Sunday, April 4, 2010

Canadians Sawyer and Wilson face off for Hugo Award for Best Novel

Toronto area-authors Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson are facing off once again for science-fiction's top international honour, the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year.

Sawyer's Wake (published by Viking Canada / Ace USA / Gollancz UK) and Wilson's Julian Comstock: A Novel of 22nd Century America (Tor Books) are two of the six finalists for the Hugo, which will be awarded Sunday, September 5, 2010, at a gala ceremony as the highlight of the 68th annual World Science Fiction Convention, which is being held this year in Melbourne, Australia.

Wake tells the story of Caitlin Decter, a blind 15-year-old math genius in Waterloo, Ontario, who discovers a nascent intelligence lurking on the World Wide Web. Julian Comstock is a satiric Victorian-style novel set in a post-apocalyptic Christian-fundamentalist United States.

The full list
of Best Novel nominees, announced April 4, 2010, in Melbourne, Australia:
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • The City & The City by China Mieville
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  • Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Julian Comstock: A Novel of 22nd Century America by Robert Charles Wilson
(Bacigalupi, Priest, and Valente are Americans; Mieville is British.)

Sawyer shares an additional Hugo nomination this year in the category of Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) for "No More Good Days," the pilot episode of the ABC TV series FlashForward, scripted by Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer and based on Sawyer's novel of the same name.

The Hugos also honour short fiction, and in the novelette category "The Island" by Toronto's Peter Watts is a finalist. In addition, the Hugos honour work in fan categories, and three Canadians are competing there: Lloyd Penney of Toronto and James Nicoll of Kitchener for Best Fan Writer, and Taral Wayne of Toronto for Best Fan Artist. All nominees in all categories are listed here.

Sawyer's Wake is also currently one of five finalists for the Aurora Award, Canada's top honour in science-fiction, for Best English Novel of the Year. Wilson's Julian Comstock is expanded from his earlier novella "Julian: A Christmas Story," which was a previous Hugo finalist.

Both Sawyer and Wilson are previous winners of the Best Novel Hugo: Sawyer took the prize in 2003 for Hominids, and Wilson won in 2006 for Spin. Sawyer and Wilson — known as "Rob and Bob" in science-fiction circles — have faced each other on the best-novel Hugo ballot twice before: both were nominees for the award in 1999 and in 2004. This is Wilson's 6th Hugo nomination, and Sawyer now has 13.

Previous Hugo Award-winning novels include Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, Dune by Frank Herbert, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller, and Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Watch, the sequel to Sawyer's current-finalist Wake, is being launched this Tuesday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m., at Dominion on Queen pub, 500 Queen Street West, in Toronto; the event, which kicks off Sawyer's 14-city cross-Canada book tour for Watch, is free and open to the public.

Robert J. Sawyer, 49, was born in Ottawa and lives in Mississauga, Ontario. Robert Charles Wilson, 56, was born in Whittier, California, and lives in Concord, Ontario; he became a Canadian citizen last year.


Publication-quality photo: Sawyer (left) and Wilson (right) with their previous Hugo trophies (photo by Carolyn Clink)

The Robert J. Sawyer website

The Robert Charles Wilson website

Sawyer award statistics via Locus, the science-fiction trade journal

Wilson award statistics

The Hugo Awards official site

This year's World Science Fiction Convention

Robert J. Sawyer online:

Labels: , ,