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

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Press Release
For Release Tuesday, July 28, 1997

Canada's Robert J. Sawyer Nominated for Japan's Top Science Fiction Award

[Cover Art] Robert J. Sawyer of Thornhill, Ontario, has been shortlisted for the Seiun Award, Japan's highest honour in science fiction.

The Seiun Award has been given annually since 1980. It is voted on by the attendees of the Japanese National Science Fiction Convention. This year's convention is being held in Hiroshima on August 23 and 24; the winner will be announced there. "Seiun" is the Japanese word for "nebula."

Sawyer, 37, is nominated in the category of Best Foreign Novel for his book End of an Era. End of an Era tells the story of two Canadian paleontologists — one from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta; the other from the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto — who travel back through time to the closing days of the Mesozoic Era to determine once and for all what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

In its starred review of the novel (denoting a book of exceptional merit), Canada's publishing trade journal Quill & Quire called End of an Era "Audacious, informed, and compelling — displays the author's breadth of imagination and humanity. It's not too much to say that this is one of the most accomplished SF novels of the last 10 years."

End of an Era was first published in English in October 1994 by Ace Science Fiction, New York; Ace is an imprint of Berkley Putnam. The Japanese edition, translated by Masayuki Uchida of Yokohama, was released by Hayakawa Publishing Corporation of Tokyo under the title Sayonara Dainosaurusu in October 1996.

The other Seiun nominees this year are all by American authors:

  • Mother of Storms by John Barnes
  • The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Twistor by John Cramer
  • The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany
  • The Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • The Hacker and the Ants by Rudy Rucker
  • The Color of Distance by Amy Thomson

The only previous Canadian winner was expatriate American William Gibson, now resident in Vancouver, who won the 1987 Seiun Award for his novel Neuromancer.

Robert J. Sawyer has previously won the United States's top SF award, the Nebula, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, for Best Novel of the Year (for The Terminal Experiment, published by HarperCollins in 1995). He's also won France's top SF award, Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, for Best Foreign Short Story of 1996. And in 1996, he came in second for Spain's top SF award, the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya's Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción. He's also won three Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("Auroras") — more than any other English-language author.

[After this press release was sent out, but before the enf of 1997, I won two more Auroras as well as the grand prize in the Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción.]

In addition, Sawyer is a current finalist for the Hugo Award, Science Fiction's international reader's choice award, for Best Novel of the Year, for his novel Starplex (Ace, October 1996). The Hugo winner will be announced at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, August 31.

Sawyer's latest novel, just out in hardcover from Tor, is called Frameshift. It deals with a French-Canadian geneticist who has the gene for Huntington's Disease; the book explores the impact genetic information will have on the health-insurance industry.

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