2005 Award Results

The SLF is delighted to announce the results of our 2005 Fountain Award judging! The Fountain Award is given to a speculative short story of exceptional literary quality, chosen from work nominated by magazine and anthology editors. Our jurors for 2005 were: Gwenda Bond, Carol Emshwiller, Jeff Ford, James Patrick Kelly, and Mary Anne Mohanraj. They have chosen a winner and selected the following short list for honorable mention.


“Girl Reporter” by Stephanie Harrell
Published in One Story

Honorable Mentions:

“Second Person, Present Tense” by Daryl Gregory
“A Precursor of the Cinema” by Steven Millhauser
McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern
“The Woman in Schrodinger’s Wave Equations” by Eugene Mirabelli
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
“A History of the Ghosts of Judy, Tennessee” by Michael Poore
“Anyway” by M Rickert
“Pip and the Fairies” by Theodora Goss
Strange Horizons
“Best New Horror” by Joe Hill
“The Mushroom Duchess” by Deborah Roggie
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet
“Lemmings in the Third Year” by Jerome Stueart
Tesseracts Nine

Three Fountain Award jurors offer the following comments on our 2005 winner, Stephanie Harrell’s “Girl Reporter”:

Gwenda Bond:
There have been more than a few short stories playing around with the conventions of SuperheroLand recently, but “Girl Reporter” soars in to the rescue with something fresh. Here we have a behind-the-scenes expose from the sharp-tongued, sharp girl reporter of the title, and what she’s exposing is what it’s like to be a capable damsel in distress, to be the woman behind the superhero (including some deliciously funny sex scenes), and her own embarrassing, post-relationship emotion about the big lug. Frothy and substantial at the same time, this story is excellent reading.

Carol Emshwiller:
Odd, but I happened to read this story first, before any of the others in the contest. Right away I wrote on our judging web site: We should all read this one.

This is a story about how Superman… maybe… got to be Superman, all because of the “girl reporter.” Harrell’s characteriztions are perfect. The dialogue is skillful and always just right for the characters.

It’s a well done romp. Writerly. Full of art and craft. Clever. I laughed out loud.

Jim Kelly:
I remember starting “Girl Reporter” thinking that it would probably be too cute to be a contender. But as I read, my excitement grew. There is a terrific voice here, funny and sad and sexy and wrenchingly real. Harrell deftly makes the fantastic mundane and in the process transforms larger-than-life stereotypes into people we can know and begin to understand. “Girl Reporter” filled me with surprise and delight. Besides, I just couldn’t resist a story in which a superhero refers to himself as “the big guy.”

More information on the Fountain Award

Questions about this year’s awards process may be directed to Karen Meisner, Awards Administrator – FountainAward@speculativeliterature.org