SFWRITER.COM > About Rob > Press Releases > Hugo Nominations (1999)
For Release Friday, April 23, 1999
Canada's Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson vie for Science Fiction's Top International Award
The final ballot for the 1999 Hugo Awards the international
readers' choice awards of the science-fiction field was
unveiled today in Melbourne, Australia.
For an astonishing fourth year in a row, acclaimed Toronto-area
writer ROBERT J. SAWYER, 39, is a
finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year.
Only two other writers in the 46-year history of the Hugos have
ever had four consecutive best-novel nominations: Americans
Robert Silverberg (1970-1973) and Orson Scott Card (1986-1989).
Sawyer is nominated this year for his novel Factoring
Humanity, published by Tor Books, New York, and
distributed in Canada by H.B. Fenn and Company Ltd.
Also on the ballot, for the first time, is Toronto's ROBERT
CHARLES WILSON, 45, for his novel Darwinia,
also published by Tor. And Wilson has a second
Hugo nomination this year, in the Best Novelette category, for
"Divided by Infinity," published in the Tor Books
anthology Starlight 2, edited by Patrick Nielsen
Hayden (a novelette is a story between 7,500 and 17,500 words
The complete list of best novel Hugo finalists this year is as
follows; all of the other authors are American:
- Children of God, Mary Doria Russell (Villard)
- Factoring Humanity, Robert J. Sawyer (Tor)
- Distraction, Bruce Sterling (Bantam Spectra)
- To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis
- Darwinia, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
Sawyer's previous Hugo nominees were the novels
The Terminal Experiment
(1996), Starplex (1997), and
Frameshift (1998), and the
short story "The Hand You're Dealt" (1998).
The Terminal Experiment won the Science Fiction and
Fantasy Writers of America's
Nebula Award (the "Academy Award" of
the SF field) for best novel of the year; Sawyer has also won the
top SF awards in Canada (the Aurora),
Japan (the Seiun), France
(Le Grand Prix de
l'Imaginaire), and Spain (Premio UPC de Ciencia
Ficción), as well as an Arthur Ellis Award from
the Crime Writers of Canada, and the Science Fiction
Chronicle Reader Award, voted on by subscribers to the New
York-based trade journal of the SF field.
Factoring Humanity tells the
story of Heather Davis, a psychology professor at the University
of Toronto, who discovers a technology that allows people to
journey into the collective unconscious of the human race.
Booklist says, "Sawyer gets high marks for working
out extraordinary concepts in ordinary human terms. Heather's
machine is a thing of great beauty, and her trip through our
collective racial consciousness is an amazing cruise."
Kirkus calls Factoring Humanity, "an
intelligent and absorbing double-stranded narrative that
accelerates to hyperspeed in the last few pages."
Meanwhile, Analog, the world's number-one
bestselling SF magazine, says simply, "I loved it. May you
also." And Britain's leading science-fact magazine, New
Scientist, raved: "Factoring Humanity is
Sawyer's finest novel to date scientifically plausible,
fictionally intriguing, and ethically important."
The Ottawa Citizen included Factoring Humanity
on its list of 1998's top nine fiction books
of any type; the book is also a current finalist for the Homer Award,
voted on by the 30,000 members worldwide of the Science Fiction and
Fantasy Forums on CompuServe, the world's oldest commercial online service.
Factoring Humanity was published in hardcover in
June 1998. The paperback of Factoring Humanity
will be released next month (May 1999).
In 1995, Darwinia author ROBERT CHARLES WILSON
won the Philip K. Dick Award, given for best SF novel of the year
originally published in paperback, for his Mysterium
(Bantam). And in 1996, his novelette "The Perseids" won the
Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award ("the Aurora") for Best
Short Work of the Year; "The Perseids" was also a Nebula Award
finalist. Tor will publish a hardcover collection of Wilson's
remarkable short fiction in the year 2000.
Darwinia tells the story of a very different 20th
century. In 1912, history is changed by "the Miracle," when the
old world of Europe is replaced by Darwinia, a strange land of
nightmarish jungle and antediluvian monsters.
Science Fiction Chronicle has already named
Darwinia the best SF novel of 1998.
Locus: The Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field
calls Darwinia, "a remarkable book, worthy of
the highest honors in our field. Don't miss it." And
The Globe and Mail: Canada's National Newspaper,
says, "In a genre that now seems to hold more trash than treasures,
Wilson has created a gem."
Darwinia was published in hardcover in June 1998.
The paperback edition will be out in July 1999.
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 the 1999 Worldcon, which
will be held September 2-6, in Melbourne, Australia. Sawyer will
be in attendance.
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.
The awards have been presented annually since 1953.
Previous Hugo Award-winning novels include such SF classics as
Frank Herbert's Dune, Isaac Asimov's The Gods
Themselves, and 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
More Good Reading
Other Robert J. Sawyer Hugo nominations:
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