[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Press Release
For Release November 17, 1996

Sawyer Short Story Wins France's Top Science Fiction Award

Thornhill, Ontario, author Robert J. Sawyer, who earlier this year won the top American award in Science Fiction, today won France's top SF award, as well.

(In April, Sawyer won the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award for Best Novel of the Year for The Terminal Experiment, published by HarperPrism in May 1995.)

Today, in Paris, France, it was announced that Sawyer had won le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire ("the Grand Prize of the Imagination") for Best Foreign Short Story of the Year. Says Jean-Louis Trudel, noted French-Canadian SF critic: "This is the most prestigious and coveted SF award in France."

Sawyer's winning story, "You See But You Do Not Observe," was translated as "Vous voyez et vous n'observez pas," and appeared in issue 119 (May 1996) of France's long-running SF magazine Yellow Submarine. The translation was done by Patrick Marcel; Yellow Submarine's editor is André-Francois Ruaud.

"You See But You Do Not Observe" is a science-fictional Sherlock Holmes story, authorized by Dame Jean Conan Doyle. It originally appeared in English in the anthology Sherlock Holmes in Orbit edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg, and published by DAW Books of New York in February 1995; the story has also been translated into Japanese and published in Hayakawa SF, Japan's principal SF magazine.

Sawyer's story has a time-traveling Holmes facing up to the quantum-mechanical paradoxes surrounding his own apparent death at the Falls of Reichenbach, recounted in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original story "The Final Problem," first published in The Strand magazine, December 1893.

Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire (formerly known as Le Grand Prix de la Science-Fiction francaise) is a juried award established in 1974.

This was not the first honor for "You See But You Do Not Observe." On May 15, 1996, it received the Sixth Annual Homer Award, voted on by the 30,000 members worldwide of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Forum on the CompuServe Information Service, for Best Short Story of 1995. Sawyer's story also came in seventh place overall in total number of nominations in the Best Short Story category for the Hugo Award, SF's international "People's Choice" award, making it an official 1996 Hugo Award Honorable Mention.

Sawyer is the first English-Canadian to win Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire; three French-Canadians have won the award in the past: Élisabeth Vonarburg in 1982 for her novel Le Silence de la Cité; Pierre Billon in 1983 for his novel L'Enfant du cinquieme; and Norbert Spehner in 1989 in the Best Essay category for Ecrits sur la science-fiction.

Sawyer is Canada's only native-born full-time science-fiction writer. His most recent novel is Starplex (Ace Science Fiction, October 1996, distributed in Canada by BeJo Sales of Mississauga); his next novel is Frameshift, to be published by Tor in May 1997 (and to be distributed in Canada by H.B. Fenn). Translated editions of his books are published in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, and Spain.

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