying machine. To prevent him from dying, he is given an experimental transplant: an artificial brain (a kind of metal artificial intelligence ball in his skull). This allows him to keep his memory, although he does have some problems relating to perception. Unfortunately, the two technodoctors who carried out the operation are found dead. The police officer Zèid is put in charge of the investigation.
A second special mention—the UPC Mention for the best story written by a member of the Technical University of Catalonia—went to Tricord (Tres cordes i una sola melodia) of the Department of Management. A group of space explorers get lost when their spacecraft breaks down. Without realising, they are taken back in time on Earth, where they accidentally eliminate a Cro-Magnon tribe, thus forcing the union between the Neanderthals (flat foreheads) and the Cro-Magnons (high foreheads). The story gives an alternative account of the history of the Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals and continues a legend about a king and the narrator. This legend gives rise to Ancient Egyptian culture, which begins with a mythical character called Zam, an ancestor of the human race. This hominid is given a psychotransducing implant by the lost astronauts that makes him evolve as a species.
In the same category, the jury chose Memòria de Lerna by Albert Solanes, a student at the College of Optics and Optometry of Terrassa, as finalist.
The jury of the UPC Science Fiction Award, formed by Lluís Anglada, Miquel Barceló, Jordi José, Josep Casanovas and Manuel Moreno, praised the number of entries for the 2007 UPC Science Fiction Award. Of the 94 works submitted, they highlighted Mercaderes de tiempo by Alfredo Moreno (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain), Fundación y Galaxia by Jordi Bosch (Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain), The Room of Lost Souls by Kristine K. Rusch (USA) and La màquina del tiempo (de Herbert George Wells) by Pedro Domingo (Zaragoza, Spain).
Among the 94 works presented, although most were from different parts of Spain, there were a good number of entries from around the world: eleven from Argentina, ten from USA, four from Mexico, three from France, two each from Belgium, Cuba and Peru, and one each from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and the UK. Seventy-five of these works were written in Spanish, eleven in English, four in Catalan and four in French.
The UPC Science Fiction Award was an initiative of the Board of Trustees in 1991. Since it began, it has been awarded to some truly remarkable stories. The Award is open to unpublished science-fiction stories in Catalan, Spanish, English and French.
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