The three-day conference will feature presentations of the Campbell Award for best science fiction novel of the year, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the year's best short of science fiction.
Sturgeon died in 1985 and has received acclaim for his short stories.
Noel Sturgeon, Theodore's daughter, will make her first appearance at the conference to present the Sturgeon award. She is a professor of women's studies at Washington State University.
The 2009 winners of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award include:
1st Place "The Ray Gun: A Love Story," James Alan Gardner
2nd Place "Memory Dog," Kathleen Ann Goonan
3rd Place "The Tear," Ian McDonald
The annual John W. Campbell Science Fiction Conference opens July 16 at the Lawrence campus.