August 30 – September 6, 2006 Edition

Robert J. Sawyer

Wins China’s Top

Science Fiction Award

Chengdu, China/8/26/2007–Robert J. Sawyer of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, today won China’s top science-fiction award, the Galaxy Award, in the category "Most Popular Foreign Author of the Year." The award, voted on by Chinese readers, was presented at the Chengdu International Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, the largest science-fiction conference ever held in China. (The last international SF&F conference in China was held ten years ago, in 1997.)

Chinese translations of Sawyer’s novels are published by Science Fiction World, headquartered in Chengdu, and his short stories have appeared in Science Fiction World magazine, the world’s largest-circulation SF publication; Sawyer is also a past columnist for that magazine.

In his acceptance speech Sawyer said, "I come from Toronto, which was bidding against Beijing to hold the 2008 Olympics. In fact, I was on a committee to help decide arts and cultural programs that would be held in conjunction with the Olympics, should they be awarded to Toronto. And so I have to confess that I was sad when it was announced that China was getting the 2008 Games. But I forgive you now! I don’t know how many of my countrymen and countrywomen will bring home medals next year — but I feel like I’ve just won a Gold for Canada."

Sawyer added, "Seriously, the great thing about science fiction is that it transcends national boundaries. It’s wonderful to be at a conference along with writers from the United States, England, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, New Zealand, and Canada. Science fiction really is the literature of Planet Earth."

In addition to Chinese, Sawyer’s work is published in Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, and Spanish. He has previously won the top SF awards in Spain (a record-setting three times), Japan (three times), and France.

English-language honors for his work include the World Science Fiction Society’s Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year (which he won in 2003 for Hominids); the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Award for Best Novel of the Year (which he won in 1996 for The Terminal Experiment); the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the SF field’s top juried award, for Best Novel of the Year (which he won in 2006 for Mindscan); and a record-setting nine Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("Auroras").

The Galaxy Award honors Sawyer’s entire oeuvre, rather than a specific book. The award was presented at a gala ceremony at the Chengdu Museum of Science and Technology.

Sawyer, 47, and his wife, poet Carolyn Clink, were on hand in Chengdu — the capital of Sichuan province — for the ceremony. Science-fiction writers David Brin, David Hill, Nancy Kress, and Michael Swanwick from the US and fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman from the UK also attended the conference.

Sawyer’s seventeenth novel, Rollback, has just been published in English by Tor Books, New York. In its starred review of Rollback, denoting a book of exceptional merit, Library Journal said, "Above all, the author’s characters bear their human strengths and weaknesses with dignity and poise. An elegantly told story; highly recommended."

Sawyer will be making an appearance at the Beijing International Book Fair later this week; he returns to Canada on September 3, 2007.

Robert J. Sawyer’s website: