SFWRITER.COM > About Rob > Press Releases > Hugo Nomination (1997)
For Release Monday, April 21, 1997
Canada's Robert J. Sawyer Nominated for Science Fiction's Hugo Award for Second Year in a Row
The ballot for the 1997 Hugo Award the international readers'
choice award of the science-fiction field was unveiled today
in San Antonio, Texas.
For the second year in a row, a book by Robert J. Sawyer
of Thornhill, Ontario, is one of five finalists in the category
of Best Novel of the Year.
Sawyer's nominated novel, Starplex,
was published by Ace
Science Fiction in October 1996. Ace is an imprint of Berkley
Putnam, New York; Ace Books are distributed in Canada by BeJo
Sales of Mississauga, Ontario.
The other Hugo nominees (all by Americans) are Memory by
Lois McMaster Bujold (published by Baen); Remnant by
Elizabeth Moon (Baen); Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
(Bantam), and Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling (Bantam).
The Hugo Awards honor science fiction first published anywhere in
the world in English in the preceding year. Nominations are made
by the members of the current year's and previous year's World
Science Fiction Convention (or "Worldcon"). The final ballot
will be voted on by the 5,000 members of this year's Worldcon,
which will be held over Labor Day weekend in San Antonio. The
winners will be announced August 31, 1997.
The Worldcon has been in Canada three times: in Toronto in 1947
and 1973, and in Winnipeg in 1994. Other recent and upcoming
Worldcon sites include Glasgow (1995), Los Angeles (1996),
Baltimore (1998), and Melbourne (1999).
The Hugo Awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, an immigrant to
the United States from Luxembourg, who founded the first
science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926;
Amazing Stories was published until 1995.
Previous Hugo Award winners include such SF classics as Frank
Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves,
Arthur C. Clarke's
Rendezvous with Rama. The only
Canadian winner to date of a Best Novel Hugo is Vancouver's
William Gibson, who won the 1985 award for his
Sawyer, 36, was also nominated for a Hugo Award last year for his
novel The Terminal Experiment
(HarperPrism USA, May 1995,
distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada Ltd.). Although
The Terminal Experiment didn't win the Hugo, it did take
home the Nebula Award the "Academy Award" of science fiction,
voted on by the 1,100 members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writers of America.
Sawyer's current Hugo nominee, Starplex, was also one of
six nominees for the Nebula Award this year (the winner was
Slow River by Nicola Griffith, published by Del Rey).
Sawyer was the only novelist to be nominated for both the Hugo
and Nebula this year, and the only novelist to be nominated for
the Hugo both last year and this year.
Starplex tells the story of the discovery of an ancient
and apparently abandoned network of interstellar shortcuts that
gives humanity access to the entire galaxy. During first contact
with a newly discovered alien race, the crew of a research vessel
is sent on a mind-bending adventure that covers millions of
light-years and billions of years.
Library Journal calls Starplex, "An epic
hard-science adventure tempered by human concerns. Highly
The syndicated review column "About Books" declares,
"Sawyer has become Canada's best speculative-fiction writer, by
far. Starplex is very, very cool. This is a book not to
The Toronto Star raves, "It's hard to think of a modern SF
writer with dreams as vast as those of Toronto's internationally
acclaimed Robert J. Sawyer. Here, at last, is an ambitious attempt to
exploit the possibilities the science-fiction genre is capable
Toronto Life says, "The intercultural tensions in
Starplex may be a sly allegory for English-French
relations in Canada. Sawyer is right to demand serious attention
to his work."
And The Halifax Mail-Star calls Starplex, "A
rumination on several very deep questions, including: Where did
we come from? Where are we going? And the deepest of the deep,
Is there a God? Sawyer's novel proves that science fiction is
Sawyer is Canada's only native-born full-time science- fiction
writer. In addition to last year's Nebula win, he has also won
three Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("Auroras"), an
Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada, and Le
Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, France's top honor in SF.
His previous novels from Ace Science Fiction are Far-Seer,
Fossil Hunter, Foreigner, and End of an Era.
His next novel, Frameshift, will be a June 1997 hardcover
release; Sawyer will be touring in Canada next month to promote
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