Bard College has announced that author Brian Conn will be the recipient of the 2013 Bard Fiction Prize. Conn will receive a $30,000 cash award and a residency at Bard College during the spring 2013 semester. Conn received the prize for his debut book, The Fixed Stars, an experimental science fiction novel published by Fiction Collective 2 in 2010. As a writer-in-residence at Bard, located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, Conn will meet with students, give public readings, and continue to write.
“What won the respect of the Bard Fiction Prize judges was the remarkable way the weird, perplexing bleakness of the imagined society is firmly held in place by a narrative style at once bewildered and lucid—it has the air of a kind of deadpan tragedy, of the sort Kafka scared us with, and made us yearn for more," wrote the Bard Fiction Prize committee in a statement. “The Bard Fiction Prize has been anxious to celebrate innovation in the novel—and in Conn’s The Fixed Stars we found a perfect match of inventive fable with disquietingly radical storytelling. The prose sparkles with unique images, and the narrative itself is wonderful, at times wondrous even, and a highly original formal work, full of life.”
Conn’s fiction has appeared in both genre magazines and literary magazines, and The Fixed Stars was named one of Amazon’s ten best science fiction and fantasy books of 2010. In 2008, Conn cofounded the fiction journal Birkensnake at Brown University.
Established in 2001, the Bard Fiction Prize is given annually to an emerging writer under the age of forty for a work of innovative fiction. Last year Benjamin Hale received the prize for his novel The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore (Twelve, 2011). The deadline for the 2014 prize is July 15, 2013. Visit the Bard website for guidelines.