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Imagine The Future Of The Space Elevator

Here's your chance to help science meet fiction. The 2005 Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction competition has just been announced by the European Space Agency's Technology Transfer and Promotion office. Organized by by the Swiss Maison d'Ailleurs (House of Elsewhere) and the OURS Foundation, the intent of the competition is to promote innovative ideas for future space technologies and to encourage young people’s interest in science and technology.

This year, a specific theme has been selected - the space elevator. Writers and artists of all ages are invited to submit a short story of no more than 2500 words, a piece of artwork, or both, describing or depicting a space elevator and its technology.


(From Looking down at Earth)

A space elevator is an actual physical connection between a point on a planetary surface (like the Earth) to a geostationary point up in orbit (in the case of the Earth, about 36,000 kilometers up). The scientific thinking about the idea of a space elevator started with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895 (fanciful thinking probably started with Jack and the Beanstalk around 1820!) Arthur C. Clarke wrote what is perhaps the best known (and one of the earliest) stories about the idea of a space elevator in his 1979 book The Fountains of Paradise.

This competition is open to space and science fiction enthusiasts from all nations. The entries, which must be in English, will be judged by an international jury and assessed using the following criteria:

  • technology: convincing use
  • imagination: innovative ideas and the ability to think ‘outside the box’
  • structure: development of storyline, plot, characters skill: clarity of expression, style, degree of realism
  • visualisation: convincing depiction of the space elevator
The closing date for entries is 28 February 2005.

Anyone interested in giving the competition a try can find out more on the ESA website.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/14/2004)

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