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For Release Saturday, August 23, 1997
Canada's Robert J. Sawyer Wins Japan's Top Science Fiction Award
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN Robert J. Sawyer of Thornhill, Ontario,
today won the Seiun Award, Japan's highest honour in science fiction.
The winner was announced at a gala banquet at "Akicon,"
Japan's National Science Fiction Convention being held today
(Saturday, August 23) and tomorrow (Sunday, August 24) in
Hiroshima. As is traditional, the award will be re-presented at
the World Science Fiction Convention, which this year is being
held August 28 through September 2 in San Antonio, Texas. Sawyer
and his wife, poet Carolyn Clink, will be on-hand to receive his
Seiun Award trophy at that ceremony.
Sawyer, 37, is Canada's only native-born, full-time
science-fiction writer. He has now won the top SF awards in the
United States (the Nebula Award), France
(Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire), Canada (the Aurora), and
Japan. No other writer in history has ever won all four.
Sawyer's Seiun win is for End of an Era; it won in the
category of Best Foreign Novel of 1996. End of an Era was
published in Japan by Tokyo's Hayakawa Publishing Company in
1996; the North American and British editions appeared in 1994,
from Ace Science Fiction and New English Library, respectively.
The Japanese edition was published under the title Sayonara
Dainosaurusu; the translator was Masayuki Uchida of Yokohama.
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."
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."
The Edmonton Journal concurred: "Sawyer has reached far
beyond the grasp of the standard SF time-travel story. End of
an Era would have to rank as one of the finest Canadian or
American science fiction novels I have read in the last 10
The other Seiun nominees this year (all Americans) were:
- John Barnes, Mother of Storms
- Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vor Game
- John Cramer, Twistor
- Samuel R. Delany, The Einstein Intersection
- Kim Stanley Robinson, The Memory of Whiteness
- Rudy Rucker, The Hacker and the Ants
- Amy Thomson, The Color of Distance
Sawyer is also 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 next week at the
World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio.
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
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