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

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Press Release
For Release Monday, April 21, 2003

Hominids Nominated for Hugo Award

Robert J. Sawyer of Mississauga, Ontario, is one of five finalists for the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year. The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1953, are the science-fiction field's top international honour.

The full list of Best Novel finalists:

  • Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick (Avon)
  • Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor Books)
  • Kiln People by David Brin (Tor Books)
  • The Scar by China Miéville (Del Rey)
  • The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (Bantam)

Sawyer, 42, is the only Canadian on the Best Novel ballot (Brin, Robinson, and Swanwick are Americans; Miéville is British). However, Hugos are also given in three short-fiction categories, and Pat Forde of Kitchener, Ontario, is one of six finalists in the Best Novella category for his In Spirit, a powerful rumination on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, first published in the September 2002 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Sawyer teaches science-fiction writing at the University of Toronto; Ford is one of his previous students.

The Hugos are voted on by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention (or "Worldcon"), which this year is being held in Sawyer's hometown of Toronto. This year's Worldcon is designated "Torcon 3," since it is the third time the Worldcon has been here; the previous Toronto Worldcons were in 1948 and 1973. Torcon 3 runs from August 28 to September 1, 2003; for more information, see www.torcon3.on.ca.

This is the 50th year in which Hugo Awards will have been presented. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony hosted by famed SF author Spider Robinson on Saturday, August 30, 2003, at Toronto's luxurious Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The Hugos are named after Hugo Gernsback, who founded the first-ever science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926.

This is Sawyer's seventh Hugo nomination; his previous best-novel nominations were for The Terminal Experiment (which won the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award for Best Novel of 1995), Starplex, Frameshift, Factoring Humanity, and Calculating God; he's also been nominated once for Best Short Story of the Year.

Hominids — published in hardcover in May 2002, and now out in paperback — tells the story of a portal opening up in Sudbury, Ontario, between our world and an alternate reality in which Neanderthals survived to the present day and we did not.

Hominids is the first book of Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy. The second volume, Humans, was published in hardcover in February, and became a top-ten Globe and Mail mainstream bestseller in Canada. The final volume, Hybrids, will be launched at Torcon 3. Sawyer's novels are published by Tor Books, New York, the world's largest SF publisher; they are distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company of Bolton, Ontario.

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