Tell me a story… on asteroids

Jul 7, 2014 | Uncategorized

This image by Deep Space Industries depicts their non-fictional plans to turn asteroids into the food of future 3D printers.

This image by Deep Space Industries depicts their non-fictional plans to turn asteroids into the food of future 3D NOTprinters.

NOTE FROM PAMELA: PG Holyfield, one of our dear friends and the person who was going to judge this (in part) died and I’m still trying to sort how to move on. This contest will continue… just… sorting.


This post is… a bit delayed. Back in May, while attending Balticon, I issued a challenge to our Astronomy Cast & 365 Days of Astronomy listeners: Write us a short story that includes asteroids and if it is good, we’ll include it in a future episode of Space Stories on 365 DoA. If it is really good, really visual, and has a lot of great science, it might even get selected to be used as the basis of an upcoming planetarium show or science-on-the-sphere educational product.

You might be wondering, why are we doing this?

A lot of people (including me) make their way to science via science fiction. Here at CosmoQuest we’re looking to get more and more involved in asteroid science, and we want want you and everyone else out there with spare time to join us. It is my hope that if we can use fiction to get people interested in asteroids as something more than Potatoes in Space, maybe we can get them interested in helping us with citizen science. Along the way, if we can help popularize the work of some writers, that would make me stupid happy.

The Rules

  • Deadline: August 15, 2014
  • Length: 5000 words or less (no lower limit)
  • Format: plain text file
  • Copyright: You must place at the end of your story that it is released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license OR Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
  • Content must be PG-13 or cleaner. 
  • The story must include asteroid science. How you relate to asteroids is up to you! Consider mining, science, capturing, turning them into spacecraft, one is coming toward Earth and needs redirected, one is headed toward another world… There is no limit to where your imagination can take you (just stay within the boundaries of scientific reality please).

Submit your story to

What happens next

After August 15, one of us here at CosmoQuest, we will post all the stories (that follow the rules) with bylines and copyright information on individual pages on 365 Days of Astronomy.  We’ll also set up a form for you to use to vote for your favorites. You’ll be able to vote for stories as best at communicating science, best story, and most visual. The folks at CosmoQuest reserve the right to acknowledge who was voted the highest overall, and in each category, while also not picking that content to be turned into media. (This could happen for a lot of reasons, including some stories, like Dune, just can’t be reproduced as media.)

Exactly how long the voting will last will honestly depend on how many entries we get, and we’ll set that after August 15. If there are a ton of entries, we’re all going to want more time for reading!

We could pick as many as 12 hours worth of stories to read on air, so submit, submit, submit.


  1. Jeff

    Did the contest get another extension? Thanks

  2. StarStryder

    yes – this is extended – will update above



  1. Ep. 347: Live from Balticon! | Astronomy Cast - […] Info about Pamela’s challenge to write a short story about asteroids […]
  2. Special Episode: Live from DragonCon 2014! | Astronomy Cast - […] 365 Days of Astronomy “Tell Me a Story … On Asteroid” contest […]

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