Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Far (Far) Out

Maiden Lane's Seth Dickinson, now a student at the University of Chicago, has won first runner-up in a nationwide collegiate science-fiction writing contest sponsored by Dell Magazine.

Dickinson won an honorable mention in last year's contest, which was originally named to honor sci-fi great Isaac Asimov.

His prize-winning story, 'Hypocrite,' concerns the crew of a space ship, Mishanni. "One of the ship's combat teams ends up in a dangerous situation -- trapped on a station near the active star DX Cancri during a solar flare," said Dickinson, adding " look it up on your starcharts, it's real. Their only chance of survival is to upload brainscan backups to a computer substrate. But the only available computer is already running a program: three simulated human infants, grown in sensory deprivation as a philosophical experiment by a rogue thinker."

The team members have to decide whether to destroy the infants in order to to save themselves, he said. "The story explores themes regarding the humanity of artificial intelligences and uploaded human intelligences."

The story was one of seven he submitted to the contest. His prize includes the chance to attend this year's International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, "which will be packed full of editors and agents," he said, adding "I plan to network!"


Seth said...

Thank you for the coverage -- surprising and flattering.

Bryan's workshop blog said...


Bryan's workshop blog said...

Is "Hypocrite" available on the Web, so we can read it?

Seth said...

I could email it to you directly. I haven't done any edits on it, in spite of the fact that it clearly has some major flaws as a story (particularly a dry and confusing beginning.)

Would you be interested in that?