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Canadian Author Wins World's Top Juried Award For Science Fiction
For Release Friday, July 7, 2006
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Robert J. Sawyer, 46, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has just won the world's top juried award for science fiction: the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel of the Year.
The award, which Sawyer won for his latest novel, Mindscan, was presented Friday night, July 7, 2006, at a banquet at the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.
With this award win his 38th for his writing Robert J. Sawyer now joins the most-select club in all of science fiction: the seven writers who have won all three of the field's top awards for best novel of the year:
The full list of winners of all three awards:
Sawyer is the only Canadian to win all three.
The John W. Campbell Memorial Award was created to honor the late editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (renamed Analog Science Fiction and Fact in 1960). Campbell, who edited the magazine from 1937 until his death in 1971, is often called the father of modern science fiction. Writers Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss established the award in 1973 as a way of continuing Campbell's efforts to encourage writers to produce their best possible work.
[As a reflection of Campbell's stature, there's also another award named for him: the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, which is voted on by readers and sponsored by the publisher of Campbell's magazine Analog; that award shouldn't be confused with the juried John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel of the Year.]
The 12 finalists for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award this year were:
Cash, Gerrold, McDevitt, and Marusek are American; Baxter, McAuley, Traviss, and Ian MacLeod are English; Ken MacLeod and Stross are Scottish; and Wilson and Sawyer are Canadian. This was Sawyer's third Campbell nomination. He'd previously been nominated in 2001 for his Calculating God, and in 2003 for his Hugo-winning Hominids. (Second place this year went to Spin; third pace went to The Summer Isles.)
Previous winners of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award include such SF classics as Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, The Postman by David Brin, and The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter.
The stellar jury consisted of eight major writers, editors, and scholars from the United States and Britain:
Mindscan is Sawyer's sixteenth novel. It was published in hardcover by Tor Books, New York, in April 2005, and was a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club; the paperback came out in January 2006.
The novel tells the story of Jacob Sullivan, a young man who copies his consciousness into an artificial body, since he believes his biological body is about to die due to a congenital illness. But shortly after this, a cure is found for his condition, and the biological version must battle the copy for the right to be considered the real Jake Sullivan.
Entertainment Weekly says Mindscan "lucidly explores fascinating philosophical conundrums," and Publishers Weekly declares: "This tightly plotted novel offers plenty of philosophical speculation on the ethics of bio-technology and the nature of consciousness."
SF Site calls Mindscan "a brilliant and innovative novel, with complex and highly entertaining courtroom drama. In Sawyer's capable grasp the story positively sings with humor, insight, and depth." And Starlog says Mindscan is written "with intelligence and far-reaching vision worthy of Isaac Asimov."
Sawyer's next novel, Rollback, will be published by Tor in April 2007, following full-text serialization beginning in the October 2006 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact the magazine John W. Campbell himself edited for so many years.
To book an interview with Robert J. Sawyer, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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James Gunn presents Campbell Memorial Award to Robert J. Sawyer
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