SFWA Names Larry Niven the 2014 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has announced that Larry Niven will be honored with the organization’s Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award at this year’s Nebula Awards. Past grand masters have included Samuel R. Delany, Gene Wolfe, and Connie Willis, among others.

Best known for his Hugo- and Nebula-winning novel Ringworld, Niven has also written television scripts, comics, and political action in support of the conquest of space. He will be honored at the 50th annual Nebula Awards Weekend held June 4-7 in Chicago, Illinois, at the Palmer House Hilton.

Current SFWA President Steven Gould had this to say about bestowing this honor on Niven:

One of the great honors of being SFWA president is the announcing the latest Grandmaster recipient. One of the drawbacks is only getting to name one at a time when we have several worthy candidates. Still, I take great pleasure in naming Larry Niven as this year’s Damon Knight Memorial Grandmaster.

As Lev Grossman said in Time Magazine about Niven’s work, “It’s a bravura demonstration of technology and psychology both playing off and feeding back into each other. This feedback loop—so fundamental to great science fiction’s power—is at the heart of Niven’s work: we create tools, and our tools shape the world, but they also shape us, in unintended and unexpected ways.”

Niven shared his reaction:

I’ve always wanted one of these. It does definitely mean I’ve gotten old. I’ve been publishing fiction for more than fifty years now. I’m convinced I picked the right career.

SFWA will also honor Jeffry Dwight with the 2015 Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award, for his work in transitioning SFWA to its new website and ensuring the long-term survival of its discussion forums. Gould said:

SFWA’s early days on the web started on GEnie but, when that service shutdown, Jeffry Dwight, more than any other person, was responsible for helping SFWA transition onto the modern internet. We are incredibly lucky to have had access to his help and resources over the years.

Congratulations to Larry Niven and Jeffry Dwight! More information on SFWA’s website.


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