The Compton Crook Award is presented to the best English language first novel of the year in the field of science fiction, fantasy, or horror by the members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society at their annual science fiction convention, Balticon, held in Baltimore on Memorial Day weekend. Awards have been presented since 1983. The award is also known as the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award.The list of eligible books is published in the monthly newsletter so all club members will have a chance to read and vote. The winning author is invited to Balticon (BSFS pays transportation and lodging) for two years), and presented with the cash award of $1,000. Compton Crook, who wrote under the name of Stephen Tall, was a long-time Baltimore resident, Towson University professor, and science fiction author. He died in 1981.
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