Open Category

This judging panel will select the winner and runner-up in the open category.

Artur Ekert

Artur is the Director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies and Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. He is also a Professor of Quantum Physics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, UK. His main research interest is information processing in quantum systems. Artur is a co-inventor of quantum cryptography, which uses the fundamental laws of physics to guarantee perfectly secure communication. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a recipient of several awards, including the 1995 Maxwell Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics and the 2007 Royal Society Hughes Medal. In his non-academic life, he is an avid scuba diver.

Brian Greene

Brian Greene is Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University in New York. He is widely recognized for groundbreaking discoveries in his field of superstring theory. He is also known to the public for his writing and media appearances. His first book The Elegant Universe has sold more than a million copies worldwide. It was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, winner of Britain’s top prize for a book on science, and the basis for an award-winning three-part NOVA special that he hosted. He is also the author of The Fabric of the Cosmos, which inspired another NOVA series. His other books are The Hidden Reality, a considered exploration of the science of parallel universes and Icarus at the Edge of Time, which dramatises insights in relativity. That story was adapted for live symphonic presentation with an original score by Philip Glass. His many other media appearances include Charlie Rose and David Letterman. Professor Greene is also chairman of the board of The World Science Festival, which he co-founded with Emmy award winning journalist Tracy Day in 2008. The festival has been hailed by the New York Times as a “new cultural institution”.

Tania Hershman

Tania's third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, which contains short stories and flash fictions inspired by science, was published by Unthank Books in May 2017, and her debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, by Nine Arches Press in July. Tania is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, and two short story collections, My Mother Was An Upright Piano, and The White Road and Other Stories, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). Tania is curator of short story hub ShortStops, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, and is currently completing a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. Hear her read her work on and find out more here:

Colin Sullivan

Colin is editor of Nature Futures, the award-winning science-fiction column in the science journal Nature. He first joined Nature in 2000 as Chief Subeditor and now spends his time as Managing Editor. Since taking over the Futures reins in 2012, he has overseen the launch of Nature Futures 2, an anthology of 100 stories from 100 authors. He also runs the Future Conditional blog, where Futures authors tell the story behind their story. When not wrestling with the pandimensional issues of schedules, technology and what might be for tea, he has a tendency to stare at Roman ruins - especially those of Pompeii and Herculaneum - and to pore over genealogical records.

JY Yang

JY Yang is the author of the Tensorate series of novellas from Tor.Com Publishing (The Red Threads of Fortune, The Black Tides of Heaven, and two more slated for 2018 and beyond). Their short fiction has been published in over a dozen venues, including Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed, and Clarkesworld. JY attended the 2013 class of Clarion West, for which they received the Susan C. Petrey scholarship. In 2015 they were awarded a postgraduate scholarship from the National Arts Council of Singapore to read their MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Britain. In previous incarnations, they have been a molecular biologist; a writer for animation, comics and games; a journalist for one of Singapore’s major papers, and a science communicator with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). JY is currently based out of Singapore. They identify as queer and non-binary. Find them online at or on Twitter as @halleluyang.