The 2020 Cosmos Prize Winners

Through The Cosmos Prize, we invite people to experience a small slice of what it was like to be a science fiction fan in the 1930s. We were inspired by the contests that Hugo Gernsback ran through the pages of magazines like Science Wonder Quarterly

In that spirit, we called — and some brave fans answered. After a few weeks of close reading and deliberation, we’re proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Cosmos Prize.

This year’s challenge was to re-write the final chapter of the serial novel Cosmos. This round-robin epic space opera was published over 17 issues of Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine spanning July 1933 through January 1935. The work featured installments from 18 different authors, many of them prominent professionals of the day. You can read all about Cosmos and find the full text of the novel at The Cosmos Project website.

Grand Prize: Battle at Neptune, by Sara Light-Waller

In which a desperate last stand buys time for a united Solar System to invent a new and devastating dimensional weapon to defeat the invader Ay-Artz. Includes original illustrations!
The Grand Prize winner received:

  • $300usd
  • A copy of The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom, Volume One: The 1930s
  • A copy of The Complete Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine, a three-volume set including Cosmos
  • A First Fandom Experience lapel pin
  • A First Fandom Experience t-shirt

Read Battle at Neptune here.
Read about Sara Light-Waller’s writing process here.

Second Prize: The Solar System United and Symphony of Armageddon, by Ville V. Kokko

In which the full genius of Nardony and Ferdinand Stone is deployed to resurrect the even greater genius of Mea-Quinn and a desperate strategy is used to defeat the evil Ay-Artz.
The Second Place winner received:

  • $100usd
  • A copy of The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom, Volume One: The 1930s
  • A First Fandom Experience lapel pin
  • A First Fandom Experience t-shirt

Read The Solar System United and Symphony of Armageddon here.

Third Prize: Chaos in the Cosmos, by D.M. Woolston

In which, after the tragic loss of many heroes, the scientist-poet Nardony is summoned to conduct a deadly orchestra against the malignant Ay-Artz.
The Third Place winner received:

  • $50usd
  • A copy of The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom, Volume One: The 1930s
  • A First Fandom Experience lapel pin
  • A First Fandom Experience t-shirt

Read Chaos in the Cosmos by D.M. Woolston here.

Honorable Mention: The Scrutiny of Gods, by Shannon Magrane

In which we are taken out of the Solar System and into the realm of Tor and Krauz, the gods of creation and destruction established in previous chapters, as they observe and contemplate the actions of mortals.
The Honorable Mention award winner received:

  • A facsimile copy of the serial novel Cosmos
  • A First Fandom Experience lapel pin
  • A First Fandom Experience t-shirt

Read The Scrutiny of Gods here.


We thank all of the writers for their incredible work on this contest. We asked a lot of them — to read the entirety of Cosmos, to re-imagine a cohesive conclusion to a wild story, to upstage the work of Edward Hamilton — and they delivered. The writing we received was a show of force, a joy to read, and did justice to the spirit of the contest. New technologies were invented, new heroes were born, and the Solar System was saved anew. Thank you for your time and contributions to the 2020 Cosmos Prize.

We chose the winning entries based on how creatively and thoroughly they digested the first sixteen chapters of Cosmos into a new and satisfying ending. Without spoiling anything, the winning entry tied together various threads of plot and character development, invented a new game-changing technology based on ideas previously established in the serial, and read like it could have been published in the pages of Science Fiction Digest

Stay tuned for details on the 2021 Cosmos Prize

We’ll soon be announcing the theme and rules for the second annual Cosmos Prize. What we know so far:

  • The contest will run until April 2021
  • The theme will be based on the twin round-robin novels “The Challenge From Beyond,” which were published in the September 1935 issue of Fantasy Magazine. Click here to see the novels as they originally appeared.
  • This iteration of the prize will target artists and illustrators.

Watch this page for more details!

%d bloggers like this: