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Christopher Kulp, Ph.D., professor of physics at Lycoming College, recently won the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Short Story by a New Author. His science fiction story titled, “What Would You Pay for a Second Chance?,” will be published in an upcoming edition of Galaxy’s Edge magazine.
“I had wanted to write science fiction for years, but I kept putting it off for various reasons,” said Kulp. “When my father died unexpectedly in 2019, it was a wake up call for me to stop putting things off. I had one year left on a textbook contract, and after that was completed, I began writing sci-fi.”
In the fall of 2021, Kulp signed up to take Creative Writing 342 Fiction Workshop I with Phoebe Wagner, who was recently named assistant professor of creative writing at Lycoming College. As well as an editor, Wagner has experience as a published fiction writer with interests in climate change and speculative fiction, and she regularly presents at the World Science Fiction Convention.
“Dr. Kulp was a great addition to the workshop as he jumped in willing to take feedback, give feedback, and work alongside the students,” said Wagner. “He is, and was, a great example of how learning is a lifelong pursuit and that writing doesn’t begin or end in the college classroom.”
“What Would You Pay for a Second Chance?” follows the story of a woman diagnosed with cancer. While the technology exists to upload her consciousness into a computer, she is too poor to pay for it. She signs up for a government program that will cover the cost but only in exchange for her service in the military. After being sent to the frontlines of a warzone in her new robot body, she realizes the battle is not the only threat she faces.
“I would like to thank Dr. Phoebe Wagner and the students in her CRWR 342 Fiction Workshop class,” said Kulp. “Their feedback was invaluable in getting the story to its final form.”
Kulp looks forward to writing more science fiction stories. Set to release early next year, his debut novel, titled “Selection,” follows the story of Sam, Jack, Jenny, and Tabitha as they navigate a world ravaged by climate change and dictated by an artificial intelligence named the Algorithm. Stay up to date with his novel and other stories by signing up for his newsletter at chriskulp.com/newsletter.
The Mike Resnick Memorial Award is an annual award sponsored by Galaxy’s Edge magazine and Dragon Con, a multi genre convention, that celebrates new authors. As well as publishing hundreds of books as author and editor, Mike Resnick was known for his “Writer Children”– paying it forward by helping new writers start their careers. This award was created to honor his memory and legacy by spotlighting the wonderful new voices in the writing world.
“Mike Resnick has a legacy of helping new writers,” said Kulp. “I am honored to be one of the ones he has helped.”
Whether our English majors focus on literature or creative writing, their experience in many ways reflects Auden’s union of writing and pleasure. The Lycoming English department is a tight-knit literary community where students marry their passions for writing and reading with their natural curiosity about the world around them. To learn more about the English and creative writing program at Lycoming College, visit: https://www.lycoming.edu/english/.