SFWRITER.COM > About Rob > Press Releases > Premio UPC Win (1997)
For Release Wednesday, December 10, 1997
A Canadian and a Puerto Rican
Share the World's Largest Cash Prize
for Science Fiction
BARCELONA, SPAIN: Robert J. Sawyer
of Thornhill, Ontario, and
James Stevens-Arce of San Juan, Puerto Rico, today were jointly
awarded the world's largest cash prize for science-fiction
Sawyer and Stevens-Arce share the 1997 Premio UPC de Ciencia
Ficción, which carries a cash prize of one million pesetas
(approximately Cdn$10,000 or US$7,200). By comparison, the largest North
American cash prize available to published SF writers is the
annual Philip K. Dick Award, which carries a US$1,000 prize; the
largest British prize is the annual Arthur C. Clarke Award,
valued at 1,000 pounds.
The Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción is open to
novella-length (25,000 to 40,000 words) manuscripts in Spanish,
Catalan, French, and English. This year's competition the
seventh annual one drew 123 submissions from writers all over
the world. Manuscripts were judged blindly; neither the authors'
names nor their places of residence were known to the jury while
it was deliberating.
Renowned British SF critic Brian Aldiss calls the Premio UPC
"the most prestigious science-fiction award in all of Europe."
Sawyer's winning work is a portion of his forthcoming tenth novel
Factoring Humanity, which
will be published in hardcover by Tor Books (a division of St.
Martin's Press, New York), in June 1998. Factoring
Humanity deals with the discovery of a technology that allows
individuals to directly access the human collective unconscious.
Sawyer has previously won the top SF awards in the United States
(the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's
Nebula Award), Canada (the
Aurora), Japan (the
Seiun), and France
(Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire)
a feat no one else has ever managed. His latest novel is
Illegal Alien, just out in
hardcover from Ace, a division of Penguin Putnam USA. His
previous novels are
End of an Era,
The Terminal Experiment,
Stevens-Arce's winning work is called Soulsaver.
It deals with the increasing intervention of the religious right into the
political process. His short fiction has previously appeared in
the magazines Amazing Stories and Aboriginal SF,
and in the acclaimed 1995 anthology New Legends, edited by
Greg Bear. He is a partner in an advertising agency in San Juan;
his clients have included Pizza Hut and Citicorp.
The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya ("the Polytechnic
University of Catalonia," a region of northeast Spain), which
sponsors the Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción, is located in
Barcelona. The award jury this year consisted of Lluís
Anglada, Miquel Barceló, Josep Casanovas, Jordi José, and
More Good Reading
Incredibly, Rob also won the
Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción in
1998 and in 2004.
BEM Website with photos
from the 1997 awards ceremony and more information about the award
Rob's essay on winning the Premio UPC de Ciencia
More about Factoring Humanity
Press Backgrounder: Robert J. Sawyer
Press Backgrounder: SF Awards
Press Release index