The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Lois McMaster Bujold as the 36th Damon Knight Grand Master, one of science fiction’s highest honors.
Born in 1949, Bujold is a prolific author who is best known for her long-running Vorkosigan Saga, a science fiction universe she began in 1986 with Shards of Honor that currently includes 16 novels and a number of short stories.
Bujold is the daughter of noted engineer Robert Charles McMaster, who introduced her to science fiction as a child in Ohio. She read widely, began writing in high school, and initially studied English in college. She found that she was more interested in the field’s creative side, rather than the critical one, and ultimately went on to become a pharmacy technician after leaving. When her friend Lillian Stewart Carl publisher her first short story, Bujold found a renewed interest in writing, and completed her first novel, Shards of Honor, in 1983, which Baen Books published in 1985. From there, she began a long and celebrated career as a writer, earning her first Nebula Award in 1989 for Falling Free.
In 2017, she earned the inaugural Hugo Award for Best Series for the Vorkosigan Saga, and again in 2018 for her World of the Five Gods series.
In its announcement, SWFA president Mary Robinette Kowal says that Bujold “has had an undeniable influence on the field of science-fiction and fantasy,” and that “she finds new ways to explore the genre, mixing and matching everything from regency to science fiction.”
The award will be bestowed upon Bujold next year during SFWA’s Nebula Awards Conference (held May 28th-31st 2020 in Los Angeles), along with the year’s Nebula Awards.