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

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Press Release
For Release Sunday, August 19, 2001

Canadian Robert J. Sawyer Wins Japan's Top Science Fiction Award

CHIBA, JAPANRobert J. Sawyer of Mississauga, Ontario, today won the Seiun Award, Japan's highest honour in science fiction.

The winner was announced at a gala banquet at "SF2001," Japan's 40th annual national science-fiction convention being held today in Chiba (near Tokyo). As is traditional, the award will be re-presented at the World Science Fiction Convention, which this year is being held August 30 through September 3 in Philadelphia. Sawyer and his wife, poet Carolyn Clink, will be on-hand to receive his Seiun Award trophy from a Japanese delegation at that ceremony.

Sawyer's Seiun win is for Frameshift; it won in the category of Best Foreign Novel of 2000. Frameshift was published in Japan by Tokyo's Hayakawa Publishing Company; the translator was Masayuki Uchida of Yokohama. The North American edition appeared in hardcover in 1997, from Tor Books in New York, the world's largest SF publisher. The paperback edition is widely available in Canadian bookstores. Tor Books are distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company.

Frameshift deals with a French-Canadian geneticist who has the gene for Huntington's disease; the book explores human cloning and the impact genetic information will have on the health-insurance industry. In its year of English publication, Frameshift was also one of five finalists for the Hugo Award, SF's international readers' choice award.

The Seiun Award has been given annually since 1980. It is voted on by the attendees of the Japanese National Science Fiction Convention. "Seiun" is the Japanese word for "nebula."

Sawyer, 41, has won the top SF awards in the United States (the Nebula Award, for his 1995 novel The Terminal Experiment; France (Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire), Spain (Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción), and Japan. No other writer in history has ever won all four. In addition, he's won seven Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("Auroras"), five more than any other English-language author.

Frameshift beat out such giants of science fiction as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and William Gibson for the Seiun. The other Seiun nominees were:

The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg

  • Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear

  • Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

  • Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card

  • The Light of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter

  • Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye

  • All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson

  • The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre

    This was Sawyer's second Seiun win; he previously won in 1997 for his novel End of an Era, which is being reissued in a revised edition by Tor next month.

    Sawyer is also a current finalist for this year's Hugo Award, Science Fiction's international readers' choice award, for Best Novel of the Year, for his novel Calculating God Calculating God. Set at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum, the novel deals with the arrival of an alien who claims he has scientific proof for the existence of God. The Hugo winner will be announced at the World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia over Labour Day weekend.

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